8 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

For a bunch of proto-metal stoner pioneers, Cactus never got their due, even as a supergroup. Besides drumming legend Carmine Appice, bassist Tim Bogart (both from Vanilla Fudge), and ex–Amboy Duke shouter Rusty Day (who could howl better than any other white guy weaned on Delta blues), this self-titled 1970 debut album boasted godhead guitar shredder Jimmy McCarty (Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, Buddy Miles Express). The band ignite a billowing fire on the blues classic “Parchment Farm,” then burn down Willie Dixon’s “You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” and refuse to put out the flames until the last scream on the strutting finale “Feels So Good.” In between, there’s a moment of tenderness (“My Lady from South of Detroit”) and some biker-ready rock ’n’ roll (“Let Me Swim”) that taught Guns N’ Roses a lesson or two. The entire album has a dirty, loose-limbed, live-in-the-studio feel, and it could be the best example of early-’70s, go-for-broke rock ’n’ roll you likely ever hear. In fact, many would argue that Cactus should have made the band as big as Led Zeppelin.

EDITORS’ NOTES

For a bunch of proto-metal stoner pioneers, Cactus never got their due, even as a supergroup. Besides drumming legend Carmine Appice, bassist Tim Bogart (both from Vanilla Fudge), and ex–Amboy Duke shouter Rusty Day (who could howl better than any other white guy weaned on Delta blues), this self-titled 1970 debut album boasted godhead guitar shredder Jimmy McCarty (Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, Buddy Miles Express). The band ignite a billowing fire on the blues classic “Parchment Farm,” then burn down Willie Dixon’s “You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” and refuse to put out the flames until the last scream on the strutting finale “Feels So Good.” In between, there’s a moment of tenderness (“My Lady from South of Detroit”) and some biker-ready rock ’n’ roll (“Let Me Swim”) that taught Guns N’ Roses a lesson or two. The entire album has a dirty, loose-limbed, live-in-the-studio feel, and it could be the best example of early-’70s, go-for-broke rock ’n’ roll you likely ever hear. In fact, many would argue that Cactus should have made the band as big as Led Zeppelin.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
63 Ratings

63 Ratings

SOURMILKMOON ,

JIM MCCARTY EQUALS 5 STARS

In 30 years of rock listening I have never heard a better rock/blues guitarist. Period. This album is great and to my ears, better than LED ZEP, with whom they are often compared. Jim McCarty equals 5 stars, now how about the Rockets catologue where McCarty continues to rock like no other

Mort6216 ,

Cactus

the beauty of this music is it represents another group full of talent that did not get recognized in the 70's. These guys are not Led Zep but they got great talent and are worth listening to. If you grew up in the 70's listening to this kind of music, you will not be disappointed having this to listen to on those nostalgic days when you want to hear this kind of "raw" music. I love these guys.

JoeyLeone ,

Cactus

This band was one of the heaviest post Woodstock/ non Metal bands. Jim McCarty was reportedly Jimis favorite guitar player. Carmine was Bonhams favorite rock drummer. Rusty Days voice was totally original and edgy.
Back in 1971 when I heard Parchman Farm for the first time I couldn't believe how heavy it was
Viva Cactus

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