Captain Beefheart - Trout Mask Replica (1969)

Vintage

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Whether by detour or design, the antics of Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart were enough to fan the flames of the misdirected idealism that eerily seeped out from the neo-hippie movement of the late 60s. Who knows, maybe they just didn’t get the punch line. Regardless, Zappa’s We're Only In It For The Money and Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica would go on to squash every preconceived notion of flower power, love, peace and other such nonsense. Close observers simply needed to read between the lines.

Where Zappa more or less zapped the whole free love faction straight between the eyes, Beefheart — with a little friendly chiding from the late and great FZ — chose to do things a little more outside of the box. Together with the latest line-up of the Magic Band (Zoot Horn on glass finger guitar and flute; Antennae Jimmy Semens on steel-appendage guitar; The Mascara Snake on bass clarinet and vocals; Rockette Morton on bass and narration (?); and Drumbo on drums), Beefheart and Zappa turned Trout Mask Replica into a veritable hootenanny that flings and dangles like a strange and exotic concoction of country, blues, free-form jazz and boogie woogie — altogether confounding, innovative, unsurpassed and fleetingly obnoxious.

They say in order to effectively break the rules you have to know the rules. Without Zappa behind the boards, the whole Magic Band could have easily been mistaken for a group of drunken chimpanzees aimlessly bashing away, clueless of how melody and harmony are supposed to embrace the working parts of the “song.” Oh, the Magic Band could play — they just had their own way of going about it. And let’s face it: wrapping any semblance of cohesiveness around the twisted words of something like “Frownland” or “Moonlight On Vermont” can’t be the easiest thing in the world to do.

After a while, the intricacies of the instrumentation start to shine through while Beefheart’s psycho-derelict lyrics almost begin to make sense. “Old Fart At Play” is poetic and ingenious. “China Pig” — crude, yet endearing. The banter of “Neon Meate Dream Of A Octafish”…uh, I still need a little more time to figure this one out. Clearly, records like Trout Mask Replica are off-limits to tender ears with big hearts and dancing shoes. That alone is reason enough to savor this 28-track train wreck, and never give it a second thought.
 
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Foxhound

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Re: Captain Beefheart ~Trout Mask Replica

Regardless, Zappa’s We're Only In It For The Money and Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica would go on to squash every preconceived notion of flower power, love, peace and other such nonsense.

Right on! I've always loved the cover of "Trout Mask Replica" as well.

:heheh:
 

rtbuck

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Re: Captain Beefheart ~Trout Mask Replica

I always loved this album. My favorite track would be "The Dust Blows Forward 'n the Dust Blows Back" . I love putting this album on to wake up my wife on Sunday mornings
 

Magic

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Re: Captain Beefheart ~Trout Mask Replica

Very interesting review. I cannot comment for I have not listened to this album, yet. But as a general rule, I do like the outcome of Captain Beefheart's madness and mayhem.
 

rtbuck

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Re: Captain Beefheart ~Trout Mask Replica

Madness & Mayhem is a perfect description of this album!! I'm just psyched someone else here has this album Great write up!
 

Magic

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Re: Captain Beefheart ~Trout Mask Replica

Ha ha! If you are psyched, Bucky, I will get this album then toss in my two cents worth in a few days :D
 

rtbuck

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Re: Captain Beefheart ~Trout Mask Replica

Magic this line from Vintage's review sums it up:
"Clearly, records like Trout Mask Replica are off-limits to tender ears with big hearts and dancing shoes."

Magic, Be Afraid Be very afraid!!
 

Sweaty

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Re: Captain Beefheart ~Trout Mask Replica

Gotta really listen to it man, takes some getting into, bongo fury man is good too...
 

Sox

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Re: Captain Beefheart ~Trout Mask Replica

Dachau Blues, Frownland, Bills Corpse. It`s a smoker.
 

Sweaty

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Re: Captain Beefheart ~Trout Mask Replica

I remember Peel on C4's top 100 albums with Louise Weener as a guest presenter, she had not a clue about this gem and Peel said that everybody should know this album, what a hoot, he was really miffed. Good times man.
 

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