Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band – Bluejeans & Moonbeams
The output on this album became a rather shambolic affair. It resulted in Vliet being caught up in contractual obligations to Mercury & Virgin, until the emergence of his next release "Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)" some 4 years later in '78. In the meantime, there was a helping hand from Zappa on "Bongo Fury", "One Size Fits All" & "Zoot Allures" - although fate again then befell the original "Bat Chain Puller" project during the interim.
After "Unconditionally Guaranteed" had been recorded the Magic Band acrimoniously departed, leaving Vliet to tour in the summer of '74 with a pick-up band. This band then disintegrated on return to the USA before Vliet entered the Stronghold Studio for the making of "Bluejeans & Moonbeams". Only Smotherman & Smith remained. Some of Elliot Ingber's writing was used, but his brother Ira stood in on bass. According to Greg Ladanyi, the scheduled engineer Al Thomas allegedly fell out with producers the Di Martino brothers, handing novice Ladanyi his debut as an album engineer. He completed the task on a half-consumed budget. The last track on Side 1 "Captain's Holiday" is clearly an instrumental 'filler', on which Vliet did not perform - hence the ironic title. There is one cover too, of J.J. Cale's "Same Old Blues". Rather mysteriously, Mercury's A&R Manager, Denny Rosencrantz, gets a credit on the sleeve, where both Ladanyi & Smotherman's names are incorrectly spelled. Vliet's cousin Hayden did the cover painting. Perhaps it could be interpreted as his artistic notion of the Goat, the Capricorn Vliet, jumping a fence of cosmic impossibilities. This is an album that Vliet clearly distanced himself from in interviews.