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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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  • sunheadbowed

    I'm excited about Sun Zoom Spark, but I've heard all of the unreleased tracks many times, as they've been circulating on bootlegs forever. It'll be great to own LMDOB on CD, though! I've owned it on vinyl for ages, but it'll be good to also have it on CD.

    21 Nov 10:42am Reply
  • avantish

    Hell yes, very excited about that! I would love to own Lick My Decals separately as well. But because of the outtakes/new songs and we finally get Decals on CD, i think it's totally worth it.

    15 Nov 11:26pm Reply
  • Mampato

    Anyone excited about this? - I was sceptical initially in that I thought that it was just a way of being duped into paying more for a CD reissue of Lick My Decals (an album I would adore to own, instead of having the mp3s). It pissed me off that they couldn't just package it separately. I wouldn't want to fork money for reissues of Spotlight Kid/Clear Spot, either. The outtakes look REALLY alluring, though. Check out this previously unreleased song. It's probably the first time I've heard a Beefheart track for the first time since the age of fifteen! - (scroll down)

    11 Nov 7:51pm Reply
  • rhayader18

    The original Bat Chain Puller blew my mind today

    27 Oct 9:28pm Reply
  • PewSky

    Abba Zaba - прям ня

    12 Oct 7:25am Reply
  • HaHaHaYoureDead

    при том, что он гений, несомненно, думаю, в его музыке слишком много изобретательности, и слишком мало всего остального.

    20 Jul 1:31pm Reply
  • 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.' -

    17 Jun 10:54pm Reply
  • mrmocha

    Hyperbole is strong in this shoutbox.

    1 Jun 4:26pm Reply
  • clintbeed6793 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


    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


    31 Mar 12:36am Reply
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