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By Martin Popoff
"My favourite Fudge album is the first one," answers Carmine, when asked to offer a few comments on the band's original four record run, the first of which went gold. "Because it was everything we were doing live onstage at the time. It was just a milestone record. The next one after that would probably be Near The Beginning, because it had songs like Shotgun on it and The Break Song, which had really great sounds, at the time, modern sounds. The Break Song was 20 minutes long on one side of the album. My least favourite one is definitely The Beat Goes On. The Beat Goes On was a concept album, and I never really believed in it. I never really believed it because I never understood it myself, you know? As a young kid, I was like 20 years old, and here's Ahmet Ertegun - and we all know how big Ahmet Ertegun is now - but here he is saying, 'This album is going to be bigger than The Beatles,' and you've got Shadow Morton producing and when I heard the album in the end, it was like this tremendous production. It was a tremendous production feat, but the actual concept of it blew me away to the point where I was negative where I said 'Gee, I don't know if this is going to work,' and it didn't (laughs). It blew everybody's mind to the point where it was like, 'What are these guys doing?' These guys are out there. I mean, the album went Top 15, but it wasn't like a positive Top 15, it was like a negative (laughs)."
Was the main blueprint something like Sgt. Pepper?
"I think we were the only one at that point. That's what Ahmet's point was, that this was really the first original concept album that was actually a concept album. He wanted to have all kinds of stuff onstage; I mean, it was very innovative, with film showing different things that were going on on the album. When we played it live, the film was supposed to be sequenced with us, on a film backdrop. It was a great idea and everything, but we never got to do it because the album never got to that point. The first album was 800,000, and this album didn't even go gold."
VANILLA FUDGE - Revenge Of The Organ Grinders! Page 4