Vanilla Fudge is an American rock band. The band's original lineup - vocalist/organist Mark Stein, bassist/vocalist Tim Bogert, lead guitarist/vocalist Vince Martell, and drummer/vocalist Carmine Appice - recorded five albums during the years 1967-69, before disbanding in 1970. The band has reunited in various configurations over the years, and is currently operating with its four original members. The band has been cited as, "one of the few American links between psychedelia and what soon became heavy metal.".
Stein and Bogert played in a local band called Rick Martin & The Snowmen and were so impressed by the sound of The Rascals (swinging and floods of organ) that they decided to form their own band with Martell and Rick Martin's drummer, Joey Brennan. Named themselves The Pigeons, they changed the name to Vanilla Fudge in 1967, after the replacement of Brennan by Appice. The group was then "discovered" and managed by reputed Luchese crime-family member, Phillip Basile, who operated several famous L.I. clubs ? the Action House, Speaks, Channel 80, Industry ? three of which were the same club (on Austin Boulevard, in Island Park, NY) with different names.
They had a number of popular songs, their biggest being their hit cover of "You Keep Me Hangin' On," a slowed-down, hard rocking, version of a song originally recorded by The Supremes. This version also featured Appice's energetic drumming. One follow-up to this hit, "Take Me For A Little While", had a quite different lyric message from the former.
The members of Vanilla Fudge were great admirers of The Beatles, and covered several of their songs including "Ticket to Ride", as well as "Eleanor Rigby", of which The Beatles were quite fond.
Their rendition of "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" was featured in the 2007 film Zodiac.
On March 14, 1970, Vanilla Fudge played a farewell concert at the Phil Basille's Action House. After that, Bogert & Appice departed to form another group, Cactus (In 1972, they left Cactus and formed Beck, Bogert & Appice with guitarist Jeff Beck). Stein, left on his own, tried to keep the group going with two new players, Sal D'Nofrio (bass) and Jimmy Galuzzi (drums). But when nothing came from this, Stein ended up forming a new group, Boomerang, instead with Galuzzi.
Following the band's breakup in 1970, the band has reunited several times. In 1982, they reunited in support of the Atco release, Best of Vanilla Fudge. This resulted in another album of fresh material in 1984 called Mystery. Martell was not included in this initial reunion and Ron Mancuso played guitar on Mystery instead, along with Jeff Beck, who guested under the moniker "J. Toad". Two reunion tours followed in 1987/1988. with Paul Hanson on guitar. Lanny Cordola was guitarist when the band took the stage on May 14, 1988 for the Atlantic Records' 40th Anniversary Celebration. After that, the individual members went their separate ways once again to pursue other projects.
In 1991 Appice revived the Vanilla Fudge name for a tour with former Ted Nugent's player Derek St. Holmes (guitar, vocals), Martin Gerschwitz (keyboards, vocals) and Tom Croucier (bass, vocals), which resulted in the album The Best Of Vanilla Fudge - Live.
Then, in 1999, three of the originals (Appice, Bogert & Martell) reunited with vocalist/organist Bill Pascali replacing Mark Stein to record a "greatest hits" album, Vanilla Fudge 2001/ The Return / Then And Now, with all new recordings of previous songs and three new songs. 2002 had bassists Pete Bremy and T.M. Stevens subbing on bass for an ill Bogert and 2003 saw a release of Vanilla Fudge's live album, The Real Deal - Vanilla Fudge Live, recorded on tour in 1987 with Paul Hanson on guitar. Martell overdubbed his guitar and vocals later. That same year(2003) the group toured with Teddy Rondinelli standing in on guitar for Martell. In 2005, Vanilla Fudge reformed with all the original members for a tour with members of The Doors (now touring as Riders On The Storm) and Steppenwolf. Pascali returned in place of Stein for some 2006 shows before leaving to join the New Rascals. In the summer of 2007 HBO's final episode of The Sapranos featured "You Keep Me Hangin On" (this version includes Bill Pascali's lead vocals) as a theme for their cliff hanger, it was a featured sound track on 3 places of the episode.
They were inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on , 2006, along with Billy Joel and Joan Jett. Fellow Long Islander Felix Cavaliere inducted them into the hall.
The band then went back into the studio to record Out Through the in Door, a Led Zeppelin cover album released in 2007 only in Europe. Led Zeppelin had opened for the band in 1969. The band performed "You Keep Me Hanging On" for the PBS fundraising program My Music: My Generation - The '60s for the March 2008 pledge drive. In March 2008, the original lineup of Vanilla Fudge embarked on a tour of the United States (mostly in New England). But in the summer of that year, Bogert & Appice left to concentrate on Cactus (which they had reformed in 2006). Stein & Martell continued on as Mark Stein & Vince Martell of Vanilla Fudge with a brief summer/fall tour that was called Let's Pray For Peace. Out Through the in Door is scheduled for a stateside release later this year.