RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Vanilla Fudge – Spirit of ‘67
Purple Pyramid Records

http://cleorecs.com/store/shop/vanilla-fudge-spirit-of-67-cd-02/

Rating: B+

The Summer of Love, 1967, the epicenter of the hippie experience… no band is more capable in taking these classic tunes from that year and twisting them into new arrangements than the mighty Vanilla Fudge! 

Vanilla Fudge came to prominence in the hippie decade with a remake of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” a tune by the girl band The Supremes.  Fudge turned that tune on its head and made it a psychedelic masterpiece.  Turn the clock forward to 2015, and the band is at it again!  This time they rework several more classics, making them their own in the process. 

Founding members Carmine Appice and Mark Stein are pretty damn proud of what they’ve accomplished with Spirit of ’67, and they should be.  This is a throwback to the era of Fudge, and is even the year the band came into prominence! 

Carmine goes as far as to say Fudge has not been this good since they started.  “[This is] the best album we've done since our very first album, with great vocal arrangements and instrumental performances from everyone in the band." 

Stein agrees stating, “Spirit Of '67 is a record that I'm proud of. The success of Vanilla Fudge has always been based on our interpretations of songs by great artists. Our style of classic and symphonic rock lives large on this effort, and the performances and arrangements I would hope will be enjoyed by old and new fans alike."

While each of the ten remakes are good, there are a few that can be classified as great.  “I Can See for Miles” does to the iconic song by the Who what “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” did to The Supremes!  This is a really cool version of the song that keeps one smiling and rocking from start to finish.  They do a killer job of reinterpreting The Doors classic “Break on Through [to the Other Side].” “Whiter Shade of Pale” is a huge undertaking, the band proving they are not afraid to go after the most iconic of songs! 

There is one original tune written by Stein and titled “Let’s Pray for Peace,” that captures the spirit of the Summer of Love philosophy and brings it into the modern day.  Stein explains the tune’s origin, “It is about a vision I had that came to me suddenly as if my supreme being was speaking through me.  Constant media attention to a world that's at odds with itself and its people inspired me to send a message... What if all of us could stop for a moment, as naïve as it may sound to some, and say: 'who'd like to share, a little silent prayer, let's pray for peace tonight.'"

Vanilla Fudge did this one up right.  They precisely accomplished what they set out to do, much to the joy of their fans. 

This one is a winner.

Track Listing
1 I Heard It Through The Grapevine
2. The Letter
3. I Can See For Miles
4. Break On Through (To the Other Side)
5. The Tracks of My Tears
6. I’m A Believer
7. Gimme Some Lovin’
8. For What It’s Worth
9. Ruby Tuesday
10. Whiter Shade of Pale
11. Let’s Pray For Peace

By Jeb Wright

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