Clear Spot

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Clear Spot
Studio album by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band
Released October 1972
Recorded Autumn 1972
Genre Blues rock
Hard rock
Psychedelic rock
Protopunk
Length 37:11
Label Reprise
Producer Ted Templeman
Don Van Vliet
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band chronology
The Spotlight Kid
(1972)
Clear Spot
(1972)
Unconditionally Guaranteed
(1974)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Clear Spot is the seventh album by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, originally released on LP in 1972 in a clear plastic sleeve.

Production[edit]

After Trout Mask Replica, which was critically acclaimed but sold poorly, each of the group's following three albums was slightly more conventional than the one before. Beefheart wanted more commercial success – hence his decision to work with the widely respected team of producer Ted Templeman and engineer Donn Landee, who also created hits for artists such as The Doobie Brothers, Carly Simon and Van Morrison. Clear Spot gathers together much of the lyrical material that Beefheart had created or formulated at the beginning of The Spotlight Kid recordings.

Releases[edit]

The original release of the album was in a specially-produced clear plastic sleeve. The title 'Clear Spot' was embossed on the front flap, with the record clearly visible inside without a liner. This reflected the title: a "clear" cover with the black vinyl disc as a visible "spot." The original concept was for the disc to be of clear vinyl, but this was abandoned due to financial constraints.[2] The package also included a white card insert, with the band name and credits. For the UK this was a single weight card, but in the US issues this was back-to-back card with radius corners at the foot.

Upon expiry of these covers, for reissues and in other countries, a traditional white sleeve was employed with the title printed (as per image). The insert (or subsequent cover) shows a photo of Beefheart and band members in the control center of the Planetarium of Griffith Park Observatory, Los Angeles, California. It was Griffith Park and its zoo which had inspired him when young.[3]

On CD, the album is now available only as a "two for one" with its predecessor The Spotlight Kid, giving an overview of the work created when the band were in Felton and then nearby Trinidad, CA. Separately, the two albums are only available as vinyl LP reissues.

Charting[edit]

Clear Spot did not chart in the UK but did reach #191 on the Billboard Top 200.

Legacy[edit]

In March 2005, Q magazine placed "Big Eyed Beans from Venus" at number 53 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. "Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles" was featured on the soundtrack of the 1998 film The Big Lebowski, and was later covered by The Black Keys and the Washington D.C.-based band Shortstack. The title track has been covered by Painted Willie and by Mark Lanegan.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics and music by Don Van Vliet.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Low Yo Yo Stuff"   3:41
2. "Nowadays a Woman's Gotta Hit a Man"   3:46
3. "Too Much Time"   2:50
4. "Circumstances"   3:14
5. "My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains"   2:55
6. "Sun Zoom Spark"   2:13
Side two
No. Title Length
7. "Clear Spot"   3:40
8. "Crazy Little Thing"   2:38
9. "Long Neck Bottles"   3:18
10. "Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles"   2:57
11. "Big Eyed Beans from Venus"   4:23
12. "Golden Birdies"   1:36

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Bill Harkelroad, Lunar Notes p100. ISBN 0-946719-21-7
  3. ^ Splinters book by Artist Ink Editions (2003), ISBN 0-7379-0284-1 within Riding Some Kind Of Unusual Skull Sleigh Ltd. Ed. boxed work.