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Vanilla Fudge - Renaissance CD (album) cover


Vanilla Fudge



4.08 | 108 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars After a good debut album full of covers and a poor follow-up, the Fudge is back with an extraordinary album.

If ever there is one album that the fans of the early Purple or Heep needs to listen to it is this one. Those heavy keys are so evocative and precursory of Jon and Ken's ones. From the very first gong sound of the sumptuous opening track "The Sky Cried when I Was a Boy", one knows that something special is going on.

In the land of heavy, this is one of the heaviest ones. It seems that the keyboards are vomited through my loud speakers while I listen to it. These vocals so superb and such a great source of inspiration for David (Byron). The birth of heavy rock, maybe?

"Thoughts" is another hymn to wild harmony. Heep has learned its lessons from this number, for sure! Short, apocalyptic, stunning. Give me more of that kind, please.

Almost each single number from this album is pure, wild and heavy psychedelia. To release such a frenetic album in .1968 was a great challenge. It shows that this band was more creative than what some might have thought. They are definitely much, much more than a great cover band (even if they remained one of the greatest of that kind).

The power that radiates from "Paradise" is just fabulous. Technique, virtuosity, melody are on the rendez-vous. But more than anything a very, very heavy sound throughout this album. These organ sounds combined with such a brilliant rhythmic section are just amazing.

The first cover song from this great album is "The Spell that Comes After". Somewhat weaker, I must say. This highlights their song writing capabilities. In a year's time they evolved dramatically and all on the good side.

The next track "Faceless People" is another jewel. I can reassure Easy Livin' : this song has definitely inspired Jack Bruce while he was writing the great "Theme From An Imaginary Western". It is one of my fave from this album (and the link to "Theme" is probably not alien to this). After the initial part, these organ and guitar are just so great. Orgasmic ?

The second cover brings us back to their debut while they were almost re-writing the original songs they were interpreting. Airplane also did some great work with a Donovan song ("Fat Angel"). This one completely transform it as well, but I am not fully seduced by "Season of the Witch".

This album deserves your full attention. It was really innovative for its time, and even if it might sound outdated for young prog freaks, just bear in mind that this album was released almost forty years ago...

The CD version features three bonus tracks which are different that the ones listed here. But none of "All In Your Mind" or "The Look of Love" are really worth. But "Where Is My Mind" is on par with the other pieces of the original album.

Four stars.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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