Top 10 Vanilla Fudge Songs

Vanilla Fudge Songs

Photo: KRLA Beat/Beat Publications, Inc. / Public domain

Our Top 10 Vanilla Fudge Songs list looks back at the music of one of rock’s most underrated bands. When one thinks of Vanilla Fudge, one instantly remembers their big hit “You Keep Me Hanging On.” However, the band released five albums of sheer psychedelic, progressive heavy-duty hard rock and roll that stood with the best of anything released in the 1960s. The band consisted of Carmine Appice on drums and vocals, Tim Bogert on bass and vocals, Vince Martell on guitars and vocals, and Mark Stein on organ and vocals. It was the same lineup on all of their 1960s albums. These were all incredible virtuoso musicians that would play their hearts out on each record.

Vanilla Fudge was one of the most influential bands of the 1960s. Even though the blues played a major role in inspiring the members of Led Zeppelin, it was in fact the sounds of Vanilla Fudge and their arrangements that also had a huge impact on the Led Zeppelin sound. It was not only Led Zeppelin that was inspired by Vanilla Fudge, but countless 1970s bands from Yes to Emerson, Lake & Palmer to even Styx were inspired by the incredible music of Vanilla Fudge. Mark Stein’s organ playing would also heavily influence Jon Lord of Deep Purple. This was the core reason why Vanilla Fudge was such an inspirational band. It wasn’t their original songs, but rather their incredible interpretations of songs and the sheer brilliant musicianship that they brought to the table. That musicianship inspired countless musicians to be great as players not just songwriters.

Vanilla Fudge released their first album in 1967 entitled Vanilla Fudge. The band released their second album in 1968 called The Beat Goes On. It was a very experimental album filled with basically sound effects, speeches, and short musical interludes that the band does not look back fondly on. Vanilla Fudge followed their experimental concept album very quickly in 1968 with the release of the Renaissance album. The following year in 1969 Vanilla Fudge released the album, Near the Beginning. The band would release one more album in 1969 before breaking up entitled Rock and Roll.

Vanilla Fudge reunited and reformed multiple times over the years. They released albums and toured with multiple different lineups. However, the band’s legacy will also be fueled and remembered by their original five albums released between 1967 and 1969. Our Top 10 Vanilla Fudge songs list presents what we believe are ten highlights from those years. However, there is so much more that you should check out. Their albums are great.

# 10 – Ticket To Ride

We always felt this was one of the greatest cover versions of any Beatles song in history. The Vanilla Fudge opened up their debut album entitled Vanilla Fudge, shocking the world with this glorious version of The Beatles’ song “Ticket To Ride.” Vanilla Fudge would cover many Beatles songs throughout their career making the songs their own with intense original arrangements that rock fans loved.

# 9 – Bang Bang

Vanilla Fudge could take any song ever written and create an original arrangement that would almost make the song unrecognizable but still keep the song’s original melody masked in psychedelia, progressive rock, and metal. This great track was a cover version of Sonny Bono’s “Bang Bang.” A song that Frank Sinatra would record on his last great album in 1980. Vanilla Fudge’s version of “Bang Bang,” is brilliant and stands as one of the best tracks on their debut album.

# 8 – Where Is My Mind

If you’re a fan of the band Emerson Lake & Palmer, you should check out this song because this is exactly what Keith Emerson was listening to in 1968. This track is so stunning, you won’t be able to talk or maybe even breathe through your N95 mask after listening to it. The song was released on the Vanilla Fudge Renaissance album.

# 7 – Need Love

Continuing with our top 10 Vanilla Fudge Songs list we turn to this incredibly heavy rock track entitled “Need Love.” The song was the opening track on their album Rock & Roll. The album was released in 1969. The song was written by all four members of the band including Carmine Appice, Tim Bogert, Vince Martell, and Mark Stein. This is definitely one of the band’s greatest and most underrated tracks, it will blow you away. The band is on fire on this cut

# 6 – Eleanor Rigby

Vanilla Fudge was such a pioneer in psychedelia and progressive rock. Listen to this amazing version of the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby.”  The highlight is at 5.30 when they break into the chorus in full force. This great recording was released on the band’s debut album entitled Vanilla Fudge. It was the closing track on the record.

# 5 – Season of the Witch

The classic Vanilla Fudge recording of “Season of the Witch,” was released on the band’s fabulous album entitled Renaissance. The album was released in 1968. The song was written by Donovan who released it on his 1966 album Sunshine Superman. The song has been covered by many artists including Al Kooper and Stephen Stills on the Super Sessions album. Dr. John also did a great version of the song Dr. John style. However, our favorite will always be this killer version recorded by Vanilla Fudge.

# 4 –  Shotgun

The band sounds a little bit like Cream on the introduction to this smoking song. This great track “Shotgun,” wAS released by Vanilla Fudge in 1968. The song was originally recorded and released as a single by Junior Walker & the All Stars in 1965. The song was written by Autry DeWalt. Vanilla Fudge’s killer version was issued on the album Near the Beginning

# 3 – Some Velvet Morning

While it’s obvious that “You Keep Me Hanging On,” was the band’s biggest hit, if you take a listen to the incredible recording of “One Velvet Morning,” you might agree with us that this was also one of their greatest performance on vinyl. The instrumental sections on this track are jaw-dropping. The song was released on the band’s 1969 album Near the Beginning. The song was written by Lee Hazlewood and originally released on Nancy Sinatra’s album Movin’ with Nancy.

# 2 – The Sky Cried/When I Was a Boy

“The Sky Cried/When I Was a Boy,” was the opening track on the band’s third album entitled Renaissance. This music is just simply stunning. It rocks hard, it’s melodic and it’s played with such brilliant musicianship. We will never hear bands making music like this again.

# 1 – You Keep Me Hangin’ On

There was NO doubt that this great cover version of “You Keep Me Hanging On,” by Vanilla Fudge would land in the number one spot on our top 10 Vanilla Fudge songs list. How could it not? This one was the band’s biggest hit by far. The song was written by the legendary writing trio of Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, and Eddie Holland. The three songwriters were responsible for penning so many of the 1960s big-time Motown Hits. The song was originally recorded by The Supremes who had a number one hit with the song in 1966.

The VVanilla Fudge released their cover of the Motown song in 1967 on their debut album entitled Vanilla Fudge. The song would become the band’s first and only top 10 hit peaking at the number six position on the Billboard Hot 100.

Updated May 21, 2023

Top 10 Vanilla Fudge Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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