Blue Cheer

The Beast Is Back: The Megaforce Years

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A Blue Cheer comeback of sorts, The Beast Is Back was the first recording in years to feature more than one bandmember from the group's classic '60s lineup that delivered the essential acid rock/heavy metal albums Outsidedinside and Vincebus Eruptum. Dickie Peterson (bass, vocals) and Paul Whaley (drums) reunited on this 1985 Megaforce records release just as heavy metal (a genre that the band deserves no small amount of credit for helping to create) was reaching its mid-'80s commercial apex. Not so surprisingly, the record's producers tried to update the unrefined sound from of the band's classic period by literally re-recording a few vintage Blue Cheer cuts. The resultant disjointed versions of songs like "Summertime Blues" and "Parchment Farm" are drenched in dated reverb and lifeless kick drum overkill. The performances are fine, but this record too ill-conceived for that to make too much of a difference. Fans of the band might enjoy the updated versions more for their novelty than anything else, and it should be said that Blue Cheer released several discs that were much harder on the ears than this one. So perhaps The Beast Is Back could be considered a modest achievement.

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