Friday, January 20, 2017

Blue Cheer - 1985 - The Beast Is Back

Blue Cheer 
The Beast Is Back

01. Nightmares 5:00
02. Summertime Blues 3:55
03. Ride With Me 5:20
04. Girl Next Door 3:38
05. Babylon 4:16
06. Heart Of The City 4:10
07. Out Of Focus 3:40
08. Parchment Farm 6:53

Bass, Vocals – Dickie Peterson
Drums – Paul Whaley
Engineer – Chris Bubacz
Guitar – Tony Rainier

Recorded at Music America Studios, Rochester, NY 1984.

A Blue Cheer comeback of sorts, The Beast Is Back was the first recording in years to feature more than one bandmember from the group's classic '60s lineup that delivered the essential acid rock/heavy metal albums Outsidedinside and Vincebus Eruptum. Dickie Peterson (bass, vocals) and Paul Whaley (drums) reunited on this 1985 Megaforce records release just as heavy metal (a genre that the band deserves no small amount of credit for helping to create) was reaching its mid-'80s commercial apex. Not so surprisingly, the record's producers tried to update the unrefined sound from of the band's classic period by literally re-recording a few vintage Blue Cheer cuts. The resultant disjointed versions of songs like "Summertime Blues" and "Parchment Farm" are drenched in dated reverb and lifeless kick drum overkill. The performances are fine, but this record too ill-conceived for that to make too much of a difference. Fans of the band might enjoy the updated versions more for their novelty than anything else, and it should be said that Blue Cheer released several discs that were much harder on the ears than this one. So perhaps The Beast Is Back could be considered a modest achievement.
This is Blue Cheer playing 4 songs off the 1st 2 lps and some other songs. Some may be new; my favorites are "Ride with Me" and "Heart of the City". The whole CD rocks with feeling, there are no weak songs or uninspired efforts. Although the original Blue Cheer versions of Parchment Farm and Summertime Blues from their 1st lp might be just about impossible to ever out-do the band rerecords both them with spirit. There is lots of very different lead guitar work on the rerecorded Parchment Farm.
If you like this CD then you definitely want to listen over and over again to their first lp Vincebus Eruptus that includes the extended ravers "Doctor Please" and "Second Time Around".

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