captain beefheart electricity

reviews and rants

with 7 bonus tracks

6 tracks i may be hungry but i sure ain't weird

captain beefheart - discography - buddha records logo
the new buddha



[edited] news from ICE Magazine March 1999:


Reincarnated with a new mission, BMG-owned Buddha Records will debut in the spring with expanded, newly remastered reissues of such out-of-print works as Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band's Safe as Milk and Mirror Man [...]. All will be fleshed out with CD bonus tracks, some of them previously unreleased. Buddha - with a new spelling to boot - will have access to its parent company's vaults, but will focus on artists whose significance is measured by more than chart numbers.

On June 1st, Buddha plans to dig into the vaults for Beefheart's SAFE AS MILK and Mirror Man, the latter retitled The Mirror Man Sessions. Both albums are fleshed out with bonus tracks recorded during the same October-November 1967 sessions that resulted in Mirror Man, which was originally intended to be a two-LP set called It Comes to You in a Plain Brown Wrapper. The seven added tracks on Safe as Milk, which featured a 19-year-old guitarist named Ry Cooder, are Safe as Milk (take 5), On Tomorrow [instrumental], Big Black Baby Shoes, Flower Pot, Dirty Blue Gene [instrumental], Trust Us (take 9) and the newly discovered Korn Ring Finger.

captain beefheart - remastered 'safe as milk' album with seven bonus tracks - front promo ceedee usa
front of cardboard sleeve of promo

comment by teejo:

the buddah which retired from business long ago seems to have spent all the hundreds of thousands of dollars it gained through the sales of the two beefheart albums it brought out. ánd the easy money that kept rolling in from the numerous licensed re-releases and combinations of (tracks from) those elpees [i'll save you the details about the six vinyl reissues, the four cassettes and the eleven ceedees pulled together from them, as well as the three plates that include tracks from the 'strictly personal' outtakes we know as 'the alternate beefheart - i may be hungry but i sure ain't weird'].

as could be expected from the music giant bertelsmann the above press announcement contains some lies in order to give the impression they bring us something completely needed. 'safe as milk', 'mirror man' and the source of all the bonus tracks minus one: 'i may be hungry but i sure ain't weird', are available in abundance! and 'korn ring finger' - which will be part of the 'grow fins' box set by the way - in fact just was left out from the quite old (1992) release 'i may be hungry but i sure ain't weird'.

so - except for KORN RING FINGER - these reissues don't contain any surprise, and i doubt if the re-mastering can convince me it's something else than another plain attempt to screw the completists among the collectors.... (i wonder why i still am one!)

[080399; thanks to uwe krüger for spotting the announcement]

by mark 'kynoceph'


[Well, to say the least, this is a good day. Buddha Records was kind enough to send me promo copies of their 'Safe As Milk' and 'Mirror Man Sessions' reissues, and I will blab freely about them.]

captain beefheart - remastered 'safe as milk' album with seven bonus tracks - back promo ceedee usa
the back of the promo

Even if you have the original, you need this version of Safe as Milk. There are several reasons for this. For one thing, the volume difference between 'Abba Zaba' and the rest of the record has FINALLY been corrected. And even more interesting, the speed on 'Dropout Boogie' has been corrected. On my previous copy of Safe As Milk, which was the Canadian UniDisc / Kama Sutra release, 'Dropout Boogie' was inexplicably sped up and the overall volume of 'Abba Zaba' was lower than the rest of the CD. This has all been remedied.

Another reason? Everything on this CD has been tightened up and made audible. The improvement over the LP and previous CD issue is astonishing. All kinds of sonic details pop out that weren't apparent before. 'Call On Me' was one of my least favorite pieces on SAM but now with the new restored version, I have come to like it for what it is - psychedelic white soul music. 'Abba Zaba' and 'Zig Zag Wanderer' reveal new sonic complexities that will make you sit up and realize that this first version of the Magic Band was pretty dexterous. In many ways this new version is like listening to the CD for the first time. Even if you've heard Safe As Milk a lot, this will definitely open your ears.

If you need more convincing, Buddha has added seven additional songs. Six of these seven were on 'I May Be Hungry But I Sure Ain't Weird', the wonderful but out-of-print CD on the British 'Sequel' label. They include 'Safe as Milk (Take 5)', 'On Tomorrow', 'Big Black Baby Shoes', 'Flower Pot', 'Dirty Blue Gene' (or an early version of 'Ice Rose' depending on who you're talking to), 'Trust Us (Take 9)', and the elusive 'Korn Ring Finger', which wasn't on 'I May Be...' and was kind of hard to get.

captain beefheart - remastered 'safe as milk' album with seven bonus tracks - front original stock copy
front of the european stock copy (to come)

I don't think the mixes on these additional tunes add anything to or take away from the ones on 'I May Be Hungry...' but since that CD is thoroughly out of print, this is the only way that most people will hear them. These tunes, mostly instrumental, reveal how tight the first Magic Band was, and of course the careful remixing adds to the pleasure. They also provide a nice insight into how the band was making the transition from the psychedelic soul-blues of 'Safe As Milk' to the groundbreaking 'Strictly Personal' era.

I am told that the CD booklet will feature lots of cool pictures and text, but of course the promos are only sent in a little cardboard sleeve. But even without photos or documentation, this new version of 'Safe As Milk' is essential for every Beefheart fan, and I would say essential for anybody's record collection.

[220599; thanks, mark]

go to the NEXT PART of the new 'safe as milk'...


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