Difference between revisions of "Trout Mask Replica"

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Perhaps one of the best-known Captain Beefheart albums, a collaboration with FZ. An incredible mix of influences crammed into a double-length album, with a sound that seems to exist outside of most musical styles.
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<div style="float:right;">
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{{Album Release Infobox |
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    Home          = [[:Category:Side Projects|Side Projects]] |
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    Previous album = [[An_Evening_With_Wild_Man_Fischer|Previous]] |
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    Next album    = [[A_Most_Immaculately_Hip_Aristocrat|Next]] |
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    Cover          = Image-trout_mask_cvr.jpg |
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    Name          = Trout Mask Replica |
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    Released      = 1969 |
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    Related        = See also:<br>[[Zappéd]]<br>[[Grow Fins: Rarities 1965-1982]]<br>[http://www.beefheart.com/trout-mask-replica-discography/ Captain Beefheart Radar Station] |
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}}
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</div>
  
Recorded at [[Whitney Studios]], Los Angeles, CA; April 1969
+
==Players==
  
Released 1969 (US Original) on [[Straight Records]] (STS 1053)
+
*[[Captain Beefheart]] [ Don Van Vliet ] - (bass clarinet, tenor sax, soprano sax, simran horn, musette, vocal)
 +
*Rockette Morton [Mark Boston] - (bass, narration)
 +
*Antennae Jimmy Semens [Jeff Cotton] - (steel-appendage guitar, flesh horn, vocal on Pena)
 +
*Zoot Horn Rollo [Bill Harkleroad] - (glass finger guitar, flute)
 +
*The Mascara Snake [Victor Hayden] - (bass clarinet, vocal)
 +
*Doug Moon - (guitar on China Pig)
  
'''Song List'''
+
'''Uncredited;'''
* Frownland
 
* The Dust Blows Forward 'N The Dust Blows Back - Recorded at Beefheart House, Woodland Hills, CA; c. 1969 (engineered by John French)
 
* Dachau Blues
 
* Ella Guru
 
* Hair Pie: Bake 1 - Recorded at Beefheart House, Woodland Hills, CA; c. 1969
 
* Moonlight on Vermont - recorded at TTG Recorders, Los Angeles, CA; late 1968 (produced and engineered by FZ)
 
* Pachuco Cadaver
 
* Bills Corpse
 
* Sweet Sweet Bulbs
 
* Neon Meate Dream of a Octafish
 
* China Pig - Recorded at Beefheart House, Woodland Hills, CA; c. 1969 (produced & engineered by Don Van Vliet)
 
* My Human Gets Me Blues
 
* Dali's Car
 
* Hair Pie: Bake 2
 
* Pena
 
* Well - Recorded at Beefheart House, Woodland Hills, CA; c. 1969
 
* When Big Joan Sets Up
 
* Fallin' Ditch
 
* Sugar 'N Spikes
 
* Ant Man Bee
 
* Orange Claw Hammer - Recorded at Beefheart House, Woodland Hills, CA; c. 1969 (produced by Don Van Vliet, engineered by John French)
 
* Wild Life
 
* She's Too Much For My Mirror
 
* Hobo Chang Ba
 
* [[The Blimp]] - recorded over telephone (vocal) and at Columbia University, New York, 1969
 
* Steal Softly Thru Snow
 
* Old Fart at Play
 
* Veteran's Day Poppy - recorded at TTG Recorders, Los Angeles, CA; late 1968
 
 
'''Original liner information'''  
 
  
ZOOT HORN ROLLO: glass finger guitar, flute<br>
+
*Drumbo [ [[John French]] ] - (drums, percussion)
ANTENNAE JIMMY SEMENS: steel-appendage guitar<br>
+
*Gary Marker - (bass guitar on 'Moonlight' & 'Veteran')
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART: bass clarinet, tenor sax, soprano sax, vocal<br>
+
*[[Biography|FZ]] (comments on [[The Blimp]])
THE MASCARA SNAKE: bass clarinet & vocal<br>
 
ROCKETTE MORTON: bass & narration<br>
 
DRUMBO: drums [not listed on original liner, only CD reissue]<br>
 
  
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART plays tenor & soprano sax simultaneously on Ant Man Bee, simran horn & musette on Neon Meate Dream; ANTENNAE JIMMY SEMENS sing lead vocal on Pena & plays flesh horn on Ella Guru; special guest artist DOUG MOON plays guitar on China Pig;
+
==Tracks==
  
Produced by FRANK ZAPPA<br>
+
{| cellspacing="30"
Arranged by DON VAN VLIET
 
  
 +
|valign="top"|<div id="LP"><big>'''Double LP'''</big></div>
 +
'''Side One'''
 +
#Frownland (1:39)
 +
#The Dust Blows Forward 'N The Dust Blows Back (2:04)
 +
#Dachau Blues (2:21)
 +
#Ella Guru (2:23)
 +
#Hair Pie: Bake 1 (4:57)
 +
#Moonlight on Vermont  (3:55)
 +
 +
'''Side Two'''
 +
#Pachuco Cadaver (4:37)
 +
#Bills Corpse (1:47)
 +
#Sweet Sweet Bulbs (2:17)
 +
#Neon Meate Dream Of A Octafish (2:25)
 +
#China Pig (3:56)
 +
#My Human Gets Me Blues (2:42)
 +
#Dali's Car (1:25)
 +
 +
'''Side Three'''
 +
#Hair Pie: Bake 2 (2:23)
 +
#Pena (2:31)
 +
#Well (2:05)
 +
#When Big Joan Sets Up (5:19)
 +
#Fallin' Ditch (2:03)
 +
#Sugar 'n Spikes  (2:29)
 +
#Ant Man Bee  (3:55)
 +
 +
'''Side Four'''
 +
#Orange Claw Hammer (3:35)
 +
#Wild Life (3:07)
 +
#She's Too Much For My Mirror (1:42)
 +
#Hobo Chang Ba (2:01)
 +
#[[The Blimp]] (2:04)
 +
#Steal Softly Thru Snow (2:13)
 +
#Old Fart At Play (1:54)
 +
#Veteran's Day Poppy (4:30)
 +
 +
|valign="top"|<div id="CD"><big>'''CD'''</big></div>
 +
#Frownland (1:41)
 +
#The Dust Blows Forward 'N The Dust Blows Back (1:53)
 +
#Dachau Blues (2:22)
 +
#Ella Guru (2:27)
 +
#Hair Pie: Bake 1 (4:59)
 +
#Moonlight on Vermont  (3:59)
 +
#Pachuco Cadaver (4:40)
 +
#Bills Corpse (1:49)
 +
#Sweet Sweet Bulbs (2:21)
 +
#Neon Meate Dream Of A Octafish (2:26)
 +
#China Pig (4:02)
 +
#My Human Gets Me Blues (2:46)
 +
#Dali's Car (1:26)
 +
#Hair Pie: Bake 2 (2:23)
 +
#Pena (2:34)
 +
#Well (2:08)
 +
#When Big Joan Sets Up (5:18)
 +
#Fallin' Ditch (2:08)
 +
#Sugar 'n Spikes  (2:30)
 +
#Ant Man Bee  (3:57)
 +
#Orange Claw Hammer (3:35)
 +
#Wild Life (3:09)
 +
#She's Too Much For My Mirror (1:40)
 +
#Hobo Chang Ba (2:02)
 +
#[[The Blimp]] (2:05)
 +
#Steal Softly Thru Snow (2:18)
 +
#Old Fart At Play (1:51)
 +
#Veteran's Day Poppy (4:32)
 +
|}
 +
 +
==Release Notes==
 +
'''The LP;'''
 +
 +
Recorded at [[Whitney Recording Studio|Whitney Studios]], Glendale, CA; April 1969<br>
 +
Released 1969 (US Original) on [[Straight Records|Straight]] Label (STS 1053)<br>
 +
Produced by [[Biography|Frank Zappa]]<br>
 +
Arranged by [[Captain Beefheart|Don van Vliet]]<br>
 
Engineered by [[Dick Kunc]]<br>
 
Engineered by [[Dick Kunc]]<br>
 
Album design: [[Cal Schenkel]]<br>
 
Album design: [[Cal Schenkel]]<br>
Photography: [[Ed Caraeff]]/[[Cal Schenkel]]<br>
+
Photography: [[Ed Caraeff]]/Cal Schenkel<br>
Special electronic modifications on Captain Beefheart's band equipment by [[Dick Kunc]]<br>
+
Special electronic modifications on Captain Beefheart's band equipment by Dick Kunc<br>
Most recent in a long series of contract negotiations leading to an actual signing: Neil C. Reshen
+
Most recent in a long series of contract negotiations leading to an actual signing: [[Neil Reshen|Neil C. Reshen]]<br>
 +
All songs written by Captain Beefheart [© 1969 Words & music copyrighted for the world by Beefheart Music Co. BMI]
 +
 
 +
'''The CD reissue;'''
 +
 
 +
As above, with the addition: CD design and restoration: Tom Recchion
 +
 
 +
'''Uncredited (for both LP & CD);'''
 +
 
 +
Tracks 1:6 & 4:8 - recorded & engineered by [[Biography|FZ]] at [[Sunset Sound Recorders]], Hollywood, CA; c. late 1968<br>
 +
Tracks 1:2, 1:5, 2:5, 3:3 & 4:1 - from recordings made by Beefheart/French at the house.<br>
 +
Track 2:5 - produced & engineered by Don van Vliet<br>
 +
Track 4:1 - produced by Don Van Vliet & engineered by [[John French]]<br>
 +
[[The Blimp]] - recorded over telephone by FZ (FZ: intro comment, Cotton: narration) and at Columbia University, New York, 1969
 +
 
 +
==Liner Notes==
 +
 
 +
Beefheart plays two instruments simultaneously on two tracks:<br>
 +
The Tenor & Soprano sax on 'Ant Man Bee' and the Simran Horn & Musette on 'Neon Meate Dream Of A Octafish'.
 +
 
 +
==Background Information==
 +
 
 +
'''What Zappa said of the album and working with Beefheart;'''<br>
 +
<blockquote>"...The high point of our relationship (according to [[wikipedia:Rolling Stone|Rolling Stone]] -- and aren't they some kind of authority on these matters?) was making the [[Trout Mask Replica]] album together in 1969. Don [van Vliet] is not technically oriented, so, first I had to help him figure out what he wanted to do, and then, from a practical standpoint, how to execute his demands. I wanted to do the album as if it were an anthropological field recording -- in his house. The whole band was living in a small house in the San Fernando Valley (we could use the word cult in here). I was working with [[Dick Kunc]], the recording engineer on [[Uncle Meat]] and [[Cruising With Ruben & The Jets]]. To make remote recordings in those days, Dick had a Shure eight-channel mixer remounted in a briefcase. He could sit in a corner at a live gig with earphones on and adjust the levels, and have the outputs of the briefcase mixer feeding a Uher portable tape recorder. I had been using that technique with the [[The Mothers|M.O.I.]] for road tapes. I thought it would be great to go to Don's house with this portable rig and put the drums in the bedroom, the bass clarinet in the kitchen and the vocals in the bathroom: complete isolation, just like in a studio -- except that the band members probably would feel more at home, since they were at home. We taped a few selections that way, and I thought they sounded terrific, but Don got paranoid, accused me of trying to do the album on the cheap, and demanded to go into a real recording studio. So we moved the whole operation to Glendale, into a place called Whitney, the studio I was using at that time -- owned by the Mormon church. The basic tracks were cut -- now it was time for Don's vocals. Ordinarily a singer goes in the studio, puts earphones on, listens to the track, tries to sing in time with it and away you go. Don couldn't tolerate the earphones. He wanted to stand in the studio and sing as loud as he could -- singing along with the audio leakage coming through the three panes of glass which comprised the control-room window. The chances of him staying in sync were nil -- but that's the way the vocals were done. Usually, when you record a drum set, the cymbals provide part of the 'air' at the top end of the mix. Without a certain amount of this frequency information, mixes tend to sound claustrophobic. Don demanded that the cymbals have pieces of corrugated cardboard mounted on them (like mutes), and that circular pieces of cardboard be laid over the drum heads, so Drumbo [ [[John French]] ] wound up flogging stuff that went "thump! boomph! doof!" After it was mixed, I did the editing and assembly in my basement. I finished at approximately 6:00 A.M. on Easter Sunday, 1969. I called them up and said, "Come on over; your album is done." They dressed up like they were going to Easter church and came over. They listened to the record and said they loved it. The last time I saw Don was 1980 or '81. He stopped by one of our rehearsals. He looked pretty beat. He had gone back and forth with some contracts at Warner Bros., and it just hadn't worked out. I suppose he is still living in Northern California, but not recording anymore. He bought some property up there -- someplace where he could see whales swim by.
 +
 
 +
<div align=right>-Frank Zappa, [[The Real Frank Zappa Book]]</div align=right></blockquote>
 +
 
 +
With Beefheart's house becoming the makeshift  'studio' in which this album was written and rehearsed, both the closeted nature of this living room environment and Beefheart's off-the-wall method of working caused many fractious moments in this period. Details of these events can be found collectively in the booklets contained within the [[Captain Beefheart]] compilation CDs '[[The Dust Blows Forward: An Anthology]]' & '[[Grow Fins: Rarities 1965-1982]]', both released in 1999.  (The latter containing a previously unreleased version of a song taken from this Trout Mask Replica album, [[Orange Claw Hammer]], with FZ on guitar).
 +
 
 +
Before the album release an incident involving Beefheart's replacement of drummer [[John French]] resulted in French- much to his chagrin- not being credited on the album. It is widely acknowledged by band members that French's input was fundamental to the structure of the tracks, both in his drumming skills and in his ability to transcribe Beefheart's often scribbled ideas into playable pieces for other band members. Much of the album's musical development was captured daily on a domestic tape machine and portions of these recordings by Beefheart and French have been used directly on the album, adding to the [[wikipedia:Musique concrète|musique concrète]] effect Zappa had envisaged of the project.
  
All songs written by Captain Beefheart<br>
+
As Zappa's concept of recording 26 of the tracks at the house with Dick Kunc caused contention with Beefheart,  a six and a half hour session was booked at Whitney Studios. The band were so well rehearsed that, according to French, "We actually did the basics in four and a half hours". The two remaining tracks 'Moonlight On Vermont' and 'Veteran's Day Poppy' had been recorded by FZ late in the previous year at Sunset Sound, with Gary Marker standing in for a departed Magic Band bass-player. Marker helped develop these tracks at the house and his involvement came about by virtue of his work in The Rising Sons with Ry Cooder, an ex Magic Band musician. French says of these two tracks "There is a different sound on those songs which can be attributed to the fact that the studio had recently been refurbished to 'solid state' electronics, and Frank [Zappa] was still a little unfamiliar with the equipment". Neither Marker or the studio gained credit on the album.
© 1969 Words & music copyrighted for the world by Beefheart Music Co. BMI
 
  
Added to the CD issue after the words "most recent...":<br>
+
==Zappa about ''Trout Mask Replica''==
CD design and restoration: Tom Recchion
 
  
 +
''"Trout Mask Replica" was a splendid album, there's nothing else like it."'' - Frank Zappa in ''[[Frank Zappa, 82/06]]'', Steve Rosen, Record Review, June 1982.
  
"The Odyssey of Captain Beefheart" (Langdon Winner, May 14, 1970, Roling Stone): Zappa has always had a great admiration for his old friend from Lancaster - an admiration often bordering on worship. Like so many of those around Beefheart, Zappa considers the man to be one of the few great geniuses of our time. When the smoke had cleared from the Blue Thumb snafu, Zappa came to Beefheart and told him that he would put out an album on his label, Straight Records. Whatever Beefheart wanted to do was O.K. and there would be no messing around with layers of electronic bullshit. The result was Trout Mask Replica, an album which this writer considers to be the most astounding and most important work of art ever to appear on a phonograph record. When Beefheart learned of the opportunity to make an album totally without restrictions, he sat down at the piano and in eight and a half hours wrote all twenty-eight songs included on Trout Mask. When I asked him jokingly why it took that long, he replied, "Well, I'd never played the piano before and I had to figure out the fingering." With a stack of cassettes going full time, Don banged out "Frownland," "Dachau Blues," "Veterans' Day Poppy," and all of the others complete with words. When he is creating, this is exactly how Don works --- fast and furious. "I don't spend a lot of time thinking. It just comes through me. I don't know how else to explain it." In his box of cassettes there are probably dozens of albums of Trout Mask Replica quality or better. The trouble is that once the compositions are down it takes him a long time to teach them to his musicians. In this case it took almost a year of rehearsal. Trout Mask Replica is truly beyond comparison in the realm of contemporary music. While it has roots in avant-garde jazz and Delta blues, Beefheart has taken his music far beyond these influences. The distinctive glass finger guitar of Zoot Horn Rollo and steel appendage guitar of Antennae Jimmy Semens continues the style of guitar playing which he has been developing from the start. It is a strange cacophonous sound --- fragmented, often irritating, but always natural, penetrating and true. Beefheart himself does not play the guitar, but he does teach each and every note to his players. The same holds true for the drums. Don does not play the drums but has always loved unusual rhythms and writes some of the most delightful drum breaks in all of music. On Trout Mask Replica Beefheart sings 20 or so of his different voices and blows a wild array of post-Ornette licks through his "breather apparatus" --- soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone and musette. When Beefheart inhales before taking a horn solo, all of the oxygen in the room seems to vanish into his lungs. Then he closes his eyes, blows out and lets his fingers dance and leap over the keys. The sound that bursts forth is a perfect compliment to his singing --- free, unrefined and full of humor. Trout Mask is the perfect blend of the lyrics, spirit and conception that had been growing in Don Van Vliet's mind for a decade. Although it is a masterpiece, it will probably be many years before American audiences catch up to the things that happen on this totally amazing record. For the first time in his career, Beefheart was entirely satisfied with his album. Zappa had made good his promise to give him the freedom he required and in fact issue the record in a pure and unaltered form. Nevertheless, the Beefheart/Zappa relationship is presently anything but an amicable one. Beefheart claims that Zappa is promoting Trout Mask Replica in a tasteless manner. He does not appreciate being placed on the Bizarre-Straight roster of freaks next to Alice Cooper and the GTO's. He constantly complains that Straight Records' promotion campaign is doing him more harm than good. Straight Records on the other hand claims that Beefheart's problems are all of his own making. He refuses to go on tour and procrastinates about making a follow-up album. "What can we do?" a Straight P.R. man asked me. "Beefheart is a genius, but a very difficult man to work with. All we can do is try to be as reasonable as possible." Straight's brass recall that during the recording of the parts of Trout Mask which were done in Beefheart's home, Don Van Vliet asked for a tree surgeon to be in residence. The trees around the house, he believed, might become frightened of the noise and fall over. Straight refused to hire the tree surgeon, but later received a bill for $250 for such services. After the sessions were over Beefheart has hired his own tree doctor to give the oaks and cedars in his yard a thorough medical check up --- his way of thanking them for not falling down. In another classic story of this sort, Herb Cohen of Straight recalls that one day he noticed that Beefheart had ordered 20 sets of sleigh bells for a recording session. Cohen pointed out that even if Frank Zappa and the engineer were added to the bell ringing this would account for only 14 sleigh bells --- one in each hand of the performers. "What are you going to do with the other six?" he asked. "We'll overdub them," Beefheart replied.
 
  
 +
'''[[Matt Groening]]''': '''What do you think of Beefheart's music?'''
  
'''Trout Mask Replica - Lester Bangs, July 26, 1969, [[Rolling Stone]]'''
+
'''Frank Zappa''': ''"The best of it is unbelievable, and the worst of it is under the influence of some really bad A&R people at Warner Brothers. But there are things on Trout Mask Replica that are unbelievable, and on [[Clear Spot]] also."''  
  
Captain Beefheart, the only true dadaist in rock, has been victimized repeatedly by public incomprehension and critical authoritarianism. The tendency has been to chide C.B. and his Band as a potentially acceptable blues band who were misled onto the paths of greedy trendy commercialism. What the critics failed to see was that this was a band with a vision, that their music, difficult raucous and rough as it is, proceeded from a unique and original consciousness.
+
- Quoted from ''[[The Mother Of All Interviews (Part 2)]]'', 1992.
  
This became dramatically apparent with their last album. Since their music derived as much from the new free jazz and African chant rhythms as from Delta blues, the songs tended to he rattly and wayward. clattering along on weirdly jabbering high-pitched guitars and sprung rhythms. But the total conception and its execution was more in the nature of a tribal Pharaoh Sanders Archie Shepp fire-exorcism than the ranting noise of the Blue Cheer strain of groups.
+
==Conceptual Continuity==
  
Thus it's very gratifying to say that Captain Beefheart's new album is a total success; a brilliant, stunning enlargeme and clarification of his art. Which is not to say that it's in any sense slick, "artistic" or easy. This is one of the few bands whose sound has actually gotten rawer as they've matured - a brilliant and refreshing strategy. Again the rhythms and melodic textures jump all over the place (in the same way that Cecil Taylor's do). Beefheart singing like a lonesome werewolf screaming and growling in the night. The songs clatter about - given a superficial listening they seem boring and repetitious. It's perhaps the addition of saxophones (all played by the five men in the band) that first suggests what's really happening here and always has been happening in this group's music.  
+
'Dali's Car' is a track on the album. During the album's development, according to drummer [[John French]] in [[Grow Fins: Rarities 1965-1982]], the band visited [[Salvador Dali]]'s art exhibition at the LA County Arts Museum, followed by discussions between FZ and French regarding his [French's] transcript of 'Dali's Car' which Beefheart "had just written". In the May 9, 1970 New Musical Express article [[Zappa – Outrageous Star]] Allan McDougall writes "...he [Zappa] spends most of his time in the basement, which is worth describing since there can be no other like it in the world. It is about the size of a tennis court. One wall is covered by a painting by Salvadore Dali, of a car on fire..."
 +
Salvador Dali is included in the list of names on the cover of [[Freak Out!]] and the continuity is furthered with a homage to Dali in the [[Christopher Mark Brennan]] painting used for the cover art of [[Wazoo]], derived from [http://artchive.com/artchive/D/dali/dali_voltaire.jpg.html ''Slave Market with the Disappearing Bust of Voltaire'' by Salvador Dali, 1940].
  
On "Hair Pie Bake One," for instance, the whole group gets into a raucous wrangling horn dialog that reveals a strong Albert Ayler influence. The music truly meshes, flows, and excites in a way that almost none of the self-conscious, carefully crafted jazz-rock bullshit of the past year has done. And the reason for this is that while many other groups have picked up on the trappings of the new jazz, Cap and the Magic Band are into its essence, the white-hot stream of un-"cultured" energy, getting there with a minimum of strain to boot. This is the key to their whole instrumental approach, from the drummer's whirling poly- and even a- rhythmic patterns (compare them to Sonny Murray's on Ayler's Spiritual Unity or Ed Blackwell's on Don Cherry's Symphony For Improvisers), to the explosive, diffuse guitar lines, which (like Lou Reed's for the Velvet Underground or Gary Peacock's bass playing on Spiritual Unity) stretch, tear, and distend the electric guitar's usual vocabulary with the aim of extending that vocabulary past its present strictly patterned limitations - limitations that are as tyrannically stultifying for the rock musician today as Charlie Parker's influence was for the jazzmen of the late Fifties.
+
==Alternate Covers==
 +
==Versions==
 +
{| {{Versions Table Header}}
 +
| align="center" rowspan="6" | n/a
 +
| align="center" rowspan="6" | '''1<br>Original<br>[[Wikipedia:Stereophonic sound|Stereo]]'''
 +
| align="center" | 2
 +
| align="center" | [[wikipedia:Long playing record|LP]]
 +
| [[CBS Records|CBS]] [[Straight Records|Straight]]<br>2 STS&nbsp;1053
 +
| 1969
 +
| None
 +
| &nbsp;
 +
| UK edition. [[Matrix Numbers|Matrix #]] Side 1: STS 1053 A1 ; Side 2: STS 1053 B1 ; Side 3: STS 1053 C1 ; Side 4: STS 1053 D1 ; all 4 runouts have a 'triangle' of 3 dots opposite/across from matrices & sides 2/3 have, in space between matrices & dots, the mark:  ( |
 +
|-
 +
| align="center" | 1
 +
| align="center" | [[Wikipedia:8-track_cartridge|8T]]
 +
| [[Warner Brothers]] [[Reprise Records|Reprise]]<br>8ST&nbsp;10532
 +
| 1969
 +
| None
 +
| &nbsp;
 +
| &nbsp;
 +
|-
 +
| align="center" | 1
 +
| align="center" | [[Wikipedia:Compact audio cassette|CS]]
 +
| Warner Reprise<br>CST&nbsp;10532
 +
| 1969
 +
| None
 +
| &nbsp;
 +
| &nbsp;
 +
|-
 +
| align="center" | 2
 +
| align="center" | LP
 +
| Warner / Reprise<br>2&nbsp;MS 2027
 +
| 1972
 +
| None
 +
| &nbsp;
 +
| Australian edition.
 +
|-
 +
| align="center" | 2
 +
| align="center" | LP
 +
| Reprise<br>K&nbsp;64026
 +
| 1975
 +
| None
 +
| &nbsp;
 +
| UK edition.
 +
|-
 +
| align="center" | 1
 +
| align="center" | [[wikipedia:Compact disc|CD]]
 +
| [[Reprise Records|Reprise]]<br>927&nbsp;196-2
 +
| 1990-10-25?
 +
| 0075992719629
 +
| &nbsp;
 +
| French edition printed in Germany. Matrix # IFPI 05L3 IFPI L011 759927196-2.4 06/04 V02
 +
|}
  
1 mustn't forget the lyrics. You certainly won't; the album on a purely verbal level is an explosion of maniacal free-association incantations, eschewing (with the authentic taste that assassinates standards of Taste) solemn 'poetic’ pretensions and mundane, obvious mono-syllabic mindlessness. Where, for in stance, have you heard lyrics like these; "Tits tits the blimp the blimp / The mother ship the mother ship / The brothers hid under the hood / From the blimp the blimp…. all the people stir / ‘n the girls' knees tremble / 'n run 'n wave their hands / 'n run their hands over the blimp the blimp…".
+
==Notes==
  
The double record set costs as much as two regular albums, hut unlike most of these superlong superexpensive items it's really sustained, and worth the money, which is perhaps not so much to pay for 27 songs and what may well be the most unusual and challenging musical experience you'll have this year.
+
#<div id="Note1">In typical Beefheart fashion the sleeve notes provide ambiguous names for instruments. One such is 'Glass finger guitar' suggesting the [[wikipedia:Bottleneck guitar|Bottleneck guitar]] style of playing, brought to prominence by early blues musicians who literally used the neck of a broken bottle on their finger to create sustained sound-effects by oscillating it on the strings. [[wikipedia:Bill harkleroad|Bill Harkleroad]] is an exponent of this playing style.</div>
 +
#<div id="Note2">(Can any 'techies' fill in the gaps on this one?) In late 1968 Zappa had a unique 16-track recorder built for him by T.T.G. Studios in Hollywood. This machine was moved to and from Sunset Sound in Hollywood and Whitney Studios in Glendale as and when needed, primarily for the recording of Hot Rats- released in Oct 69. In this timeframe Trout Mask Replica was produced, 2 tracks at Sunset (late '68), 26 at Whitney (early '69). Over in wikipedia [[wikipedia:Hot Rats|Hot Rats]] it's claimed that Hot Rats was the 1st release on 16-track... it's very likely TMR was also put together on this equipment (regarding French's refs to 'unfamiliarity' etc)- and released before 'Rats'.</div>
  
'''Trout Mask Replica - Buddy Seigel, March 25, 1983, [[Los Angeles Times]]'''
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==See Also==
  
Don (Captain Beefheart) Van Vliet was among the most challenging and idiosyncratic of artists to come down the pike in the '60s. Drawing his influences from the blues, free jazz and the avant-garde, he made music and poetry that was at once freakish and tradition-bound, nonsensical and intellectual, recalcitrant and disciplined-contradictions that kept his work consistently compelling from his early days right through his still-lamented retirement from recording in the '80s. "Trout Mask Replica," his fourth album, is perhaps his most celebrated. The two-record set was produced by Frank Zappa, his childhood chum and musical benefactor. Often repellent but undeniably evocative song/poems such as "Neon Meate Dream of a Octafish," "Old Fart at Play" and "Orange Claw Hammer" reach out like acid nightmares or scenes from some early unseen John Waters film. The music is dense and frenzied: Van Vliet's saxophone wails, and fractious time signatures and demented compositions reveal debts to Ornette Coleman, John Cage and Zappa without ever losing their original, visionary qualities. Some may find the album so disturbing as to be unlistenable, but it is a manifestation of forethought and precision masquerading as anarchy: Van Vliet and his Magic Band knew exactly what to play, where to play it and why it works.
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*[[Trout Mask Replica: Reviews]]
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*[[Zappéd]]
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Musician information on Wikipedia:
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*[[wikipedia:John French (musician)|John French]]
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*[[wikipedia:Bill harkleroad|Bill Harkleroad]]
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*[[wikipedia:Mark Boston|Mark Boston]]
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*[[wikipedia:Jeff Cotton|Jeff Cotton]]
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*[[wikipedia:The Mascara Snake|Victor Hayden]]<br>
  
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[[Category:Discography]]
 
[[Category:Side Projects]]
 
[[Category:Side Projects]]
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[[Category:Favorite Albums]]
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[[Category:1969]]
 
[[Category:The Real Frank Zappa Book (The List)]]
 
[[Category:The Real Frank Zappa Book (The List)]]

Latest revision as of 06:41, 20 October 2021

Side Projects
Previous Next
Trout Mask Replica
Released 1969
See also:
Zappéd
Grow Fins: Rarities 1965-1982
Captain Beefheart Radar Station

Players

  • Captain Beefheart [ Don Van Vliet ] - (bass clarinet, tenor sax, soprano sax, simran horn, musette, vocal)
  • Rockette Morton [Mark Boston] - (bass, narration)
  • Antennae Jimmy Semens [Jeff Cotton] - (steel-appendage guitar, flesh horn, vocal on Pena)
  • Zoot Horn Rollo [Bill Harkleroad] - (glass finger guitar, flute)
  • The Mascara Snake [Victor Hayden] - (bass clarinet, vocal)
  • Doug Moon - (guitar on China Pig)

Uncredited;

  • Drumbo [ John French ] - (drums, percussion)
  • Gary Marker - (bass guitar on 'Moonlight' & 'Veteran')
  • FZ (comments on The Blimp)

Tracks

Double LP

Side One

  1. Frownland (1:39)
  2. The Dust Blows Forward 'N The Dust Blows Back (2:04)
  3. Dachau Blues (2:21)
  4. Ella Guru (2:23)
  5. Hair Pie: Bake 1 (4:57)
  6. Moonlight on Vermont (3:55)

Side Two

  1. Pachuco Cadaver (4:37)
  2. Bills Corpse (1:47)
  3. Sweet Sweet Bulbs (2:17)
  4. Neon Meate Dream Of A Octafish (2:25)
  5. China Pig (3:56)
  6. My Human Gets Me Blues (2:42)
  7. Dali's Car (1:25)

Side Three

  1. Hair Pie: Bake 2 (2:23)
  2. Pena (2:31)
  3. Well (2:05)
  4. When Big Joan Sets Up (5:19)
  5. Fallin' Ditch (2:03)
  6. Sugar 'n Spikes (2:29)
  7. Ant Man Bee (3:55)

Side Four

  1. Orange Claw Hammer (3:35)
  2. Wild Life (3:07)
  3. She's Too Much For My Mirror (1:42)
  4. Hobo Chang Ba (2:01)
  5. The Blimp (2:04)
  6. Steal Softly Thru Snow (2:13)
  7. Old Fart At Play (1:54)
  8. Veteran's Day Poppy (4:30)
CD
  1. Frownland (1:41)
  2. The Dust Blows Forward 'N The Dust Blows Back (1:53)
  3. Dachau Blues (2:22)
  4. Ella Guru (2:27)
  5. Hair Pie: Bake 1 (4:59)
  6. Moonlight on Vermont (3:59)
  7. Pachuco Cadaver (4:40)
  8. Bills Corpse (1:49)
  9. Sweet Sweet Bulbs (2:21)
  10. Neon Meate Dream Of A Octafish (2:26)
  11. China Pig (4:02)
  12. My Human Gets Me Blues (2:46)
  13. Dali's Car (1:26)
  14. Hair Pie: Bake 2 (2:23)
  15. Pena (2:34)
  16. Well (2:08)
  17. When Big Joan Sets Up (5:18)
  18. Fallin' Ditch (2:08)
  19. Sugar 'n Spikes (2:30)
  20. Ant Man Bee (3:57)
  21. Orange Claw Hammer (3:35)
  22. Wild Life (3:09)
  23. She's Too Much For My Mirror (1:40)
  24. Hobo Chang Ba (2:02)
  25. The Blimp (2:05)
  26. Steal Softly Thru Snow (2:18)
  27. Old Fart At Play (1:51)
  28. Veteran's Day Poppy (4:32)

Release Notes

The LP;

Recorded at Whitney Studios, Glendale, CA; April 1969
Released 1969 (US Original) on Straight Label (STS 1053)
Produced by Frank Zappa
Arranged by Don van Vliet
Engineered by Dick Kunc
Album design: Cal Schenkel
Photography: Ed Caraeff/Cal Schenkel
Special electronic modifications on Captain Beefheart's band equipment by Dick Kunc
Most recent in a long series of contract negotiations leading to an actual signing: Neil C. Reshen
All songs written by Captain Beefheart [© 1969 Words & music copyrighted for the world by Beefheart Music Co. BMI]

The CD reissue;

As above, with the addition: CD design and restoration: Tom Recchion

Uncredited (for both LP & CD);

Tracks 1:6 & 4:8 - recorded & engineered by FZ at Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood, CA; c. late 1968
Tracks 1:2, 1:5, 2:5, 3:3 & 4:1 - from recordings made by Beefheart/French at the house.
Track 2:5 - produced & engineered by Don van Vliet
Track 4:1 - produced by Don Van Vliet & engineered by John French
The Blimp - recorded over telephone by FZ (FZ: intro comment, Cotton: narration) and at Columbia University, New York, 1969

Liner Notes

Beefheart plays two instruments simultaneously on two tracks:
The Tenor & Soprano sax on 'Ant Man Bee' and the Simran Horn & Musette on 'Neon Meate Dream Of A Octafish'.

Background Information

What Zappa said of the album and working with Beefheart;

"...The high point of our relationship (according to Rolling Stone -- and aren't they some kind of authority on these matters?) was making the Trout Mask Replica album together in 1969. Don [van Vliet] is not technically oriented, so, first I had to help him figure out what he wanted to do, and then, from a practical standpoint, how to execute his demands. I wanted to do the album as if it were an anthropological field recording -- in his house. The whole band was living in a small house in the San Fernando Valley (we could use the word cult in here). I was working with Dick Kunc, the recording engineer on Uncle Meat and Cruising With Ruben & The Jets. To make remote recordings in those days, Dick had a Shure eight-channel mixer remounted in a briefcase. He could sit in a corner at a live gig with earphones on and adjust the levels, and have the outputs of the briefcase mixer feeding a Uher portable tape recorder. I had been using that technique with the M.O.I. for road tapes. I thought it would be great to go to Don's house with this portable rig and put the drums in the bedroom, the bass clarinet in the kitchen and the vocals in the bathroom: complete isolation, just like in a studio -- except that the band members probably would feel more at home, since they were at home. We taped a few selections that way, and I thought they sounded terrific, but Don got paranoid, accused me of trying to do the album on the cheap, and demanded to go into a real recording studio. So we moved the whole operation to Glendale, into a place called Whitney, the studio I was using at that time -- owned by the Mormon church. The basic tracks were cut -- now it was time for Don's vocals. Ordinarily a singer goes in the studio, puts earphones on, listens to the track, tries to sing in time with it and away you go. Don couldn't tolerate the earphones. He wanted to stand in the studio and sing as loud as he could -- singing along with the audio leakage coming through the three panes of glass which comprised the control-room window. The chances of him staying in sync were nil -- but that's the way the vocals were done. Usually, when you record a drum set, the cymbals provide part of the 'air' at the top end of the mix. Without a certain amount of this frequency information, mixes tend to sound claustrophobic. Don demanded that the cymbals have pieces of corrugated cardboard mounted on them (like mutes), and that circular pieces of cardboard be laid over the drum heads, so Drumbo [ John French ] wound up flogging stuff that went "thump! boomph! doof!" After it was mixed, I did the editing and assembly in my basement. I finished at approximately 6:00 A.M. on Easter Sunday, 1969. I called them up and said, "Come on over; your album is done." They dressed up like they were going to Easter church and came over. They listened to the record and said they loved it. The last time I saw Don was 1980 or '81. He stopped by one of our rehearsals. He looked pretty beat. He had gone back and forth with some contracts at Warner Bros., and it just hadn't worked out. I suppose he is still living in Northern California, but not recording anymore. He bought some property up there -- someplace where he could see whales swim by.

With Beefheart's house becoming the makeshift 'studio' in which this album was written and rehearsed, both the closeted nature of this living room environment and Beefheart's off-the-wall method of working caused many fractious moments in this period. Details of these events can be found collectively in the booklets contained within the Captain Beefheart compilation CDs 'The Dust Blows Forward: An Anthology' & 'Grow Fins: Rarities 1965-1982', both released in 1999. (The latter containing a previously unreleased version of a song taken from this Trout Mask Replica album, Orange Claw Hammer, with FZ on guitar).

Before the album release an incident involving Beefheart's replacement of drummer John French resulted in French- much to his chagrin- not being credited on the album. It is widely acknowledged by band members that French's input was fundamental to the structure of the tracks, both in his drumming skills and in his ability to transcribe Beefheart's often scribbled ideas into playable pieces for other band members. Much of the album's musical development was captured daily on a domestic tape machine and portions of these recordings by Beefheart and French have been used directly on the album, adding to the musique concrète effect Zappa had envisaged of the project.

As Zappa's concept of recording 26 of the tracks at the house with Dick Kunc caused contention with Beefheart, a six and a half hour session was booked at Whitney Studios. The band were so well rehearsed that, according to French, "We actually did the basics in four and a half hours". The two remaining tracks 'Moonlight On Vermont' and 'Veteran's Day Poppy' had been recorded by FZ late in the previous year at Sunset Sound, with Gary Marker standing in for a departed Magic Band bass-player. Marker helped develop these tracks at the house and his involvement came about by virtue of his work in The Rising Sons with Ry Cooder, an ex Magic Band musician. French says of these two tracks "There is a different sound on those songs which can be attributed to the fact that the studio had recently been refurbished to 'solid state' electronics, and Frank [Zappa] was still a little unfamiliar with the equipment". Neither Marker or the studio gained credit on the album.

Zappa about Trout Mask Replica

"Trout Mask Replica" was a splendid album, there's nothing else like it." - Frank Zappa in Frank Zappa, 82/06, Steve Rosen, Record Review, June 1982.


Matt Groening: What do you think of Beefheart's music?

Frank Zappa: "The best of it is unbelievable, and the worst of it is under the influence of some really bad A&R people at Warner Brothers. But there are things on Trout Mask Replica that are unbelievable, and on Clear Spot also."

- Quoted from The Mother Of All Interviews (Part 2), 1992.

Conceptual Continuity

'Dali's Car' is a track on the album. During the album's development, according to drummer John French in Grow Fins: Rarities 1965-1982, the band visited Salvador Dali's art exhibition at the LA County Arts Museum, followed by discussions between FZ and French regarding his [French's] transcript of 'Dali's Car' which Beefheart "had just written". In the May 9, 1970 New Musical Express article Zappa – Outrageous Star Allan McDougall writes "...he [Zappa] spends most of his time in the basement, which is worth describing since there can be no other like it in the world. It is about the size of a tennis court. One wall is covered by a painting by Salvadore Dali, of a car on fire..." Salvador Dali is included in the list of names on the cover of Freak Out! and the continuity is furthered with a homage to Dali in the Christopher Mark Brennan painting used for the cover art of Wazoo, derived from Slave Market with the Disappearing Bust of Voltaire by Salvador Dali, 1940.

Alternate Covers

Versions

ZFT # Version # # discs Format Catalog # Release
(YYYY-MM-DD)
EAN.UCC-13
(barcode)
Artwork Comment
n/a 1
Original
Stereo
2 LP CBS Straight
2 STS 1053
1969 None   UK edition. Matrix # Side 1: STS 1053 A1 ; Side 2: STS 1053 B1 ; Side 3: STS 1053 C1 ; Side 4: STS 1053 D1 ; all 4 runouts have a 'triangle' of 3 dots opposite/across from matrices & sides 2/3 have, in space between matrices & dots, the mark: ( |
1 8T Warner Brothers Reprise
8ST 10532
1969 None    
1 CS Warner Reprise
CST 10532
1969 None    
2 LP Warner / Reprise
2 MS 2027
1972 None   Australian edition.
2 LP Reprise
K 64026
1975 None   UK edition.
1 CD Reprise
927 196-2
1990-10-25? 0075992719629   French edition printed in Germany. Matrix # IFPI 05L3 IFPI L011 759927196-2.4 06/04 V02

Notes

  1. In typical Beefheart fashion the sleeve notes provide ambiguous names for instruments. One such is 'Glass finger guitar' suggesting the Bottleneck guitar style of playing, brought to prominence by early blues musicians who literally used the neck of a broken bottle on their finger to create sustained sound-effects by oscillating it on the strings. Bill Harkleroad is an exponent of this playing style.
  2. (Can any 'techies' fill in the gaps on this one?) In late 1968 Zappa had a unique 16-track recorder built for him by T.T.G. Studios in Hollywood. This machine was moved to and from Sunset Sound in Hollywood and Whitney Studios in Glendale as and when needed, primarily for the recording of Hot Rats- released in Oct 69. In this timeframe Trout Mask Replica was produced, 2 tracks at Sunset (late '68), 26 at Whitney (early '69). Over in wikipedia Hot Rats it's claimed that Hot Rats was the 1st release on 16-track... it's very likely TMR was also put together on this equipment (regarding French's refs to 'unfamiliarity' etc)- and released before 'Rats'.

See Also

Musician information on Wikipedia: