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Captain Beyond

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5 stars This beautiful album from a second album. Their first being a Classic in the early prog/rock category. Rod Evans (first singer in Deep Purple,way back.) doing a beautiful job. Lee Dorman on bass (ex-Iron butterfly) Rhino (ex-Iron Butterfly)on guitars an a few other guy´s makes this a fantastic psych/prog album. Wonderfull songs...dreamy arrangements....great album!!! And this is their second one!! Like this?? You´ll love their first one:" Captain beyond" (Originally with a 3-d cover on vinyl, that is!) Of course this is mostly for the guys who had a 50´th birthday in the last 10 years..ha..ha.! No just kidding...anyone can listen in!! No matter what year your born...if you like great music..that being seventies and early eighties prog/rock...then go for these guys!!! Especially the 2 first albums...there´s a third...but...ahem its..only for collectors!!
Report this review (#26450)
Posted Sunday, January 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars A good follow-up to their debut and but as I had said for the first one , they brought in extra people for musicianship. This band proves that the DP MkI castaways had some qualities that Mr Blackmood overlooked to make his idea of hard-rock and the success of In Rock will prove him right but Captain Sensible and Warhorse (N. Simper -DP MkI 's bassist 's band) were also good bands that probably deserved more attention.
Report this review (#26451)
Posted Monday, March 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars It's a real tragedy that the progressive audiences of the early 70s ignored Captain Beyond's exhilarating debut album because by the time Sufficiently Breathless rolled around drummer Bobby Caldwell had quit. His replacements ... drummer Marty Rodriguez, conga/timbales player Guille Garcia and keyboardist Reese Wynans ... may have expanded the group's musical possibilities, but the fact that Caldwell wrote all the music on the first album was telling. Bassist Lee Dorman took over for this album and while most of his songs are good, Captain Beyond almost never sounds as inspired or as original as it did on the first album.

In fact, if anything, Captain Beyond frequently sounds like Santana on this record! I kid you not. Tracks like Bright Blue Tango, Drifting in Space (which has a great electric piano solo from Wynans) and Everything's A Circle are strongly rooted in the Latin-rock/fusion tradition of Santana. Elsewhere the laid-back acoustic title track, the wah-wah heavy Evil Men and the superb power ballad (not that anyone would have called it that when this record came outin 1973!) Starglow Energy are all listenable songs that don't quite meet the standards that Captain Beyond set with its debut album.

The highlight of this album is the intriguing Distant Sun. Here the band uses a strong melody, spacey synths, a distracting almost dischordant rhythm in combination with a Latin-rock/fusion interlude to make for an exciting unpredictable track. Unfortunately, it's just about the only song on the whole album that has a hint of progressive rock about it. ... 48% on the MPV scale.

Report this review (#26453)
Posted Sunday, February 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I have a tendency to compare Captain Beyond's "Sufficiently Breathless" to that of Atomic Rooster's "In Hearing Of". Whereas the first Captain Beyond release is considered a "classic" not unlike Atomic Rooster's "Death Walks Behind You", the follow-up LPs to both bands collectively used some "outside help", albeit; to incorporate variety and progressive influences. Wheareas, the first Captain Beyond and Atomic Rooster's "Death Walks Behind You" are generally considered early-heavy metal classics, the follow-up LPs to the aforementioned seem to take more chances.

For instance, on this Captain Beyong LP(_Sufficiently Breathless_), I found "Drifting In Space" to sound a lot like something that would appear on Rush's "Caress Of Steel" or "A Farewell To Kings", whereas "Bright Blue Tango" might show up on Santana's "Caravanserai"-period LPs. I guess what you'll get when you buy this album is variety, but somehow it all sounds like "Captain Beyond" to me due to the stellar vocals of Rod Evans. On Atomic Rooster's "In Hearing Of", you'll get some "funk/soul" influences, with Captain Beyond's "Sufficiently Breathless", you'll get latin and pre-Rush influences (whether it's coincidental or not, I have no idea).

Report this review (#120268)
Posted Monday, April 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've always been a big fan of Captain Beyond. I got all of their albums right when they came out and was lucky enough to be living in Melbourne Florida where they played one of the dates on their Y2K tour when Caldwell and Rhino were trying to put the band back together.

If you can distance yourself from the debut album, it's easier to see how great an album this one is. If you are looking for more of album one, well this will seem like a let down because it's so different. But it's that difference that makes it good in it's own way.

I would agree that the addition of keyboards and latin percussion was an attempt to cash in on the Santana vibe that was so big at the time.

The excellent title track is just a beautiful guitar work out for Rhino. Beautiful 12 string guitar stuff and a nice solo in the middle. The lyrics are a little odd and spacey...but hey, this is Captain Beyond, remember? If it weren't for the oddness, this could have been top's real catchy. Personally, I just love the acoustic guitar intro (a real treat for any lover of guitar).

The other truly excellent cut is Starglow Energy, a slow song which slowly builds up to a smoldering classic. Rhino and Dorman are just fantastic on this cut, but the stand out is Evans: this has to be his single best Captain Beyond vocal performance.

There are lots of nice touches through out the album. Sometimes it reminds me more of Iron Butterfly than Captain Beyond. Always thought that Voyages of Lost Travellers and it's segue into Everything's a Circle was beautifully done. Drifting In Space has a great electric piano solo by Reese Wynans.

One point to clear up about the writing credits: ALL of the members wrote the first album, but Dorman and Rhino still had ties to their former record company so they gave the writing credits on the first album just to Evans and Caldwell. To even things out, Dorman got most of the writing credits on this album, and Rhino got more of the credits on Dawn Explosion.

This is in that 3 to 4 star range.

Report this review (#159777)
Posted Friday, January 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Captain Beyond´s second album Sufficiently Breathless is a bit of a disappointment to me. I really liked their selftitled debut album. I think that one is a brilliant album and quite original IMO. Sufficiently Breathless is not as exciting. Not to me at least. There is nothing wrong with the quality of the songs or the production though and it´s not a bad album by any means. It´s just not as good or original as the debut.

The music is rock with just hints of prog rock. There isn´t much hard rock left in Captain Beyond´s sound and maybe that´s what I miss so much. Those sharp and mean hard rock riffs from the debut just saved my day. The riffs are still present in some of the songs, but they are not as dominant in the production as on the debut.

I have to praise the production though as it is really great and clear sounding. From the booklet in my CD it says that Captain Beyond produced this themselves. It´s quite an achivement and a clear sign that these musicians are very experienced.

Rod Evans ( Ex-Deep Purple) voice is as good as ever and the rest of the musicians are also very competent gentemen. If you want proof of this just listen to Drifting in Space which is my favorite song here and the one which reminds me most of the debut. There are some great playing in that song. The song Sufficiently Breathless is also very nice especially because of the nice harmonies in the vocals which shows the diversity of Captain Beyond. They can both play hard rock and more spacious prog inspired songs. A good example of this is Starglow Energy which is one of their more spacy mellow songs.

This is a good album, even though I don´t find it as exciting as the debut but it is still worth 3 big stars. Recommended mostly to people into softer hard rock. Wishbone Ash fans ( I´m one myself) could get something out of this.

Report this review (#159818)
Posted Saturday, January 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Quit looking over this one!

Captain Beyond (led by ex-Deep Purpler Rod Evans) exploded onto the prog scene in the early 70s with an amazing self titled debut that really set the standards for the music that would later be known as Heavy Prog. While the album itself never really became overly successful it still stands as a landmark of the subgenre. This second album was going to have a tough time following up that self titled debut no matter how hard it tried. And try they did. The sound is much different from the first album. Instead of having a multitude of short songs tie into each other to form unofficial suites that were very progressive in themselves the band instead decided to write songs, none of which are over 5 minutes, but last long enough to develop a good idea before moving on. The album is therefor very varied, instead of sticking of one theme with recurring motifs.

Although it's not hard to see where this album was less successful than it's predecessor. The first time listening to this album (if you've heard the first album) you may never want to pick it up again - and the blame for this lies almost entirely with the opening title track. Sufficiently Breathless is not a bad song by any means - but it is very, very different and requires a lot of room to grow before anyone can appreciate it correctly. This song is mid paced and mellow - very unlike anything the band has done to this point. All the characteristics of the band are still around: A well constructed riff that supports the song, well placed vocals and skilled soloing - but the fact that it's a soft and mellow ''Heavy'' prog song is cause for concern when it's the opening of the album and the longest single track that the band ever did. That said, it's a very good song when you don't know what to expect, or you don't approach the album expecting to have your head blown off by a killer riff right off the bat.

Luckily the album picks up right afterwards. Though the rest of the album still won't be as heavy or raw as the debut album (actually, as a previous reviewer mentioned - a lot of the album sounds like Santana), it's more skillfully played and very technical. The songs are wonderfully melodic and have some killer hooks. The riffs are still a main focus of the music along with excellent solos and that driving voice, songs like Bright, Blue Tango and Drifting In Space press just as hard as you'd expect from the band.

This album really is not as chaotic as the debut. The boys are no longer Dancing Madly Backwards and making wonderful music while doing it - they're stepping forwards and carefully placing each foot as they do. Signs of maturity are throughout the album in melody and structure, although the chaos of the first album really did work for the band. Really, this is just a very different album as proven by excellent songs like Starglow Energy and the catchy Everything is a Circle.

If their first album was as good as it was going to get this one was just adding fuel to the fire. An excellent album that is all too often overlooked and has been missed way too many times. It's hard to stress just how good this album really is. 4 Distant Suns out of 5! Stunning!

Report this review (#181274)
Posted Sunday, August 31, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars Captain Beyond were already suffering the effects of poor management and the resulting insufficient touring and exposure by the time the entered the studio to record ‘Sufficiently Breathless’, their second album. Bobby Caldwell had already left and would land a gig with the metal band Armageddon (although he returned for the briefly reformed lineup that would release one last album in 1977). Former Deep Purple vocalist Rod Evans would leave before the record was even finished. And newly- acquired pianist Reese Wynans would depart before the supporting tour was fully underway. Lee Dorman and guitarist Larry Reinhardt were the nucleus that remained.

The band seemed to be pulling a page from the then-fashionable Santana trend toward more Latin- tinged percussion in their music, and had in fact hired former Carmen percussionist Brian Glascock into the lineup with the intent of including him on this album. But amid some disagreements with their management Glasscock was replaced with relative unknown Marty Rodriguez, a move that some band members suggested was part of the reason for Evans’ eventual departure. They also secured the services of percussionist Guille Garcia, who made something of a name for himself adding Latin touches to solo albums by Bill Wyman, Joe Walsh and Stephen Stills in the mid-seventies. Southern boogie organist Paul Hornsby (Wet Willie, Charlie Daniels Band, Marshall Tucker Band, Elvin Bishop) also appears on one track (“Starglow Energy”).

There’s not much one could call progressive on this album. For the most part the band plays a blend of boogie Southern blues mixed with Latin percussion and in some cases (“Distant Sun”, “Evil Men”) just plain old decent heavy rock. There also aren’t many highlights, although the energetic “Drifting in Space” and “Bright Blue Tango” exude the same sort of salsa-inspired energy that Santana, some early Journey and bands like Gypsy were making fairly popular at the time. And the title track boasts a fair harmonized vocal arrangement that more than likely would have stood its own in concert, although there’s not much indication the band had many opportunities to try it out in front of a live audience.

Captain Beyond would fizzle out after this record and a brief tour, although there would be an additional studio release with another patchwork lineup a few years later, and various lineups popped up from time to time including one in the late nineties that managed to play live shows for a few years.

This is one of those albums that may have a place on the shelf for longtime and loyal fans of the band, but for the most part its place in history as a lost artifact is deserved. Two stars in recognition of the band’s fans, but not much more.


Report this review (#181993)
Posted Sunday, September 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Keeping in mind that Sufficiently Breathless is still a progressive rock album, I'm going to review it as one not how much I loved their fist album as it has nothing do to with this one. Now obviously this is nothing like their debut album as this is more of a jazz fusion affair with a mix of psychedelia and space rock. This a superb album that deserves as much credit as their debut. Anyone who is a fan of mid 70s Santana will love this album.

With their first album, Captain Beyond, they mastered the form of Heavy Prog with elements of space and psychedelic rock.

Sufficiently Breathless is no different, with the guys mastering the form of Jazz fusion with elements mentioned above. I see no reason to give this album anything lower than 4 stars.

Superb job on Captain Beyond's part, 4 stars.

Report this review (#183962)
Posted Sunday, September 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Rod Evans was the vocalist on the first three Deep Purple albums. He started up this band which basically continued along the lines of those three albums. This, their second album out of in total three albums, is a lot more progressive than the two other albums. Unfortunate, without the big ideas and good music. The only good stuff here is actually in the Canterbury vein with some good groovy jazz melody lines. But the rest of the album is not enough of these to keep my interest throughout the thirty-six minutes. This is not my type of biscuit. But I am sure fans of heavy prog and pre In Rock era Deep Purple will love this album. Those into the Canterbury scene should also check out this album.

Report this review (#186036)
Posted Thursday, October 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars When I compared their average debut with the one from Warhorse, there are little comparisons really. The Purple heritage was much more on the side of Nick Simper's than on the Rod Evans's one.

The major problem is the very average song writing available on this Sufficiently Breathless. Circumstances were of course not optimal since almost half of the band had changed for this recording and half or so would also leave shortly after.

The best parts are the percussion ones. Drifting In Space has a definite early Santana sound. Frenetic congas (a la Chepito) and guitar as well. Quite surprising but fun and pleasant. It is one of the best songs from this work.

There is no Evil Ways but we get Evil Men instead. Even the warm voice of Gregg Rolie are close to Rod's one here. Quite surprising again. As the other songs from this album actually. Few are on the heavy side and don't be mislead by Starglow Energy: it is a smooth rock ballad. Very much basic you know with a classic guitar break of course.

One true Captain Beyond song is the very good Distant Sun. A heavy and psychedelic tune like we could hear on Purple's debut (which was recorded five years before this one.). There is still a latin- rock middle part which contrast with the other parts of the song; but which is in line with the album.

By now, it is almost normal that the closing number is fully Santana oriented as well. It might not be surprising any longer, but I still wonder how this change in their musical direction was so dramatic.

Everything's A Circle is the only outstanding song: the rhythmic section is again impressive, the beat is very stirring and the organ sounds great (but totally Rolie oriented). An d since it is a Santana rip- off, we get some great guitar as well. A very good Santana tune.

Very few songs are memorable on this album. Sales won't be very high either. Rod will leave, and the band will still survive for a few years and one more album.

Two stars.

Report this review (#186420)
Posted Sunday, October 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
2 stars The charms of the self-titled debut album was that is was presented as a complete piece of music where the organic whole was far greater than the sum of its parts. Not so here. The band has also lost its sense of urgency and this second album is far less interesting and far less memorable. In addition, this album is no longer Heavy Prog, since it is neither particularly heavy nor particularly Prog. Rather, it is more towards psychedelic pop with occasional heavy sections.

In its favour I should say that it is better recorded and produced, the instrumentation is a bit more interesting too, with more keyboards added to the mix. But this can hardly redeem this rather lacklustre effort. This is not poor, only not very interesting.

Fans of Heavy Prog should stick with the first album.

Report this review (#196528)
Posted Wednesday, December 31, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Why this 1973 album from Captain Beyond, the group's second, gets such a bad rep is beyond this writer's comprehension. Issued in the wake of their eponymous, hard-rockin' debut, 'Sufficiently Breathless' saw the expanded line-up fleshing out the first album's nuts-and-bolts sound with a strong injection of dreamy prog atmospherics and Santana-style grooves. As a result, 'Sufficiently Breathless' proves a marked improvement over its predecessor in almost every department. Simply put, this is a fresher, more imaginative and funkier group at work here, whilst the album also features the group's heart-breakingly brilliant signature ballad 'Starglow Energy', a cosmic rock classic of startling power and emotion and a track that has one yearning for the stars. Add the catchy jangle-pop of 'Bright Blue Tango', the Latin-fused anthem 'Drifting In Space' and the impressive closer 'Everything's A Circle', and what you have here is a damn-fine slice of colorful 1970s rock. The real shame is the fact that Captain Beyond could never quite rise beyond the level of cult status, yet thankfully they did leave behind a trio of albums that all true classic rock lovers should hear. Highly-recommended. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2013
Report this review (#1015059)
Posted Friday, August 9, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars Captain Beyond - Sufficiently Breathless (1973)

Main composer en former drummer Bobby Caldwell had left the band and the second Captain Beyond album is quite different from the cool and hugely innovative heavy rock masterpiece that is the debut. One of my all-time favorites I must add.

The sound-pallet is expanded on 'Sufficiently Breathless'with acoustic guitars, keyboards and percussions. The compositions are hard rock with some inventive hooks, but without the former punch and wild ideas. The rhythmical experimentation is all but gone. The production is slightly better though. The foldout cover artwork is very nice, even from the inside. On the second side band seems to be more free and we find some of the more original compositions.

Conclusion. This is still a good heavy rock album with some catchy song-writing, riffing and a cool sound. Three stars, but only recommended to fans of heavy rock from the early seventies.

Report this review (#1247178)
Posted Thursday, August 14, 2014 | Review Permalink

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