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Vanilla Fudge: Spirit Of ’67

US veterans party like it’s the Summer Of Love.

Vanilla Fudge have had more break-ups than Burton and Taylor, but they’re now back to their original configuration (minus bassist Tim Bogert).

Given that they scored their biggest success (a Top 20 hit in the UK and US) with a cover of The Supremes’ hit You Keep Me Hangin’ On in 1967, you can see the logic of this all-covers set from the psychedelic era.

The distinctive Fudge trademarks are certainly still in place – singer Mark Stein’s swirling Hammond, the thudding drums of Carmine Appice, Vince Martell’s blustery guitar – which results in them rocking the shit out of The Doors’ Break On Through and transforming I Can See For Miles into an extended psych-funk jam that’s closer to early Santana than to The Who’s original.

Over-familiar radio staples Gimme Some Lovin’ and A Whiter Shade Of Pale, however, fare less well, due partly to Stein’s vocals, which have a tendency towards the histrionic. A mixed bag, for sure, but enjoyable nonetheless./o:p

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