Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)
|Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)|
|Studio album by Captain Beefheart|
|Recorded||July 6 – August 27, 1978 at The Automatt in San Francisco, California|
|Genre||Experimental rock, blues rock|
|Producer||Don Van Vliet
|Captain Beefheart chronology|
Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) is the tenth studio album by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band. Released in 1978, the album was produced by Captain Beefheart and Pete Johnson and released by Warner Bros. Records.
Shiny Beast emerged out of the production difficulties surrounding Bat Chain Puller, an album Captain Beefheart recorded for DiscReet and Virgin Records in 1976. DiscReet cofounders Herb Cohen and Frank Zappa feuded over the production of the album, because Cohen funded the production with Zappa's royalty checks.
Captain Beefheart recorded a new album, Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller), due to Zappa withholding the master tapes of the original Bat Chain Puller album. Shiny Beast was praised by music critics.
After recording Bongo Fury with Frank Zappa, Don Van Vliet formed a new Magic Band and began recording a new album, Bat Chain Puller, for DiscReet and Virgin Records. Herb Cohen, DiscReet's cofounder and Zappa's business manager, paid for the album's production costs with Zappa's royalty checks, leading Zappa to end his business partnership with Cohen. Cohen and Zappa each demanded to be paid an advance by Virgin, leading Zappa to withhold the master tapes, leading Cohen to sue Zappa.
Due to the lawsuit, Van Vliet rerecorded six Bat Chain Puller tracks for Warner Bros. Records under the title Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller), adding six new songs: "Tropical Hot Dog Night", "Ice Rose" (originally "Big Black Baby Shoes" on a Safe As Milk reissue), "You Know You're A Man", "When I See Mommy I Feel Like A Mummy", "Love Lies" and "Sunction Prints".
The music of Shiny Beast featured a mix of different music styles, similar to Safe As Milk, incorporating elements of pop, spoken word and experimental music. The song "Bat Chain Puller" was based upon the rhythm of Van Vliet's windshield wipers.
The album received favorable reviews. Robert Christgau declared Shiny Beast to be better than all Van Vliet's previous albums, writing "Without any loss of angularity or thickness, the new compositions achieve a flow worthy of Weill or Monk or Robert Johnson, and his lyrics aren't as willful as they used to be." Piero Scaruffi rated the album 7 out of 10.
A contemporary reviewer, Allmusic's Ned Raggett, also praised the album, writing "Shiny Beast turned out to be manna from heaven for those feeling Beefheart had lost his way on his two Mercury albums".
All lyrics and music by Don Van Vliet.
|1.||"The Floppy Boot Stomp"||3:51|
|2.||"Tropical Hot Dog Night"||4:49|
|5.||"You Know You're a Man"||3:14|
|6.||"Bat Chain Puller"||5:27|
|7.||"When I See Mommy I Feel Like a Mummy"||5:04|
- Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) - vocals, harmonica, soprano sax, whistling
- Jeff Moris Tepper - slide guitar, guitar, spell guitar
- Bruce Lambourne Fowler - trombone, air bass
- Eric Drew Feldman - synthesizer, Rhodes piano, grand piano, bass
- Richard Redus - slide guitar, bottleneck guitar, guitar, accordion, fretless bass
- Robert Arthur Williams - drums, percussion
- Art Tripp III - marimba, additional percussion
- Raggett, N. (2011 [last update]). "Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) - Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- Christgau, R. (2011 [last update]). "Robert Christgau: CG: Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- Scaruffi, Piero (1999). "Captain Beefheart". pieroscaruffi.com. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
- Scaruffi, P. (2011 [last update]). "The History of Rock Music. Captain Beefheart: biography, discography, reviews, links". scaruffi.com. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- Jeff Moris Tepper's candlebone.com
- The Wire's 100 Records That Set The World On Fire (When No One Was Listening)