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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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  • 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
  • fimikfimik

    Grown So Ugly - shit, that song's chorus is about me

    15 Mar 11:39am 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
  • hairpolice

    Gorguts

    7 Mar 2:19pm Reply
  • majo334

    .......ab-baaaa zaab-aaaa zooooom.......

    1 Mar 10:04pm Reply
  • AngelOfDARK666x

    Nice! psychedelic stuff never fails to weird me out when high for some reason

    28 Feb 6:56am Reply
  • Steam-Reigns

    Gorguts should cover "Sheriff of Hong Kong".

    25 Feb 3:42pm Reply
  • rhayader18

    Yeah :D it just bugs me that he's often just seen as a weirdo who writes crazy music.

    21 Feb 10:12pm Reply
  • Mampato

    Let's face it, though, he was a pretty unusual guy...

    20 Feb 2:23pm Reply
  • rhayader18

    I don't think Beefheart was weird for weirdness' sake. His music is highly emotional.

    19 Feb 9:48pm Reply
  • beautifuldaddy

    it's perfectly valid to love it because it's weird, and I don't think beefheart ever loses his weirdness

    18 Feb 4:40pm Reply
  • rhayader18

    v it gets much much weirder than this (try Stockhausen, Royal Trux, Metal Machine Trio, Varese, etc) but it's all only weird as long as you don't understand it. The weirdest thing is to love something just because it's too weird for you.

    18 Feb 12:51pm Reply
  • starbearer-

    doesn't get much weirder than this, which is exactly why I love it so.

    17 Feb 3:45pm Reply
  • beautifuldaddy

    I don't think there's a song in TMR I actually dislike, but there are some that I don't feel strongly about

    14 Feb 4:14am Reply
  • Mampato

    Bake 2, for me, is one of the album's highlights. I just think that Don's decision to play sax on the album was a mistake to begin with. What I DO like about the track is that you get a case study recording of what it was like to live in the house. That's the kind of production I think Zappa was vying for in the album.

    13 Feb 5:03pm Reply
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