Saturday, May 16, 2009
Vanilla Fudge - Vanilla Fudge
Hard to believe, but for a while Vanilla Fudge’s debut was one of Atco Records biggest selling albums until people put down the bong long enough to figure out that Vanilla Fudge was a fucking cover band.
They were probably more adept than your local cover band, but nonetheless, they did nothing but cover famous songs of the day and s l o w t h e m d o w n to the point where one might think that the Summer of Love was fueled by downers.
There in lies the ruse: that Vanilla Fudge was some kind of psychedelic band. They were, in fact, a bunch of Beatle-loving young adults with no originality (and no songwriters, apparently) that were bankrolled by shady “music men” with mob connections who viewed young music fans with opportunistic intent.
One day in 1967, they were called The Pigeons. The next, they were called Vanilla Fudge. And on the third day, they were signed to Atco Records. It wasn’t too much longer until the power of payola got their shitty version of “You Just Keep Me Hanging On” on the radio and their full length into every pseudo-hippy dorm room across the country. It was all a calculated event, and one only needs to look at the amateurish cover to see how woefully clueless they were in an era that truly pushed the envelope of popular music. Vanilla Fudge is the soundtrack of middle-age leg-breakers puppeteering a young cover band into believing they were actually relevant.
They weren’t and in a few short years, they were nothing more than a footnote. Forty years later, they’re less than that; Vanilla Fudge is a step up from the band that played at your prom that happened to be managed by some intimidating thugs. Thanks to that, they scored a few hits before those in charge figured out that you could make more money from selling drugs than selling the soundtracks to taking them.