1974 US Original on Mercury SRM-1-709 White Label Promo has PROMOTIONAL COPY NOTE FOR SALE on label – inner sleeve advertises other PHONOGRAM INC. releases – cover normal. 1974 US Original on Mercury SRM-1-709 1974 UK Original on Virgin V2015 Colour ‘Two virgins’ label. 1974 Italy on Virgin VIL12015 ‘Black/white ‘two virgins’ label. Made and distributed by Dishi Ricordi S.p.a. 1974 Dutch (Ariola Euro Pressing) on Virgin 87 840 IT Black/white ‘two virgins’ label. 1974 French release on Virgin 840.032 (V-2015) 1974 Swedish release on Virgin V2015 Colour ‘two virgins’ label – cover has SIB truck TUMBA logo. 1974(?) New Zealand release on Mercury 6338Read More →

Past & Present records have released a series of re-issues of the Magic Band’s last five albums, beginning on 17th January 2000. Bluejeans & Moonbeams Ice Cream For Crow Shiny Beast Unconditionally Guaranteed Doc at the Radar Station Press release Past & Present Records are proud to offer this classic period of Captain Beefheart’s recording career 1974-82, on 180 gram virgin vinyl. A real collector’s item, re-pressed with all the original sleeve and label artwork, each sleeve will have a protective outer cover and will carry the Past & Present logo on it. There will only be 1000 of each title available for a veryRead More →

Recording details: Date – spring 1974 Studio – Hollywood Sound, Los Angeles Producer – Andy DiMartino Engineer – John Guess, Jim Callon Musicians: Don Van Vliet – vocals, harmonica Bill Harkleroad – guitar Alex St Clair Snouffer – guitar Mark Boston – bass Art Tripp – drums Mark Marcellino – keyboards Andy DiMartino – guitar Del Simmons – sax, flute Track list Upon The My O My Sugar Bowl New Electric Ride Magic Be Happy Love Song Full Moon Hot Sun I Got Love On My Mind This is the Day Lazy Music Peaches Album overview from Graham Johnston This album isn’t one that IRead More →

1972 UK Original on Reprise K54007 Clear plastic sleeve with black on white printed insert. 19?? UK Re-package on Reprise K54007 Normal printed sleeve 1972 German Original on Reprise REP54007 White Label Trade Sample with “Unverkäufl” (not for sale) “Warenprobe ohne Wert” (sample without value) “Echantillon gratuit” (free sample in French) on centre label – in clear plastic sleeve with Clear Spot – w/insert sheet printed in England standard issue – clear plastic sleeve 1972 US Original on Reprise MS-2115 White Label Promo with PROMOTION NOT FOR SALE printed on centre label and over stamped -> N.T.I. standard issue – clear plastic sleeve 1972 USRead More →

WHILE nobody questions his status as one of rock’s great originals, Captain Beefheart’s madcap variations on the blues are an acquired taste. Armed with a voice like Howlin ‘ Wolf, a band he claimed to have taught himself and an imagination that just went thataway, Beefheart did not set out to be easy listening. The unhinged adventurousness of his 1969 masterwork, Trout Mask Replica, appeals mainly to critics and students of musical weirdness. More approachable and ultimately more satisfying is the album he recorded three years later with a new producer. Ted Templeman, whose clients included Van Morrison and the Doobie Brothers, was drafted inRead More →

“And that pantalooned duck / white goose neck / quacked, ‘Webcor, Webcor.’” Those are the last lines on Clear Spot, from a song called “Golden Birdies.” Not exactly “I Can See Clearly Now,” I know, but if you find it hard to make sense out of lyrics like that, or feel that you must, rest easy. Captain Beefheart has come out of the haze. Even though his music has always been solidly rooted in the blues, Beefheart has remained a sort of cult figure: to his followers, a supreme genius; to many others, inaccessible both musically and verbally. Starting from Delta blues, which was neverRead More →

The continuing evolution of Beefheart’s music has been one of the most fascinating developments of contemporary rock. The Captain has seemed an introverted, almost schizophrenic figure, mirroring in his work the apparent dichotomy between the rigorous ensemble playing of the Chicago-out-of-Mississippi bluesmen and the anarchic-sounding sprung rhythms of modernists like Albert Ayler and Ornette Coleman. But the unique facet of Beefheart’s blues playing has always been his understanding of the essentially irregular metric structures of much Mississippi blues, and he has thus been able to translate the abrupt, quirky stridency of the early blues guitarists into abrupt, quirky arrangements for his Magic Band. In thisRead More →

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 →

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 nature in its complex patterns and disquieting beauty. With “The SpotlightRead More →

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. In conversation the Captain is distant and intimate atRead More →

“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 definitely to the new audience, the ones that teethed on feedback and boogie, that Captain Beefheart belongs. He has been called everything in the past from aRead More →

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, Jr., and if somebody out there is clinging to theRead 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 →

[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.” When asked for a specific reason, Young declared the album title is “obscene.” Time had been scheduledRead More →

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. Form is pure energy limiting itself. Form is error. A forest creature approaches the protein vats. He dipsRead More →

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 kind of stuff musicians do when they’re just fucking around”) or merely aRead More →

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 unison passages I’m inclined to believe that they’re the former. Much of the playing consistsRead More →

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 expedition rests on his shoulders. For it is Rollo’s job to catch the melodies which the Captain throws out, transform them into definite musical statements and to teach them to the others inRead More →