Canned Heat / Henry Vestine

Human Condition Revisited/I Used to Be Mad! (But Now I'm Half Crazy)

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Canned Heat's 1978 release, Human Condition, was an important one in the band's overall discography, as it was the last studio effort to feature original singer Bob Hite fronting the band (Hite would pass away in 1981). In 2006, the album was expanded with a pair of live tracks from 1985 and retitled Human Condition Revisited, and was packaged as a double disc that also featured the overlooked 1981 solo effort by Canned Heat guitarist Henry Vestine, I Used to Be Mad! (But Now I'm Half Crazy). Although disco, arena rock, and punk were the most in-demand musical styles during the late '70s, Canned Heat stuck with their bluesy approach on Human Condition, as evidenced by such uptempo rockers as the album-opening title track and "House of Blue Lights," while Hite's underrated harmonica blowing on "Hot Money" shows where John Popper may have gotten some of his inspiration. The compilation's second disc proves to be just as bluesy and vibrant as the first -- nearly everybody else in the rock world may have been cutting their hair and introducing synthesizers into their music, but not Vestine, as such standouts as "Dust My Broom" and "Sunflower Blues" could easily be mistaken for Canned Heat tracks. For fans who may have lost track of Canned Heat sometime in the '70s, Human Condition Revisited/I Used to Be Mad! (But Now I'm Half Crazy) proves that they were still rockin' and rollin' far beyond Woodstock.

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