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Captain Beefheart - Unconditionally Guaranteed CD (album) cover


Captain Beefheart


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1 stars I'm surprised no one has bothered to review or rate this one yet -- is it really that rare? But considering what a stinking turd this record is, maybe that's not such a surprise. Don is holding wads of money on the cover, the title and whole package just reek of cynicism. This record is the ultimate sell-out, perhaps ever perpetrated by anyone. So much so it's almost like Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music" -- a put-on? a litmus test for true fanatics?

This album stinks so bad because it's really bad MOR r&b ballads that have nothing to do with the "Captain Beefheart" music that we know and love. The titles are a little weird perhaps, but this is extremely mainstream sounding popular music without a hint of anything that could be considered "progressive."

Perhaps Mr. Van Vliet's plan was to put out a blatantly commercial album that he KNEW would fail, so that record companys would just stop bothering him about "commercial potential" once and for all!

"Bluejeans and Moonbeams" from this same period is also pretty lame, but fortunately he rallied and his last 3 albums from 1978-82 range from very good to absolutely brilliant.

Report this review (#50463)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I am sick and tired of the lack of respect given to this album. For me, the Captain's discography as a whole should be appreciated as art, if nothing else.

"Unconditionally Guaranteed" is a master work, regardless of whatever hype or tensions that there are surrounding it.

'Full Moon, Hot Sun' is just one example of the greatnesses expressed in the songs on this album. Lyrically, the record as a whole is a slight departure for the Captain, but it is still brilliant and it is still the Captain. Musically, there is an enormous difference, but that is also in itself brilliant and it is still the Magic Band...not the "Tragic" Band, not in the least.

"The Spot Light Kid" and "Clear Spot" and even "Bluejeans and Moonbeams" are, in my opinion, an amazing era for the Captain and allowed him to try to avenues to successfully escape the 60s, still being able to make amaing music.

Report this review (#85036)
Posted Friday, July 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Worst album ever released by Captain Beefheart. While its successor "Bluejeans & Moonbeams" is pretty cool, this one is just lame and contains some of the most insipid numbers by Vliet. The good thing is that there are just two songs which are absolutely awful: the dumb-ish and uninspired "New Electric Ride" and "Magic Be". The rest can be tolerated, but it's not so cool, and what's worse is that the songs are not that different from each other. But let's talk about the good things on this album: the opener "Upon The My-O-My" shows Vliet pretty in shape and it's totally in the spirit of Captain Beefheart. "This Is The Day" has a great melody too, and the closing "Peaches" is very funny and bluesy. Not a total disaster, but still not a great album. If you're not proceeding chronologically I'd suggest to buy this album after you have all the others.
Report this review (#133534)
Posted Friday, August 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
1 stars Hmmmm.... an album with Don Van Vliet singing, featuring a song called "Peaches"? It must be great. Right? Wait. Is this Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band attempting to make an album of radio friendy songs? In that context, this album might be just what they were trying to do. But did they get any airplay from this? I doubt it.

This is a set of ten hideously normal (read: completely unmemorable) tunes from Van Vliet and his crew. His abstract, borderline insane lyrics are nowhere to be found here, replaced by boring pop drivel, some of it quite insipid.

The music itself is also plain. The only place where you might notice that it's actually The Magic Band playing are the occasional, all too brief guitar solos, which slightly touch upon the feel of the other Beefheart albums.

If you see this album coming, run the other way. Fast.

Report this review (#223066)
Posted Thursday, June 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
1 stars The entire Magic Band quit after this album, and no wonder. The first of Beefheart's two ill-fated albums on Mercury Records finds him faced with an unsympathetic production job and a lineup on the verge of mutiny. The drift into commercial territory which had yielded fascinating and evocative results on The Spotlight Kid and Clear Spot zooms out of control, resulting in most of the songs being played and mixed in a spineless, soulless commercial style, with the Captain's eccentric lyrics and vocal style being de-emphasised like on no previous Magic Band album. Occasionally the instrumental backing starts creeping towards more interesting territory, as on I Got Love On My Mind, but it never quite manages it. Anyone who listens to this album without hearing any of the Captain's better work would come away with the impression that the Magic Band were a third-rate, plastic soft rock band; anyone who listens to this who has heard the likes of Trout Mask Replica or Lick My Decals Off will rage at the utter waste of talent the album represents. Avoid.
Report this review (#517440)
Posted Thursday, September 8, 2011 | Review Permalink

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