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The History of Blue Cheer: Good Times are So Hard to Find


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Audio CD, September 25, 1990
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$3.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Summertime Blues (Album Version) 3:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Out Of Focus (Album Version) 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Parchment Farm (Album Version) 5:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Feathers From Your Tree (Album Version) 3:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Hunter (Album Version) 4:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Babylon (Album Version) 4:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Peace Of Mind (Album Version) 7:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Fruit And Icebergs (Album Version) 6:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Fool (Album Version) 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Hello L.A. Bye Bye Birmingham (Album Version) 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Saturday Freedom (Album Version) 5:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Good Times Are So Hard To Find (Album Version) 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Pilot (Album Version) 4:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Preacher (Album Version) 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Hiway Man (Album Version) 4:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. I'm The Light (Album Version) 5:38$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

The History of Blue Cheer: Good Times are So Hard to Find + Vincebus Eruptum + Captain Beyond [Remastered]
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mercury
  • ASIN: B000001FNQ
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,888 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Here are 16 key cuts by the loudest, most menacing band to emerge from the psychedelic haze of the late '60s! Their hit take on Summertime Blues joins Pilot; The Hunter; Out of Focus; Babylon; Fool; Preacher; I'm the Light , and more proto-metal.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J. E FELL on February 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Blue Cheer were a legendary 1960's California band renowned for being one of the loudest live bands ever. They even open for Jimi Hendrix a few times and were favorites of the Hell's Angles. However, this tag is not really representative as the band had so much turnover that their sound mellowed after the bombastic sludgefests of the first two albums. Bassist/vocalist Dickie Peterson was the only continuous member until the band called it quits the first time. The original band featured on the first two albums feature Leigh Stephens on guitar and Paul Whaley ex-Oxford Circle on drums. This incarnation of the band recorded their biggest hit, a bludgeoning cover of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues". Other notable cuts from this incarnation of the band include a cover of Mose Allison's "Parchment Farm", the great "Out Of Focus" and "Babylon". Stephens quit at this point and their next album featured two guitarists. The legendary Randy Holden ex-Other Half was featured on the great cuts included here "Piece of Mind" and "Fruit and Icebergs" which were more jam oriented and psychedelic. Holden quit halfway through the album sessions and was replaced by Bruce Stephens. With the next album drummer Whaley threw in the towel and was replaced by Norman Mayell and Ralph Burns Kellogg was added on keyboards. "Saturday Freedom" and a laid back cover of "Hello LA Bye Bye Birmingham" date from this period. Bruce Stephens then quit and was replaced by ex-drummer Whaley's friend from Oxford Circle Gary L. Yoder on guitar and harmonica. The music at this point had become more mellow and blues oriented. Two albums followed by this line up before they called it quits.Read more ›
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Shelby Lambert on October 2, 2004
Format: Audio CD
...From a band that only had one hit!!

First of all, this album is aptly titled: "The History of Blue Cheer". For a band who was only around for 4 years the first time, I don't think there is another group in rock history who went through more changes in such a short period. Listening to this CD in chronological order, as all compilation CD's "should" be, from "Summertime Blues" back in early '68, all the way through to "I'm the Light" in '71, you would have thought this band had been around for 10 years, as much as their music had changed during that short amount of time.

The most interesting thing about Blue Cheer is that every album they made was like a different era, with slight personnel changes each time contributing something, and making a difference in the sound of the band each time. From the grunge of "Vincebus Eruptum", to the psychedelic/metal and playful atmosphere on "Outside/Inside", the un-togetherness with some guitar-driven bright spots on "New Improved", the hippie-fun and re-invention on "Blue Cheer", right down to the relaxed feeling of the last two albums, "The Original Human Being" and "Oh, Pleasant Hope", this compilation takes the best and most well-represented 2 or 3 songs from all those albums--again, in chronolgical order, and brilliantly profiles those changes in their best light. This is exactly the way all greatest hits compilations should be put together.

Of course, the "average" Blue Cheer fan is most familiar with, and usually prefers, the first two albums, when the band was a "heavy metal" power trio with Leigh Stephens on guitar, and the first six songs here represent that era. But little is known by many about the rest of their output, and this set does a nice job of presenting "the best of the rest".
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tony on May 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I must admit the fast & loud stuff they do was the reason I bought this cd.I wasn't willing to sit through the "lighter" second half of the disc.But listening to it now (particularly "Saturday Freedom") I can hear that the second half may contain their better work.The last two cuts move dangerously close to Eagles territory.Interesting stuff for collectors of the famous-yet-obscure.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on March 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I hazily remember my parents coming home one day in the late 60's and telling me about this record a friend of their's daughter had played for them. The word that stands out in my mind from their review is "bombastic." As I turn more and more into my parents, I find that word ringing more and more in my head as I listen to the first 6 tracks on this 16 track (*74* minute) compilation. These first 6 tracks, taken from Blue Cheer's first two LP's ("Vincebus Eruptum" and "Outsideinside") are lacking in subtlety and dynamics (unless you consider "LOUD" to be dynamic), and mostly entertaining only as a novelty (and then only for a few minutes).

Once past these initial two LP's, and with the departure of guitarist/vocalist Leigh Stephens, and the arrival of Randy Holden (and later Gary Yoder), Blue Cheer began to show a lot more range and taste. The single joke act of their first two LP's gave way to a slightly more polished sound, arranged with a nice electric blues edge. Unlike the earlier aural assaults, the later tracks actually have some dynamic range, and feature a more varied instrumental approach (including harmonica, organ, piano, etc.).

It's really hard to see this as one band, since the shift in sound is so radical after Stephens' departure. By the last three albums, only one of the three original members remained. The later tracks, feature some nice stretched out guitar solos and instrumental passages. I'm left curious as to how this band was received at the time, in both their original line-up, and the later, more progressive sounding crew.
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