In Celebration of the Hard Rock Power Trio: 1968 - 1973

Posted by Billyjam, November 2, 2010 06:25pm | Post a Comment

In the latter half of the 1960s, thanks to the then-new technology of powerful amplifiers, rock and roll witnessed the emergence of the power rock trio. Its blues based "hard rock" music would pave the way for heavy metal, progressive (prog) rock, and other later strains of heavier rock. Sans keyboards, rhythm guitar or other instrumentation, and simply utilizing the basic guitar, bass, and drums (plus feedback), the power rock trio formula was born. Cream (comprised of Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton, & Ginger Baker) and The Jimi Hendrix Experience were among the early pioneers & ambassadors of this highly influential form of rock, and their combined influence was far reaching. Below are these two trios and several other late 60's into early 70's power rock trios spanning the formative half-decade Creamfrom 1968 to 1973.

Included are video clips of Cream doing their classic "Sunshine Of Your Love" from 1968 and The Jimi Hendrix Experience (with Noel Redding on bass & Mitch Mitchell on drums) doing "VooDoo Child (Slight Return)" live on the Lulu Show on BBC TV in 1969. From 1968 is renowned San Francisco band Blue Cheer with their classic interpretation of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" from a decade earlier. The band, who typically were on the more psychedelic hard rock end but are more hard blues rock leaning here, featured vocalist and bassist Dickie Peterson, guitarist Leigh Stephens and drummer Paul Whaley. "Summertime Blues" was recorded for their 1968 debut album Vincebus Eruptum.

Representing the harder rock (pre heavy metal) spectrum of the power rock trio is the Welsh band Budgie in their original line-up of Burke Shelley (lead vocals + bass), Tony Bourge (lead guitar), and Ray Phillips (drums) performing "Breadfan" from 1973.
Thin Lizzy
Three Irish power rock trios, Thin Lizzy, Taste, and Skid Row are also shown here. Performing "An Awful Lot Of Woman" from 1971 is Dublin power rock trio Skid Row (not to be confused with the similarly titled American band) that featured members Brush Shiels, Noel Bridgeman, and Gary Moore -- the amazing guitarist/vocalist/bassist who, among many other projects, later became a member of Thin Lizzy. While still a power rock trio, the late great Phil Lynott-led Thin Lizzy is seen below doing "The Rocker" from their 1973 album Vagabonds of the Western World.

Along with Lynott on bass/lead vocals were drummer Brian Downey and guitarist Eric Bell, who would leave the group after this album. And finally, below is the late great guitarist Rory Gallagher-led blues rock power trio Taste (including Richard McCracken on bass and John Wilson on drums) performing "Sinner Boy" live in 1970 at England's Isle of Wight rock festival.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" (1969)

Cream "Sunshine Of Your Love" (1968)

Budgie "Breadfan" (1973)

Thin Lizzy "The Rocker" (1973)

Blue Cheer "Summertime Blues" (1968)

Taste "Sinner Boy" (1970)

Skid Row "An Awful Lot Of Woman" (1971)

Relevant Tags

Gary Moore (5), Brush Shiels (1), Skid Row (6), Budgie (3), Rory Gallagher (3), Jimi Hendrix (22), Phil Lynott (11), Thin Lizzy (24), Taste (4)