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Canned Heat are a band hailing from Los Angeles, California, U.S who formed in 1965. They are one of the unsung heroes of 60’s rock, famed as one of its best live acts and one of its most enduring forces, one that continues performing and recording to this day.
In the early 1960’s, when the blues was still the driving force behind most forms of guitar music, there were music fans, and then there was Bob Hide. Hide was a young man who loved the blues so much that his house in Topanga Canyon, California became something of a headquarters for collectors and traders of records from every genre around. However, just listening was never going to be enough for Hide, and in 1965 he put together the first incarnation of what would later become Canned Heat. Alan Wilson, who would later become Hide’s right hand man and constant member of the band up until his death in 1970, joined on bottleneck guitar but right off the bat the band had line-up troubles that would plague them for as long as they’ve been around. Hide still lead the band with whatever line-up he could find, and by 1966 he had attracted the attention of record producer Johnny Otis, and recorded his debut album with the band in the same year.
Of course, this album wouldn’t actually see release until 1970, and the band’s self-titled debut was a completely different record of blues standards that came out in July 1967. Shortly afterwards the band performed their biggest live show to date at the iconic Monterey Pop Festival, and with the positive notices that their album and their live shows were receiving, their profile started to rise dramatically. The band capitalised on this by releasing their single “On The Road Again” in 1968, which was a hit all over the world, the first blues song to hit the top ten on many singles charts the world over. Almost overnight, the band became one of the hottest groups in America, with praise coming in from fans, critics and fellow musicians, some of which were artists that the whole band adored like John Lee Hooker, who teamed up with the band for a collaboration album in the form of “Hooker ‘N Heat”.
Tragically, Wilson passed away in 1970, but Hide kept going with the band until his death in 1981. To this day the band continues with the same drummer that they’ve had since 1968 along with a mix of new faces and names from their long history. They’re still a band ready, willing and able to blow the roof off of any venue they play in, and with a back catalogue of some of the greatest blues rock jams of all time, Canned heat still come highly recommended.