Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

May 9, 2021

BLUE CHEER IV (1969 LP, Philips Records)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 2:11 am

The fourth BLUE CHEER album (simply titled “Blue Cheer” but called BLUE CHEER IV among us BC fans) does not get a lot of respect because it’s compared with their amazing first three albums. How could anything compare with those? On the 4th, 5th, and 6th albums—-all of which I’ve owned for decades—-the ever-evolving Blue Cheer line-up goes in some different directions, with a more laid-back sound that’s both rootsy and trippy, but trippy in an earthier way than the earlier albums. One online source said that it sounds like a cross between The Band and Steppenwolf, and that really nails it, IMHO. The songwriting can be a bit generic, and if Dickie Peterson is not singing, it might be hard to recognize that this is actually the same Blue Cheer who did OUT OF FOCUS, but it’s a solid three-star album and if it were not being compared with their first three albums, and if it had come out under some other name than Blue Cheer, it would probably be considered a “lost classic” of some sort. Put it on after a long day at work when you’re winding down with a beer….if you’re like me, you’ll be glad that it exists and that the band kept evolving through the final three albums in their original six-album incarnation (of course, they went back to their original sound/format in the later recordings….BLITZKREIG OVER NUREMBERG is a masterpiece of “heavy” and throbbing Blue Cheer). Besides, a band that combines elements of The Band and Steppenwolf would be a must-hear in my book, though Dickie and the boys found their own sound and can’t be called derivative.

Imagine yourself coming down at 3 a.m. in a cabin on a mountainside outside Ojai, listening to this album by candlelight….

Note: this link is to the CD reissue, which includes 2 non-LP 45’s and the single versions of two songs from the album as a bonus, after the album’s original 10 tracks….. enjoy!

Dickie Peterson – bass, lead vocals
Bruce Stephens – guitar, lead & backing vocals
Ralph Burns Kellogg – keyboards
Norman Mayell – drums, percussion
Gary Lee Yoder – guitar, harmonica, vocals

02.You’re Gonna Need Someone
03.Hello L.A., Bye Bye Birmingham
04.Saturday Freedom
05.Ain’t That The Way (Love’s Supposed To Be)
06.Rock And Roll Queens
07.Better When We Try
08.Natural Man
09.Lovin’ You’s Easy
10.The Same Old Story

Bonus Tracks
11.All Night Long
13.Fool (45 version)
14.Ain’t That the Way (45 version)


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