Trout Mask Replica releases


1969 US Original on Straight STS 1053 (double)

Released on 16th June 1969.

Stunning cover shot by Cal Schenkel of Don in full regalia holding a carp’s head.

Gatefold sleeve with lyric sheet insert

Label pictured below courtesy of David Naughton.

1969 UK Original on Straight STS 1053 (double)

Released in early November 1969. Distributed by CBS.

No lyric sheet came with this UK issue.

1969 German Original on German Straight SMS 2222/3 (double)

Has ELECTROLA GESELLSCHAFT M.B.H. KÖLN on back of cover, thick smooth distinctive inner sleeve and Pink/Black/White StRaIGHt labels.

19?? US 8 Track release.

Note reversed image.

Scan kindly sent to me by Malcolm Riviera.

1970 French Original (?) on Straight STS 1053

States that the disc is pressed in France and “ce disque peut être utilisé sur un lecteur mono”. The sleeve is printed in England but an additional black sticker says “Manufactured and distributed by Pathe Marconi”. Don’t think it had a lyric sheet

1970 US second issue on Straight (Red) 2MS 2027

Released January 1970. Centre label has STRAIGHT RECORDS. A DIVISION OF BIZARRE INC., 5455 WILSHIRE BLVD., SUITE 1700, LOS ANGELES, 90036 around bottom edge – inner sleeve are black with StRaIGHt logo and writing in white lyric insert folds into 3 with lyrics inside, THE BOY BEEFHEART (pictured below right) on front, Manta Ray poem and drawing on back with DRAWINGS BY THE MASCARA SNAKE typed in. Cover displays same catalogue number as the first pressing, STS 1053.

1970 White label promo of 2MS 2027.

197? US issue on Bizarre (Blue) 2MS2027 distributed by Reprise

No lyric sheet

1972 US Re-issue(?) on Straight/Reprise STS 1053 (cover)/2MS2027 (vinyl) (double)

No lyric sheet.

1975 UK Re-issue on Reprise K64026 (double) in May 1975

1975 White Label Test Pressing with with blank labels

Has “ALLEN” scratched by run-out groove and the word Beefheart hand written on original inners – no cover

1975 UK Re-issue on Reprise K64026 (double)

Pretty well identical to Straight issue

1977 Canadian issue on Warner BROS/Reprise (TriColored) 2MS 2027

Cover has PRINTED IN CANADA on spine and small black maple leaf logo on back upper left. Says MANUFACTURED AND DISTRIBUTED BY – WEA MUSIC OF CANADA, LTD./FABRIQUE ET DISTRIBUE PAR – WEA MUSIQUE DU CANADA, LTEE./1810 BIRCHMOUNT RD., SCARBOROUGH, ONT. A WARNER COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY ©1976,1977 Warner Bros Records Inc. Has “fuzzy” looking text inside gatefold like artwork was photocopied.

1989 (March) US CD Trout Mask Replica on Reprise 2027-2

Also available with US ‘long-box’.

Thanks to Rob Pachol for the scan of the long box

1993 Japanese CD on Warner Music Japan WPCP5738

With Japanese liner notes by Peter Barakan.

2009 US LP on Warner Brothers Records 2MS2027

The record labels are for Straight (deep salmon red background). This is a ‘collectors limited edition high quality vinyl’ release on beautiful red vinyl. Manufactured by Rhino Records and distributed by Scorpio Music Inc.

The cover is an exact printing of the 1977 Warners release. There is no lyric sheet. The vinyl has ‘SC01 CAPT BEEFHEART TROUT MASK REPLICA SIDE ‘ scratched into it.

2013 US CD on Zappa Records ZR 20014


At long last a remastered version. Remastering was done by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering. However there is a caveat attached to this release:

The years in storage in Warners were not kind to Trout Mask Replica. The masters suffer from oxide loss, primarily at the head of each of the four master reels. Fortunately, FZ had Dick Kunc make “safeties”. These actually sound better than the Originals and are in excellent condition but alas, incomplete. This edition of Trout Mask Replica is from the ZFT Vault protection copies, transferred at 96K 24B, except for Frownland and Hair Pie: Bake 2 which are from the original damaged master tapes transferred to direct stream digital at UMRK.

The sound on this remaster is definitely better than any other version of TMR. All the instruments are clearer and the bass has a fatter sound. Sadly if you listen closely the damage can be heard on the two tracks named above.

The booklet reproduces all the original artwork and lyrics, and Drumbo’s name has been, rightfully, added to the band credits.

2018 US LP on Third Man Records Bizarre TMR-546

The first release of the remastered album on vinyl with assorted merchandising and a 7 inch single by Jack White’s Third Man Records label. Find out more


Curio – seemingly aberrant pressing

1969 US Original on Straight STS 1053.

This appears to be an ordinary first pressing copy – the inner sleeves are black with ‘Straight’ in white. It also contains a lyric sheet that folds into three. However, the discs are labelled in the sequence – 1, 4, then 2, 3 – but are pressed in the sequence – 1, 2, then 3, 4. So only side 1 is actually labelled correctly. It wasn’t unusual for double albums to be labelled this way but the discs usually matched the labels!

Thanks to Richard Latchford-Knowles who picked this oddment up in Birmingham, UK


1995 German CD on Charly Records CR CRM 1032

Although it says on the label that this is a compilation it is actually Trout Mask minus 2 tracks! The missing two are “Hair Pie: bake 1″& “Hair Pie: bake 2”.

The running order of the tracks has been changed too. They follow the vinyl album’s side 1, side 3, side 2 and side 4. Why has this been done? What is the point?

What’s more “Sweet Sweet Bulbs” has been mistitled as “Sweet Sweet Blues”

As can be seen from the illustration above the cover bears a shot from “Clear Spot” sessions, with Chinese hat (same shot as inside “Out Here Over There” boot CD insert).

The insert has a two page piece written by Alan Mansfield which reinforces many of the myths about TMR and doesn’t give us any new information.

Thanks to Patrick Gioux for contacting the Radar Station about this oddity.

Help us out

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


  1. I see that on Amazon there are “remsstered” editions of the TMR CD. Has anyone heard these? The most recent is 2013. It would be good to know which of the Captain’s albums have benefited from the remastering treatment. Clear Spot’s remastering is long overdue!

  2. My copy is a double vinyl US pressing in a gatefold sleeve from 1977. The spine reads:


    The back reads: ©1976, 1977

    The label is Reprise Records (with the paddle steamer logo). Like this one:

  3. Third Man also released a black vinyl pressing on Record Store Day, 2019. The 2018 release had wonderful graphics and add-ons but the trout-colored vinyl was so noisy that my amp would shut itself off to protect my speakers from the pops and spikes. The 2019 black vinyl was as good or better than the original

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