Top Artists – Captain Beefheart

Frank Zappa & Captain Beefheart – Bongo Fury

Reviews and Commentaries for Captain Beefheart

Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Frank Zappa

  • This classic Zappa & Beefheart album boasts STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last
  • This pressing is head and shoulders above the pack, with the kind of big, punchy, full-bodied sound this music absolutely demands
  • Muffin Man is obviously the high point here – it’s one of my All-Time Favorite songs and never fails to bring a smile
  • “This is the last album to feature the highly technical jazz fusion of Mothers of Invention, whose roots can be traced back to 1973 circa Over-Nite Sensation.”

Sometimes the copy with the best sound is not the copy with the quietest vinyl. The best sounding copy is always going to win the shootout, the condition of its vinyl notwithstanding. If you can tolerate the problems on this pressing you are in for some amazing music and sound. If for any reason you are not happy with the sound or condition of the album we are of course happy to take it back for a full refund, including the domestic return postage.


Both sides here are big, bold and lively with strong vocal presence and a big bottom end. Many copies have a tendency to get a bit gritty and grainy up top, but just listen to how smooth and sweet the cymbals sound here. Some of its other strengths are that it’s full-bodied, and tonally correct from top to bottom. The bass is meaty and punchy, and the top end is wonderfully extended. You can hear lots of ambience the cymbals and hi-hats. There’s really nothing between you and the music.

Some of this album is recorded live and some of it is studio material. The live tracks offer some of the best live Frank Zappa sound you will EVER hear.

The album is just plain wacky fun. You get the maximum entertainment value with this one. Muffin Man is obviously the high point — it’s one of my personal favorite Zappa tracks. This, in my opinion, is the last record Zappa made that’s any good. (more…)

Captain Beefheart / Clear Spot – Ted Templeman Is The Man

Reviews and Commentaries for Captain Beefheart

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The producer, Ted Templeman, (Doobie Brothers, James Taylor) brought his mainstream talents to bear on this music, and when the Captain’s free-form tendencies smashed into Templeman’s conservatism the result was this musical supernova — out there, but not too far out there. (Play Trout Mask Replica sometime if you miss that feeling from your old hippie days of being on acid. With that music drugs are entirely superfluous.) I don’t know how many audiophiles like Captain Beefheart, probably not too many, but if you’re ever going to try, this is the place to start: his masterpiece.

I’ve been listening to this album for 30 years, all of my adult life. I still have my original copy in the clear plastic sleeve even. It never grows old and it never grows tired. I have the CD in the car and return to it regularly.

I’ll be disappointed if few of you try this one, but probably not too surprised. Great stereo equipment offers the listener a window on the wonderful world of music. Why do so many audiophiles keep that window opened just a crack? (more…)

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band / Safe as Milk – Reviewed in 2007

Reviews and Commentaries for Captain Beefheart

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This very nice looking Buddha reissue LP is not an audiophile recording, but of course it was never meant to be one. It reminds me quite a bit of Frank Zappa’s first album ’Freak Out.’ This copy sounds as good as any copy we’ve ever played.

And it was produced by Richard Perry way back in ’67! (more…)

Captain Beefheart – Clear Spot

Reviews and Commentaries for Captain Beefheart

  • This outstanding pressing of Clear Spot boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last – exceptionally quiet vinyl too 
  • One of the better copies of Clear Spot to hit the site in recent years – no question about it, this is his Masterpiece!
  • Produced by Ted Templeman, Clear Spot is one of Beefheart’s most accessible albums and, IMHO, his best
  • 4 stars: “The sound is great throughout, and the feeling is of the coolest bar-band in town, not to mention one that could eat all the patrons for breakfast if it felt like it.”

Two outstanding sides for this masterpiece of bent rock. It’s not easy to find great sound for this album — that’s why you so seldom see it up on our site. There are a whole lot of problematic pressings out there, but when you find one that really gets it right the sound is nothing short of SUPERB. (more…)