The Real Deal

Vanilla Fudge

As the remnants of Vanilla Fudge traipse from one seedy nightclub to another, the memory of the original foursome hovers like a long, lost psychedelic ghost. Their initial run from 1966 through 1970 wrought five albums built around staggering levels of intensity and musicianship that assured the band’s profound impact on the future of heavy music. In 1984, keyboardist Mark Stein, drummer Carmine Appice, bassist Tim Bogert and guitarist Vince Martell regrouped, recording the ill-fated, ostentatiously contemporary Mystery album. It had its moments, but supposedly left a bad after-taste in the mouths of some of the group’s more ardent followers. In 1987, the Fudge pressed on with a short tour, but without Martell (who would eventually return and leave again). In a seemingly co-opt effort to capture the vibe of the original quartet, recordings from the '87 tour have been enhanced with Martell’s guitar overdubs and collectively unveiled as The Real Deal. Recorded in Chicago during the Back To The Future Tour, the CD features a rich selection of Fudge favorites including “She’s Not There,” “Take Me For A Little While,” “People Get Ready” and “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” slotted in with newer tunes like “Golden Age Dreams” and “Don't Stop Now.” Despite the 80s timeframe and guitar make-over, the undeniable vocal talents and instrumental chemistry that define Vanilla Fudge is given an infectious shot in the arm.

~ Shawn Perry

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