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Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band: Somewhere Over Vancouver

There is no doubting Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band were one of a kind. During the course of their career the band released thirteen studio albums, the last being Ice Cream Cow released in 1982.

The band's explorations in psychedelic avant-garde blues rock was completely innovative at the time and as such there music isn't for everyone. Captain Beefheart himself, aka Don Glen Vliet, had as strange a vocal delivery as they come, with his raspy hoots, hollers and yelps. This vocal style will be a deal breaker for many.

The album was recorded in Vancouver at the Commodore Ballroom in 1973, capturing the band in their prime.

The chaos begins with the experimental instrumental tracks "Hair Pie: Bake III" and "Suction Prints", all nonsensical guitar chords and jam style noodlings although the band does strike some pretty cool chord progressions. My major complaint is the muffled sound quality as it is generally quite poor, often sounding like a bootleg recording.

Other notables include the gritty psychedelic blues of "Low Yo Yo Stuff" and the searing harmonica in the heavy blues rock of "Nowadays A Woman's Gotta Hit A Man".

"Mirror Man" has a bluesy jam band groove with nice harp and chaotic guitar soloing although overstays its welcome at almost ten minutes long.

I have to admit this was a bit hit and miss for me. While I appreciate the influence this band had and their penchant for deviating from the norm, the sound quality is so rough my enjoyment was limited. Still, you have to give Gonzo Multimedia credit for dusting off the vaults and giving the fans another live album to add to the collection.

Track Listing:
1. Hair Pie: Bake III
2. Suction Prints
3. Low Yo Yo Stuff
4. Nowadays A Woman's Gotta Hit A Man
5. Abba Zaba
6. Band Intro
7. Sugar 'N Spikes
8. Peon
9. I'm Gonna Booglarize You Baby
10. Old Black Snake
11. Alice In Blunderland
12. I'm A King Bee
13. Sugar Mama
14. Mirror Man
15. Big Eyed Beans From Venus
16. Golden Birdies

Added: February 22nd 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 1558
Language: english

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