Following the immediate success of 1968’s Vincebus Eruptum, the proto-metal trio Blue Cheer had garnered a reputation for being the loudest band ever. After recording half of its second album, the group was asked to leave San Francisco's Studio 57 for "decibel abuse"—legend has it that boaters drifting nine miles out on the Bay could hear the sessions. Blue Cheer completed recording the songs outdoors in the Northern California woods, aptly titling the album Outsideinside. With a reputation to live up to, the volume-unit meters hit the red zone harder than on the earlier Vincebus Eruptum. This is first noticeable in Outsideinside's third song, “Just a Little Bit.” It's a standout featuring some of Paul Whaley’s hardest drumming—which, when matched with Leigh Stephens’ blasts of proto-metal guitar and singing bassist Dickie Peterson’s pained howls, made for the archetypal power trio. Outsideinside was the last recording with this lineup; Stephens left following its release. Blue Cheer's hardened psychedelic take on The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” showed how it could turn any tune into its own, but “Babylon” proved the band could groove.

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