Blue Cheer

Live Bootleg: London - Hamburg

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When talks about "stoner rock" come up, one band that tends to get overlooked is Blue Cheer. While groups like Black Sabbath are always given props, the San Francisco band led by Dickie Peterson is usually left out in the cold, despite having scored one of the genre's earliest anthems, a turbo-charged rendition of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" (which was easily the heaviest song released in 1968). Since their late-'60s peak, the group has been off and on again, and by the early 21st century, they were rocking all over the world once more, as evidenced by 2005's Live Bootleg: London - Hamburg. While both Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath had blues roots, the former was more "garage-minded," while the latter was more "metal minded," and the point is proven once more by just about any selection here. Included are explosive (in an MC5 vein) renditions of such Blue Cheer classics as the aforementioned "Summertime Blues," "Out of Focus," and Mose Allison's "Parchment Farm," as well as a reading of the Doors' "Roadhouse Blues." While it doesn't top what it probably would have been like to experience Blue Cheer at the Fillmore West back in the late '60s, Live Bootleg: London - Hamburg shows that Peterson and company can still lay down a sizzling groove.

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