We'd like to thank everyone for preventing us of dead links. For the moment, we are note able to re-up them.

Feel free to keep on preventing us of those dead links. We will update them when we (I and Jeb-E-Diah) have more time to (understand : from september). Some of them will be partially or completely repacked considering albums which would have been issued thereafter and surely with new and improved artworks.

Stay tuned !

Saturday, January 2, 2010



The Army must have put something in the water. The Sixties were an era of unconventional music, and one small town in the Mohave Desert produced two of rock's most unusual musicians.

Don Vliet (rhymes with sweet) showed an early talent for painting & sculpture but his parents saw little future in an art career. Possibly as a means to prevent him from pursuing his interests, they moved from a suburb of Los Angeles into a smaller community of Lancaster, California. It was there in high school that he found a sympathetic companion in Frank Zappa. The name Captain Beefheart was born from a movie that the two had attempted to create. They collaborated many more times throughout their careers.

The first 'Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band' was formed in 1965. Most of the members took on stage names at this time, and Vliet became Van Vliet. Don had a strong interest in the blues, and it was a popular niche following the rise of the Animals, Rolling Stones and others. The band released a fairly conventional sounding single in 1966, but they already had some odd ideas about what kind of music they wanted to make. Their first album was rejected as too strange and the label dropped them. Fortunately, the Sixties were about to explode; soon everything was possible.

'Safe As Milk' was finally released in 1967, as well as a follow-up album. They were fairly conventional, and weren't big sellers. What's worse, Van Vliet felt that someone was once again trying to clamp down on his artistic vision. Frank Zappa had just formed a new label, and he offered them more control over the outcome. Those sessions produced "Trout Mask Replica' in 1969, and things were never the same again.

Much of Captain Beefheart's music is simply bizarre to new listeners. Although it has strong roots to the blues; it is most easily described as sounding like Free Jazz. Van Vliet's surreal poetry is laid atop a cacophonous base, and his gruff vocals frequently recall Howlin' Wolf. According to All Music Guide, he has a four-and-one-half octave vocal range. He can sing, but more often he is shouting over the din of the orchestration. There were attempts in the mid-Seventies to make him more commercial, but the results sound like the band in a hotel lounge. Pick up Elton John if you want love songs.

Trout Mask Replica is the band's most well-known and highest rated album, but I advise new listeners to start with 'Clear Spot' or 'Shiny Beast'. You can also check out their collaboration on Zappa's 'Bongo Fury'


Burns' Captain Beefheart's TOP3 :
1- Clear Spot (1972)
2- Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (1978)
3- Safe As Milk (1967)

Burns' Captain Beefheart's BOTTOM3 :
1-Lick My Decals Off, Baby (1970) [*]
2-Mirror Man (1971)
3-Unconditionally Guaranteed (1974)

[*] many say this is Beefheart's 2nd best, but I find it difficult


julien said...

trés fort ce baistophe du don himself


mille coeurs

doud said...

Ah! Vous avez finalement trouvé quelqu'un pour faire le Baistophe de cet immense artiste, le plus grand du rock à mon humble avis!

Par contre, je ne trouve pas le lien de téléchargement (serais-je stupide??)

Et merci pour ce blog très inspiré!

Ayah Gagöhn said...

J'ai eu peur en lisant ton commentaire. Mais après vérification, je peux te confirmer que c'est au même endroit que d'habitude. Il suffit de cliquer sur le bouton approprié.

Anonymous said...

Very well done... only regret you didn't enclose Ella Guru in your Baistophe release... this was a major track and covered, among others, by the almighty art rockers XTC!

doud said...

Oui désolé pour le post inutile :)

Sinon, mettre Clear Spot et Shiny Beast dans un Top 3 de Beefheart est un peu étrange mais les goûts et les couleurs...

shadreck said...

Thanks for the Beefheart. Appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Ayah Gagöhn said...

... And you've not seen anything yet!

See today's post ;-)

Don said...

Hi -

I made the compilation. I agree that Ella Guru is an important track. If I had left out the track Party Of Special Things To Do from the generally wretched Bluejeans & Moonbeams, I would have had room for it. But I would have a less representative collection.

The goal of my compilations are to attract new fans to an artist. Hopefully, a free compilation will cause them to buy some albums, although I know that hardly anyone pays for music except on iTunes.

Beefheart can be frightening to Pop fans that have heard the name but not his music. It doesn't sound like most music. I wanted to choose some tracks that showed his talent without making it too difficult for someone who was only curious about the music. Since Trout Mask Replica is the farthest from "normal" music, I did not emphasize it too heavily.

In the future, you may find that I have omitted the popular songs that everyone has heard. Instead, I offer something that they may not know, or cannot find on the official collections.

As regards my top three Captain Beefheart albums. Yes, they are different from the choices of many critics. I choose the albums that have the highest percentage of songs that I like. A 12 song album with six favorites will beat a 28 song album with ten favorites. I grew up listening to vinyl, so I make my choice on the number of bad tracks I have to sit through to get to the good ones.

I think that Trout Mask was a masterpiece in its time. But now it sounds dated and disorganized to me. Just a difference of opinion. It would certainly be #4 on the list.

I am new to making these compilations for others. It is much harder than I thought. I welcome your comments. I don't expect to respond directly to many of them but they will help me realize what the audience wants.

Thanks for your time - Don

Ayah Gagöhn said...

To ad something to what Burns said, I have to say that all of my Baistophes are made only following my tastes. I know that this is a bit selfish but This is maybe the best way to engage conversation with others that disagree with me.
But since we began, 2 years ago, I have always been surprised of one thing: Even if we don't share the same tastes (like I and SFP), I'm amazed that, considering an artist/band, our selection doesn't differ much... just a song or two.

Is that the same for anybody ?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm the one who advocated for Ella Guru... I do appreciate the philosophy of this outstanding Beefheart selection... of course he's such a controversial artist that choices may legitimately differ... anyway so many thanks for the effort... didn't download just because I already own the music... but those young guys out there won't find it easily without some charity share... so this looks like a true cultural contribution...

Anonymous said...

Danke sehr an den Webmaster.

Gruss Elisa

dugg said...

many thanks for the work in putting these collections together, especially this one. the Captain has been on my mind a lot since his passing, but all my records are on the other side of this very big country...

ps- you may enjoy this...