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  • Release Date

    September 1980

  • Length

    12 tracks

Doc at the Radar Station is the eleventh studio album by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, released in August 1980 to critical acclaim.

Although about half of the album's songs are based on old musical ideas, Mike Barnes states that "most of the revamping work built on skeletal ideas and fragments … would have mouldered away in the vaults had they not been exhumed and transformed into full-blown, totally convincing new material"
The album cover was painted by Don Van Vliet. It was placed at number forty-nine on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Album Covers.
The tracks "A Carrot is as Close as a Rabbit Gets to a Diamond", "Flavor Bud Living" and "Brickbats" were originally intended and recorded for the proposed album Bat Chain Puller but it wasn't released due to Frank Zappa owning the master tapes as DiscReet cofounders Herb Cohen and Zappa feuded over the production of the album, because Cohen funded the production with Zappa's royalty checks.

Former drummer of the Magic Band John French plays slide guitar, guitar, bass, and drums on the tracks "Ashtray Heart" and "Sheriff of Hong Kong" and marimba on "Making Love To A Vampire With A Monkey On My Knee".
In 2011, 4 Men with Beards released a 180-gram version of the album, distributed by City Hall Records.

Track listing
All tracks written by Don Van Vliet.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Hot Head" 3:23
2. "Ashtray Heart" 3:25
3. "A Carrot Is as Close as a Rabbit Gets to a Diamond" 1:38
4. "Run Paint Run Run" 3:40
5. "Sue Egypt" 2:57
6. "Brickbats" 2:40
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Dirty Blue Gene" 3:51
2. "Best Batch Yet" 5:02
3. "Telephone" 1:31
4. "Flavor Bud Living" 1:00
5. "Sheriff of Hong Kong" 6:34
6. "Making Love to a Vampire with a Monkey on My Knee" 3:11
Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) – vocals, Chinese gongs, harmonica, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet
John French – slide guitar, guitar, bass, drums (on "Ashtray Heart" and "Sheriff of Hong Kong"), marimba (on "Making Love To A Vampire With A Monkey On My Knee")
Jeff Moris Tepper – slide guitar, guitar, nerve guitar
Eric Drew Feldman – synthesizer, bass, mellotron, grand piano, electric piano
Robert Arthur Williams – drums
Additional personnel
Gary Lucas – guitar (on "Flavor Bud Living"), French horn (on "Best Batch Yet")
Bruce Lambourne Fowler – trombone (on "Run Paint Run Run")

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