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Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

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Lancaster CA, United States (1965 – 1982)

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band were an American band who created music that has occasionally been dubbed “-”. Their music was characterized by bluesy melodies, shambolic instrumentation, idiosyncratic, unbound timings, the growls and shrieks of Beefheart’s vocals and his surreal, poetic lyrics. Throughout their career, the band’s musical direction was tightly controlled by Don van Vliet (1941 - 2010), aka Captain Beefheart, who subjected the band to intense regimes of rehearsal; this tension combined with poor salary contributing to the break-up of the original Magic Band. Beefheart reformed a new band of musicians under the name, but left the music industry for good in 1982 to pursue his career as a painter.

With the exception of British disc jockey John Peel, they saw little critical endorsement or recognition in their years active, but their influence was highly significant; to later artists such as The Residents and Tom Waits, as well as to the movement, which appreciated both their stripped-down sound and Van Vliet’s unleashed, expressive vocal delivery. In recent years their importance has been acknowledged by the mainstream music press, with Trout Mask Replica (1969) reaching number 58 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list (beating albums like Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti and John Lennon’s Imagine). In 1988 Fast N Bulbous: A Tribute to Captain Beefheart, was released, featuring such diverse artists as XTC, Sonic Youth and The Mock Turtles.

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  • aldrignedigen

    Laughed my ass off when I first heard the vox. It is something!

    30 Jun 6:37am Reply
  • Mampato

    Fellow Beefheartarians! Are you up your own arse? Join my group 'I Have "Chronic Up-One's-Own-Arse Syndrome.' - http://www.last.fm/group/I+Have+%27Chronic+Up-One%27s-Own-Arse+Syndrome%27

    17 Jun 10:54pm Reply
  • mrmocha

    Hyperbole is strong in this shoutbox.

    1 Jun 4:26pm Reply
  • clintbeed6793

    http://www.last.fm/group/Doc+at+the+Radar+Station Group I just made for Doc at the Radar Station!

    29 May 5:44am Reply
  • AniRockAniMetal

    Lepiej już być nie może.

    28 May 9:07pm Reply
  • clintbeed6793

    Doc At The Radar Station is a fucking masterpiece. Definitely my pick for best Beefheart album.

    23 May 3:42am Reply
  • Grandpa_Seth

    ughh tisss ugggghhhhh tisss fuck me hard. CB&HMB are legends. - gs3k

    21 May 1:06am Reply
  • Sanity_Theorist

    I decided to try listening through Trout Mask replica...after 14 minutes, nothing made sense to me anymore.

    19 May 7:38pm Reply
  • rhayader18

    I just wanted to take back my minor complaint about TMR having some filler. It does not. It is a fucking perfect masterpiece.

    13 May 11:13am Reply
  • dr_bun

    amen to sunheadbowed

    6 May 12:44pm Reply
  • ejaculadhesive

    WOE IS UH ME BOP WOE IS UH ME BOP WOE

    5 May 3:09pm Reply
  • sunheadbowed

    I agree with Mampato that I find Ice Cream for Crow slightly filler-ish. I mean, by anyone else's standards the album is outstanding, but I find it slightly disappointing by Beefheart standards. I prefer the two preceding albums as far as the late-period stuff goes. I do not believe there's any filler on Trout Mask Replica at all, and Hair Pie is an essential part of the puzzle. The Zappa anti-production is one of those situations where we can never really know if the album could have sounded even better with a more produced sound, but I'd think it's unlikely it would have sounded quite so special any other way than it is. And I find that Don's primitive and primal sax playing is perfect for the album; the sax at the end of Ant Man Bee is one of the highlights of the whole album -- I can't imagine it not being there. And nostalgia-rush -- people like you are so fucking pointless. You are unoriginal and insecure.

    3 May 6:10pm Reply
  • clintbeed6793

    Whether it's the hipster thing to do or not is really irrelevant. It doesn't change the fact that Beefheart will always be one of the greatest music groups of all time.

    30 Apr 5:02am Reply
  • epicmeme

    2fastandbulbous4you

    31 Mar 12:36am Reply
  • rhayader18

    @nostalgia-rush: Not exactly, but it's so cool that you don't get Beefheart's music :)

    28 Mar 7:08pm Reply
  • Mampato

    And some people fallaciously think that this music is gimmicky and trendy. That could not be further from the truth - it has more substance than practically all other rock music. It is a shame to encounter so much shallow contrarianism on this website.

    27 Mar 7:00pm Reply
  • nostalgia-rush

    people seem to think it's trendy and cool to listen to this god-awful band

    26 Mar 11:03pm Reply
  • deadite137

    leaking tattered notebook paper light stained overexposed shattered noise soaked broken butterfly kisses drone if.there.is.still.light https://spinalchord13.bandcamp.com/album/if-there-is-still-light

    18 Mar 8:02pm Reply
  • erikngn

    Друг преподнес их под предлогом "самого упоротого рока". Доставляет который день, особенно Trout Mask Replica.

    10 Mar 12:54pm Reply
  • Amrabart

    keep calm and listen to Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

    8 Mar 11:26am Reply
  • All 2572 shouts