It has occurred to me recently, as through the vagaries of Shuffle- and Autofill-induced chance, I have now heard this bejewelled relic of the psychedelic age three times over the last 72 hours, that Vanilla Fudge must be the '60's closest analog to doom metal.
Maybe not drop-tuned, but plodding and monolithic nonetheless, just like the glacial tempos enjoyed these days by the doomsters and that crowd.
I'm old but I'm not that old, so I can't say for certain. But as well as the first Vanilla Fudge album did, I get the feeling that "You Keep Me Hanging On" and the rest of it was for the hardcore freaks of the time. George Harrison is famously said to have latched onto the album during the summer of 1967 and to have blasted it nearly continuously from the windows of his palatial bungalow or whatever, and both the album and its single here charted--but still.
Regardless, this music rather screams underground, Weather and otherwise, flagburners and yippies and the burn baby burn types. Let's just say that we haven't heard muzak versions of these songs, in the same way yas I am sure we won't for (more or less) current fringe faves like "Doom-antia" or "Dopesmoker."
And check out the brontosaurus bass. If guitarist Vinnie Martell spends half his time trying to get his axe to sound like a sitar, Tim Bogert's playing, way out front, distorted and thunderous, is definitely of the flavor that Geezer Butler and his children and grandchildren would purvey.
What I am trying to say, ladies and gentlemen, freaks and freakettes, is that this is heavy music. Proto-metal like contemporaries Blue Cheer, for sure, but also proto-doom. There, I said it. Proto . . . doom.
I was reading on Wikipedia where someone wrote that the Bolton Iron Maiden might have prefigured doom . . . poppycock. But I believe The Vanilla Fudge bear such a leaden genealogical mantle a bit more easily.
Vanilla Fudge - Vanilla Fudge - You Keep Me Hanging On.mp3
128 kbps mp3, ups for six weeks
File under: There I said it