Date – Autumn 1972
Studio – Amigo Studios, Los Angeles
Producer – Ted Templeman
Engineer – Donn Landee
- 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
- Low Yo Yo Stuff
- Nowadays a Woman’s Gotta Hit a Man
- Too Much Time
- My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains
- Sun Zoom Spark
- Clear Spot
- Crazy Little Thing
- Long Neck Bottles
- Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles
- Big Eyed Beans from Venus
- Golden Birdies
Album overview from Graham Johnston
While his guitar work on his other Beefheart albums may well be more complicated, for me this album is Zoot Horn Rollo’s finest hour. Just listen to him zip up and down his guitar! It contains his now infamous long lunar note in the song “Big Eyed Beans From Venus” – a tune guaranteed to bring a smile to the most sullen of faces.
All these songs are very tight, catchy and punchy with an infectious jerky groove. There is a magic spark to these songs which makes them accessible without compromising their integrity in any way. Everything is good on Clear Spot: the songwriting, the musicianship, the production and Beefheart’s new approach of “singing for women” all help this album to stand out as the one which should have broken through. Had he been able to sustain this approach for another album I’m sure he could have had the crossover which he craved and deserved. Unfortunately the next album went too far towards the mainstream for existing fans and failed to do much to attract new ones.
If you want an easier but utterly captivating and still entirely Beefheartian introduction to the Magic Band then this is it, Beefheart’s groovy swamp-pop classic.
- Clear Spot by Bob Palmer, from 31st December 1972 Rolling Stone.
- Getting Closer To The Captain – Clear Spot. This excellent piece was written by Lester Bangs and first appeared in January 1973’s Creem.
- Spotlight Kid / Clear Spot by Jim Washburn, from 12th January 1995 Los Angeles Times.
- Clear Spot by Robert Sandell, from 9th February 1997 Sunday Times.
Purchase Clear Spot
- CD from amazon.co.uk – with The Spotlight Kid
- Mp3 from amazon.co.uk
- Vinyl from amazon.co.uk
- CD from amazon.com – with The Spotlight Kid
- Mp3 from amazon.com
- Vinyl from amazon.com
Clear Spot releases
View the Radar Station’s full information about the various editions of Clear Spot which have appeared over the years.
- Clear Spot on Wikipedia
- Clear Spot on Discogs
- Clear Spot on AllMusic
- Clear Spot article by Richard Mason at Perfect Sound Forever
- All Clear Spot-related items here at the Radar Station
Help us out
If anyone is able to complete or update any of the information above, then please do get in touch.