VANILLA FUDGE - Box of Fudge [Rhino Handmade] (2010)
For a brief moment in 1967, Vanilla Fudge stood at the swirling center of the pop-music universe, satisfying fans searching for transformative musical experiences with its symphonic psychedelic rock. Sweetened by intricate vocal harmonies and classical flourishes, The Fudge’s innovative mix of rhythm and blues shone brightly as a new era of heavy music was dawning at the start of the 1970s. Organist Mark Stein, bassist Tim Bogert, lead guitarist Vince Martell, and drummer Carmine Appice recorded five albums in two years. They toured relentlessly, winning converts with radical reworkings of hits like The Supremes’ “You Keep Me Hanging On” while “raising” the bar for after-show escapades. Rhino Handmade devotes equal time to The Fudge’s influential studio and live legacies with a four-disc boxed set that combines album tracks and rare singles with unreleased recordings. Presented in an elaborately designed, foil wrapped package, the set also comes with an 11x17 replica Family Dog poster from one of the band’s shows.
The first two discs flow mostly in chronological order, beginning with Vanilla Fudge’s earliest recordings, including the band’s first single with Atco, “Take Me For A Little While.” It continues with selections from the group’s self-titled debut, The Beat Goes On (1968), Renaissance (1968), Near The Beginning (1969) and Rock And Roll (1969), plus two songs from Mystery, the band’s brief 1984 reunion. Along with gathering a number of singles, the collection also marks the debut of the previously unreleased “Heartache Jam,” originally recorded in 1969.
The final two discs spotlight Vanilla Fudge on stage in its prime with an unreleased recording of the band welcoming the arrival of 1969 with a New Year’s concert at the Fillmore West. Recorded shortly before the quartet’s fourth album was released, the show draws on The Fudge’s early days for “People Get Ready” and “Ticket To Ride” as well as its forthcoming album Near The Beginning with “Shotgun” and an epic version – more than 20 minutes – of “Break Song.”
The collection concludes with “Love Jam,” “Movin’On” and “VF Studio Jam,” a trio of previously unreleased tracks recorded in New York at Atlantic Recording Studio just months before the original quartet splintered.
DISC 1: 01. All In Your Mind 02. Take Me For A Little While 03. Ticket To Ride 04. People Get Ready 05. She's Not There 06. You Keep Me Hangin' On 07. Where Is My Mind 08. The Look Of Love 09. Sketch 10. The Beat Goes On 11. Come By Day, Come By Night 12. The Sky Cried - When I Was A Boy 13. That's What Makes A Man 14. Faceless People 15. Season Of The Witch
DISC 2: 01. Shotgun 02. Some Velvet Morning 03. You Can't Do That 04. People 05. Good Good Livin' (Long Version) 06. Heartache Jam 07. Need Love 08. Lord In The Country 09. Street Walking Woman 10. The Windmills Of Your Mind 11. Jealousy 12. My World Is Empty
DISC 3: 01. She's Not There (live) 02. Shotgun (live) 03. People Get Ready (live) 04. You Keep Me Hangin' On (live) 05. Season Of The Witch (live) 06. Break Song (live)
DISC 4: 01. Good Good Livin' (live) 02. Ticket To Ride (live) 03. Medley: Moonlight Sonota/Fur Elise/Eleanor Rigby (live) 04. Take Me For A Little While (live) 05. Like A Rolling Stone (live) 06. Love Jam 07. Movin' On 08. VF Studio Jam
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