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CAPTAIN BEYOND

Heavy Prog • United States


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Captain Beyond biography
Founded in Los Angeles, USA in 1971 - Disbanded in 1973 - Regrouped briefly in 1976 & 1998 - Reformed in 2013

One of the more overlooked super groups in the history of rock, CAPTAIN BEYOND was formed by ex-DEEP PURPLE singer Rod Evans, ex-IRON BUTTERFLY guitarists Larry Reinhart and Lee Dorman, and ex Johnny Winter drummer Bobby Caldwell. The band only put out three albums, and never achieved more than a cult following, but they also managed to put out three strong albums of psychedelic guitar rock, reminiscent of a heavier PINK FLOYD at times. After their 1972 self-titled debut album, Caldwell quit and was replaced by Marty Rodriguez. With Rodriguez, the band produced a 1973 sophomore effort titled "Sufficiently Breathless", after which Evans departed and the band went on hiatus. It wasn't until 1976 that they returned, at which point Caldwell rejoined and Willy Daffern (who had previously played drums for a few bands) replaced Evans on vocals. Their third album, 1977's "Dawn Explosion" went largely unnoticed however, and the band folded shortly afterwards.

The group's best album has to be their first, which also featured an amazing album cover. Their sophomore effort "Sufficiently Breathless" has longer tracks, and is probably more progressive, but it falls short of the sheer firepower of the debut. As for "Dawn Explosion", well let's just say it went unnoticed for a reason.

CAPTAIN BEYOND will likely appeal to fans of HAWKWIND, as they play a similar brand of psychedelic hard rock (albiet a bit heavier). Anyone who enjoyed Rod Evans' work with DEEP PURPLE would also do well to check out the band's first two albums. That said, they never made anything truly essential in one's prog collection, and because of this, people not into their style of music should stay away from them altogether.

: : : Bryan Adair, CANADA : : :

Captain Beyond official website

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CAPTAIN BEYOND discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CAPTAIN BEYOND top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.01 | 218 ratings
Captain Beyond
1972
3.15 | 81 ratings
Sufficiently Breathless
1973
2.99 | 43 ratings
Dawn Explosion
1977

CAPTAIN BEYOND Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.47 | 8 ratings
Far Beyond a Distant Sun - Live in Arlington Texas
2002

CAPTAIN BEYOND Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CAPTAIN BEYOND Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.09 | 4 ratings
Lost & Found 1972-1973
2017

CAPTAIN BEYOND Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.94 | 8 ratings
Night Train Calling (EP)
2000

CAPTAIN BEYOND Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lost & Found 1972-1973 by CAPTAIN BEYOND album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2017
3.09 | 4 ratings

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Lost & Found 1972-1973
Captain Beyond Heavy Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars It's a music lover's wet dream when one of their most revered under appreciated bands from the early 70s, who released but a couple albums and then faded into the ethers like a footnote in a voluminous tome, finally scrapes out the decades-old barrels and finds a few goodies to throw out to their staunch and loyal followers. Such is the case in 2017 when from out of the blue the short-lived heavy prog outfit CAPTAIN BEYOND unexpectedly puts out a new compilation called LOST & FOUND 1972-1973. How are the fans to take this? Is this a litmus test to see how well received it is and prognosticate a possible reunion and dare i even say - new album? Yes, the early 70s heavy prog rockers led by ex-Deep Purple vocalist Rod Evans along with guitarists Larry Reinhard and Lee Dorman from Iron Butterfly and drummer Bobby Caldwell who played with Johnny Winter crafted their supergroup into a major cult hit but never really got the respect they deserved and after two decent albums and one not so much so disbanded presumably never to be heard from again.

Well before you get your knickers too much in a bind, let me just state clearly that this is NOT an album that consists of entirely new material. Well, there is one new track that never was released but otherwise this is merely a collection of demos and alternate takes. Most of these tracks appeared (in final form of course) on the eponymous debut album whereas one comes from the oft loathed third album 'Dawn Explosion.' Curiously there is nothing from the second album 'Sufficiently Breathless.' This album is exactly what you would expect, namely a collection of material that was probably never meant to see the sunlight outside of its eternal crypt in someone's basement or attic or who knows where with all the raw and gritty pre-production values one could imagine. And that's exactly what we get here.

The only totally new track here is the hilariously titled 'Uranus Expressway' (yeah, i can't help but thinking it could be nicknamed 'Hershey Highway!!!!' LOL. Despite the silly title, this is a serious bluesy rock track that is nothing out of the ordinary from the day and wisely left off of the debut album for it doesn't have that progressive flair like many of those earliest of tracks. It actually echoes back to a more primeval era of Deep Purple minus John Lord's keyboard contributions, of course, but actually a decent energetic rocker that finds the band in fine form with a tinge of Southern twang that correlates the Johnny Winter connection. All in all these are interesting relics from the past and will undoubtedly be ravishingly devoured by rabid fans foaming at the mouth for any scraps of residue from the hitherto inaccessible vaults, but other than the single new track there isn't much that is out of the ordinary from what's actually on their albums. It's not like these tracks are so different compared to some of those on the Beatles' different versions for example. This is definitely a good and worthy extra supplement for any collector's shelves but not one i feel warrants the essential label. Nice album cover :)

 Captain Beyond by CAPTAIN BEYOND album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.01 | 218 ratings

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Captain Beyond
Captain Beyond Heavy Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Captain Beyond - st (1972)

I was wondering what I myself had written about this stand-out record and I found that I never actually wrote a review about the Captain Beyond debut. A shame, because in the beginning it was one of my great inspirations for my own band (along with May Blitz, Budgie and others).

For legal reasons the songwriting of the album was contributed to singer Rod Evens (ex-Deep Purple) and the excellent drummer Bobby Caldwell (ex-Johny Winter). Guitar player Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt (ex-Iron Butterfly) who obviously wrote a lot of riffs here wasn't mentioned as co-writer because of legal issues. Lee Dorman (also ex-Iron Butterfly) plays bass.

This is actually one of the few progressive rock records that actually rocks! It has power, ingenuity, the wild vibe and yet has that obscure collectible feel to it. Furthermore, the hard rock elements are firmly rooted in American rock - not British at all. It is actually quite strange why this record didn't receive more appraisal at its time. Perhaps the record was to intelligent for rock listeners and too energetic/punchy for progressive rock listeners. Perhaps because of the overly progressive songtitels and not so catchy lyrics. I would have to press myself to remember the lyrics of one single refrain now I think of it. It matters not. The endless stream of original riffs and rhythms, sometimes in odd signatures, without loosing the wild Hendrix feel is a real winner here. Furthermore one can find musical elements that clearly resemble stoner rock that would appear in the nineties. Together with some eclectic prog (metal King Crimson comes to mind) and some space-rock moments this is a complete eclectic work of art that fails to fit in any category.

My only complaint being the production - which lacks a clear low end (bass) - this is an almost perfect record. Exciting and innovative. Five stars. Must have if you like hard rock, heavy prog, heavy psych and seventies progressive gems in general.

 Captain Beyond by CAPTAIN BEYOND album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.01 | 218 ratings

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Captain Beyond
Captain Beyond Heavy Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Stoning beyond our galaxy

Consider the musical universe of the 70's. If HAWKWIND was the stoner captain in our Milky Way, CAPTAIN BEYOND was another one, however clearly navigating through a different galaxy. Where do those space corsairs comes from? This obscure band is in fact a supergroup composed of former members of well-known prestigious formations: ex-DEEP PURPLE's vocalist Rod Evans, ex-IRON BUTTERFLY's guitarist Larry Reinhardt and bassist Lee Dorman and ex-Johnny WINTER's drummer Bobby Caldwell. So is this another hard-blues formation? A pale copy of the aforementioned bands? Not at all.

CAPTAIN BEYOND's eponymous debut really is an unique mixture of hard/heavy riffs with space/psychedelic/acid rock elements. Is it progressive? Yes, in a sense that this album is more a patchwork than a collection of songs. The music is unpredictable, evolving, moving, as if the CAPTAIN was constantly re-adapting the trajectory of his ship through the unexpected turbulences of the cosmic void. Furthermore, the record is catchy, accessible and avoids being repetitive or messy. The tracks are full of unusual changes and breaks, years before RUSH's proto-prog-metal. This is no touristic stationary cruising, prepare to be surprised. There are signs that do not lie: the original cover art was in 3D. Fasten your seatbelts, an epic journey through undiscovered stellar systems awaits you...

Rather than 13 tracks, the disc should been rather seen as composed of 3 mini-epics plus 2 songs. The first 3 tracks form the first mini-epic, lasting 9 minutes. The take-off is immediate with the heavy "Dancing Madly Backwards", its acceleration and solo will send you directly beyond our galaxy through a wormhole to an unknown destination. Mindblowing! The floating syncoped "Armworth" symbolizes the arrival, introducing the calm and ambient "Myopic Void". You can now rest and admire the stars. Don't relax too much though, the ship re-accelerates to speed of light for a boosted-up reprise of "Armworth"'s theme. The finale is a genuine sonic deflagration. Simply great! One of the best space heavy rocks from the 70's! The aggressive "Mesmerization Eclipse" is a very nice hard rock with many rhythm changes, while "Raging River Of Fear" sounds like DEEP PURPLE on serious acids. It even includes a small jazz-rock interlude.

The next 3 tracks are the second 9 minutes long mini-epic. Don't rely on the acoustic introduction "Thousand Days Of Yesterdays (Intro)", "Frozen Over" is a evolving black hole that gets as thrilling as RUSH's "Cygnus X-1", years ahead! The surprising reprise is terrific! "Thousand Days Of Yesterdays (Time since come and gone)" concludes on a lighter SANTANA-like tone. The last 5 tracks from the third 10 minutes suite. Starting as a cool hard rock, "I Can't Feel Nothin' (Part 1)" turns out to be pretty ferocious, until "As The Moon Speaks (To The Waves Of The Sea)" arrives as a welcomed pause when you can peacefully admire star systems at the window... However, the journey is not over yet. The (very) short raging "Astral Lady" unveils a beautiful solo on "As The Moon Speaks (Return)" and prepares the reprise "I Can't Feel Nothin' (Part 2)". As you may now expect, the finale is once again worthy of its predecessors. Blimey!

What a pretty impressive journey beyond the stars! "Captain Beyond" is a little spatial treasure containing lots of gems. The quality is constant and the interest maintained intact through the many unexpected changes and the surprise factor is always there, even after several listens. Gorgeous riffs, spacey moments, Rod Evans' rock'n'roll crooner accents and Bobby Caldwell's original rhythms bring the final touches making this album quite special.

CAPTAIN BEYOND's self-titled debut is typically what astrophysicists call a singularity: unique and uncategorizeable. A sonic meteorite or a comet only visible once per century, carrying the listener among several musical stellar systems. The band already exposes innovative ideas and their own identity here. An essential trip for 70's hard/heavy/stoner/space rock lovers! Don't miss the spaceship!

The singularity notion also has its drawbacks: the next albums will unfortunately not be as inspired and breathtaking, the musicians themselves looking like they've lost the coordinates of this extraterrestrial music...

 Captain Beyond by CAPTAIN BEYOND album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.01 | 218 ratings

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Captain Beyond
Captain Beyond Heavy Prog

Review by PlacesofLight405

5 stars Captain Beyond is the ultimate in hard rock meets space rock meets obscurity!

Everything about the band and album has been covered in previous reviews, so I'll go personal. I don't usually ever go for the heavy guitar stuff, I'm way more into pastoral prog and electronics. I passed the heavy metal phase at 14. This isn't exactly heavy metal, but its heavier than my norm. I wish I could go back in time and replace this with all the ACDC and Ozzy dreck that was blasted in high school. If I have a few brews nowadays, this is always in the player.

Captain Beyond is for me like surfing the perfect wave. The first two tracks are the get off, the second half of the third track myopic void is where the wave starts to crest. I can't feel nothing bookends the end of the ride, and you wish to replicate the experience immediately.

 Sufficiently Breathless by CAPTAIN BEYOND album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.15 | 81 ratings

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Sufficiently Breathless
Captain Beyond Heavy Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Captain Beyond by CAPTAIN BEYOND album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.01 | 218 ratings

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Captain Beyond
Captain Beyond Heavy Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Enticing.

I snubbed many bands, thinking they were just a poor ersatz of their past glory and again I was proved wrong. Captain Beyond is not a leftover of Deep Purple and Iron Butterfly but indeed closer to a supergroup. And a convincing one at that.

Trippy many times with success, catchy, ballzy sound and stellar vocals, Captain Beyond reminds me of a young band that did stepped aside of the commercial march: Queens of the Stone Age. If you listen carefully, you will hear many things that (perhaps) inspired Josh Homme like the vocal arrangements and the crazy riffing.

It's like expelled tribe members of Survivor formed a band and surpassed themselves!

 Captain Beyond by CAPTAIN BEYOND album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.01 | 218 ratings

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Captain Beyond
Captain Beyond Heavy Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Well, I have to admit that I only knew the music of this band only sometime five years ago when a friend of mine indicated that he has the CD of this album. When I listened to this one, I did not try to push or relate very hard with who's who of the band members even though my friend told me that he had this album due to somehow related to Deep Purple as Rod Evans was here. I tried to spin the album as objective as possible without any preconceived mind about what style of music they play or they should play. The result was a great experience.

First off, I had a feeling about vintage sounds the band play along the way through the tracks presented at the track list. My first reaction, the guitar playing is marvelous and admire it. It's not something compared to how Ritchie Blackmore or Jimmy Page play but to me the guitar playing is something that really sound raw with minimum effects such as baby cry and many guitar fills played around the tracks. The track duration is basically short with some of them only one minute more. However the flow of tracks are really nice and I got no trouble at all listening to the album in its entirety. Opened with some sort of raw drumming the "Dancing madly backwards (on a sea of air)" (4:02) moves beautifully with excellent vocal line by Rod Evans. The music is dynamic and relatively fast tempo and then continue to second track "Armworth" (1:48) that serves as a bridge to the next "Myopic void" (3:30) smoothly.

"Mesmerization eclipse" (3:48) is another rock outfit that impresses me in its dynamic and relatively fast tempo. It continues to "Raging river of fear" (3:51) neatly with good transition. While "Thousand days of yesterday (intro)" (1:19) is ambient in style, it then moves beautifully to a dynamic "Frozen over" (3:46) with energetic guitar and vocal line combined with inventive drumming.

Composition-wise, all tracks are excellent and different than typical hard rock music as they impose also some psychedelic style in the music. The melody is basically standard with not so much memorable pieces but all of them lumped together with excellent harmonies stemming from instruments played by the musicians involved. I fail to identify tracks that become my favorites. The reason is simple: this is the kind of album that must be enjoyed in its entirety - so it's hard to identify which tracks are best. I just enjoy the flow of music ...and it's excellent!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

 Sufficiently Breathless by CAPTAIN BEYOND album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.15 | 81 ratings

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Sufficiently Breathless
Captain Beyond Heavy Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

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
 Captain Beyond by CAPTAIN BEYOND album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.01 | 218 ratings

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Captain Beyond
Captain Beyond Heavy Prog

Review by Memo_anathemo

3 stars Do you remember the first lead singer of Deep Purple? Rod Evans, after leaving the band formed Captain Beyond with former guitarists of Iron Butterfly, Larry Reinhardt and Lee Dorman and former Johnny Winter's drummer Bobby Caldwell. Together they managed to put together a band that could sound much in the vein of Deep Purple, heavy Led Zeppelin or psychedelic Pink Floyd. the first self titled album is a good effort and for those lovers of classic rock, it is widely recommended. Even though it doesn't reach the top albums of its time, it is a cult album that now has become a jewel.
 Captain Beyond by CAPTAIN BEYOND album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.01 | 218 ratings

BUY
Captain Beyond
Captain Beyond Heavy Prog

Review by LinusW
Special Collaborator Italian Prog Specialist

2 stars A perfectly decent slab of guitar-driven, adventurous, 70s hard rock, but not enough of anything else.

Riff oriented, up-tempo, slightly murky and gritty hard 'n' heavy music like this with infectious grooves and a bluesy backbone isn't hard to find or imagine. And that's always a bit of a let down when listening to Captain Beyond's debut. You've heard things like this before. In itself that's not a bad thing, but Captain Beyond never really breaks free from the mould enough to make this a memorable disc.

Sure, the power, directness and instrumental aggression here stand out and feel like refreshing kicks in the butt in comparison to similar acts of the time. Bursting with energy, the band revels in punchy, bouncy riff fests and quick, short shifts in direction in melody or rhythm. With a decently engaging rhythm section and the visceral muscle to back it all up, the menacing rumble almost reaches the level of Black Sabbath now and then. Overall, it's a brighter, friskier and livelier journey. The music never stands still, with little room for breathers among the thirteen tracks. But yes, there's still that tendency to revert back to type in bar room brawl-ish, bluesy, hard rock clichés now and then. Disappointing. The best bits tend to be fast and direct barrages of nastier unpredictable riffs or slightly jazzy, busy sections dominated by repetitive and fiery guitar motifs and an enticingly spontaneous rhythmic framework. And while youthful, sprightly hard rock energy dominates, there are a few nice, but not spectacular, acoustic moments around and even touches of psychedelia and space rock to liven up the proceedings. However, most of the the bits that divert from the disciplined and tight rock onslaught are never really expanded or developed upon, serving as ornament rather than truly integrated bits. There is a slight haziness and will to build from repetition that I rather like. A spacier, more textured and dynamic side of the band that never really is brought to the front. In general it is killed off by the restless nature and relentless drive forwards before anything nuanced, layered or dynamic is allowed to take place.

You may love this album for its compact, energetic vitality, but my enjoyment is mired by it. Focus, drive and compact energy might leave you breathless for a while, but after a while Captain Beyond feels rather flat and limited by it. Things just flutter by in quick succession, eagerly hoping you'll enjoy the presentation more than the content.

Initially dazzling, occasionally a blast, regularly a bit of a disappointment.

2 stars.

//LinusW

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