May 07

Tanya’s Army Of Awfulness: CAPTAIN BEEFHEART

FT + I Hate Music10 comments • 2,358 views


Do I have to write any words at all?

Surely John Peel’s love for Don Van Vliet says it all. Surely the sunken hearts of every teenager who bought Trout Mask Replica in the belief it was the best album ever, only to realise it was a collection of sixth form poetry and farm noises says it all. Surely the fact that John Harris recently decided it was alright said it was alright for the rest of the universe to pull back and reveal it was all just ONE BIG JOKE ON PUDDING BOWL HAIRCUTTED WORZEL GUMMIDGE.

There really isn’t anything I need to say to persuade anyone, surely, that Beefy is a pile of old toss. OK if you want to get a selection of poor third hand blues numbers mixed with sea shanties which would get your arsed kicked from here to Portsmouth Docks if you actually sung them to a sailor. Actually they would probably make Beefheart walk the plank too, the sound of which would probably be track thirteen off of one of his other interminable albums. It may not be his fault that he knew Zappa as a kid, but that is certainly no reason to let him produce your album. Did the Monkees let Charles Manson produce THEIR albums*? Did the Beatles let an absolutely loony and potential murderer produce one of their albums? Well, yes, but it was Let It Be, which stinks up their already stinky back catalogue. POINT IS, if you are shit to begin with, being produced by the Frank Zappa is certainly not going to help. Though in Beefheart’s case, only surgery and being locked in a padded, soundproof room would really help.

In a lot of ways I like Beefheart. Not the music. Heaven forfend. But there is a certainly glazed look you get from music fans, the morning after they have bought Trout Mask Replica. It is the glance of befuddlement, the disillusionment with this wondrous thing they thought the history of music was. They walked in to buy something that would give weight to their collection of Sum 41 albums, to suggest that they were now to be counted amongst the tasteful, respectful musicphiles. Instead they were left with a record they never wanted to play again. And the sense of being sold a pup. Or in this case a pup with diarrhea. Proof? Just look up the album on Ebay. See a copy ever go for more than a quid and you might also see Scooch have another hit single. Its that rare, because its that rubbish.

*Actually, perhaps they should have. Then their theme tune could have been

“Here they come, shambling down the street
There appear to be no legs attached to their feet”


  1. 1
    mark c on 30 May 2007 #

    I once banned a boyfriend from ever playing Captain Beefheart when I was in the house – it is the only artiste to receive such an honour, and I have gone out with people who like Celine Dion and the Mission…

  2. 2
    Rosalia on 1 Jun 2007 #

    I assure you I enjoy a lot this album. In my opinion is brilliant. You may not like it, it is ok if you don’t, it is a metter of taste.. But what you do here is very stupid. Actually, you are saying nothing and adorning/hiding this vaquity with your pretencious exageration.

  3. 3
    Phil on 7 Jun 2007 #

    What I find quite interesting is the fact that even though you apparently hate music, you still have an obsession with listening to the stuff. I hate onions, I don’t keep on eating all the different varieties …because it’s not pleasant for me. Ever considered getting help with your addiction to hatred? Or do you like hatred? Bevause if you like hatred surely you must like the stuff that you hate because it brings on hatred…which means in a funny roundabout kind of way you do infact love music.

    Kind regards.

  4. 4
    Dan on 22 Aug 2007 #

    A friend told me that ‘Trout Mask Replica’ is the best album ever written. I bought it and listened to it for days trying to ‘get it’, but eventually came to the conclusion that the album is either; complete rubbish, or goes right over my head.

  5. 5
    Lucien Francoeur on 11 Sep 2007 #

    if that album is so bad why do we see it on every list of the best 100 records of all time? i never bought it because the cover makes me sick although i understand that it is arty. you got my curiosity going in hating it so much: i will by it and see if i will hate it as much, or less or maybe i will like it, or may be love it (i doubt it ‘tough)

    rock desire

  6. 6
    triple-eggs on 11 Sep 2007 #

    Please tell us all what its like having no imagination, clear thoughtfulness, open-mindiness, passion, patience or taste. Your mentality is one of the main problems with the world, its also sadly common place in this day and age and through the medium of the internet. Every arsehole thinks just because their allowed to speak, they should, well you have just made a brilliant case for why some people shouldn’t. You have completely missed the point of the approach Captain Beefheart & the magic band were taking with this album. They were getting away from spoon feeding the plebs verse, chorus, verse, chorus, pretty melodies & militaristic chord changes. That approach has been taken since the begining of time, its banal & dehumanising. Your NOT supposed to analyse the MUSIC in a linear abc, 123 way, your supposed to let it wash over you as a whole, like a wave. The lyrics are the aspect you can, if you so wish, focus on, and in them you will find humanity, humour & undiluted thoughts & feelings. Top all that goodness & naturalness off with one of the most powerful in every sense of the word voices & extremeley dexteruss & dedicated musicians, playing notes in a way nobody on the planet has ever played before or since, and your quite clearly provided with one of the most ambitious & ground-breakingly important artistic & human statements a musical band has ever made. Its a cumulnation of several talents & ideas, focused in controlled freedom, resulting in a complete reworking & rethinking of how music should & could be played & recorded. It completed re-writes the rule book, by tearing it up, its like Redbull, it gives your mind wings.

  7. 7
    Alan on 11 Sep 2007 #

    music? i give it a 6.8 out of 10

  8. 8
    hal on 4 Oct 2007 #

    “It is not required that you have taste
    it is only required that you swallow.”

    Willy the Pimp

  9. 9
    Ulna Boar Rat on 10 Oct 2008 #

    Fodder sometimes this act wasted with respect he. The blocks that me the network was d’ to set out twice to practice around quelqu’ smoothly. Sunday l’ behind schedule beaten in an excellent storage in flicking of rue Hanbury in the signs again, playing with the scarfs of of the part and a yellow pair stilettoes, for great Emmy of looír (down) to only sing MINE with respect to the warehouse speakers. The time to eat for lunch of Friday I then on the homepage d’ one is a society of dril of cotton stops to the sign to only listen to Virgins arrived lambinant it to play. Or the precocious hours of this Wednesday the morning, when I sleep in had in fact to be he but to the Lagos that sings of the mission of l’ innocence of Canada on quelqu’ d’ another one ‘ ; to listened; s computer. ” ; It is are afraid but it can to me, ” ; to reach; it was. ” ; To row on the Lagos of the Canada that on the Lagos of Canada.” ; oar; That to show by these moments lambinés there. She to have invariably submerged in a meaning s’ to me; squashing d’ underachievement; qu’ eind-go-of-zomer-vakantie this when siéntelos you six realise the weeks going a pair more of sproeten must show and a capacity only open pie must tie the stems of cherry with its plate. Something is still, that stops genoegens simple, similar and the urged joy that contributed does not have to be said. The beauty and Sebastian put their fingers exceeds in 1998, in the song the waste of l’ summer, d’ a tribute to the corridors of river, of blue hemelen and to remain in summit the whole night: ” ; J’ they passed l’ squandering summer, ” ; they them met people, ” ; The time went so easy but that summer’ ; s wasted how come that j’ they could feel rather as much? ” ; In volwassenheid, encounter that the meaning of the freedom undulating is a rare feeling; ours they volwasseneleven is spelled as much firmly between the morning transforms and the chair of office, the gas invoice and the purse of laundry. For a long time for the useless river corridors and to remain in summit the whole night and to row on the Lagos of Canada. For a long time for l’ summer the waste. Thus he c’ d’ is now me on these songs like few vacations; one is, must certainly observe the moments at which it ties with untether oneself, as only short, of the interminable responsibility and the routine. Naturally j’ they had head qu’ Emmy listened to the great song at every contented moment I, he on my gevouwen iPod correct, at every moment in l’ balance had been had and there ready. But serendipity is, I, thinks the essential factor here; this n’ it is no song prefers to aim d’ to listen, but to the strange subsidy of the day; unsought, brilliant of the systems of l’ arrive; speaker of warehouse and radio’ ; s of the taxi cabin that dégringole since windows happen through over the street. ” ; L’ summer in l’ winter of winter in the spring, ” ; dice qu’ they sang the beauty and Sebastian. ” ; Fine.” heard to the birds all being; ; to sing; It is, perhaps, the difference between the scholastic vacations of one’ ; s youth – the hot and useless derogation of these days – and the vacations d’ summer of volwassenheid that arrives very with great neerstorting they klankbekken d’ occasion, for one’ ; to choose; s the destiny carefully and contributes wisely these days by: to read to try the faces, d’ to raise the pounds, Mons He there to n’ to not determined, by the resistance, of meaning of l’ event, of wisdom if the objective to l’ summer songs that it wastes; they are genoegens useless, long the grass, the recent nights and nowhere corridors a. They are overgegaane so easy the time, and with loaportar a meaning of the simplest delight. Since l’ trowel to Wednesday the morning s’ ensarta we still have ourselves are average in the dream, laid down on our backs listening the mission of l’ innocence: ” ; There’ ; SA. the joy that’ sudden; s like the fish d’ To, moving it increases; ” ; they sang. ” ; I thought l’ they saw that they rowed on the Lagos of Canada.” ;

  10. 10
    Clark Gwent on 1 Jun 2010 #

    Thing is, if you go on Amazon half the reviews look like this – and they are ABSOLUTELY SERIOUS. That the bad rapping of TMR is EXACTLY similar on Amazon and on this pisstaking site is proof if proof were needed that it is the greatest album ever made.

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