6 January 2013

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Safe As Milk


I was hoping to be reviewing Trout Mask Replica by this band, but I will have to wait a little bit for that.  So I am going to start at the beginning with the first album by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band. Originally released in 1967 to a great round of indifference, this was the brain child of Frank Zappa's childhood friend and sometimes enemy Don Glen Vliet - aka Captain Beefheart. 

It is strange to be listening to work that was released that is 45 years old at the date of this blog.  Looking back on it now it seems a little tame in someways.  It is nowhere near as out there as later works, but it is so heavy in the delta blues it is very hard not to fall in love with this record.  Beefheart's voice is almost majestic at times on this, the guitar playing of Ry Cooder is also fantastic.

The album seems to have a very to have such a positive atmosphere that it is slightly unnerving.  Whenever I have listened to the Captain in the past I have been very scared. He is not the most easy person to listen to at time, but there is always something that made me come back for more.  No idea what it is, but I would find myself wanting to get what was going on.  I have a feeling if you start here, the rest of the journey is almost laid out.  Underneath all the nice music there is the dark current, the lyrics and feel that something else is coming.

If you are new to the Beefheart experience this is the place to start.  If you go straight to Trout Mask Replica you will more than likely end up under a bridge trying to stop billy goats and muttering strange words in your sleep such as meh-man.  As an album it is very enjoyable, and the Black Keys have a huge debt to this man.  But if blues with a different twist is not your thing, you might want to look elsewhere.  This is not for everyone, but that is the point. Everyone can come, but only the open minded will stay.

7 out of ten - This is good and well worth a check


You can purchase from here

You can listen to it on Spotify here

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