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Captain Beefheart


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Captain Beefheart Ice Cream For Crow album cover
3.57 | 82 ratings | 7 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ice Cream For Crow (4:29)
2. The Host The Ghost The Most Holy-O (2:22)
3. Semi-Multicoloured Caucasian (4:15)
4. Hey Garland, I Dig Your Tweed Coat (3:09)
5. Evening Bell (1:58)
6. Cardboard Cutout Sundown (2:35)
7. The Past Sure Is Tense (3:17)
8. Ink Mathematics (1:39)
9. The Witch Doctor Life (2:35)
10. 81' Poop Hatch (2:36)
11. The Thousandth and Tenth Day of the Human Totem Pole (5:36)
12. Skeleton Makes Good (2:14)

Total Time: 36:45

Bonus track on 2006 remaster:
13. Light Reflected Off The Oceands Of The Moon (4:47)

Line-up / Musicians

- Don Glen Vliet / vocals, harmonica, soprano sax, horn, Chinese gongs, composer, producer
- Jeff Moris Tepper / acoustic, electric & slide guitars
- Richard Snyder / bass, marimba, viola
- Cliff Martinez / drums, maracas, washboard, metal drums

- Gary Lucas / electric & slide guitars, dobro
- Eric Drew Feldman / synth bass & Rhodes (11)

Releases information

Artwork: Mekon with Anton Corbijn (photo)

LP Virgin ‎- ARE 38274 (1982, US)

CD Virgin ‎- CDV 2237 (1988, UK)
CD Virgin - CDVR2237 (2006, Europe) Remastered at Abbey Road Studios with a bonus track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy CAPTAIN BEEFHEART Ice Cream For Crow Music

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART Ice Cream For Crow ratings distribution

(82 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART Ice Cream For Crow reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars "Ice Cream For Crow" was Don Van Vliet's final studio album before his retirement from the music business to concentrate on painting (or because of an undisclosed illness, depending on who you believe). It was not a bad way to leave. In my not so humble opinion, his last three albums were his mos consistently enjoyable.

this album starts off well, with the title track bouncing along with that angular, disjointed sound Beefheart had always seemed to enjoy, but never quite perfected until the "Shiny Beast" album. The fun continues with "The Host The Ghost The Most Holy-O". a call and response tune that either hoists a glass to or makes fun of religion, depending upon your perspective.

The remainder of the album continues in this vein, with Beefheart's odd poetry serving well over the band's regulated cacophany.

The only low point is "81' Poop Hatch", where the Captain discusses poop for a bit loger than I'd like to hear.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Captain Beefheart's swansong is a charming companion piece to Doc At the Radar Station, continuing that album's mixture of jagged instrumentals, unaccompanied spoken word poetry, and twisted songs updating Beefheart's distinctive avant-blues style for a new era. The opening title track is probably the best one on here, Beefheart and the Magic Band creating a piece which is at once addictively danceable and yet, at the same time, completely bizarre. At points the use of slide guitar seems to fit in interestingly with the approach of new wave groups such as Talking Heads and Devo, whose unusual, angular musical styles perhaps owe a little thing or two to Beefheart.
Review by HolyMoly
4 stars A Fine Way to Go Out

By 1982, Captain Beefheart had gotten tired of the music business, and retired to pursue his painting and sculpting interests. This at a time when it seemed like the world was finally starting to catch up with him -- some high-profile appearances on Saturday Night Live and The David Letterman Show seemed to indicate that his popularity was on the rise. After the razor-sharp fury of Doc at the Radar Station, this album finds Beefheart settling into a more laid back groove. Laid back, but not happy and content. Not depressed or bitter either, just... a bit weary.

The title track opens the album with a jolt of electricity which is inviting and accessible -- the band released a promotional video clip of the song, even -- and it even sounds a bit bright and optimistic, as if the Captain still sees hope and good prospects ahead for delightful mischief. Things quickly settle back down into darker territory with "The Host the Ghost the Most Holy-O", a typically fine spoken piece with typical jagged accompaniment. The third song, "Semi-MultiColoured Caucasian", is less typical - a relatively smooth instrumental focusing on the interplay of the guitars, reminiscent of "Alice in Blunderland" from The Spotlight Kid (1972). My personal favorite Beefheart poem is next, the baffling "Hey Garland, I Dig Your Tweed Coat". Strange images ("...and the rainbow baboon gobbled fifteen fish eyes with each spoon!...") collide in random fashion, with suitably unpredictable and strange backing music. Gary Lucas (guitar) contributes the lovely solo piece "Evening Bell", and side one ends with another spoken piece similar to "Garland", entitled "Cardboard Cutout Sundown". So far we have plenty of odd and weird music, not to mention wild poetry, but these pieces differ from the prior album Doc at the Radar Station in that the Captain's rage and fury seems to be taken down a few notches.

Side two picks up the pace for a couple of peppy tracks, "The Past Sure is Tense" and "Ink Mathematics", both revealing a paranoid worldview in that abstract Beefheart way. "The Witch Doctor Life" brings out Beefheart's cracking falsetto and a bit more of a melodic singing style reminiscent of the Spotlight Kid album. "81 Poop Hatch" is a spoken word piece with no musical accompaniment, spoken in a low, serious tone of voice that intones lines like "my eyes are burnt and bleeding" and "trumpet poop on the ground with peanuts, its bell was blocking an ant's vision" in the same solemn tone. This song as well as the following "Thousand and Tenth Day of the Human Totem Pole" were leftovers from the original Bat Chain Puller album (see my review of that work for details), and the latter piece is one of this album's clear highlights. Totaling nearly six minutes, the music is long- winded and trudging, climbing in a linear fashion to a climax that never comes. Beefheart's recited allegory that accompanies this music is among his most astute and vivid bits of social observation. Ending the album is a scary bit of growling in the grotesque "Skeleton Makes Good", Beefheart's last spit of venom before he bows out of the music business.

In the context of Beefheart's discography, this sits as a very comfortable, self-assured album that indicates that he was on a creative roll, even if his energy level and emotional investment were quickly falling. It was a good note to go out on, a nice cap on a very solid discography.

Latest members reviews

3 stars This being his last album, it's really sad to know that he will no longer be making music. Out of all his albums, besides Trout Mask Replica, this is one of his most popular releases. Now the album's title track, which was released as a single did boost its popularity slightly, especially due ... (read more)

Report this review (#532215) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Sunday, September 25, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I got this album for my birthday present and it took me a couple listens to fully absorb it. This album hasn't got the melodic richness of Shiny beast or an initial strange impact of Trout mask replica. But it is definately a little better than Strictly personal, the record where many odd decisi ... (read more)

Report this review (#204729) | Posted by PurpleCobra | Sunday, March 1, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This album is certainly not Captain Beefheart's finest hour. "Ice Cream For Crow" was Beefheart's last real effort as a recording artist before his retirement from music, and in my opinion it was not a great note to end on. The opening track "Ice Cream For Crow", is reminiscent of his earlier work ... (read more)

Report this review (#146793) | Posted by cynthiasmallet | Wednesday, October 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Beefheart's last studio album before he gave up music, relocated into the Mojave desert and concentrated on his painting. For those who like the more 'out there' Beefheart this will not disappoint. I've owned it a long time and never got to grips with it apart from the track I bought it for, ... (read more)

Report this review (#105511) | Posted by zedkatz | Thursday, January 4, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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