Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Wonderful music but a flawed re-issue
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Apparently there is a lot of interest in this band, the nucleus of Capt'n Beefheart's Magic Band from the glory years. I still have (and cherish) the two albums (vinyl) released in 1975 and 1977, "Mallard", and "In a Different Climate."I haven't found this CD yet, but I must say the track list is puzzling. It seems to contain all but the last two cuts from the first lp [Mallard],leaving off the instrumental "peon" and including what appears to be an ellision of "Winged Tuskadero" (from the first) and "Heartstrings" (from the second. What's going on here? The anthology leaves out the entire first side of "Different Climate," which is a shame since it includes "Green Coyote" and "Your Face on Someone Else," the latter being one of the most haunting songs about alienation and loss I've ever heard.In essense, this collection represents their first album, with a smattering of material from their second. Why it uses the title of the second, I do not know. This is a flawed reissue, if the track list represented here is accurate.So anyway, ditto on most comments by other writers regarding the music. Virgin (or maybe Rhino, who knows how to do these things) should re-issue these as a two-fer and include all the materials. It's worth it.-ptw-"
Flawed,yes,but more than worth it
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mallard was a band too far ahead of its time. Groove-oriented bands of today would do well to listen to this CD. The omission of so much of In a Different Climate is a huge oversight, but nonetheless this music will move you,warts and all. Two corrections on earlier reviews: Zoot Horn Rollo was Bill Harkleroad's most known'Beefheart name',and Trout Mask Replica and Lick my Decals Off,Baby are definitely NOT recordings that most people will play at home a lot. They are for people who already like something of the weird in their diet. VERY avant-garde sounding,any attempt to present them as listenable to John Q. Public is pure hype,likely from an adoring fan. Many more accessible Captain Beefheart recordings exist-almost all of them,in fact. Mallard,by contrast,is a more conventional-sounding group,though not without some very juicy 'out' moments. The musical digressions and extended codas found on this recording resolve quite satisfyingly and congruently,despite wandering in some interesting and exotic musical territory. The singer's somewhat gruff delivery is a distraction for some,but I find it to be good counterpoint to the intellectualism of the rest of the band. All in all,this music has a collage feel to it,a union of sometimes disparate elements. The innate musicality and obvious dedication to soundcraft link these fresh juxtapositions(20 years hence!)in a way that is irresistable to me. I just absolutely wore this one out when I had it on cassette. I was thrilled to finally find a CD reissue. If you listen to 'jam bands',and/or like the music of Little Feat,Frank Zappa,or Captain Beefheart,there will definitely be something of interest here. I also consider it likely that a fair amount of folks would fall obsessively in love with it,as I have."
The musical magic behind Beefheart
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This "phoenix" of a band arose out of the ashes of the Magic Band after they split with the enigmatic Captain Beefheart. Alas, their flight was short. It's so easy to hear, in their music, the chemistry that provided the platform that made Beefheart's contribution to this genre so memorable. This is definitely not easy listening. It has most kinship with the likes of Zappa and early Little Feat. Bill Harkleroad (aka winged eel fingerling) is truly an original, and IMHO one of the most underrated musicians around. Listen, you'll like it."