All songs (unless noted differently) Produced by Don Van Vliet Engineered by Phil Brown Recorded (mixed and mastered) at Warner Brothers Recording Studios, North Hollywood, California Mastered by Phil Brown All music and words by Don Van Vliet (not Vleit, as the outside case states!) Note: This album is a very special one. The Magic Band was made up of entirely new musicians with the exception of Jeff Moris Tepper (also Richard Snyder had been on the “final” tour). The first part of the album (ICFC, Ghost, Semi, Garland, Sundown, Past Sure is Tense) was recorded gradually on an extremely low budget. The remaining 15Read More →

1980 UK Original on Virgin V2172. 1980 German (Ariola Euro Pressing) on Virgin 202 870-320. 1980(?) New Zealand Original on Virgin Records V2172 marketed by RTC Cover as standard issue with logo and RTC Marketed by RTC P.O. Box 3825, Auckland. Label is Virgin Red/Green but with different layout and MADE IN NEW ZEALAND. Inner sleeve clear plastic. 1980 Australian Original on Virgin L37440(V2172) by Festival Records Pty. Australia White Label Test Pressing with Matrix SMX 56823/4 and VIRGIN VGL 37440 DOCK AT THE RADAR STATION CAPTAIN BEEFHEART block printed in black on labels. Cover has red sticker with This album contains language which mayRead More →

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART makes no mistakes, tells no lies. He is a painter, not a photographer. He doesn’t encapsulate, summarise, categorise, conceptualise, react. His music is pure, as pure as you like, not that it matters whether you like it or not. He is greedy, and selfish, not like a shopkeeper, but rather like a baby crapping on the floor. It isn’t a case of his music not being like anybody else’s, but the other way round. The other’s aren’t even real hacks. They are hacks in inverted commas. Comparison is irrelevant, so disregard the last bit. His music compromises less than most. It is awful,Read More →

Of all musicians loosely considered rockers, Captain Beefheart is the most original. Because his music is a genre unto itself, it’s particularly difficult to describe. Analogy, the efficient critics tool, gets nowhere near the heart of Beefheart’s creations. Beefheart’s late ’60s work was virtually all self composed, and he taught it note by note, beat by beat, to his Magic Bands. This is probably still true; on Run Paint hear Bruce Fowler, occasional db Pro Session writer, whinny on trombone like a rabid equine. In the beginning, Beefheart relied heavily on blues forms and his own intense, rasping vocals – the closest known voice isRead More →

As in Captain Beefheart’s best music over the past 14 years, at the cholesterol-filled heart of his new album there is one big, intriguing contradiction. The songs are crawling with grotesque lyrical imagery and bluesy, growling vocals over totally non-conventional music that all suggests a complete breakdown in our perception of things. Yet the weird part is, this is seldom music of despair or destruction. While some other, truly unconventional modern musicians call for elimination or speak of disillusion (Public Image or Lydia Lunch and 8 Eyed Spy), Beefheart’s music is more an act of joyous experimentation. This strange brew of anger and joy canRead More →

Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band probably would have been an anomaly had they burst on an unsuspecting world anywhere, at any time. Ironically, the Captain, whose real name is Don Van Vliet, grew up in Southern California and put together his first magic band in Los Angeles in the mid-60’s. Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, and other future pop icons were singing folk music and their own sensitive ballads at the Troubadour, the Ash Grove offered pure folk and blues, and the Birds were setting Bob Dylan’s folk songs to rock-and-roll rhythms. For harder rock, one could listen to garage bands. Frank Zappa, who wasRead More →

An American original through and through, Captain Beefheart (born Don Van Vliet in Lancaster, Calif.) was a profound influence on the cutting edge music of the ’70s and ’80s. Such New Wave artists as Pere Ubu, Devo and Public Image Ltd. owe a sizable debt to the quirky and challenging sounds of this iconoclast. Unfortunately, most of the listening public didn’t, and doesn’t, know Captain Beefheart from Captain Kangaroo. Beefheart albums were hailed by critics but shunned by commercial radio as being simply too weird for popular consumption. Indeed, it says a lot about the rather oblique nature of the Captain’s music that “Doc atRead More →

Recording details: Date – June 1980 Studio – Sound Castle Recording Studios, Los Angeles Producer – Don van Vliet Engineer – Glen Kolotkin, Mitchell Gibson Musicians: Don Van Vliet – vocals, chinese gongs, harmonica, sax, bass clarinet Jeff Moris Tepper – guitar Eric Drew Feldman – bass, synthsiser, mellotron, piano Robert Arthur Williams – drums Bruce Fowler – trombone John French – guitar, marimba, bass, drums Gary Lucas – guitar, french horn Track list Hot Head Ashtray Heart A Carrot is as Close as a Rabbit Gets To A Diamond Run Paint Run Run Sue Egypt Brickbats Dirty Blue Gene Best Batch Yet Telephone FlavorRead More →

1978 US Original on Warner Bros BSK-3256 PROMOTIONAL COPY NOT FOR SALE in circular logo stamped in gold on front cover – normal record although appears to have different matrix – plain paper inner standard issue. 1978 US 8 Track on Warner Bros. Scan kindly sent to me by Malcolm Riviera. 1980 UK Original on Virgin V2149 1981(?) Australian Original on Virgin V2149 by CBS Records Australia Ltd. (CBS MX 194968/9) – White Label Promo with This record is manufactured for the purpose of promotion only. It remains the property of CBS Records Australia Limited and is not for sale printed on centre label andRead More →

Let there be great rejoicing among the multitudes of Beefheartians: the Captain has returned to the land of the Warner Brothers. For some inexplicable reason this bizarre genius shines on this new LP after several years of uneven recordings for another company (Mercury). Now Beefheart fans who remember the past glory of classics like Trout Mask Replica and Lick My Decals Off Baby can once again look ahead to recordings by the Magic Band. Beefheart is a completely well rounded artist who paints the graphics for his covers, writes music and lyrics, and sings and plays several instruments. His lyrics arc to ’70s rock musicRead More →

The album is certified Grade A 100% Beefheart. After three years without a record contract, Don Van Vliet, one of the seminal figures of contemporary music, is back with a new band and a new album easily the equal of anything he’s done before. Well, not quite a new band – Art Tripp guests on marimba whimsey, and Bruce Fowler, who accompanied Zappa and Beefheart on tour several years ago, contributes brass raspberries courtesy of his blind-staggered trombone. The remainder consists of the customary complement of zig-zagging slide guitars, leapfrog bass and slightly sneaky off-kilter percussion. Beefheart’s band plays its collective ass off, and forRead More →

“I like the records I did when I was on Warner Bros. I liked Warner Bros. A lot of people there were real nice to me. Some of them even understood me.” Captain Beefheart While he was making his new record, Captain Beefheart stayed at a San Francisco-Japanese hotel, with a steam bath right in the room. “It’s nice,” commented the Captain. “I don’t have to go down with everybody else and show my white body. I don’t like that too much.” Glancing at the television on a recent Saturday afternoon, Beefheart spied the smooth cupola of Joe Garagiola’s head superimposed over the Midwestern typhoonRead More →

All songs (unless noted differently) Produced by Don Van Vliet and Pete Johnson (or vice versa) for Shiny Beast Productions Engineered by Glen Kolotkin Assisted by Jeffrey Norman Mastered by Phil Brown Recorded at The Automatt, San Francisco, CA Mixed at Wally Heider Recording San Francisco 1. The Floppy Boot Stomp Don Van Vliet: Vocals Jeff Moris Tepper: guitar and slide guitar (right channel), chorus Bruce Lambourne Fowler: trombone Eric Drew Feldman: sythesizer and rhodes, chorus Richard Redus: guitar, slide guitar & fretless bass (L & both channels), chorus Robert Williams: drums, chorus 2. Tropical Hot Dog Night Don Van Vliet: Vocals, whistling Jeff MorisRead More →

Recording details Date – 1978 Studio – Automatt, San Francisco Producer – Don Van Vliet, Pete Johnson Engineer – Glen Kolotkin, Jeffrey Norman Musicians Don Van Vliet – vocals, harmonica, sax Jeff Moris Tepper – guitar Richard Redus – guitar, bass, accordion Eric Drew Feldman – bass, piano, synthesiser Bruce Fowler – trombone, air bass Robert Arthur Williams – drums Art Tripp – marimba, percussion See Leach’s Listings for a thorough guide to who did what on Shiny Beast, compiled for the Radar Station by Jasper Leach. Track list The Floppy Boot Stomp Tropical Hot Dog Night Ice Rose Harry Irene You Know You’re A Man BatRead More →

It has been a week now since the cd landed on my mat. It has been in my cd-player ever since. Even now – at work – I find it playing in my head. I had never heard these recordings prior to this edition. I don’t really download, didn’t buy the bootlegs and, although tempted by the wicked Ozit, decided not to line their pockets – mostly because of fear of incurring the wrath of the good people of the Fireparty. It’s such a shame that this didn’t come out when it was intended to. It would have meant room for moving on to otherRead More →

Track list Bat Chain Puller Seam Crooked Sam Harry Irene 81 Poop Hatch Flavor Bud Living Brick Bats Floppy Boot Stomp Ah Carrot Is As Close As Ah Rabbit Gets To Ah Diamond Owed T’Alex Odd Jobs Human Totem Pole (The 1000th And 10th Day Of The Human Totem Pole) Apes Ma Bonus tracks Bat Chain Puller (alternate mix) Candle Mambo Hobo-Ism Publicity blurb It turns out that The Dust DOES Blow Forward ‘n The Dust DOES Blow Back. As Don would say “That’s incredible.” Incredible that we get to release this directly from the Vault to you. This, being the Original and Definitive IssueRead More →

Recording details: Date – late 1974 Studio – Stronghold Sound Recorders, Hollywood Producer – Andy DiMartino Engineer – Gregg Ladangi Musicians: Don Van Vliet – vocals, harmonica Dean Smith – guitar Ira Ingber – bass Bob West – bass (Observatory Crest only) Michael Smotherman – keyboards, backing vocals Mark Gibbons – keyboards Gene Pello – drums Jimmy Caravan – keyboards, star machine Ty Grimes – percussion This album is dedicated to Denny Rosencrantz (who is he?) The front cover is a painting by Don’s cousin Victor Hayden (aka The Mascara Snake) Track list Party Of Special Things To Do (Don Vliet / Elliot Ingber) 3.12Read More →

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART: “Bluejeans & Moonbeams” Party Of Special Things To Do; Same Old Blues; Observatory Crest; Pompadour Swamp; Captain’s Holiday; Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Evil Doll; Further Than We’ve Gone; Twist Ah Luck; Bluejeans And Moonbeams. (Virgin V2023). Producer Andy Di Mantino. Musicians; No details available. IN MANY ways Beefheart has become the victim of his own achievements. I’m thinking most specifically of “Trout Mask Replica,” of course, and the almost visionary status with which Beefheart was endowed by critics who saw that album (with no little justification) as being crucial to the development and extension of rock. It was certainly an important album, though itsRead More →

1974 UK Original on Virgin V2023 1974 US Original on Mercury SRM 1-1018 1974 French release on Virgin XBLY 840.057 Disributed by C.P.F. Barclay 1974 Dutch (and Benelux countries) release on Ariola Eurodisc Benelux B.V. / Virgin 88 473 IT 1974 New Zealand release on Mercury 6338 548 1975 Yugoslavian release on RTB Records PGP RTB ‎– LP 5534, Virgin ‎– V-2023 1982 UK Re-issue on Virgin OVED 19 1987 UK Re-issue on Virgin OVED 19 198X UK CD on Virgin CDV 2023 1990 US CD on Caroline CAR1631 – rebadged UK CDV 2023 2000 UK Re-issue on audiophile vinyl by Past & Present Records Limited edition –Read More →

PECULIAR CHAP, Captain Beefheart. Ever since the full-frontal attack of “Trout Mask Replica” – still my favourite of all his works, whatever he says – he seems to have been moving towards what we professional euphemists tend to refer to as a ‘more accessible’ kind of music. In other words, – he’s been coming in from the unique, arresting stance he’d struck on “Trout Mask” to a position closer to the mainstreams of rock. That does not imply criticism. for with albums like “Lick My Decals Off. Baby”, “The Spotlight Kid” and to a lesser extent as far as I’m concerned “Clear Spot”. He broughtRead More →