Thursday, March 19, 2009

Never Get Out Of The Boat!- Early Beefheart

Captain Beefheart
(download on original blog)

The Revenant Demos (1965-1967)
The Evolution Of A Weird Blues Band

A collection of demos from Captain Beefheart's early days as a budding blues man, circa '65-'67. This set comes from Revenant Records' Grow Fins box set, a massive collection of rarities put together by various members of The Magic Band. Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of the box - too many muddy live recordings for my tastes. But, along with the cool disc of Trout Mask Replica rehearsal takes is this disc of mostly well-recorded demos, featuring a slew of Van Vliet originals and a few Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker covers.

Obeah Man (1966 Demo) (2:49)
Just Got Back From The City (1966 Demo) (1:56)
I'm Glad (1966 Demo) (3:48)
Triple Combination (1966 Demo) (2:51)
Here I Am I Always Am (Early 1966 Demo) (3:16)
Here I Am I Always Am (Late 1966 Demo) (2:35)
Somebody In My Home (1966 Live) (2:49)
Tupelo (1966 Live) (4:10)
Evil Is Going On (1966 Live) (2:34)
Old Folks Boogie (1967 Live) (3:07)
Call On Me (1965 Acetate Demo) (3:04)
Sure Nuff N Yes I Do (1967 Acetate Demo) (2:11)
Yellow Brick Road (1967 Acetate Demo) (1:39)
Plastic Factory (1967 Acetate Demo) (2:53)

Posted by Willard at 2:29 AM


Slarty Bartfast said...
I have the box set, and I rarely listen to it. It's a missed opportunity. The video clips, in this YouTube era, are a waste of space. I don't get much from the vox-free Trout Mask sessions, either ... never had any trouble picking out the instruments on the album. All this, plus graphic design by a ten-year old. Still, the text is great, and so are a handful of cuts which you've cherry-picked for us here ... nice work! Thanks.

March 18, 2009
Willard said...
I was so stoked to fork over the dough for this one when it came out and had pretty much the same reaction as you. I'd give a little more credit to the box design and there are a handful of fun live moments buried within the five discs... but you've hit the nail on the head - it's a missed opportunity. You used the word cherry-picked. This post is just disc one, put perhaps you're right... a good going over and a "best of the box" single disc might be a better post. If I can get through it, maybe someday. Thanks for commenting.

March 18, 2009
Slarty Bartfast said...
I like the box design, as a package, well enough. I hate the graphic design of the book - it's hard to read, and self-consciously "challenging" or "weird", as if the deisgner is striving for something Beefheartian. The layout and color separations are crude to the point of insult, and the stock is that horrible gloss art that goes against the archival feel of the package. Also, the focus on the Trout Mask sessions (using outtakes from the cover shoots as the pack image) sidelines the other material. I know it's a labor of love that we're all supposed to be grateful for, but it left hardcore Beefheart fans (are there any other?) feeling strangely short-changed. This is *not* the Beefheart Box we all wanted, and that does this extraordinary band justice.

A "best of the box" is a nice idea though ... when you have the time!

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