Unconditionally Guaranteed

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Unconditionally Guaranteed
Studio album by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band
Released April 1974
Recorded 1974
Hollywood Sound, L.A., CA
Genre Rock
Length 31:14
Label Mercury (US), Virgin (UK)
Producer Andy DiMartino
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band chronology
Clear Spot
Unconditionally Guaranteed
Bluejeans & Moonbeams
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B−[2]
Rolling Stone Album Guide (1992) 2.5/5 stars[3]
Sounds (mixed)[4]

Unconditionally Guaranteed is the eighth LP by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, originally released in 1974. It was recorded at Hollywood Sound, Los Angeles.

Upon release it was criticised for being too commercial; even so, it failed to give Beefheart any real chart success, peaking at #192 on the Billboard Top 200.

Magic Band quits[edit]

Immediately after recording of the album the entire Magic Band quit – as biographer Mike Barnes has stated, "[Beefheart] was in effect sacked by his own group."[5] They had become increasingly disenchanted with the lack of financial success, having subsisted on food stamps and donations from their parents, and with Beefheart's tyrannical control over the group. In the words of guitarist Bill Harkleroad "we had had enough of him treating us like punching bags."[6]

The album's lackluster and unchallenging music was the last straw. Drummer Art Tripp recalled, "When the band finally got our album copies, we were horrified. As we listened, it was as though each song was worse than the one which preceded it."[7]

Beefheart disowns[edit]

After his contract with Mercury Records ended at the end of 1974, Beefheart disowned the record along with its successor Bluejeans & Moonbeams. He urged his fans to "take copies back for a refund" and called the albums "horrible and vulgar".[8]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Don and Jan Van Vliet and Andy DiMartino. 

No. Title Length
1. "Upon the My-O-My"   2:43
2. "Sugar Bowl"   2:13
3. "New Electric Ride"   3:02
4. "Magic Be"   2:55
5. "Happy Love Song"   3:54
6. "Full Moon, Hot Sun"   2:19
7. "I Got Love on My Mind"   3:08
8. "This Is the Day"   4:51
9. "Lazy Music"   2:49
10. "Peaches"   3:20


Additional personnel
  • Mark Marcellino – keyboards
  • Andy DiMartino – acoustic guitar
  • Del Simmons – tenor sax, flute


  1. ^ Mason, S. (2011). "Unconditionally Guaranteed - 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. ^ Template:ISBN 0-679-73729-4
  4. ^ P., S. (2011). "The Captain Beefheart Radar Station - Unconditionally Guaranteed Review". beefheart.com. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Barnes, Mike. Captain Beefheart. Quartet Books, ISBN 0-7043-8073-0.
  6. ^ Bill Harkleroad with Billy James, Lunar Notes. SAF Publishing Ltd, 1998.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ [2]