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Vanilla Fudge - Near The Beginning CD (album) cover

NEAR THE BEGINNING

Vanilla Fudge

 

Proto-Prog

3.42 | 39 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

BORA
5 stars Vive la differance!

Vanilla Fudge have made a career out of re-interpreting other people's works. Seemingly, they have succeeded in creating a name by doing so. Honestly, it's hard to go wrong with re-heating some already familiar songs. For my part, I am not the least interested in that and over the years I've let go of their earlier releases, but treasuring this one as an exception.

Why? Simple. This album contains a live recording of a rare, original piece "Break Song", where for over 23 mins. the band chooses to stretch out in a bluesy tune. Every member gets to solo - and brilliantly, I may add!

"Break Song" broke new ground in Prog Rock here with perhaps the very first ever recorded bass solo using a distortion pedal, courtesy of Tim Bogert. Carmine Appice also shows what a great drummer can do when allowed to expand and the rest of the crew also shines.

Some people loathe this track, whereas this is the very Vanilla Fudge I would have liked to hear more of. Well, we are permitted to have different preferences, but "knocking" this piece doesn't appear to be reasonable to me.

Of some interest, later the rhythm section became part of CACTUS - a rather coarse Hard Rock band - where Bogert and Appice revisited fragments of what appeals to me in "Break Song", but never really came close to the delivery on "Near The Beginning". (Frankly, CACTUS is best to be left alone...!)

Equally, the formation of Beck, Bogert and Appice also failed to capture the real talent behind these very capable musicians. Were they overrated, or was it restrictions applied by the producer's? We may never know.

BORA | 5/5 |

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