Recording details Date – Autumn 1972 Studio – Amigo Studios, Los Angeles Producer – Ted Templeman Engineer – Donn Landee Musicians Don Van Vliet – vocals, harmonica Bill Harkleroad – guitar Mark Boston – bass, guitar Art Tripp – drums Roy Estrada – bass Milt Holland – percussion Russ Titelman – guitar (Too Much Time only) The Blackberries – backing vocals unknown horn players Track list Low Yo Yo Stuff Nowadays a Woman’s Gotta Hit a Man Too Much Time Circumstances My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains Sun Zoom Spark Clear Spot Crazy Little Thing Long Neck Bottles Her Eyes Are ARead More →

Recording details Date – Autumn 1971 Studio – The Record Plant, Los Angeles Producer – Don Van Vliet Engineer – Phil Schier Musicians Don Van Vliet – vocals, harmonica Bill Harkleroad – guitar Mark Boston – bass Elliot Ingber – guitar Art Tripp – drums, marimba, piano, harpsichord John French – drums Rhys Clark – drums (Glider only) Some of the musicians featured on the album were featured in individual paintings and poems on the sleeve. Track list I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby White Jam Blabber ‘N Smoke When It Blows Its Stacks Alice in Blunderland The Spotlight Kid Click Clack Grow Fins There Ain’t NoRead More →

1972 UK Original on Reprise K44162 With lyric sheet 1972 German Original on Reprise REP44162 High gloss cover. White Label Trade Sample with “Unverkäufl” (not for sale) “Warenprobe ohne Wert” (sample without value) “Echantillon gratuit” (free sample in French) on centre label – with lyric sheet Standard issue – with lyric sheet 1972(?) Australian Original on Reprise(?) MS 2050 by CBS Records Australia Ltd(?). (CBS MX 166199/200) White Label Sample Record with NOT FOR SALE SAMPLE RECORD Any person offering this record for sale renders himself liable to prosecution under the Copyright Act 1912-1950 printed in violet on centre label (side 1) and on backRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Taken from the Los Angeles Times, 12th January 1995.[/alert_box] More undiluted examples of Captain Beefheart’s singular genius can be heard on his “Trout Mask Replica” and “Lick My Decals Off” albums, but this pair of 1972 albums-packaged together here-are his most innately pleasurable. Had Howlin’ Wolf been raised beside the canals of Mars, he might have sounded like Beefheart (a.k.a. Don Van Vliet), who mutated the blues with Dadaist lyrics, jagged guitar lines and spasmodic rhythms that showed his disdain for what he called the “mama heartbeat” of rock music. Striking many as chaotic hippie noise, his music, for the diligent listener, mirrored natureRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Writer unknown, taken from June 1972 Stereo Review.[/alert_box] Captain Beefheart is about six years ahead of his time; his early material was cut in 1965 and still sounds advanced today. The main influences on him are Delta country blues and John Coltrane’s mystical jazz. His voice has a four-octave range, which means he can peak at skyscraper high notes and comfortably descend to guttural monotones. Combined with his personality, his music and his voice will either fascinate you or send you screaming into the woods. He plays word games, sometimes getting triple meanings through puns, and his material is basically good-natured and wildly imaginative.Read More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This review of The Spotlight Kid (Reprise) was originally published in the 30th March, 1972 edition of Rolling Stone. Kindly sent to me by Jim Flannery.[/alert_box] “Said the Mama to the baby in the corn/’You are my first-born/That shall hereon in be known/As the Spotlight Kid.’” That’s how the title song of this album begins, and one glance at the picture on the cover — Cap natty in Las Vegas jacket, with a knowing almost-smile on his face — reveals a man with the self-understanding and self-confidence to bill himself as a new-generational hero with no false pride. And make no mistake, it is definitelyRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Taken from March 1972 edition of Phonograph Record Magazine.[/alert_box] Who’s the greatest white blues singer in America today? Shame on you if you said John Hammond or Dave Van Ronk or maybe Kate Taylor. If you said Van Morrison, you get half credit ’cause he used to be (or maybe quarter credit since he’s only an honorary American). Half credit for Ry Cooder too, cause he’s working on it. If you said David Clayton-Thomas, bite your tongue. Hard. If you got really weird and came up with somebody like Bernie Pearl, kindly stop reading this publication at once. And no, it’s not Sammy Davis,Read More →

1970 US Original on Straight RS 6420 Gatefold lyric insert has full credits rather than on sleeve. 1970 White Label Promo PROMOTION NOT FOR SALE printed on centre label and Playing time/track timings. Centre label states STRAIGHT RECORDS. A DIVISION OF BIZARRE INC., 5455 WILSHIRE BLVD., SUITE 1700, LOS ANGELES, 90036 around bottom edge. 1971 UK Original on Straight STS 1063 Pretty much the same as the US issue but without the lyric sheet (again!). Made and distributed by CBS 1973 UK Reissue on Reprise K44244 (Tan) Cover only has the “Straight” thought-bubble logo. 1970 (?) German issue on Straight(?) or EMI(?) 1 C 062-92Read More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article was taken from the March 1971 edition of Jazz & Pop, author unknown.[/alert_box] [youtube video_id=”LRlmTzDyw7s”] A black and white 60-second television commercial for Captain Beefheart’s latest album on Straight/Reprise, Lick My Decals Off, Baby, was refused recently by KTTV in Los Angeles for airing on any of the station’s programs. When asked by the record company as to reasons for not accepting the spot, KTTV station manager Charles Young said, “I just don’t like it. I think it’s crude and don’t want it on my air.” [His air?!] “Let’s say I find the commercial unacceptable and let it go at that.” WhenRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This oddity was written in 1972, published by Goliard / Santa Fe in association with Grossman Publishers.[/alert_box] The broom tongue on The Buggy Boogie Woogie evidently has whisk-fringes. The alchemist-shaman-genius-wizard-freak-medicine man is always a fringe figure. Never part of the conventional social structure. In order to listen to the shuttling, whispering ancient language of energy (long faint sighs across the millennia) you have to shut out the gray noise of the market place. Unglue the lids of the nuclei and release the pure white phosphene stuff inside. “Music” is form. At the higher levels of energy, beyond even the electronic, there is no form.Read More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article first appeared in the March 1971 edition of Creem.[/alert_box] Gazing across pop music’s stale horizons, past all the cynical ineptitude, pseudo-intellectual solemnity, neurotic regression and dismal deadends for great bands, there is one figure who stands above the murk forging an art at once adventurous and human: Don Van Vliet, known to a culture he’s making anachronistic as Captain Beefheart. Though there are still lots of people around who just don’t read the Cap at all, who think his music is some kind of private joke or failed experiment (or as a local teen band told me, “Most of that’s the kindRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This review was taken from the 2nd January 1971 edition of Melody Maker.[/alert_box] Already, I’m thinking that this is the Captain’s most satisfying album to date. “Safe As Milk” was a very good, every-so-slightly spacey rock album; “Strictly Personal” was ruined by phasing; and “Trout Mask Replica” tended to be a little unwieldy, despite several flashes of brilliance. But from the first note, “Decals” discovers and maintains a balance which rarely wavers, right up to the final reed squeak of “Flash Gordon’s Ape”. It’s difficult to decide whether the unnamed musicians are geniuses or complete beginners, but from the evidence of several tortuous unisonRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article is one of four reviews of Lick My Decals Off, Baby originally published in the 10th December, 1970 edition of Rolling Stone. Kindly sent to me by Jim Flannery.[/alert_box] In a twilight region which separates laughter from terror and precision from chaos, five men walk along a musical path with a purpose they disclose only in their smiles. Zoot Horn Rollo, a fortunate refugee from the Land of Drugs, carries his lead guitar between a thumb and one glass finger. He speaks through his instrument with a voice of gentleness, restraint and lyricism. To a large extent the success of this expeditionRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article is one of four reviews of Lick My Decals Off, Baby (Straight 6240) originally published in the 10th December, 1970 edition of Rolling Stone. This review was kindly sent to me by Jim Flannery.[/alert_box] When I first heard Trout Mask Replica, I about puked. What is this shit, I thought. People I met talked about it in glowing terms — not just anybody, mind you, but people I genuinely respected when it came to their musical tastes. Well, I figured, everybody has their own little watchimacallits. And then came Lick My Decals Off, Baby. Its reputation preceded it, and a preview ofRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This review is one of four reviews of Lick My Decals Off, Baby originally published in the 10th December 1970 edition of Rolling Stone. This was very kindly sent to me by Jim Flannery.[/alert_box] It’s probably a tribute to the literary conscience of Reprise Records that they decided to include a copy of Beefheart’s lyrics. Within a year, some lovely young thing with a doctorate in English will have transformed Beefheart into a demiurge, thereby glorifying herself to a freshman comp class at a state institution. Fortunately, the sheet of lyrics can be overlooked; no great feat, because the sense that comes out ofRead More →

Recording details Date – Summer 1970 Studio – United Recording Corp., Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Producer – Don van Vliet Engineer – Phil Schier Musicians Don van Vliet – vocals, harmonica, sax Bill Harkleroad – guitar Art Tripp – drums, marimba, broom Mark Boston – bass John French – drums Track list Lick My Decals Off, Baby Doctor Dark I Love You, You Big Dummy Peon Bellerin’ Plain Woe-is-uh-Me-Bop Japan in a Dishpan I Wanna Find a Woman That’ll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have To Go Petrified Forest One Red Rose That I Mean The Buggy Boogie Woogie The Smithsonian Institute Blues (or theRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This splendid article appeared in Zigzag August 1969.[/alert_box] IT’S THE BLIMP, IT’S THE BLIMP… And how. Beefheart is the blimp. The Captain is unique. No band in the world could manage what he and his magic men achieve. They tear and slash at the guts of their music, ripping its lungs out, grinding and crushing the bones, then pull it all together in a couple of bars. Their songs both lyrics and rhythms – destroy the tired-out bullshit conventions of every contemporary musical field. Saxes jag in and out among rasping guitars, the drumming is what ‘heavy’ used to mean, and Beefheart hasn’t managedRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article was taken from Crawdaddy Volume IV Number I – date unknown.[/alert_box] In this day of dubious miracles, when lucky new arrivals on the rock scene are spotted, slated for super-stardom, and hyped to oblivion, all in a matter of a year or so; when the ability of the American Kulture-Complex to absorb revolutionary ideas and turn them into profit reaches weird osmotic states, the enlightened listener tends to become somewhat cynical when confronted with the term ‘underground music.’ We all know what the underground is; we can read about it in ads for Columbia Records: The Man Can’t Bust Our Music orRead More →

1969 US Original on Straight STS 1053 Label pictued below courtesty of David Naughton. Possibly released in October 1969. 1969 UK Original on Straight STS 1053 (double) in November 1969 No lyric sheet came with this UK issue. Distributed by CBS. 1969 German Original on German Straight SMS 2222/3 (double) Has ELECTROLA GESELLSCHAFT M.B.H. KÖLN on back of cover, thick smooth distinctive inner sleeve and Pink/Black/White StRaIGHt labels. 19?? US 8 Track release. Note reversed image. Scan kindly sent to me by Malcolm Riviera. 1970 French Original (?) on Straight STS 1053 States that the disc is pressed in France and “ce disque peut êtreRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]From 25th March 1993 Los Angeles Times[/alert_box] Don (Captain Beefheart) Van Vliet was among the most challenging and idiosyncratic of artists to come down the pike in the ’60s. Drawing his influences from the blues, free jazz and the avant-garde, he made music and poetry that was at once freakish and tradition-bound, nonsensical and intellectual, recalcitrant and disciplined-contradictions that kept his work consistently compelling from his early days right through his still-lamented retirement from recording in the ’80s. “Trout Mask Replica,” his fourth album, is perhaps his most celebrated. The two-record set was produced by Frank Zappa, his childhood chum and musical benefactor. OftenRead More →