Sound — 8
The debut album from Vanilla Fudge was recorded and released back in 1967, the summer of love. It featured many of Vanilla Fudge's signature tunes, including one of their biggest hits, a cover of the Supremes "You Keep Me Hangin' On". The band was very much one of America's most prominent Psychedelic bands. However, it should be noted that all the songs on Vanilla Fudge's debut, were in fact, covers. While maybe not strong in the guitar department, Mark Stein's keyboards are the most prominent feature, the musicianship is excellent and for the most part the album is an enjoyable experience to listen to.
Lyrics — 8
Lyric wise, the album deals mostly with songs about love, and lost love. The two notable exceptions are "People Get Ready", and "Eleanor Rigby". The band obviously knew what they were doing when arranging the tunes, and the lyrics work well with the music, even when most of the songs have been slowed down to trudging speeds. Mark Stein's lead vocals are well done for most of the album, obviously more influenced by Soul & R&B than Blues. My one problem with the lead vocals is on the track "Bang Bang". His phrasing and tone just don't mesh with my ears. The backup harmony work is great; I was impressed most of the time with the voicings that the band would choose to use.
Overall Impression — 9
Vanilla Fudge's debut was one of their stronger efforts, and is very exemplary of the music that was being created in the late '60's. Obviously the strongest track on the album is "You Keep Me Hangin' On". I would personally say that the weakest track would be "Bang Bang". However the song doesn't detract too much from the quality of songs on the rest of the album. It the album was lost/stolen I would most certainly buy it again.