Mark Stein is the lead vocalist, keyboardist, composer, and arranger of Vanilla Fudge. Mark first founded Vanilla Fudge in 1966 at the age of 18 with members Tim Bogert, Vinny Martell, and Carmine Appice. In the short time they were together the band enjoyed their first giant success with their first Atco album release self-entitled Vanilla Fudge.
The first album was a ground-breaking work since it was the first album to reach the top ten on Billboard's charts without a hit single. The legendary rock arrangement of You Keep Me Hangin' On became the band's first hit single nearly two years after the release of the first album.
During the 1960's the Fudge were one of rock's most exciting, high-energy touring bands, setting the stage for the likes of Jimmy Hendrix, Deep Purple, and even Led Zeppelin. Through a total of five albums and the tireless touring, the legendary Vanilla Fudge influenced artists around the world with their inspired performances and unique musical interpretations. Bands like Yes, The Who, Deep Purple, and many others have credited Vanilla Fudge with having a profound effect on their music, and the overall musical renaissance of the late '60s. The band's influence is still felt even today.
After the demise of the Fudge in the spring of 1970, Mark took a hiatus from the 'Rock Wars' and decided he wanted to develop his writing and playing skills even further. After flirting with a solo career, he resurfaced with The Tommy Bolin Band in the mid 70's. This was a highly regarded group that had the likes of Narda Michael Walden on drums, Reggie McBride on bass, Norma Jean Bell on sax, and Mark on keyboards and sharing vocals with the great Tommy Bolin. The Tommy Bolin Band was a high energy rock-fusion influenced band that attracted people like John McLaughlin, Jan Hammer, and Jeff Beck, to name a few, to come see the band play live. It was during this time that Mark made the transition from the Hammond B-3 organ to synthesizers. Mark toured and recorded with Bolin (then Private Eyes album), and left the Bolin band just prior to Tommy's premature death.
After working on several writing projects, Mark joined Alice Cooper in the "Welcome To My Nightmare" show, and toured Australia and New Zealand. Upon his return to the states he hooked up with Dave Mason who produced Mark's solo album on CBS Records in 1979. The album was never released, however. Mason then asked Mark to join forces with him and Mark toured and recorded with David for the better part of four years. Mark penned five tunes on Mason's Old Crest On A New Wave album, and sang backing vocals with Michael Jackson on the track Save Me.
In 1983, Mark re-signed with Atlantic Records to do a Vanilla Fudge reunion album entitled Mystery, appearing once again as lead vocalist / keyboardist. In 1987 the Fudge did a three month U.S. tour, and recorded a 'live' album during some of those dates. The last time the band appeared live was at the Atlantic 40th Anniversary show May 14, 1988, at Madison Square Garden in New York.