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Captain Beyond - Sufficiently Breathless CD (album) cover


Captain Beyond


Heavy Prog

3.17 | 107 ratings

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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.


ClemofNazareth | 2/5 |


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