1968, Music

Vincebus Eruptum (1968) by Blue Cheer

For years and years I have been telling everyone who would listen that Jeff Beck’s Truth is the First Heavy Metal album of All Time. If people mentioned Blue Cheer, I dismissed them outright – despite only ever hearing their cover of “Summertime Blues” once or twice – or assumed that The Jeff Beck Group beat them to it. Well, the latter is obviously not true.

RYM calls this “Heavy Psych.” I’ve honestly never heard that term until I looked up Blue Cheer. It’s hard to really decide if this quite qualifies as metal, since metal has changed so much, but also since this music is so indebted to the louder side of psychedelic rock. But the same issue applies to Truth. Truth doesn’t sound like metal to anyone who listens to anything from Sabbath onward. Of course, the term was either coined to describe Jimi Hendrix or motorcycles…

This is extremely loud psychedelic blues rock. It’s probably the loudest blues rock that had been recorded to date. And though it clearly didn’t influence Sabbath, Zeppelin and Purple to the extent that Jeff Beck and Hendrix did, it’s hard to listen to this and not think this is the birth of something new. It’s lower, (usually) slower and louder than nearly all of the other blues rock made up until this point.

And unlike the music of The Yardbirds and Hendrix, it lacks diversity. There’s just one, unrelenting sound here.

I think it’s (probably) the birth of metal.


  1. “Summertime Blues” Eddie Cochran, Jerry Capehart 3:47
  2. “Rock Me Baby” B.B. King, Joe Josea 4:22
  3. “Doctor Please” Dickie Peterson 7:53
  4. “Out of Focus” Peterson 3:58
  5. “Parchment Farm” Mose Allison 5:49
  6. “Second Time Around” Peterson 6:17

Blue Cheer

  • Dickie Peterson – vocals, bass
  • Leigh Stephens – guitar
  • Paul Whaley – drums

Additional personnel

  • Abe “Voco” Kesh – production
  • John MacQuarrie – engineering

Remastered version

  • Bill Levenson – production
  • Ellen Fitton – remastering

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.