Great news ! Another Beefheart album gets the Record Store Day treatment by Rhino/Warner. For release on 20 April 2024 will be The Spotlight Kid (Deluxe Edition), which means a second disc of outtakes from those sessions is included. There will be 7000 copies on 140g ‘milky clear’ vinyl. The track list of the bonus disc is as follows : C1. THE WITCH DOCTOR LIFE (instrumental ) [5:27] C2. SEMI-MULTICOLORED CAUCASIAN (instrumental)* [4:37] C3. YOUR LOVE BROUGHT ME TO LIFE (instrumental) [3:11] C4. TWO RIPS IN A HAYSTACK/KISS ME MY LOVE [2:38] C5. HARRY IRENE [3:33] C6. BEST BATCH YET (TRACK) [VERSION 1] [2:18] C7.Read More →

To mark the album’s 45th anniversary Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) is being given a special release for Record Store Day 2023 on Rhino/Warner Records. Released on vinyl (just black as far as I can see) and cut from the original master tapes this will be a double album package. Disc One is the original album as released in 1978. The more interesting part of this release is Disc Two which features twelve demos, rough mixes and alternate versions recorded at the Shiny Beast sessions but have not been officially available before. The track list for Disc Two is : C1 Suction Prints (Demo) [Instrumental]Read More →

The CD version has been long out of print but Rhino have announced the re-release of I’m Going To Do What I’m Gonna Do as a two disc vinyl album for Record Store Day 2023. The first time on vinyl this will be a limited edition of 5000 to be released on 22 April 2023 with a price tag of 39.98USD. At the time of writing it is not clear whether copies will be able from non-US outlets. Originally released back in 2000 in the Rhino Handmade Series this album is of the excellent 1978 My Fathers Place, NY show which was widely bootlegged backRead More →

I’m pleased to welcome a new contributor to the Radar Station. Sam Smyth has been running one of the better Beefheart pages on Facebook for several years now and has a good following. He has been producing some interesting content which I thought deserved a wider audience. Although Facebook does have its uses, when it comes to searching for relevant posts you have to wade through a lot of sludge to find the diamonds. I didn’t want Sam’s posts to get lost so I offered him the opportunity share his posts on the Radar Station as means of archiving them, and making them available toRead More →

Tracklist Side One 1. Yellow Brick Road 2. Abba Zabba 3. Sure ‘Nuff ‘n’ Yes I Do 4. Electricity 5. Beatle Bones ‘n’ Smokin’ Stones 6. Safe As Milk 7. Kandy Korn Side Two 1. Trust Us 2. Steal Softly Thru Snow 3. Click Clack 4. Golden Birdies 5. I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby Publicity Blurb Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band are showcased over 12 tracks recorded live for radio and TV. The material is sourced from two 1968 sessions for John Peel plus a 1972 appearance on Beat Club and features tracks from four different Beefheart LPs. Beat Club tracks are excellent soundRead More →

An interesting experiment has turned up on Youtube. Using AI software Ant 2 Man Bee has deconstructed the Trout Mask album. He’s taken each of the songs and isolated each individual track, breaking it down so you can hear Mark’s bass, John’s drums, Bill’s guitar, Jeff’s guitar and Don’s vocals separately. As Ant 2 Man bee explains: I was shocked at how good the neural net was after I tested using Sugar ‘n Spikes. While it isn’t perfect, it is still amazing how quickly the technology evolved when just a few years ago you couldn’t isolate instrumentations from whole songs without having a very goodRead More →

A look at the November 2022 Record Store Day release of a double vinyl set to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Clear Spot album. Tracklist Sides 1 and 2 as to be expected are the same as the original release. Side 3 Nowadays A Woman’s Gotta Hit A Man (Early Mix) Clear Spot (Rough Mix) [Instrumental] Crazy Little Thing (Rough Mix) [Instrumental] Dirty Blue Gene (Rough Mix) [Instrumental] Big Eyed Beans From Venus (Rough Mix) [Instrumental] Kiss Where I K’aint Side 4 Sun Zoom Spark (Rough Mix) [Instrumental] Nowadays A Woman’s Gotta Hit A Man (Rough Mix) [Instrumental] Little Scratch Low Yo Yo StuffRead More →

Rhino are set to release a two disc clear vinyl of the Clear Spot album as part of Record Store Day Black Friday on 25th November 2022. This will be a limited edition of 8000 (according to the Rhino website) or 4500 (according to the Record Store Day site)! The original album has been recut from the original master tapes at Bernie Grundman Mastering, plus there is an additional LP of rare studio outtakes, alternate versions, and previously unreleased instrumental rough mixes from the Clear Spot sessions. At the time of writing no track list has been published which leaves us to speculate as toRead More →

As  a taster for his new album, The Fantasy of Reality, to be released on 12 August by Madfish, Jeff has produced this video for his ‘single’ from the album. The track ‘Does It Work For You’ is the opener to the album and features Jeff’s trademark slide guitar work. It’s a strong comeback by this talented musician. Preorder the album – https://jeffcotton.lnk.to/fantasyofreality Here’s a message from Jeff: Greetings and Aloha to all my music loving friends! The single, Does it Work for You, the first tune on my new album, “The Fantasy of Reality,” exemplifies the overall sentiment of this new work. I sincerelyRead More →

The great John Peel’s record and memorabilia collection is, sadly, in the process of being dismantled. On 14 June 2022 two hundred items will be auctioned by Bonhams, the London auction house, under the heading Live In Session. Property From The John Peel Archive There are a few Beefheart related items which are of interest. Firstly, there is An Acetate Recording Of The Album, Strictly Personal, described as : a double-sided, 12inch disc, with DCT Recorders Hollywood labels with typewritten recording details, some variations in track titles, in black, die-cut paper sleeve It has an auction estimate of £3000 – £4000 (Sold for £4462.50 inc. buyer’sRead More →

In my original review of the Sun Zoom Spark : 1970 to 1972 box set I looked at each track on the Out-takes album and related them, where possible, to previous released versions. However what I didn’t do was compare them to the versions on the classic bootleg 3CD set Spotlight Kid Outtakes which contains all these tracks and more, although I think I presumed the same versions were on both compilations. Anyway, my omission was spotted by Elias Rost, who sent me the article below in which he does the comparison between the two box sets … over to Elias … —————————————————————– I got theRead More →

You’ve probably seen the photographs of John Lennon and George Harrison behind whom are copies of the Safe as Milk bumper sticker and wondered what the story is. As far as I know The Beatles have not committed to record their views on the album Safe as Milk or whether they liked the band but it does look like they have had copies in their possession … or least copies of the bumper sticker. What is obvious is that to have copies of the bumper sticker they would have had to have the American release of the album because the UK release on Pye InternationalRead More →

I suppose it had to happen eventually but it has taken a long while for Trout Mask Replica to become available via streaming platforms. Zappa Records have finally made the legendary album available in HiRes 24 bits 96kHz Stereo via the Qobuz streaming service. It will be exclusively available on Qobuz for thirty days before other services get a look in. According to Ahmet the delay in getting the album streamed was due to them being a small team and not getting around to Don’s album because they were so involved in the reissues of Frank’s music. This presumably also explains why they never botheredRead More →

Now here’s a thing … a whole podcast about the Trout Mask Replica album … and not just one podcast but one podcast for EACH track. This is being bought to you by the Prince Track by Track Podcast set up by Darren Husted (see below for more information about the origin of this podcast series). Darren asked some friends if they’d be interested in creating a podcast for a favourite album and Joel Bakker suggested Trout Mask. Joel then set about convincing assorted Beefheart fans to choose a track, and with him hosting recorded their discussion about the track, the album, how they gotRead More →

There is an excellent article by Sean Kitching on The Quietus website marking 40 years since the release of Doc at the Radar Station. It includes insights about the recording of Don’s penultimate album from new interviews with Gary Lucas and Eric Drew Feldman. Read the article here – The Best Batch Yet? Captain Beefheart’s Doc At The Radar Station RevisitedRead More →

UPDATED: 8th May 2020 Eric Gudas has written a fascinating article for the All About Jazz website about the making of Trout Mask Replica. He looks at it from a jazz viewpoint as that’s the audience he’s writing for so it makes for an interesting read. I don’t think there are many articles that have discussed the jazz connections of Don’s music. He draws heavily on the interviews done by Samual Andreyev with the members of the Trout band plus a lengthy interview he carried out with John  French. I am unable to link direct to the article (the site keeps changing its URL) soRead More →

For many people on the first listen Trout Mask Replica just sounds awful. For those of us that grow to love it, it’s a masterpiece. If you don’t entirely get it yet, this 10 minute feature video from Vox nicely picks apart what’s going on and why so many of us consider it to be uniquely special. If you enjoy this and want something more in-depth then have a look at Samuel Andreyev’s analysis of Frownland and his extended conversation with John French.  Read More →

One of the great pieces of footage showing the band at full throttle is their performance of I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby on the German TV music programme Beat Club back in 1972. Then in 2012 The Lost Broadcasts DVD revealed footage form the complete studio session – a couple more run throughs of Booglarize plus versions of Click Clack (twice), Golden Birdies, Steal Softly Thru Snow and Rockette Morton’s Bass Solo. Amazing picture and sound quality! Now, the Beat Club YouTube channel has revealed even more footage from that session. Sadly there are no more songs. But what we do have here is theRead More →

Yes, it’s 50 years since the band’s second album, Strictly Personal, was released. It was October 1968 in the US and December 1968 in the UK. The recording of the follow-up to Safe As Milk had begun back in November 1967 not long after Jeff Cotton had joined the band to replace Jerry McGee. However, these recordings were destined to remain unissued for a few years and the band had a second go at recording the album in May 1968. It was these later  sessions that were to be eventually released by Blue Thumb in the US and Liberty in the UK as Strictly Personal.Read More →

The remastered Trout Mask Replica is at last getting a vinyl release. It is in the capable hands of Jack White’s Third Man Records. Not only are they releasing the double vinyl album but also the mega-rare France-only single “Pachuco Cadaver / Wild Life”. Other bits and bobs are included in this package. Like all Third Man Records this will not be available in a store. You will have to sign up for a subscription on their website … and to get this Beefheart release (Vault Package #36) you’ll need to do it before 30 April 2018. The cost is $60 plus shipping. For moreRead More →