The Third Power Believe
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“Like a meteor shooting across the horizon, the Third Power lit up the Detroit music scene with a ferocious roar like no other group before them. But like all meteors, they only burned bright for a short while. Leaving one 45, one full length album and a lasting legacy.” – from the liner notes by Willy Wilson
The Third Power were part of Vanguard Records’ shortlived but memorable sortie into the realm of Detroit’s “high energy” rock milieu of the late 1960s. Signed by staff producer Sam Charters to the label in 1969, the Third Power’s lone album for Vanguard today stands as one of the more memorable longplayers from the scene that begat the MC5, Stooges, Frost and others. A power trio par excellence, the band first came together in 1965 but it was not until an extended sojourn “getting it together” at a farm on the outskirts of Detroit that their powerful blend coalesced. Equal parts Cream, Hendrix and Detroit rama-lama, allied to a distinctive and melodic songwriting ability, the Third Power started to make noise at regional hotspots like the Grande Ballroom in 1968. An obscure one-off single for the Baron label preceded the recording of Believe in New York.
Loaded with strong songcraft, imaginative arrangements and instrumental muscle, the record showcased the band at its best, but a poor commercial showing upon release in 1969 exacerbated intra-band tension and spelled the end for the Third Power by the turn of the decade. Frequently bootlegged in the past, this legitimate, definitive reissue of Believe not only sports superior mastering from the original master tapes, but also almost a dozen bonus tracks, featuring their 1968 non-LP single, seven studio outtakes and two storming on-location live recordings from the Grande Ballroom. Heavily illustrated liner notes tell the story of the Third Power with quotes from band members Jem Targal and Drew Abbott and producer Sam Charters.