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

  1. Upon The My O My
  2. Sugar Bowl
  3. New Electric Ride
  4. Magic Be
  5. Happy Love Song
  6. Full Moon Hot Sun
  7. I Got Love On My Mind
  8. This is the Day
  9. Lazy Music
  10. Peaches

Album overview from Graham Johnston

This album isn’t one that I would recommend as a first time purchase, as it is strikingly different from what one may expect the Captain to produce. Commonly regarded as one of the Captain’s two worst albums, many Beefheart fans hate Unconditionally Guaranteed with a real passion. Even Beefheart himself later urged people to take it back to the shop and get a refund.

However, it is an album that I happen to adore. These are mostly strong, simple love songs, admittedly with none of the sharp corners that you may be used to with Beefheart’s music, though none could be described as being ‘conventional’ when compared with more conventional artists. It is still Beefheart, just a mellowed, simpler, gentler, kinder, less complex Beefheart than we’re used to.

It also heralded the end of the classic Magic Band which made albums such as Trout Mask Replica, Lick My Decals Off Baby and Clear Spot. Things were badly falling apart at this stage and, unwilling to tolerate the hardships and abuse any more, the band walked out. This album is the end of a chapter.

If you’re unsure, listen to the highlights: Upon The My Oh My, I Got Love On My Mind, This Is The Day or Lazy Music. It’s impossible for me to understand how anyone could fail to love them.

Reviews

Media appearances

  • The Old Grey Whistle Test – watch a performance of Upon The My Oh My and This Is The Day, following the departure of the Magic Band.

Purchase Unconditionally Guaranteed

Unconditionally Guaranteed releases

View the Radar Station’s full information about the various editions of Unconditionally Guaranteed 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. Stuart says:

    I couldn’t agree with your review More… “Unconditionally Guaranteed” is a wonderful album full of simple Love songs well played by the magic band and well sung by Don.
    just because it dosnt sound anything like Trout mask replica dosnt mean its not a great album in its own right..had it been written by another contemporary artist it may be seen as a classic album , now, I actually dont think there are any weak tracks on the album, but the stand outs for me are “This is the day” and “I Got Love on my Mind”
    I just think this album was not a commercial success for Beefheart because it was him who made it and not someone else

  2. RICHARD says:

    I believe anyone who truly appreciates Dons music
    would love this album and the next one too.

    To say that these two albums are somehow inferior to the rest of his output is a disservice to the music and to yourself.
    So the critics didn’t like them.
    Who cares .
    Use your own ears and then decide.

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