CAPTAIN BEEFHEART and his MAGIC BAND – ” Safe As Milk ” Classic Albums

Posted: July 2, 2021 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
Tags: , ,

Beefheart’s debut album, originally released in 1967 on Buddah Records, was the most accessible and pop inflected of all the releases from his catalogue. Still ‘Safe As Milk’ is a very strong and heavily blues-influenced work but it also hints on many of the features that would later become the trademarks of Captain Beefheart. Not only did a 20-year old Ry Cooder play bass and guitar on ‘Abba Zaba’ and ‘Grown So Ugly’, he also arranged the latter as well as ‘Sure ‘Nuff ‘N Yes I Do’. Also, Cooder’s role in the recording process was ‘to translate the Captain’s wilder ideas to the rest of the band and generally acts as musical director’. With him as a supervisor the sessions proceeded more or less smoothly and ‘Safe As Milk’ was recorded within a month.

I can’t praise this album enough I loved it when it was first released, having not heard it since the early 70,s, Originally released in 1967, I was taken aback by just how good this record is. It makes you wish that the Captain Van Vliet had done a few more R&B albums before veering off into avant garde territory. The stereo mix on this cd whilst typical polarised sixties style does open up the sound a lot more than the old mono version that was originally released ,The mastering too is great.

I played this 3 times in a row when i opened the package, it’s just flawless as an album Even tracks i was less keen on as a kid such as “I’m Glad” have grown on me. Opener “Sure ‘Nuff ‘N Yes I Do’ bursts out of the speakers compressed to death by the engineers it pulls along with the fabulous meaty Jerry Handley bass that dominates all early Beefheart tracks. “Electricity” still my fav track, shows the direction the band were headed with it’s jagged rhythms and tempo changes.

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