Bluejeans & Moonbeams

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Bluejeans & Moonbeams
Studio album by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band
Released November 1974
Recorded August 1974
Stronghold Sound Recorders, North Hollywood, CA
Genre Rock
Length 36:50
Label Mercury (US), Virgin (UK)
Producer Andy DiMartino
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band chronology
Unconditionally Guaranteed
(1974)
Bluejeans & Moonbeams
(1974)
Bongo Fury
(1975)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B−[2]
The Captain Beefheart Radar Station (mixed)[3]

Bluejeans & Moonbeams is the ninth LP by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, originally released in 1974. Despite its uncharacteristically mainstream sound the album failed to chart. Most observers consider it to be one of the Captain's weakest works, leading fans to christen the line-up of the period the 'Tragic Band'.

The album does, however, have its influence: an early White Stripes EP entitled Party of Special Things to Do (2001) contains three Beefheart covers, including this album's opening track. Kate Bush in a Smash Hits interview considered this one of her top ten albums.[4]

Production[edit]

Having no musical training or instrumental experience, throughout his career Van Vliet had relied on a musical director within the band who could translate his often unorthodox ideas into a form that was musically playable. This role had been successively filled by Alex St. Clair, John French, and Bill Harkleroad on his previous albums. With the entire Magic Band having quit after the recording of his previous album he no longer had such an intermediary. As a result the album is generally considered the nadir of Van Vliet's musical career. One of the musicians, Micheal Smotherman, said "Don was just as confused as he could be throughout the whole process... I would push his face up to the microphone and he would start singing. And when it was time to stop I would pull him back gently."

Cover art[edit]

The album cover is a painting by Van Vliet's friend and cousin Victor Hayden, who featured on Trout Mask Replica with the nickname Beefheart bestowed upon him, The Mascara Snake.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Party of Special Things to Do" (Don Van Vliet, Elliot Ingber) 2:48
2. "Same Old Blues" (J. J. Cale) 4:00
3. "Observatory Crest" (Van Vliet, E. Ingber) 3:32
4. "Pompadour Swamp" (Van Vliet) 3:32
5. "Captain's Holiday" (R. Feldman, W. Richmond, S. Hickerson, C. Blackwell) 5:43
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Rock 'n Roll's Evil Doll" (Van Vliet, Mark Gibbons, Ira Ingber) 3:20
2. "Further Than We've Gone" (Van Vliet) 5:31
3. "Twist ah Luck" (Van Vliet, Gibbons, I. Ingber) 3:22
4. "Bluejeans & Moonbeams" (Van Vliet) 5:02

Personnel[edit]

The musicians in this version of the Magic Band appear on no other Beefheart album. Several of those who had played on Unconditionally Guaranteed and earlier albums had left to form Mallard.

Additional personnel
  • Ira Ingber – bass
  • Bob West – bass on "Observatory Crest"
  • Gene Pello – drums
  • Jimmy Caravan – keyboard, star machine
  • Mark Gibbons – keyboards

The personnel for the track "Captain's Holiday" is not known. The track was reportedly found on a discarded reel in the studio. The harmonica on the track is not played by Captain Beefheart (by his own admission).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mason, S. (2011). "Bluejeans & Moonbeams - Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Christgau, R. (2011). "Robert Christgau: CG: Artist 222". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "The Captain Beefheart Radar Station - No More Magic". beefheart.com. 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  4. ^ http://1001-songs.blogspot.com/2011/11/kate-bush-all-time-top-ten-fave-albums.html