Strictly Personal

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This article is about the Captain Beefheart album. For The Romantics album, see Strictly Personal (The Romantics album). For the book by W. Somerset Maugham, see Bibliography of works by W. Somerset Maugham.
Strictly Personal
Strictly Personal.jpg
Studio album by Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band
Released October 1968
Recorded Sunset Sound, Hollywood, California,
April 25 - May 2, 1968
Genre Psychedelic rock, blues rock
Length 38:54
Label Blue Thumb
Producer Bob Krasnow
Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band chronology
Safe as Milk
Strictly Personal
Trout Mask Replica

Strictly Personal is the second album by Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band. It was originally released in October 1968, almost a year after the band had initially taken to the studio to record the follow-up to 1967's Safe as Milk. The finished album has been the subject of controversy owing to producer Bob Krasnow's addition of phasing to many of the tracks, which Beefheart initially supported, but subsequently claimed was done without his knowledge or approval.


The original intention was to record an album for Buddah Records entitled It Comes to You in a Plain Brown Wrapper (Strictly Personal's sleeve design is a relic of this initial concept).[1] A considerable amount of material was recorded for the project during the period of October–November 1967 with Bob Krasnow producing. Owing to reservations on the part of Buddah, however, the album was not released.[2] Instead, Strictly Personal was issued on Krasnow's own Blue Thumb label the following year. It features re-recorded versions of songs from the 1967 sessions, with psychedelic effects added by Krasnow. Beefheart always professed that he hated the effects, claiming they had been added without his knowledge, though it is likely he was in fact aware of Krasnow's action and approved of them at the time. However, the album's fate may have had a strong effect on his insistence on a dry, unaffected sound on later recordings.

The material from the earlier sessions would later be released, along with an earlier version of "Kandy Korn", as Mirror Man (1971). Much other material from the 1967 sessions has since been released; the compilation I May Be Hungry But I Sure Ain't Weird (1992) contained eleven of the original cuts taken from master tapes. This album has long since been out of print, but all eleven tracks can be found spread across The Mirror Man Sessions and the current version of Safe as Milk. Some of these tracks were also used for a vinyl-only release by the Sundazed label in 2008 bearing the original intended title of It Comes to You in a Plain Brown Wrapper, but this release does not duplicate the original album concept or sequence.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Rolling Stone (positive) [3]

Barret Hansen, in a December 1968 review for Rolling Stone, was unsure of the value of the record; he felt that Beefheart and his band had "the capability of making the ultimate white blues album", but that the "noisy, discom-bobulated freakout shit" and "liquid audio" spoil the potential, so that it was unclear to him if the album was the work of "the world's greatest white bluesman", "a competent musician, capable of occasional titanic moments", or "a hack performer" with genius production.[4]

Stewart Mason, in a retrospective Allmusic review, felt it was a terrific album but underrated due to the reputation of Bob Krasnow's remixing; although he did feel that the "sound effects and phasing do detract from the album at points".[5]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Don Van Vliet. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Ah Feel Like Ahcid"   3:05
2. "Safe As Milk"   5:27
3. "Trust Us"   8:09
4. "Son of Mirror Man - Mere Man"   5:20
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "On Tomorrow"   3:27
2. "Beatle Bones 'n' Smokin' Stones"   3:18
3. "Gimme Dat Harp Boy"   5:05
4. "Kandy Korn"   5:06

According to the album credits, all songs were written by Don Van Vliet. Lyricist Herb Bermann has contested this, claiming to have written the lyrics to the songs "Safe As Milk", "Trust Us" and "Gimme Dat Harp Boy"[6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barnes, p. 55
  2. ^ Platt, John (1999). The Mirror Man Sessions, liner notes.
  3. ^ Hansen, Barret (December 7, 1968). "Records". Rolling Stone (San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.). Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  4. ^ Barret Hansen (December 7, 1968). "Strictly Personal Album Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  5. ^ Stewart Mason. "Strictly Personal - Captain Beefheart, Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  6. ^ Barnes, Mike (2002). Captain Beefheart: The Biography. Cooper Square Press. p. 40. ISBN 9780815411901. 

External links[edit]