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Vanilla Fudge - Near The Beginning CD (album) cover


Vanilla Fudge



3.30 | 55 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This album falls shy when compared to their brilliant "Renaissance" work. The band was very productive in those days (four albums in two years' time) but IMHHO it was at the cost of quality. Each even album they have produced can't hold the comparison to its uneven counterpart. Just meaning that for each good to very good album they have produced so far "Vanilla Fudge", their debut one and "Renaissance", there will be "The Beat Goes On" and this one.

The extraordinary ("Some Velvet Morning") and the worse ("Break Song") are featured on the fourth album of the Fudge.

The former is a magnificent psyche and soft jewel with brilliant vocals from our dear friend Vince. It is by far my favourite song form this offering. All the psyche magic is working pretty good during this melodic and beautiful track.

As usual, one gets a fantastic instrumental intro and the vocals are so delicate and beautiful. Another one of their great cover work. A style in which they really excel. A great psychedelic anthem.

On the contrary, the latter is just a useless and loooooooooong jam session starting bluesy and ending nowhere. It is very difficult to go through these twenty-three minutes+ (and I 've done it several times.) to try and find what was all the fuss about it.

At times, the super wild guitar and the incredible rhythmic section is producing some explosive parts but this live track is rather self-indulgent. Of course, lots of live albums from the era (and this fact will last for several years, just listen to "Made In Japan") features such solo. And you'll get them all here.

While not displaying these instrumental solo, the "song" reverts to this bluesy mood I just dislike (but you might know that I am not at all into blues).

These musicians are of course excellent but the bass solo is pretty boring actually. This number is only worth for its wild guitar break and the drum solo. Otherwise, it is pretty boring. Press next. Ooooops, it is the last "song" of the album.

In between, "Where Is Hapiness" written by Carmin Appice is on the plus side as well. Heavy rock at its best. This track would benefit from a good remastering work when (or if) available. Wild beat and instrumental parts combined with aerial vocals are very close to the very good "Renaissance" album.

On the contrary, the soul oriented opening track "Shotgun" is not my cup of tea. But again, this musical genre is not mine at all.

This is my last review of the year on PA. It was great fun to post all these reviews on this site in 2007. Just a bit sad that it doesn't end on a higher note.

Three stars thanks to "Where Is Happiness" and of course the brilliant "Some Velvet Morning".

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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