An early pressing of New! Improved!
|Studio album by Blue Cheer|
|Recorded||Early 1969 at Amigo Studios in Hollywood, California|
|Genre||Psychedelic Rock, Blues Rock, Acid Rock, Rock and Roll|
|Blue Cheer chronology|
|Blue Cheer |
New! Improved! is the third studio album by Blue Cheer, released in the Spring of 1969 via Phillips Records. Serving as a transitional record with two different lineups on each side, New! Improved! showcases the band's drift into progressive psych with short-lived guitarist Randy Holden and a commercial hard rock sound ala Steppenwolf or Iron Butterfly with the new quartet lineup, a far departure of the rawer hard rock of the first two albums.
This album would be the last studio recording to feature Paul Whaley until the 1980s and Peterson drifting away from writing songs, only two of the nine tracks credited to him.
Background[edit | edit source]
By the time OutsideInside was released in the fall of 1968 founding guitarist Leigh Stephens had departed from the group for what was alleged to be loss of hearing and creative differences though Stephens himself has stated it was due to disinterest in drugs. He was replaced by Randy Holden, formerly of Los Angeles garage rock band The Other Half. Holden performed with the band for about half a year before recording three songs with the band. After quitting unexpectedly due to conflicts with management and disinterest in drugs, the band would change completely. Blue Cheer's lineup at that point consisted of Dickie Peterson (bass), Tom Weisser (guitar), and Mitch Mitchell (drums), before Whaley returned and Bruce Stephens joined the band. Later, Ralph Burns Kellogg also joined the band on keyboards.
New! Improved! peaked at 84 on the Billboard 200 at the time of release and has been praised by critics, side two in particular. "Fruit & Iceburgs" would be re-recorded for Randy Holden's solo album Population II.
Tracklist[edit | edit source]
NOTE: Tracks 10 and 11 are CD bonus tracks on the 1994 Repertoire Records reissue.
- 1. When It All Gets Old (Ralph Burns Kellogg) (3:01)
- 2. West Coast Child of Sunshine (Bruce Stephens) (2:41)
- 3. I Want My Baby Back (Stephens) (3:19)
- 4. Aces 'n' Eights (Kellogg, Stephens, Dickie Peterson) (2:47)
- 5. As Long As I Live (Peterson, Stephens) (2:20)
- 6. It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry (Bob Dylan) (3:16)
- 7. Peace of Mind (Randy Holden) (7:22)
- 8. Fruit & Iceburgs (Holden) (6:05)
- 9. Honey Butter Lover (Holden) (1:16)
- 10. All Night Long (Kellogg) (2:06)
- 11. Fortunes (Peterson) (2:20)
Personnel[edit | edit source]
- Dickie Peterson - Bass, 12-String Guitar, Vibraslap, Vocals
- Paul Whaley - Drums
- Bruce Stephens - Guitar, Tortoise Shell, Sandblocks, Vocals (Tracks 1 - 6)
- Ralph Burns Kellogg - Piano, Organ (Tracks 1 - 6)
- Gene Estes - Percussion (Tracks 1 - 6)
- Randy Holden - Guitar, Vocals (Tracks 7 - 9)
- Greg Irons - Artwork
- Hank Cicalo - Mixing, Engineer
- Lloyd Johnson - Photography
- Milan Melvin - Producer
External Links[edit | edit source]
- New! Improved! on Discogs
- Ultimate Classic Rock writeup on New! Improved!
- Starling writeup on Blue Cheer