Category: Frank Zappa

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band “Trout Mask Replica” released 50 years ago today, June 16th, 1969. Limited edition reissue on “fruitcake fish-scale colored vinyl,” Third Man Records/Bizarre Records. Produced by Frank Zappa, Trout Mask Replica was Captain Beefheart’s (Don Van Vliet) third studio album and it’s a crazy psychedelic, experimental – really an undefinable collection of sounds influenced by garage rock, free jazz, blues and a dash (more than a dash) of insanity. Captain Beefheart is well out of my musical purview so to sum up this LP that is hailed by many as a masterpiece and one of the best records of all-time, I’ll quote today’s article in Rolling Stone by David Fricke. “[Trout Mask Replica] still sounds like a tomorrow that has not arrived, a music created at a crossroads of sound and language so far distant it continues to defy definitive summation and universal translation. Guitars jut out at improbably severe angles in ice-pick treble, like broken bones slicing through skin. The drumming comes in a rush of agendas, U-turn spasms of loose-limbed time and tempo under melodies which, in turn, feel like they are yet only partially born, still evolving in sense and structure. The singing is another primal logic altogether, an extreme in octaves and sustain that goes from hellhound bass to wracked falsetto, the pictorial cut-up frenzy of the lyrics run through archaic Delta-blues vernacular…On Trout Mask Replica, breaking through the limits of coherence and cohesion already reset in the wide-open liberty of rock in the late Sixties, Van Vliet and his greatest Magic Band — guitarists Bill Harkleroad and Jeff Cotton, bassist Mark Boston, clarinetist Victor Hayden and drummer John French — established new margins of personal, idiosyncratic expression, much as the Velvet Underground did for drone, minimalism and literary transgression….Everyone with a copy of Trout Mask Replica has a story of walking into it for the first time, typically in disbelief. ‘I thought it was the worst thing I’d ever heard,’ the cartoonist Matt Groening admitted in the 1997 BBC documentary, The Artist Formerly Known as Captain Beefheart. ‘It was just a sloppy cacophony,’ he went on, until the ‘sixth or seventh’ listen when ‘it clicked in, and I thought it was the greatest thing I’d ever heard.’ In his original rave review of Trout Mask Replica in Rolling Stone, published in July, 1969, Lester Bangs initially admitted that “the rhythms and melodic textures jump all over the place … Given a superficial listening, they seem boring and repetitious.’ But as he reaffirmed a decade later, in a 1980 article in The Village Voice, Trout Mask Replica was ‘not even ‘ahead’ of its time in 1969. Then and now,” Bangs insisted, ‘it stands outside time, trends, fads, hypes … constituting a genre unto itself.’ That album ‘reinvented from the ground up rhythm, melody, harmonics, perhaps what our common narrow parameters have defined as music itself.’”

Finally got my preordered vinyl release of this now. A 3 record set.

The first 2 records are the same as originally released (after the recall!), the third record is extras.

It’s a fantastic album. One of my favourite live albums.

I did get the 5 x cd boxset too, which I posted earlier!

Probably one of the strangest records I own. It’s on the Bizarre label and that suits it perfectly.

I wouldn’t say it’s a great album, but it does have some great moments.

Burt Ward – Boy Wonder I Love You. Released in 1966 (I think!), by Batman’s sidekick, Robin. The song was written, arranged, and conducted by Frank Zappa. It was produced by Zappa’s then producer Tom Wilson.

I got this quite recently from EBay

I was listening to this earlier tonight. It gets such bad reviews, but I love it. People don’t seem to like the Volman/Kaylan era very much, but they had great voices, and a sense of humour! Pity we didn’t get to hear a lot more of what they did with Zappa. Billy the Mountain is an absolute classic (there’s still jokes in there that I’m only just understanding), and I love Howard Kaylan’s performance on “Magdalena”, just a pity about the subject matter! It’s not a classic Zappa moment, but it’s not as dire as many would have you believe.

My daughters boyfriend picked these up for me today RSD 19.

He goes above and beyond. What a guy.

Still waiting for the records to turn up!

5 x cd box set 😃

Mothers of Invention – Weasels Ripped My Flesh.

Picked this up at the weekend. It’s a German copy with the different cover. Don’t know who chose to go with this artwork instead of the Neon Park artwork that most other countries use.

Very strange!

Easily one of his most accessible records. Some great musicians play on this one. I wouldn’t say it’s commercial as such, but it’s probably as close as he got!

Jeff Simmons – Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up. Straight Records. 1969.
A recent purchase and a record I’ve been after for a long time.
Great to have you in my collection Jeff!