Search - Captain Beefheart :: Legendary a&M Sessions

Legendary a&M Sessions
Captain Beefheart
Legendary a&M Sessions
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (5) - Disc #1

Before Safe As Milk and prior to the San Francisco Dance Concert boom of 1966, Beefheart and his early Magic Band recorded several sides for the fledging A&M Records of Los Angeles. Produced by David Gates.


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CD Details

All Artists: Captain Beefheart
Title: Legendary a&M Sessions
Members Wishing: 8
Total Copies: 0
Label: Edsel Records UK
Release Date: 11/10/1998
Album Type: Import
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Blues Rock, Progressive, Progressive Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 5014757179020, 182478400626, 766483068929, 766488741421


Album Description
Before Safe As Milk and prior to the San Francisco Dance Concert boom of 1966, Beefheart and his early Magic Band recorded several sides for the fledging A&M Records of Los Angeles. Produced by David Gates.

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CD Reviews

Short but Sweet
J. B Brent | Oak Ridge, Tennessee USA | 09/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The entire album is less than 12 minutes long, but these 5 songs are true classics. "Diddy Wah Diddy" and "Who Do You Think You're Fooling" were on A&M single # 794. "Moonchild" and "Frying Pan" appeared on single # 818, while the fifth track was previously unreleased, although a promo 45 is supposed to exist. These 45s came out in the mid-60s, but the album wasn't released on vinyl until 1984 (A&M 12510). The original 45s are rare collectors items, so it's great to get these tunes on CD. Buy this one, definitely."
Captain Beefheart: The Legendary A&M Sessions
Matt | 03/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"So, you're a Captain Beefheart fanatic. And you have this girlfriend--she's really great--and you really don't want anything to go wrong*. You know you can't hide your love of the Captain from her forever; but at the same time, you know that not everyone loves Captain Beefheart on the first listen, and you also know that you won't be able to go on with her if she says anything disparaging about the Captain. I mean, you just won't be able to love her anymore. So the question becomes: what is the best way to introduce her to the Captain so as to minimize the chances of an unpleasant scene? "The Legendary A&M Sessions," friend, is it. These five songs add up to a mere 11 mins. and 45 seconds altogether. There is nothing too experimental about them. They are just five simple, absolute gems--shining examples of that amazing music that they used to call R&B. A Bo Diddley cover and four Van Vliet originals. Just sit your girl down, put this thing on, and cross your fingers. Don't worry--there's no way she won't love it. Once she's hooked, of course, you can slowly turn her on to Clear Spot, Safe As Milk, and eventually even Trout Mask Replica (but don't rush things--remember, this girl is really perfect). But, if for any reason she *doesn't* love it, kick her out the door and don't think twice. Don't feel bad about it! This is the Captain...nothing should come between a person and his Captain Beefheart collection.

*Please feel free replace all instances of "girlfriend" with "boyfriend," and of "she" with "he," etc., as your gender may require."
The Beef starts here...
ewomack | MN USA | 02/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This CD contains the first ever "official" release of "Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band" (later changed to "Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band") and Don Van Vliet's first official song release, "Who Do You Think You're Fooling". What an entrance. All of the songs, except maybe "Moonchild", showcase the skills of the early Beefheart: his amazing gravel-textured engine-roaring vocals that sound like a voice singing through fire; the skippy rock rhythms and catchy twangy guitar riffs; and the first stirrings of Van Vliet's ultimate lyrical direction.

The first four songs were released in 1966 on two separate 45 rpm singles after the band grabbed a deal with the then neophyte label A&M. The first of these, a cover of Bo Diddley's "Diddy Wah Diddy", is an unappreciated rock and blues masterpiece. The imposing fuzz bass adds a touch of psychedelia to the mix, but the song feels more like blues rock than "Incense and Peppermints". Its Van Vliet composed B-Side, "Who Do You Think You're Fooling", feels like the Beefheart to come. The same can be said for "Frying Pan", another Van Vliet composition, with its skippy and catchy melodies. Strangely, "Frying Pan" served as B-Side to the less inspired "Moonchild" written by David Gates, who produced the A&M sessions and later fronted the group Bread. The song sounds like a blatant attempt at a 1960s hit. Complete with mysterious lyrics that don't add up to much and gratuitous reverb-drenched vocals. It's by no means terrible, but it lacks the energy of the other songs on the CD. The final song "Here I Am I Always Am" was lost for decades in a vault and first released with this collection (originally on a vinyl EP in 1984). It's one of the CD's best songs. The plucky guitars presage the future, and it's hopelessly catchy and addicting. Also, listen closely to the lyrics: a few Beefheartisms lurk there.

Though the 1966 singles spawned no hits, they did vibrate the cochleas of one John Peel, then working in California. Peel managed to get "Diddy Wah Ditty" on rotation, but sales didn't follow. Not long after "Moonchild" flopped, The Magic Band and A&M split.

This is a great collection of songs, and a great start to an amazing recording career that didn't end until Van Vliet's self-imposed musical exile in 1982. As this CD proves, he came in as he went out: with a huge bang."