Various Artists Compilations

This is a list of ‘Various Artists’ compilations and samplers that have included individual Captain Beefheart songs.

Benefit Albums

2003 US Where We Live: Stand For What You Stand On on Higher Octave/Delabel/EMI
This is a benefit album with proceeds going to the environmental organisation Earthjustice which campaigns for the Universal Right to Clean Air & Clean Water

This is a significant release because it includes the first recorded work by Don since the poems that appeared on the 1993 Stand Up To Be Discontinued CD. It’s not a new song, nor is it ‘proper’ recording as such. It’s a 35 second version of Happy Birthday, called “Happy Earthday” sung by Don over the phone to the album’s compiler (and Don’s agent), Mike Kappus.

Described as a ‘soulful collection’ this compilation also includes contributions from Mose Allison, Rubén Blades, Bob Dylan, Michael Franti & Spearhead, John Hammond (with Tom Waits), Norah Jones, Los Lobos, Maria Muldaur (with Bonnie Raitt), Willie Nelson, The Neville Brothers, Karen Savoca, Pops Staples (with Ry Cooder), Sweet Honey In The Rock, Tina Turner (with Robert Cray), and Dan Zanes (with Lou Reed & The Rubi Theater Company).


A&M Samplers

1973 US The A&M Bootleg Album Promo Sampler on A&MSP 8022

Official Promo Double Album with tracks by A&M artists like Joe Cocker, Procol Harum and T.Rex etc. – labels have NOT FOR SALE – Strange unprocessed cardboard gatefold sleeve with no writing, photos or track listing, just a white sticker on front with title printed using ransom note fonts like parody of a real bootleg – Side 4 has Beefheart’s 4 A&M tracks from 1964.

1990 UK CD The California Connection: West Coast Rock 1966-1975 on A&M 397-064-2.

Unusual CD examining the best of A&M’s West Coast signings circa late ’60s/early ’70s, including 3 of the 5 Beefheart A&M songs – “Diddy Wah Diddy”, “Moonchild” and “Frying Pan”, plus stuff by The Tubes, The Flying Burrito Brothers (featuring Gram Parsons) and Gene Clark (of the Byrds).

Blue Thumb Sampler

Blue Thumb – the label named by Don and set up by his manager Bob Krasnow to release the Strictly Personal album.

1995 US vinyl All Day Thumbsucker Revisited – the History of Blue Thumb Records on Blue Thumb BT-3-7002

Three record set on red, yellow & blue coloured vinyl, with double-sided poster. PROMOTIONAL COPY ONLY. Includes “Safe As Milk” and “Son of Mirror Man – Mere Man”

1995 US CD All Day Thumbsucker Revisited – the History of Blue Thumb Records on Blue Thumb BTD-2-7002

2CD set includes “Safe As Milk” and “Son of Mirror Man – Mere Man”


Liberty Samplers

1969 UK Original of Gutbucket Sampler on Liberty LBX/3
“Gimme Dat Harp Boy” (edited version)

1994 UK CD Gutbucket & Son of Gutbucket on EMI 7243 8 30712 2 7.
Both of these classic Liberty samplers (or, at least most of them) on one CD. “Gimme Dat Harp Boy” (edited version)

Virgin Samplers

1975 UK Original of ‘V’ Sampler on Virgin VD2505
2LP with gatefold sleeve – “Mirror Man” and “Upon The My-O-My” recorded live at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, UK on 8th. June 1974. The entire concert was recorded (Engineer: Phil Newell) for proposed live album which was cancelled due to Unmagic Band and crap songs. It was eventually released on CD in 2006 as part of Virgin’s reissue of all their Beefheart albums.

1978 UK Original of Dead On Arrival Sampler on Virgin VD2508
2LP with gatefold sleeve – Luminous ‘Black Light’ Vinyl – “New Electric Ride” (also includes Mallard – “Desperados Waiting For A Train”)

1980 UK Original of Cash Cows Sampler on Virgin MILK1
“Dirty Blue Gene”

1980 Greek Original of Cash Cows Sampler on Virgin 2401 736
Label has MFD. by G.P.I. S.A.410 and MADE IN GREECE. Cover has ROCK 81 logo.

1991 CD Pearls of Pop Vol. 1 on Virgin Megastore 262 463
Germany only release. “Bluejeans and Moonbeams


Buddah/Buddha Samplers

1968 French vinyl Buddahrama on Buddah 0920038
“Sure Nuff n Yes I Do” and “I’m Glad”

19?? French vinyl Buddah Boom Vol. 1 on Buddah 0920038
“Sure Nuff n Yes I Do” and “I’m Glad”. Same as the ‘Buddahrama’ album above but with a different title and cover.

1971 UK vinyl Buddah In Mind Sampler on Buddah 2349 008
Gatefold sleeve – “Yellow Brick Road”

1971 US vinyl Heavy Mix Sampler on Pickwick SPC-3324
“Electricity” and “Plastic Factory” are probably the heaviest tracks on this album. Lou Christie, heavy?!

19?? CD Best of Bubblegum.
“Yellow Brick Road”. A 2CD collection of late 60s bubblegum that Buddah specialised in at the time.

1988 Japan CD Real Rocks – alternative side of Buddah Kama Sutra on Teichiku Records 28CP-33
“Dropout Boogie” and “Electricity”

1999 CD Have a Buddhaful Day on Buddha BDJ1.
This was for promotional purposes only and sent out to select retail buyers. Packaged in a thick card sleeve it features “Sure Nuff ‘n’ Yes I Do”.

This collection also includes The Flamin Groovies, Henry Mancini, Louis Prima and Frank Sinatra!


Rhino Samplers

1991 US Bizarre / Straight sampler CD on Rhino PRO2 90086 –
NOT FOR SALE – For Promotion Only on CD and inserts – art (psychedelic) CD – “I Love You, You Big Dummy”/”The Floppy Boot Stomp”. Also includes The GTOs “The Captains Fat Theresa Shoes”.

Includes sleeve notes titled “My Bizarre Reflections” by ex-GTO and uber-groupie Pamela Des Barres which say in part:

“Captain Beefheart’s cousin, The Mascara Snake, went to my high school in Reseda and changed my life, but that’s another story. More importantly, Beefheart head Don Van Vliet came to the Bizarre label; he and Frank had gone to high school together, and it was a natural progression.

One of my fave-rave memories of Don Van Vliet occurred in Frank’s famous basement. Don had just finished Shiny Beast and wanted to play his favourite track for me, ‘Bat Chain Puller’. I settled in a comfy chair and Don got down on his knees in front of me, whispering all the words an inch from my face with menacing mirthful exhilaration: ‘Bat Chain Puller. Puller Puller'”


Enigma Sampler

1990 US Tune-Master sampler CD on Enigma EPRO-300
This promo only gimmick was a ‘CD VIEWER’ much like the 3D viewer child’s toy – “Floppy Boot Stomp”


Warner Samplers

Warner released a series of excellent and influential samplers during the early 1970s which many fans have cited as being their first introduction to the music of Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band.

1970 US The Big Ball Sampler on WB PRO 358
“Ella Guru” (Time:2:23 edit?) – 2LP set with gatefold sleeve. Has extensive quote from LESTER BANGS’s review of “TROUT” from ROLLING STONE.

This Sampler also has the ode to Beefheart’s shoes “THE CAPTAIN’S FAT THERESA SHOES” by The GTO’s off Permanent Damage – “This is a song about a pair of crazed shoes Captain Beefheart wears”


1970 US Zapped Sampler on Reprise/Bizarre PRO 368
“Old Fart At Play” and “The Blimp(mousetrapreplica)”.

There are two versions of this sampler with different track lists although the Beefheart tracks are the same on both.

The first press is a single album on the Reprise label with a portrait of Zappa on the front cover. The later version, with photomontage cover, is a double album on the Bizarre label. Both versions have the same catalogue number!


The later version has chocolate brown Bizarre inner sleeve with a dark picture of FZ and:

We make records that are a little different. We present musical and sociological material which the important record companies would probably allow you to hear. Just what the world needs another record company.

on one side and:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

on the other.


1970 US Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies Sampler on WB PRO 423
3 LP Sampler in a Box with cartoon character on front and “That’s all Folks” on back over multicoloured labels – Lost Leader inners.

“Lick My Decals Off, Baby” is on Side 5 – ‘Avant and National Guard’ with The Mothers, Alice Cooper and Zappa – specially written text calls Beefheart a “poet, painter, screenwriter, novelist, humorist and super musician” .

1972 US The Whole Burbank Catalogue Sampler on WB PRO 512
2LP set with gatefold sleeve. Back cover has a photograph of Earth from space with the words “Captain Beefheart calls it God’s Golfball” (see pic) – “Click Clack” appears on Side 3 – ‘Wondrous Weeds’

1972 US The Days of Wine and Vinyl Sampler on WB PRO 540
Another 2LP set which includes “Too Much Time”

1972(?) US Display Case Three 2 LP Promotional Vinyl Record Box Set – Warner Bros.
Records new releases from artists in 1972 Compilation. Pressed and distributed by mail order in the USA only – “Click Clack”.

1972 US Display Case Ten 3 LP Promotional Vinyl Record Box Set – Warner Bros. Records new releases from artists in 1972 Compilation. Pressed and distributed by mail order in the USA only – “Too Much Time”, and “Golden Birdies”.

1975 US Give ‘Em The Works Sampler on WB PRO 610
Cover has large PROMOTIONAL COPY NOTE FOR SALE sticker and label has THIS IS A PROMOTIONAL ITEM – “Debra Kadabra”

1976 Dutch LiteraLuisterplaat Sampler on Warners 26040
“Grow Fins”

1979 US PumpingVinyl on Warner Brothers PRO-A-773
2LP set with gatefold sleeve. “Love Lies”

Other Compilations

197? Argentina Los Favoritos Fravega Vol. 1 on Microfon Argentina S.R.L FR1
There is a Beefheart track on this obscure compilation but I don’t know what it is!

1977 UK Golden Hour of Simon Says on Golden Hour GH862 –
“Yellow Brick Road” and “Abba Zaba”. A budget label that had 60 minutes of music on every album. This looks like it was basically a Buddah sampler without actually saying so

1985 US Nuggets – Volume Six: Punk, Part II on Rhino Records RNLP 030 –
“Diddy Wah Diddy”

1987 US More Nuggets – Classics from the Psychedelic Sixties – Vol.2 on RHINO R2 75777 –
Compilation of 18 tracks including “Diddy Wah Diddy” which is down as a March 1966 hit – some more info inside.

1998 US CD Nuggets – 1965-68 Original Artyfacts from the Psychedelic Era on Rhino.
4 CD set combining the previous vinyl issues. “Diddy Wah Diddy”

1988 UK Dance Floor Disaster on Kent 076
“Hard Workin’ Man”

1990 UK CD Rock Festival 2 on Success 2080CD.
“Abba Zaba”

1990 UK CD Psychedelic Years 1966-1969 on Castle Communications PSDCD 47003.
A 3 CD set “Electricity”

1990 UK CD Psychedelic Years Vol. 1 1966-1969 – America on Knight Records PSDCD 47003/1.
“Electricity”. A single disc release of above 3CD collection.

1990 US CD Guitar Player Magazine presents Legends of the Guitar: Rock the ’60s Vol One on Rhino Records RS2 70720.
“Abba Zaba” included because of Ry Cooder’s involvement.

1992 UK CD Psychedelic Years 1966-1969 on Sequel Records NXT CD 221.
A reissue of the above on Castle

1992 UK CD Psychedelic Years Revisited 1966-1969 on Sequel Records NXT CD222.
A 3 CD set with “Abba Zaba” and “Trust Us (Alternate Version)”

1992 UK Classic Rock Collection Vol. 5 FREE CD with Magazine RCD Vol.1 No.5 –
picture inside (Spotlight Kid) and has potted history with ‘one of music’s most inspired madmen’ – “Abba Zaba”

1993 UK Rebellious Jukebox. The CD Collection FREE CD with Melody Maker {issue unknown] –
“Beatle Bones ‘n’ Smokin’ Stones”

1993 UK CD The PYE International Story on Sequel NED CD 239 –
2CD set with “50 CLASSIC TRACKS” chronologically arranged from Richie Valens (1958) to Meri Wilson (1977) – “Yellow Brick Road”

1994 UK CD Psychedelia: 18 mind-expanding masterpieces on Music Collection International MUSCD021.
Compiled by Mojo writer Jon Savage. “Electricity”

1994 France CD Journey Through The Underground on Kenwest Music KNEWCD 740.
“Safe As Milk”.

1994 France CD Journey Through The Underground 2 on Kenwest Music KNEWCD 741.
“Mirror Man”.

1995 UK CD Rock Classics on Mayking Records/Castle Communications MAT CD 236
“Mirror Man” finds itself in the company of Black Sabbath, Motorhead, and other hard rock bands

1996 UK CD Daytrippers on Dressed To Kill DTK BOX52.
A 3CD set from Castle Communication with “I’m Glad” and “Dropout Boogie” .

1996 UK CD Psychedelic Frequencies on Temple/Telstar Records TMPCD027.
A great psych collection that includes “Electricity”

1996 UK CD Ocean of Sound 2 – Crooning on Venus on Ambient/Virgin AMBT 7245 8 41718 2 7.
One of the excellent compilations from writer and composer David Toop to accompany his book “Ocean of Sound”. Includes an unusual selection, the wonderful “White Jam”!

1996 3CD Masters of Rock on BMG/Dressed To Kill DTK BOX 54
“Mirror Man”. 50 tracks on 3CDs from Judie Tzuke to Motorhead! Same album as “Invasion of the Rock Zombies” (see below)

1996 US CD 4 Play Series: Underground on Buddah/RCA/BMG.
A series that features four bands on one CD. The Beefheart tracks are “Abba Zaba”, “Autumn’s Child”, “Dropout Boogie”.

1997 2CD Hippydip – Progressive Rock from the Late 60s and Early 70s on EMI 7243 8 59339 2 9 / EMI 100 ‎– CDEM 1623
“Gimme Dat Harp Boy”

1997 UK CD Ocean of Sound 4 – Guitars on Mars on Ambient/Virgin AMBT 24.
Another in the David Toop series, this time with two of Don’s instrumental pieces played by Gary Lucas – “Flavor Bud Living” and “Evening Bell”

1997 UK CD San Franciscan Daze on Debutante/Polygram 553 672-2.
“Diddy Wah Diddy” is included on this selection of groups that don’t necessarily come from San Francisco.

1997 UK CD Sixties Apocalypse on Age of Panic AOP51.
Another 2CD set from Castle Communication with “Gimme Dat Harp Boy” and “Mirror Man”. Has a picture of Martin Sheen from ‘Apocalypse Now’ on the cover.

1998 UK CD Disraeli Years on Dressed To Kill DTK BOX 69
A 5CD set with “I’m Glad”, “Dropout Boogie”, “Gimme Dat Harp Boy”, and “Mirror Man”. Any similarity with the ‘Daytrippers’ compilations is more than coincidental!

1998 US CD Feel The Buzz: Hit Time on Polygram.
A collection of songs about dope and booze. Includes “Zig Zag Wanderer”

1999 UK CD Unconditionally Guaranteed. Various artists CD given away with UK music mag Uncut #27 : August 1999.
“Electricity” – the Cannes Beach version taken from the ‘Grow Fins’ boxset

1999 US CD Invasion of the Rock Zombies on BMG/Dressed To Kill REDTK111
“Mirror Man”. Re-release of the 1996 collection “Masters of Rock”.

19?? US CD Sounds Of The Seventies: FM Rock 2 on Time Life.
“Click Clack”

19?? US CD Classic Rock – Rock Renaissance IV on Time Life.
“Abba Zaba”

2000 UK CD Under The Influence on NME UTI.
“Orange Claw Hammer”. Sampler given away free with NME music magazine.

2002 UK CD Back To Mine on DMC BACKCD11.
A collection put together by New Order. The CD version is specially mixed by the band while the triple vinyl version is unmixed. It kicks off with “Big Eyed Beans From Venus”

2002 UK CD Totally Wired on UNCUT 04.
“Harry Irene” is included on this freebie given away by the UK music mag Uncut

2002 US CD Balling The Jack (The Birth of the Nu-Blues) on Union Square/Ocho ‎– OCHOCD012.
“Electricity” . An interesting collection that also includes a Gary Lucas track (‘The Poison Tree’) plus, among others, Tom Waits, Diamanda Galas and Billy Childish

2003 US CD An Anthology of Noise & Electronic Music, Vol #2, Second A-Chronology 1936-2003 on Sub Rosa.
Celebrating the history of experimental electronics this 2 CD set, strangely, includes the Amougies Festival tracks already available on ‘Grow Fins’.

2003 3CD Real 60’s The Psychedelic Hits on BMG Special Products ‎– 7980
“Yellow Brick Road”. Looks to be mainly bands who used to be on Buddah.

2004 UK CD Prog Rock: The Ultimate Collection on EMI Gold.
“Observatory Crest”.

2005 UK CD John Peel – A Tribute ‘…and this one fades in quietly…’ on WMS226.
“Big Eyed Beans From Venus” is included on this excellent double album celebrating the musical legacy of the influential broadcaster who championed Beefheart and many other outsider artists over the years.

2006 US CD Creative Outlaws – U.S. Underground 62-70 on Trikont US0338.
Strange choice of “Dachau Blues” for this 60’s anthology which is supposed to present the real artists of Underground Music and their message, aims and overwhelming fascinations – anti-war, drugs, love, peace, revolution, freedom of expression, freak out, humour etc.

2006 Holland CD Marmalade Skies. The Ultimate Psychedelic Experience on Disky CB 903668.
A 3CD compilation of mostly well known ‘psychedelic’ classics from the 60s. Includes “Gimme Dat Harp Boy” and “Abba Zaba”. Strangely, “Abba Zaba” is a live version from the 1974 Cowtown, Kansas show and according to the sleeve notes has been ‘licensed from Ozit Morpheus Records’ (odd, I didn’t think bootleggers could licence the music they released!).

2007 US CD Ah Feel Like Ahcid – 24 American Psychedelic Artefacts From The EMI Vaults on EMI/Zonophone.
A interesting 2CD compilation of some of the less well known psychedelic music from the 60s. Not only is it named after the Strictly Personal song but it’s also included as the final track.

2009 UK CD Late Night Tales – Snow Patrol on Late Night Tales.
This is the 22nd release in this Late Night Tales series where an artist or band get to compile their own special collection of songs. Snow Patrol have included ‘Observatory Crest’ as the opening track to this one.

2009 US CD Where the Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets: 1965-1968 on Rhino.
‘Zig Zag Wanderer’ appears on the first of this four disc 101 track box set. There are other tracks with a Beefheart connection – The Rising Sons ‘Take A Giant Step’, The Factory ‘Candy Cane Madness’ and Fapardokly (aka Merrell & The Exiles) ‘Tomorrow’s Girl’

2009 CD Theme Time Radio Hour Season 2 with Bob Dylan on Ace Records.
A wonderfully eclectic mix of tracks from Dylan’s fascinating radio series. This two disc set includes ‘Ice Cream For Crow’

2010 4CD Pure … psychedelic rock on Sony
An excellent collection of more than the usual suspects which includes “Sure Nuff ‘n’ Yes I Do” and “Abba Zaba”

2011 CD Kris Needs presents…Dirty Water 2: More Birth Of Punk Attitude on Year Zero Records.
Another brilliant comp from Mr Needs. This two disc set includes “Zig Zag Wanderer”

2015 3CD Get Together – The Colourful Sounds of the Sixties on Sony 88875111862
A collection of typical 60s suspects. “Sure Nuff ‘N Yes I Do”

2016 5CD 100 Hits – Peace and Love on 100 Hits / Sony DMGN 100 163
Yet another compilation of the usual bands and tracks with just a few different songs to spice things up. “Sure Nuff ‘N Yes I Do” and “Zig Zag Wanderer”

2017 3CD The 60s U.S. Playlist on Sony Music/Crimson CRIMCD596
Another outing for “Sure Nuff ‘n’ Yes I Do”

2018 CD / 2LP Sixties Alternative on Demon Records DEMRECOMP017
A good 30 track mix of US and UK bands. But yet again it’s “Zig Zag Wanderer” !

2018 3CD The Old Grey Whistle Test: Jetboys and Ladytrons on Universal Music Music Group/Spectrum Music UMCOGWT03
A varied selection of “Original studio recordings of tracks made famous by the hit BBC music show”. Includes the album versions of the two songs that Don performed on the show in 1974, “Upon the My O My” and “This Is The Day”.

2022 3CD Heroes & Villains – The Sound of Los Angeles 1965-1968 on Cherry Red Records CRSEGBOX109
A nice collection of major league LA players, enduring cult acts and ultra-rare garage punk 45s. but plays it safe with two cuts from the Safe As Milk album – “Zig Zag Wanderer” and “Yellow Brick Road”. One of the discs is packaged with a shot from the legendary Trout House photo shoot.

2022 2LP Music for the Stars (Celestial Music 1960-1979) on Two Piers Records
An interesting ‘collection of songs that may lend themselves to the end of the night in headphones’. Includes John Fahey, Tim Buckley, Bill Fay and Willie Nelson amongst others. The  Beefheart track included is “Observatory Crest”. Available in purple or black vinyl.

2023 3CD March of the Flower Children. The American Sounds of 1967 on Cherry Red Records CRSEGBOX134
Another great compilation from this very inventive musical period. “Electricity” is the Beefheart track. Not sure why Velvet Underground have been included, they weren’t exactly ‘flower children’!

2024 3CD Pushin’ Too Hard American Garage Punk 1964-1967 on Cherry Red Records CRJAM3BOX22
A compilation which covers some of ‘Nuggets’ ground but still worth a listen. The Beefheart track is “Diddy Wah Diddy”.

2024 3CD I See You Live On Love Street – Music From Laurel Canyon 1967-1975 on Cherry Red Records CRSEG3BOX143
Yet another fine compilation. The Beefheart track included in this one an unusual choice – “Call On Me”

2024 3CD Can’t Seem To Come Down. The American Sounds of 1968 on Cherry Red Records CRSEG3BOX148
A follow-up to the March of the Flower Children comp. This one includes “Safe As Milk”.



I have to thank the Discogs website – – for help with release information on some of the more obscure items and images of some covers.



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