Title - 'Spirit Of '67'
Artist - Vanilla Fudge
The mighty Fudge is BACK with their heaviest album to date, a collection of brilliant reworkings of classic tracks from that pivotal year in music 1967! These classic rock icons are keeping the spirit of real rock music alive with their own versions of The Box Tops' 'The Letter,' Procol Harum's 'Whiter Shade Of Pale,' The Who's 'I Can See For Miles,' Spencer Davis Group's 'Gimme Some Lovin', and so many more!
This incredible new CD kicks-off with spoken words from Vanilla Fudge drummer Carmine Appice, before the band head straight into the Motown funk of the hard hitting Marvin Gaye cover, 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine.' Quite like nothing you've ever heard before, and complete with Kid Rockesque rap midway, sterling lead guitar work blends beautifully with the Hammond organ of keyboardist Mark Stein.
Stein again comes to the fore, albeit more gently on 'The Letter.' Originally written and performed by the Box Tops in 1967, it's most well known today as having had the raw vocal power of the late Joe Cocker behind it. Here, Appice makes it his own and yet keeps the spirit of Cocker alive throughout. A blistering 'I Can See For Miles' (The Who) is one of the true highlights of the album, and is backed by the gentle, Middle Eastern guitar intro of The Doors' 'Break On Through (To The Other Side).'
A thundering opening to 'The Tracks of My Tears' is next, but quickly transforms into a more recognizable version of the much covered R&B hit song introduced in 1965 by The Miracles. Solid drumming leads us, unrecognizably at first, into The Monkees' 'I'm A Believer,' before a fabulous Spencer Davis Group cover, 'Gimmie Some Lovin.' Some military-style drumming brings us 'For What It's Worth,' the Buffalo Springfield anthemic song, and that's followed by a glorious 'Ruby Tuesday' (Rolling Stones).
Procol Harum's cover, 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale doesn't stray too far from the much-trodden path before it, and the album finally comes to a close with the only original track on the new album, Let's Pray For Peace.' Written by Stein, it has been said the track is about a vision he had that came to him as if his supreme being was speaking through himself. "What a world we live in. Lots of pleasure, plenty of sin," is the message that it opens with, and aside from my first thoughts turning to Las Vegas, well, message received, Vanilla Fudge. Message received.