On 22nd November 1980 The Magic Band gave a storming performance of Ashtray Heart and Hot Head in front of a studio audience for Saturday Night Live. Ashtray Heart Hot Head According to Doug Stacey: “The person yelling “Shit!” at the end of the SNL performance was Radames Pera, the once child actor playing “Grasshopper” in the TV show “Kung Fu.” He was disgusted with the Beefheart performance. It was evidently his first exposure to Don’s music.” Robert Williams, the Magic Band drummer, commented on this heckling: “After the show we went to an after show party at a bar in Manhatten with the castRead 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 →

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 →