Two of Beefheart’s earliest albums have been given the Japanese mini LP treatment. You can now get exact copies of the original Safe As Milk and Mirror Man vinyl albums but as compact discs. These are exquisite … you even get a mini version of the SAM bumper sticker and MM comes complete with the gatefold die-cut shattered mirror effect cover.

Safe As Milk mini

Although the packaging replicates the original album the tracks on them are the remastered versions with the extra songs that were released in 1999.- so the sound quality is excellent. In fact, SAM sounds even better than the 1999 copy I have.

These are available individually but they can be bought together as part of a ‘promo’ package. With this you get the two albums and a chunky box to put them in. The box is printed to look like a fat copy of Safe As Milk and is constructed like the Grow Fins box.

Safe As Milk promobox

The fact that this box is big enough to hold four or five of these mini albums makes me wonder if there’s plans to issue some more … but which other Beefheart albums does BMG Japan have the rights to?

17 Comments »

  1. Anonymous says:

    Lick My Decals Off Baby???

  2. Douglas Ekström-Ahlby says:

    Trout Mask Replica? It is 40 years anniversary in november…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Agreed.

    Decals needs a rerelease.

    What was the hold up? Was it a Zappa thing like the original Bat Chain Puller or have the record company simply forgotten about it?

  4. Steve says:

    The problem with Decals getting a release lies with Herb Cohen who owns the rights to it. And, yes, that goes back to his legal fall out with Zappa from which he walked away with several Straight records that haven't had a proper release since. Shameful on his part.

  5. Anonymous says:

    did herb cohen walk away with "trout mask replica" as well?

  6. danny says:

    anyone have an idea where these CDs can be ordered?

  7. Steve says:

    @Anonymous:-
    I don't think he got the rights to Trout Mask.

    @danny:-
    The SAM and MM discs are turning up on eBay from Japan based shops/sellers. Like any Japanese release they could be difficult to track down.

  8. Anonymous says:

    So why does Cohen own the rights to these recordings? and why is he holding back the release of Decals? It wouldnt make much sense that he would be holding out for much money…

  9. Steve says:

    @Anonymous
    Cohen owns the rights to 'Decals' as a result of the legal fall out he had with Zappa in the 1970s. The spoils – Straight (and, I think, Discreet) recordings – were divided up between them. Cohen also got, amongst other things, Tim Buckley's 'Starsailor' and 'Blue Afternoon' both of which have also only appeared in very small CD editions, if at all. Why is he holding them back from proper remastered reissues? … I haven't the faintest idea, it must be some perverse pleasure on his part or he doesn't give a damn about the music.

  10. Steve says:

    correction – I meant Bizarre not Discreet!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Then why were they able to release the 180g version of Decals a few years ago? Surely that would have been against the rules as well?

    If Herb Cohen dies soon, then what will happen to the copyright? I for one hope that it goes to someone sensible who actually sees the reason for rereleasing it now.

  12. Steve says:

    Good question … I don't understand how the vinyl can be released either. I wonder whether the licensing for vinyl and cd is different – I don't know enough about copyright ownership to give a definitive answer.

  13. Francis says:

    If I had to guess I'd say that CD would have been classed in any contracts as a "future format" when the dispute happened in the 1970's. I know for a fact that there are "older" artists out there who missed out on thousands (possibly millions?) because their original contracts excluded them from getting full royalties on any future formats. Could well be that Vinyl is the only format Herb Cohen has the rights to license?

  14. Francis says:

    I should add "at a price that makes it worth his while…"

  15. postonavion says:

    But these records are available as mp3 downloads (iTunes, I think) – isn't that a 'future format' ?

  16. Steve says:

    yes, maybe they are but what a depressing future.

  17. Anonymous says:

    got this box set and tried to put in 3 more japanese mini lp-cds, but that was too tight! So there s comfortably only room for 2 more !
    A question:when was "trout mask replica" released? june 1969 or november 1969?
    both "trout mask replica" and "lick my decals off,baby" are on straight/reprise, a warner music.
    and bmg japan is a sony group…

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