captain beefheart electricity

cover versions



cancelled usa 2003 7"/33 YOUR CAGE ISN'T GETTING ANY BIGGER advance tracks sampler
usa 2005 ceedee MAMA KANGAROOS philly women sing captain beefheart genus records [no] promo front with track listing plate with hand written title in cdsingle box not for sale
scheduled for release 04.05: usa 2005 ceedee MAMA KANGAROOS philly women sing captain beefheart genus records [ unknown]

captain beefheart - cover versions - 'mama kangaroos (philly women sing captain beefheart)' by various artists -  front ceedee


one day i received e-mail from someone (notably, a mán!) at genus records, post office box 25083, philadelphia, pa 19147, usa, email, telling that they had a work in progress, due for release in 2002:

the world's only all philadelphia female artist captain beefheart retrospective

we're extremely excited about the work already completed on this unprecedented compilation project
and believe it's going to be a totally mindblowing booglarizin' baby

for several reasons - amongst other: bands dropped out of existenace, changed their minds about the project, or turned in inadequate work - the hoped double ceedee shrank to a single one. also, the release got a bit delayed, and after several changes of the performed titles and the (names of the) performing bands, the definitive song list is (sources and asterisks added by teejo):

sweetie WHERE THERE'S WOMAN 4:49 safe as milk 1967 *
winterbrief THE PAST SURE IS TENSE 2:43 ice cream for crow 1982 * *
global transmission THE WITCH DOCTOR LIFE 4:08 ice cream for crow 1982 *
big mess orchestra RUN PAINT RUN RUN 3:15 doc at the radar station 1980 *
radio eris APES-MA 1:14 shiny beast (bat chain puller) 1978 *
voices of africa ABBA ZABA 3:26 safe as milk 1967
jane gilday SUGAR BOWL 2:49 unconditionally guaranteed 1974
faye davis & the next skip heller generation HER EYES ARE A BLUE MILLION MILES 3:24 clear spot 1972
nancy falkow MY HEAD IS MY ONLY HOUSE UNLESS IT RAINS 3:10 clear spot 1972
mia johnson & tom gillam band CRAZY LITTLE THING 4:09 clear spot 1972
kiss kiss kill LICK MY DECALS OFF, BABY 3:04 lick my decals off, baby 1970
essra mohawk & edo PARTY OF SPECIAL THINGS TO DO 4:16 bluejeans and moonbeams 1974
hoppy the frog SAFE AS MILK 5:03 strictly personal 1968
tintinabulus WHEN I SEE MOMMY I FEEL LIKE A MUMMY 8:53 shiny beast (bat chain puller) 1978
janet bressler [previously: bilenky cycle works] I'M GLAD 3:07 safe as milk 1967 * *
beware the blunted needle ASHTRAY HEART 2:53 doc at the radar station 1980 *
thorazine FRYING PAN 1:27 the legendary a&m sessions 1966
lisa christ superstar PLASTIC FACTORY 2:41 safe as milk 1967
king of siam ORANGE CLAW HAMMER 4:33 trout mask replica 1969
noura & interplay WELL 7:47 trout mask replica 1969
total time 78:01 minutes


mind that * = previously released. click on the song title to find out more.
mind that * = part of cancelled advance tracks eepee. read on.

[updated 150305]


usa 2002 cdrec YOUR CAGE ISN'T GETTING ANY BIGGER no label and test pressing hand written notes handful (?) of copies

the original email about the project also hoped we were waiting for 'joeys', (the working title of) a collection of advance tracks to be released on 12" vinyl. as time went by, the intended title, format and date of release changed - so around mid september [2002] a 33 rpm should have been brought out with a title which is a line from one of don van vliet's poems. but much later. the project eventually turned out to be not as enormous as hoped (two full ceedees), and the sampler got cancelled....


however, when the plans still were vivid, a few unmixed test pressings were made - as well as my following


the foretaste of the 'mama kangaroos' probably gives a nice idea of the big meal to come.

as the line-ups of modern bands and the instruments and facilities they use are quite different from the 'classic' pop group complement, it's no wonder a lot of digital effects and techno replaces the familiar beefheart sound. thus, only one of the advance tracks is performed in an 'old-fashioned' way: beware's glorious version of ASHTRAY HEART, which also contains the healthy dose of anger required for the song (note that on the ceedee the group's name has grown to 'beware the blunted needle').

also, as the bands involved were given complete freedom of interpretation, in general it led to renditions which have little recognizable connection to the originals. examples of the overhauls are the previously released version of THE PAST SURE IS TENSE performed by winterbrief, THE WITCH DOCTOR LIFE by global transmission, and sweetie's performance of WHERE THERE'S WOMAN. but that doesn't mean that the techno influence has killed all the beefheart juice, it's just that the songs present a radically other feeling than you might expect.

of course, it's better to hear the own visions expressed here than some dumb copying, but then things still can go wrong: i had to listen to big mess orchestra's version of RUN PAINT RUN RUN a few times to correct my first impression it was way off. on the other hand, the artistic freedom led to some very surprising tracks. for instance, bilenky cycle works turned I'M GLAD into the tender hit single it could have been if captain beefheart and the magic band would have wanted to be a soul group with commercial success. and radio eris changed the plain APES-MA recitation into a weird live version adressed to the totally uninterested subject of the poem....

conclusion: a tasteful extract



usa 2005 ceedee MAMA KANGAROOS philly women sing captain beefheart genus records [ unknown]

after a gestation of many years, the 'mama kangaroos' album finally was born in spring 2005....
to be continued



click clack to the power station, the news or the other COVER VERSIONS

captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo