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Captain Beefheart - I'm Going to Do What I Wanna Do: Live at My Father's Place 1978 CD (album) cover


Captain Beefheart



4.22 | 14 ratings

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4 stars Beefheart and his freshly-assembled Magic Band hit the road to support the well-received comeback "Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)" album, and it's immediately clear that he's back on his game, as evidenced by this superbly presented live document by Rhino/Handmade. The repertoire relies heavily on "Shiny Beast" material, though it also favors the smoother strains of "Clear Spot" material (Nowadays a Woman's Got to Hit a Man, Her Eyes are a Blue Million Miles) as well as a generous number of "Trout Mask Replica" songs (Well, Old Fart at Play, Moonlight on Vermont, Veterans Day Poppy), and a couple of songs that are even older (Dropout Boogie, Abba Zaba, Safe as Milk). The era of his misguided attempts at mainstream acceptance is wisely avoided. This catches Beefheart right in the midst of a turning point in his career, and I can only imagine how elated his fans were to see him back in such commanding form.

Sound quality is impeccable throughout, leading me to think this was professionally recorded with the intention of being released, or broadcast over the radio. It was an unusual-sounding lineup. Bruce Fowler (ex-Zappa) plays the bass parts on trombone (or "air bass" as Beefheart amusingly calls it), Robert Williams provides the kind of tom-heavy offbeat rhythms that are a hallmark of Beefheart's music, Eric Drew Feldman fills in the spaces jumping around between keyboards, guitar, and bass. Jeff "Moris" Tepper plays the slide with even more joyful abandon than his precursor Zoot Horn Rollo (if not as expertly). The band handles the Trout Mask material adequately, though they do seem more comfortable with the "Shiny Beast" material they helped to create.

Beefheart himself sounds confident and in charge. He communicates with the crowd with humor and good-natured sarcasm (best moment: yelling at an audience member for clapping in 4/4 time during "Well", an acapella piece that is in anything but 4/4). All in all, this is probably the best live document of Captain Beefheart you are likely to find. 4 stars.

HolyMoly | 4/5 |


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