VANILLA FUDGE
Proto-Metal / Metal Related • United States

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Vanilla Fudge is an American rock band. The band's original lineup - vocalist/organist Mark Stein, bassist/vocalist Tim Bogert, lead guitarist/vocalist Vince Martell, and drummer/vocalist Carmine Appice - recorded five albums during the years 1966-69, before disbanding in 1970.

The band has reunited in various configurations over the years, and is currently operating with its four original members. The band has been cited as, "one of the few American links between psychedelia and what soon became heavy metal."

Stein and Bogert played in a local band called Rick Martin & The Showmen and were so impressed by the sound of The Rascals (swinging and floods of organ) that they decided to form their own band with Martell and Rick Martin's drummer, Joey Brennan.

Originally calling themselves The Pigeons, they changed the name to Vanilla Fudge in 1966, after the replacement of Brennan by Appice. A recording of the Pigeons was released in Germany
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VANILLA FUDGE Discography

VANILLA FUDGE albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.03 | 5 ratings
Vanilla Fudge
Proto-Metal 1967
.. Album Cover 1.57 | 3 ratings
The Beat Goes On
Proto-Metal 1968
.. Album Cover 4.48 | 4 ratings
Renaissance
Proto-Metal 1968
.. Album Cover 3.52 | 2 ratings
Near the Beginning
Proto-Metal 1969
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Rock & Roll
Proto-Metal 1969
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Mystery
Metal Related 1984
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
The Return
Metal Related 2001
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Out Through the In Door
Proto-Metal 2007

VANILLA FUDGE EPs & splits

VANILLA FUDGE live albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Vanilla Fudge: Live
Proto-Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Real Deal
Proto-Metal 2003

VANILLA FUDGE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

VANILLA FUDGE boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of The Vanilla Fudge
Proto-Metal 1982
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Psychedelic Sudae: The Best Of The Vanilla Fudge
Proto-Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Box Of Fudges
Proto-Metal 2010

VANILLA FUDGE singles (0)

VANILLA FUDGE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

VANILLA FUDGE Reviews

VANILLA FUDGE Renaissance

Album · 1968 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Surely ranking alongside the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple when it comes to setting the standards for prog-leaning heavy psych, Vanilla Fudge's second album is a true tour de force, with a range of decent songs building up to the absolutely incredible album closer, Season of the Witch. Devastatngly doomy, if you swapped out Mark Stein's organ performance for a Tony Iommi guitar solo you'd basically arrive at early Black Sabbath - but you wouldn't want to, because the organ-focused proto-doom of the track offers a truly hair-raising and unique trip which must surely be one of the most underrated songs of all time.

VANILLA FUDGE The Beat Goes On

Album · 1968 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
J-Man
Vanilla Fudge's debut may not have moved me a whole lot as a listener, but I certainly understand the album's place as a seminal album in the development of psychedelic and heavy rock music. The success of that album only increases the confusion generated by The Beat Goes On, the American outfit's controversial sophomore observation - this experimental album is a 'head scratcher' for sure, and though some have hailed it as a misunderstood masterpiece, I will join the choir of folks that just don't get it. The Beat Goes On has a few interesting things going on, but the band's total disregard for musical structure and composition makes for a tough pill to swallow, even when looked at from a historical perspective.

Although the music on 1967's Vanilla Fudge was primarily straightforward organ-led psychedelic rock, the same can not be said for The Beat Goes On. There are flirtations with conventional music, like the piano intro "Sketch" and a few Beatles covers in rapid succession, but a majority of the music seems to have very little direction at all - a good portion of side two can hardly be called music, if truth be told. As cool as a sound collage of twentieth century political figures can be if done right, it seems out of place and overly long when it takes up eight minutes on a rock album. The Beat Goes On does have some cool musical ideas from time to time, but they rarely expand beyond interesting fragments; although Vanilla Fudge sticks to cover tracks once again, they never actually recreate any of the tracks they pay homage to. Instead, they briefly touch on numerous compositions, and the result is an incoherent mess.

It's actually a shame that the band never decided to flesh out any of the tunes here, as I think a heavy psychedelic version of "Fur Elise" or "Hound Dog" could have made for an entertaining listen. The Beat Goes On aims to transport the listener through history, musical and otherwise, and although this is a great concept, the execution is baffling. A directionless and confusing album, The Beat Goes On is a failed experiment in my book, and a disappointing followup to Vanilla Fudge's 1967 debut. This is only recommended to the most die-hard of psychedelic collectors - all others should proceed with extreme caution.

VANILLA FUDGE Vanilla Fudge

Album · 1967 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
J-Man
Released during the famous 'summer of love' in 1967, Vanilla Fudge's debut offering was undoubtedly one of the more seminal psychedelic albums coming from America during the late sixties'. The heavy, jam-oriented atmosphere combined with Mark Stein's prominent organs were rather unique given the time period, and the group's original twist on well-known compositions grabbed the attention of fans and critics alike. Consisting solely of cover tunes and a few short interludes thrown in for good measure, Vanilla Fudge did not captivate listeners with original works of their own, but instead showed what they could do within the limits of famous pop songs from years past. While this formula certainly allowed lots of creativity and solid musicianship to shine through, I don't think that Vanilla Fudge stands as a particularly bold artistic statement or ageless classic.

Musically, we're dealing with psychedelic rock that isn't too far away from what most bands in the genre were doing in 1966 and 1967. Although sidelong jams and increased experimentation hadn't yet become the norm, heavy use of the Hammond organ and Beatles-influenced vocal melodies are plentiful here; Vanilla Fudge were also at the forefront of early hard rock, and some of the organ sections here clearly paved the way for heavy acts like Deep Purple and Uriah Heep. Though I would not call Vanilla Fudge a terribly groundbreaking observation, it's easy to understand why this record was so influential as it solidified everything that early psychedelic rock was about.

As mentioned previously, all of the tracks on Vanilla Fudge are cover tunes. This is a bit of a turn-off for me (I typically like bands to write their own material), but it's clear that these guys put a lot of thought into the arrangements. Though the songs may be the same, Vanilla Fudge's renditions of these tracks sound entirely their own. Their take on The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" is a fine example of this, as is their interpretation of the Motown classic "You Keep Me Hangin' On". It's certainly interesting to hear all of these songs re-imagined in a psychedelic setting, but that's arguably all that it remains - a re-imagining. Especially over forty five years after its release, Vanilla Fudge doesn't sound terribly exciting or artistically ambitious. Unlike some other 1967 landmarks like Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band or Absolutely Free that have grown with each passing year, Vanilla Fudge feels more like a relic from the psychedelic era than a truly timeless classic.

Of course, fans of psychedelic rock have probably owned this album decades before I wrote this review, but newer listeners of the genre are still advised to check it out. It may not strike me as anything terribly essential, but Vanilla Fudge is an influential release that encapsulates everything that one should expect from late sixties' psych. As a listener, however, I must admit that I was more than a little disappointed.

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