|Studio album by Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band|
|Recorded||April 25 - May 2, 1968|
|Studio||Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood, California|
|Genre||Psychedelic rock, blues rock, lo-fi|
|Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band chronology|
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 a controversial reputation owing to producer Bob Krasnow's use of audio effects when the tracks were mixed down in accordance with the psychedelic trends of the day. Beefheart subsequently condemned this production, which he said was done without his knowledge or approval, though he is said initially to have agreed to it.
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). A considerable amount of material was recorded for the project during the period of October–November 1967 with Bob Krasnow producing. Buddah, however, declined to release the album, which was issued as Strictly Personal on Krasnow's own Blue Thumb label the following year.
The album features re-recorded versions of songs from the 1967 sessions. The psychedelic effects added by Krasnow included phasing, reverse tape, tape editing and deep echo. Beefheart always professed that he hated the effects, claiming they had been added without his knowledge, though it is likely he was aware and approved of them at the time. However, subsequent recordings of his are produced with a dry, unaffected sound.
Buddah released some recordings from the earlier sessions, along with an earlier version of "Kandy Korn", as Mirror Man in 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's concept or sequence.
|Rolling Stone||(mixed) |
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.
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".
All tracks written by Don Van Vliet.
|1.||"Ah Feel Like Ahcid"||3:05|
|2.||"Safe As Milk"||5:27|
|4.||"Son of Mirror Man - Mere Man"||5:20|
|2.||"Beatle Bones 'n' Smokin' Stones"||3:18|
|3.||"Gimme Dat Harp Boy"||5:05|
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," "Gimme Dat Harp Boy," and "Kandy Korn"
- Don Van Vliet – vocals, harmonica
- Alex St. Clair – guitar
- Jeff Cotton – guitar
- Jerry Handley – bass
- John French – drums
- Barnes, p. 55
- Platt, John (1999). The Mirror Man Sessions, liner notes.
- Mason, Stewart. "AllMusic review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
- Hansen, Barret (December 7, 1968). "Records". Rolling Stone. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
- Hansen, Barrett (December 7, 1968). "Strictly Personal Album Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- Mason, Stewart. "Strictly Personal - Captain Beefheart, Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- Barnes, Mike (2002). Captain Beefheart: The Biography. Cooper Square Press. p. 40. ISBN 9780815411901.
- Bermann, Herb (2015). The Mystery Man from the Magic Band. Brass Tacks Press. ISBN 978-0-9820140-1-1.
- Lyrics, reviews and further details at the Captain Beefheart Radar Station.