Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band* – Trout Mask Replica
The 2-fold insert, when opened out, has a photo of a school-age Vliet on the left page, center page sketches by Vliet's cousin Victor Hayden (aka The Mascara Snake), and a 'Manta Ray' poem on right-hand page. Lyrics are on the 3 reverse pages. The insert was not included in Euro issues. US album issues, which are auto-coupled, can be identified by the Straight address on label; 5455 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1700, Los Angeles 90036. It was manufactured* & distributed in the UK by CBS and in Germany by Electrola Gesellschaft m.b.H. Köln. Most issues are not auto-coupled**, however, the Canadian issue (pressed by Herbert S. Berliner's plant, Compo Company Ltd.*) had an unusual auto-coupled sequence; AC, BD - which, annoyingly, requires 'shuffling' on turn-over.
In January 1970 the Reprise Records catalog 2 MS 2027 appeared on label issues in the US, using the original gatefold (with catalog 1053) - in which some issues appeared with blue 'Bizarre' labels. In Europe this became the Reprise Records 64024 catalog, which was then prefixed by 'K' in the 'Kinney' period of Reprise history. Releases then adopted the Warner Bros. & WEA (Warner Elektra Atlantic) identities thereafter.
Events surrounding band members in the recording of this album are revealed in the "Grow Fins" box set booklet, or elsewhere on the Web. However, it is worth noting the work John 'Drumbo' French did in transcribing and helping bring Vliet's concepts to fruition. He is not credited on the album. By the time the band toured on its release (appearing with its producer Zappa at BYG's seminal 5-day "Actuel Festival" in Belgium in October 1969†) he was replaced by Jeff Bruchell (referred to by Vliet as 'Drumbo' or 'Fake Drumbo' by others). Bass-player Marker, of Rising Sons (2), appears on tracks Moonlight On Vermont and Veteran's Day Poppy - recorded earlier at Sunset Sound. The remainder were recorded (using the T.T.G. 16-track) at Whitney Studios in Glendale, California, or were field-recordings at the Magic Band House. Cotton's reading of "The Blimp" was via 'phone to Zappa at Whitney Recording Studios, where he was working on the "Charles Ives" track (found on Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 5). Thus, portions of it became the backing for the Blimp track.
*Manufacturers IDs on back covers.
**The 1972 Australian issue is in the correct AD, BC auto-coupled sequence. All other issues seem to be sequential AB, CD releases.
†Understanding how the band's activities 'fitted' in the music scene of the time is worthwhile by reading 'Profile' at this Discogs link: Actuel Festival.
|The Dust Blows Forward 'N The Dust Blows Back||2:04|
|Hair Pie: Bake 1||4:57|
|Moonlight On Vermont||3:55|
|Sweet Sweet Bulbs||2:17|
|Neon Meate Dream Of A Octafish||2:25|
|My Human Gets Me Blues||2:42|
|Hair Pie: Bake 2||2:23|
|When Big Joan Sets Up||5:19|
|Sugar 'N Spikes||2:29|
|Ant Man Bee||3:55|
|Orange Claw Hammer||3:35|
|She's Too Much For My Mirror||1:42|
|Hobo Chang Ba||2:01|
|The Blimp (Mousetrap Replica)||2:04|
|Steal Softly Thru Snow||2:13|
|Old Fart At Play||1:54|
|Veteran's Day Poppy||4:30|