Saturday, June 16, 2012

Captain Beefheart released Trout Mask Replica: June 16, 1969

Originally posted June 16, 2012.

You never know who might be a fan…
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Release date: 16 June 1969
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) Frownland / The Dust Blows Forward ‘N the Dust Blows Back / Dachau Blues / Ella Guru / Hair Pie: Bake 1 / Moonlight in Vermont / Pachuco Cadaver / Bills Corpse / Sweet Sweet Bulbs / Neon Meate Dream of a Octafish / China Pig / My Human Gets Me Blues / Dali’s Car / Hair Pie: Bake 2 / Pena / Well / When Big Joan Sets Up / Fallin’ Ditch / Sugar ‘N Spikes / Ant Man Bee / Orange Claw Hammer / Wild Life / She’s Too Much for My Mirror / Hobo Chang Ba / The Blimp (Mousetrapreplica) / Steal Softly Thru Snow / Old Fart at Play / Veteran’s Day Poppy

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world

Peak: -- US, 21 UK


Review: This is an album “only for the adventurous music listener.” RV It “fully explains the expression ‘far out.’” AZ With Trout Mask Replica, Captain Beefheart “reveal[s] his unique blend of Delta ‘n' Dada in all its quirky sophistication,” WR clearly relishing in the total creative control allowed by producer and friend Frank Zappa. This is his “masterpiece, a fascinating, stunningly imaginative work that still sounds like little else in the rock & roll canon.” AMG Don Van Vliet (Beefheart) “took avant-garde rock to the extreme” RV by “combining delta blues, beat poetry, funk jazz and garage rock.” RV The result is “some of the most eccentric music of the late 1960s – or, for that matter, ever.” AZ

“On first listen, Trout Mask Replica sounds like a wild, incomprehensible rampage through the blues.” RS500 However, “the rustic and trippy imagery and the coarse-cut, earthy performances drew as much on free jazz techniques and beat poetry as well as the blues.” WR Beefheart “growls, rants and recites poetry” RS500 along with “atonal, sometimes singsong melodies” AMG accompanied by “jagged, intricately constructed dual-guitar parts [and] stuttering, complicated rhythmic interaction.” AMG “All of these elements float out seemingly at random, often without completely interlocking.” AMG

However, “every note was precisely planned in advance – to construct the songs, the Magic Band rehearsed 12 hours a day for months on end.” RS500 When Zappa finally recorded their efforts, he got most of the album down in under five hours. RS500 Some of the “disjointedness is perhaps partly unintentional – reportedly, Beefheart’s refusal to wear headphones while recording his vocals caused him to sing in time with studio reverberations, not the actual backing tracks.” AMG – but by all accounts, the music and arrangements were carefully scripted and notated by the Captain, which makes the results even more remarkable.” AMG

His “mind-bending lyrics” AZ “are absurdist gems and the music, especially in Moonlight on Vermont, revels in chaos.” RV “Its spirit can be felt in the punk community, as bands like The Clash include the Captain among their influences.” RV Other highlights include the spoken-word track The Dust Blows Forward N’ the Dust Blows Back and Hair Pie: Bake 1, “a daunting experiment in cacophony.” RV Songs like those and Pachuco Cadaver and Neon Meat Dream of an Octafish “actually sound as unusual as their titles.” AZ

Trout Mask Replica’s “inspiring reimagining of what was possible in a rock context laid the groundwork for countless future experiments in rock surrealism, especially during the punk/new wave era.” AMG It has also “inspired modern primitives from Tom Waits to PJ Harvey.” RS500

full album (audio only)

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