Thursday, August 22, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."The Beat Goes On" (1968)

"The Beat Goes On" - Vanilla Fudge (1968)

“Should you or any of your IMForce be caught or killed, Vanilla Fudge will disavow any knowledge of this album.”  On the band's 2nd album, the group felt they had been sabotaged by their producer, George "Shadow" Morton.  They were so blindsided that the very same year...and only four months later, 'the Fudge' released their 3rd, and much better album, ”Renaissance” and quickly put "The Beat Goes On" behind them.

And I get it. “The Beat Goes On” had no real songs on it.  Just snippets of ideas (producer ideas) and a bunch of seeds and stem studio shenanigans.  It was all supposed to be a mind-blow.  An avant-garde wonderflip.  The problem was the producer did most of this stuff unbeknownst to the band.  There is a lot of weird shim-sham and flibbety-floo goings-on. And no less than five, albeit short, versions of the title track done in a variety of subtle styles.  Nothing radio stations could really play.  Nothing to measure up to their mega- debut.

But I kind of liked it.  It's trippy weirdness meant for headphones.  It's not all that mind-blowing, but it makes for a cool 'wtf' snapshot of the psychedelic era.  It's not the Vanilla Fudge your ears expect.  None of the drawn-out sludge the band's famous for.  As I said before, the album holds no less than five mini-versions of “The Beat Goes On.”  I only wished they would have picked one song and really slugged the meter.  Anyway, it is what it is and I enjoyed some of it.  You can easily find a nice copy for cheap.  My copy was a $3 find at Spin It Again.  I know I'm not going to spin this album very often.  Not without headphones anyway.  But sometimes Vanilla Fudge without the sludge is okay.

"The Beat Goes On" (back)


"The Beat Goes On" (inside)


ATCO label


"The Beat Goes On I" - Vanilla Fudge / "The Beat Goes On" (1968)

TRACKS:
A1  "Sketch" 2:55
A2  "Intro: The Beat Goes On" 1:57
A3   a. "Eighteenth-Century: Variations on Divertimento No. 13 in F Major" 0:45
        b. "Nineteenth-Century: Old Black Joe" 0:46
        c. "Twentieth Century: Don't Fence Me In" 0:52
        d. "12th Street Rag" 0:49
        e. "In the Mood" 0:45
        f. "Hound Dog" 0:43
        g. "I Want to Hold Your Hand / I Feel Fine / Day Tripper / She Loves You" 1:45
A4  "The Beat Goes On I" 1:32
A5  "Für Elise & Moonlight Sonata" 6:38
A6  "The Beat Goes On II" 1:05
B1  "The Beat Goes On III" 1:00
B2  "Voices in Time" 8:09
B3  "The Beat Goes On IV" 1:50
B4  "Merchant / The Game Is Over" 8:57
B5  "The Beat Goes On V" 2:20

PERSONNEL:
Mark Stein - vocals, keyboards
Vince Martell - guitar, vocals
Tim Bogert - bass, vocals
Carmine Appice - drums, vocals
George "Shadow" Morton  - producer

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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