Monday, March 11, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Trout Mask Replica" (1969)

"Trout Mask Replica" - Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band (1969)

Okay, borrowing a line that Joe Pesci used in an Oliver Stone film..."It's a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma."  And that pretty much describes "Trout Mask Replica" right down to the gnarly fish lips.  I had been forewarned what to expect, but since I knew I was going to find this album eventually, I waited until I could actually spin the dang thing for myself before listening to it.  The album is crazy weird, but wonderfully so.  And not quickly accessible.  "Trout Mask Replica" is the absolute definition of a grower.  Appreciation by repeat spins.  Listen... and then back away slowly.  Sometimes, I like the weird shit.  My copy is a 1989 reissue and I'm keeping it.

Will you like it?  If you're open to the avant-garde weirdness of artists like Frank Zappa...perhaps.  The Captain is a little bit like that.  Coming off less jazzy though and more from a blues-rock mind.  But that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of this album.  That this was recorded and released in 1969 makes me pause as well.  So enter at your own risk.
(FWIW...Rolling Stone ranked "TMR" #60 on their list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.)

"Trout Mask Replica" (back)

"Trout Mask Replica" (inside gatefold)

Reprise Records (Blue/Yellow steamboat) 

"Pachuco Cadaver" - Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band / "Trout Mask Replica" (1969)

A1  "Frownland" 1:39
A2  "The Dust Blows Forward 'n the Dust Blows Back" 2:04
A3  "Dachau Blues" 2:21
A4  "Ella Guru" 2:23
A5  "Hair Pie: Bake 1" 4:57
A6  "Moonlight on Vermont" 3:55
B1  "Pachuco Cadaver" 4:37
B2  "Bills Corpse" 1:47
B3  "Sweet Sweet Bulbs" 2:17
B4  "Neon Meate Dream of a Octafish" 2:25
B5  "China Pig" 3:56 
B6  "My Human Gets Me Blues" 2:42
B7  "Dali's Car" 1:25
C1  "Hair Pie: Bake 2" 2:23
C2  "Pena" 2:31
C3  "Well" 2:05
C4  "When Big Joan Sets Up" 5:19
C5  "Fallin' Ditch" 2:03
C6  "Sugar 'n Spikes" 2:29
C7  "Ant Man Bee" 3:55
D1  "Orange Claw Hammer" 3:35
D2  "Wild Life" 3:07
D3  "She's Too Much for My Mirror" 1:42
D4  "Hobo Chang Ba" 2:01
D5  "The Blimp (Mousetrapreplica)" 2:04
D6  "Steal Softly Thru Snow" 2:13
D7  "Old Fart at Play" 1:54
D8  "Veteran's Day Poppy" 4:30

Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) - vocals, spoken word, tenor sax, soprano sax, bass clarinet, musette, Simran, hunting horn, jingle bells, producer (uncredited), engineer (uncredited)
Drumbo - drums, percussion, engineer (uncredited on the original), arrangement (uncredited)
Antennae Jimmy Semens - guitar, steel appendage guitar, vocals 
Zoot Horn Rollo - guitar, glass finger guitar, flute
Rockette Morton - bass, spoken word
The Mascara Snake - bass clarinet, b-vocals, spoken voice
Doug Moon - acoustic guitar
Gary "Magic" Marker - bass
Roy Estrada - bass guitar
Arthur Tripp III - drums and percussion
Don Preston - piano
Ian Underwood and Bunk Gardner - alto and tenor saxophones
Buzz Gardner - trumpet
Richard "Dick" Kunc - spoken voice
Frank Zappa - speaking voice on "Pena" and "The Blimp" (uncredited); engineer (uncredited); producer

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

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