Bluejeans & Moonbeams
|Bluejeans & Moonbeams|
|Studio album by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band|
Stronghold Sound Recorders, North Hollywood, CA
|Label||Mercury (US), Virgin (UK)|
|Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band chronology|
|The Captain Beefheart Radar Station||(mixed)|
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 some fans of the more abstract work to christen the line-up of the period the 'Tragic Band'.
Production and legacy
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."
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. Mercury Rev covered "Observatory Crest" for a BBC session in 1999, which was released as B-side on their "Little Rhymes" single in 2002.
John French listened to the album again in 2017, his apparent first listen since the album's release, and exclaimed that Van Vliet sounded almost lost in places, like he didn't "really know exactly where to sing" - and that "it must have been difficult for him to function in that environment". According to French, Van Vliet said himself that the only good part about the album was the cover art by his cousin, Victor Hayden.
|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|
|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|
- Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) – vocals, harmonica
- Dean Smith – guitar, bottleneck guitar
- Michael Smotherman – keyboards, backing vocals
- Ty Grimes – percussion
- 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 "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).
- Mason, S. (2011). "Bluejeans & Moonbeams - Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- Christgau, R. (2011). "Robert Christgau: CG: Artist 222". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- "The Captain Beefheart Radar Station - No More Magic". beefheart.com. 2011. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- "Graded on a Curve: Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, Bluejeans & Moonbeams - The Vinyl District". August 24, 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
- "1001 Songs: Kate Bush All Time Top Ten Fave Albums". 1001-songs.blogspot.co.uk. November 12, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
- http://i.imgur.com/LvNtvQz.jpg. Retrieved August 10, 2017. Missing or empty