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

  1. Low Yo Yo Stuff
  2. Nowadays a Woman’s Gotta Hit a Man
  3. Too Much Time
  4. Circumstances
  5. My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains
  6. Sun Zoom Spark
  7. Clear Spot
  8. Crazy Little Thing
  9. Long Neck Bottles
  10. Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles
  11. Big Eyed Beans from Venus
  12. 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.

Reviews

Purchase Clear Spot

Clear Spot releases

View the Radar Station’s full information about the various editions of Clear Spot which have appeared over the years.

Related links

Help us out

If anyone is able to complete or update any of the information above, then please do get in touch.

2 Comments »

  1. Brett Modglin says:

    A slight correction: Donn (not John) Landee was the engineer on this amazing album. Thank you for all the hard work that has been done on this website.

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