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Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band - Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver 1973 (CD)

Genre: Pop/Rock
Release Date: 17th November 2014

Label: Gonzo
Catalogue Number: GZO106CD
Price: £9.99
Available: In stock


Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band - Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver 1973

Don Van Vliet (born Don Glen Vliet; January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010) was an American musician, singer-songwriter, artist and poet known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work was conducted with a rotating ensemble of musicians called the Magic Band (1965–1982), with whom he recorded 13 studio albums. Noted for his powerful singing voice with its wide range, Van Vliet also played the harmonica, saxophone and numerous other wind instruments. His music blended rock, blues and psychedelia with avant-garde and contemporary experimental composition. Beefheart was also known for exercising an almost dictatorial control over his supporting musicians, and for often constructing myths about his life.

During his teen years in Lancaster, California, Van Vliet developed an eclectic musical taste and formed ‘a mutually useful but volatile’ friendship with Frank Zappa, with whom he sporadically competed and collaborated. He began performing with his Captain Beefheart persona in 1964 and joined the original Magic Band line-up, initiated by Alexis Snouffer, in 1965. The group drew attention with their cover of Bo Diddley's Diddy Wah Diddy, which became a regional hit. It was followed by their acclaimed debut album Safe as Milk, released in 1967 on Buddah Records. After being dropped by two consecutive record labels, they signed to Zappa's Straight Records. As producer, Zappa granted Beefheart unrestrained artistic freedom in making 1969's Trout Mask Replica, which ranked 58th in Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 1974, frustrated by lack of commercial success, he released two albums of more conventional rock music that were critically panned; this move, combined with not having been paid for a European tour, and years of enduring Beefheart's abusive behavior, led the entire band to quit. Beefheart eventually formed a new Magic Band with a group of younger musicians and regained contemporary approval through three final albums: Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (1978), Doc at the Radar Station (1980) and Ice Cream for Crow (1982)

Van Vliet has been described as ‘...one of modern music's true innovators’ with ‘...a singular body of work virtually unrivalled in its daring and fluid creativity.’ Although he achieved little commercial or mainstream critical success, he sustained a cult following as a ‘highly significant’ and ‘incalculable’ influence on an array of New Wave, punk, post-punk, experimental and alternative rock musicians. Known for his enigmatic personality and relationship with the public, Van Vliet made few public appearances after his retirement from music (and from his Beefheart persona) in 1982. He pursued a career in art, an interest that originated in his childhood talent for sculpture, and a venture that proved to be his most financially secure. His expressionist paintings and drawings command high prices, and have been exhibited in art galleries and museums across the world. Van Vliet died in 2010, having suffered from multiple sclerosis for many years.

This extraordinary record catches the Captain at his best; live on stage in 1973. Someone who was in the audience that night later wrote: “The Captain Beefheart show was beyond my expectations, it washed over us with a magic gumbo of free-jazz, swampy blues, avante garde squawking and punky insolence. We loved it. We didn't know what it was, but we loved it. Captain Beefheart was at least twice as old as most of us in the room, but that wasn't an issue, not in the least. It rocked our world.”


Tracks:
  1. Suction Prints
  2. Low Yo Yo Stuff
  3. Nowadays and 
  4. Woman's Gotta Hit a Man
  5. Abba Zabba
  6. Band Intro (without Alex St. Clair)
  7. Sugar 'n' Spikes
  8. Peon
  9. I'm Gonna Booglarize
  10. You Baby
  11. Old Black Snake
  12. Alice in Blunderland
  13. I'm a King/Sugar
  14. Mama
  15. Mirror Man
  16. Big Eyed Beans from Venus
  17. Golden Birdies

 



 Review: BELGIAN BEEFHEART REVIEW


 

Captain Beefheart: SOMEWHERE IN VANCOUVER 1973
12/28/2014
 
Mankind will not really awake the death of Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart. But the hippie generation knows him from his experimental blues and his friendship with Frank Zappa. Raw vocals and rhythmic antics were characterized by an eccentric. However, early eighties, he finally took leave of music to focus entirely on art. Too little commercial success (and not paid for a European tour) and later health problems forced him to stop. Multiple Sclerosis he was ultimately fatal in 2010 at the age of 69. His legacy consisted of 13 non-commercial LPs but also a large number of lucrative paintings and sculptures. The last years were spent in a wheelchair, a swan song.
The live performance that will see the light of day on the famous Gonzo Multimedia label, unfortunately does not stand out enough of purity. It's an obscure amateur recording (at that time the technology could hardly be otherwise) which was made a bootleg album from. And it appears finally on CD, without digital processing.
'This extraordinary record catches the Captain at his best; live on stage in 1973. Someone who was in the audience That Night later wrote: "The Captain Beefheart show was beyond my expectations, it washed over us with a magic gumbo or free jazz, swampy blues, avante garde squawking and punky insolence. We loved it. We did not know what it was, but we loved it. Captain Beefheart was at least twice as old as most of us in the room, but tat was not an issue, not in the least. It rocked our world. "
Frank Zappa fan, I can follow the Captain and his former fans. He tried to reconcile white blues and psychedelia with substandard Zappa freaking. And that this was not always chewed as well, and therefore spewed soon, was obvious. But a live performance was a big party in the seventies, angrily associated with an amount of spiritual resources. Captain Beefheart's excesses went at that time or in like hot cake. The disillusionment came the next morning though.
Time image on this CD, everything and anything goes, it is also true completely. And this is perhaps the only reason why you can spend a few dollars on this disc.

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