Cactus: Cactus

Cactus: Cactus cover art

(Image credit: Atco)

Parchman Farm
My Lady From South Of Detroit
Bro. Bill
You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover
Let Me Swim
No Need to Worry
Oleo
Feel So Good

Bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice left Vanilla Fudge in 1969, and originally planned a supergroup with Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart. Plans were scuppered when Beck suffered a car crash and Rod joined the Faces. Instead, they got former Amboy Dukes singer Rusty Day and guitarist Jim McCarty from Mitch Ryder’s Detroit Wheels to form one of the era‘s most incendiary outfits

Signed to Atlantic, the same label as Vanilla Fudge, they released their self-titled debut in July 1970. Its heavy, blues-oriented style – amping up Mose Allison and Willie Dixon standards alongside thunderous originals – bridged the gap between Led Zeppelin’s ambitious noise and Grand Funk Railroad’s primal bombast. McCarty’s blistering guitar and Day’s raw-tonsil holler jousting with the avalanchal rhythm section created a blueprint for blues-rock and metal, but it sold modestly. 

“[Instrumentally] we were a power trio,” said Bogert. “Cream had only just stopped when we began, and Zeppelin were still finding their feet. We were the missing link between them. We had a lot in common with the British scene.”

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