THE MAGIC BAND reunion
BAND #2 album
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ceedee THE MAGIC BAND * BACK TO THE FRONT
canada 2003 advance copy atp recordings [no cat.no.] in clear plastic sleeve originally with promotional letter black plate with white track listing distributed by vital (europe) and touch & go (north-america)
canada 2003 promo atp recordings atpr 6 cd bar code crossed through
canada 2003 atp recordings atpr 6 cd
england 2003 atp recordings atpr cd 7
the advance copy
instrumental MY HUMAN GETS ME BLUES 3:12 trout mask replica 1969 originally a song
song CLICK CLACK 4:03 the spotlight kid 1972
instrumental ABBA ZABA 2:43 safe as milk 1967 song
song I'M GONNA BOOGLARIZE YOU BABY 4:23 the spotlight kid 1972
song SUN ZOOM SPARK 2:22 clear spot 1972
instrumental ALICE IN BLUNDERLAND 3:56 the spotlight kid 1972
instrumental STEAL SOFTLY THRU SNOW 2:37 trout mask replica 1969 song
song DROPOUT BOOGIE 2:44 safe as milk 1967
song MOONLIGHT ON VERMONT 3:34 trout mask replica 1969
song CIRCUMSTANCES 3:51 clear spot 1972
instrumental ON TOMORROW 3:46 strictly personal 1968 song
song THE FLOPPY BOOT STOMP 4:05 shiny beast (bat chain puller) 1978
instrumental HAIR PIE: BAKE TWO 2:26 trout mask replica 1969
song NOWADAYS A WOMAN'S GOTTA HIT A MAN 3:59 clear spot 1972
song WHEN IT BLOWS ITS STACKS 4:09 the spotlight kid 1972
instrumental I WANNA FIND A WOMAN THAT'LL HOLD MY BIG TOE TILL I HAVE TO GO 2:20 lick my decals off, baby 1970 song
bonus track song SURE 'NUFF 'N' YES I DO 1:27 safe as milk 1967
total time 55:44
MARK BOSTON rockette morton * middle earth bass
JOHN FRENCH drumbo * perspective drums * vocals * harmonica
GARY LUCAS * guitar * lead guitar
DENNY WALLEY feeler's rebo / walla walla * guitar * lead guitar
true beefheart believers, rejoice! when you hear these brand-new magic band recordings of their classic songs, you're gonna be booglarized, baby! the music is as brilliant and complex and exhilarating as ever, and the magic band will astound you with song after song of exuberant virtuosity.
let's face it: we have been pummelled into numbness by the pedestrian rhythmic drudgery of ninety-nine percent of all rock music of the last twenty years. that's why it is such a relief to hear new versions of 'my human gets me blues', 'sun zoom spark', 'moonlight on vermont' and all the rest - entangled, interlocking compositions which are still amazing in their avant-garde delta-blues originality.
and to think that these recordings are just live-to-tape rehearsals... - simply unbelievable!
gee, that are bold words! who the hell is he thinking he is?! hey, comic figure, you know whát? i can very well write my own
-- which goes:
true beefheart believers, rejoice! when you hear these brand-new magic band recordings of their classic songs, you're gonna be booglarized, baby! the music is as brilliant and complex and exhilarating as ever, and the magic band will astound you with song after song of exuberant virtuosity....
but there's even more! at first sight the ceedee is just an extensive collection of cover versions, but given the background of the players it was clear from the beginning that the 'one-off' band would perform them with an extra dimension: a very authentic sound. well, maybe mark boston had to speed up a bit, but the other ex-members recently had been involved in different sorts of 'beefheart projects'. however..., they exceed any expectations we might have had!
first, their reconstruction of the music is as perfect and 'according to truth' as can be, and mainly: john 'drumbo' french appears to be a very talented singer, whose vocal skills sadly enough have been repressed and neglected for decades! of course, he doesn't sound as tormented as don van vliet could be, but from the second listening you already won't mind any more....
these amazing performances are played with so much conviction and unhidden enthusiasm - no wonder, without an annoying guy hanging round to find fault with everything - that this late beefheart spin-off should make a living out of it (that is, if audiences ánd the musicians themselves see a future in it).
now i could sum up the many highlights not mentioned by the writer of the introduction - like a brilliant 'abba zaba' as an instrumental, 'hair pie', a splendid spacey 'on tomorrow', 'circumstances' (with great a capellas by the beefheart substitute) and the potential hit single 'nowadays a woman's gotta hit a man' - but i won't, as i'm quite sure that every captain beefheart fan will easily find twó hands full of favourite tracks on this extraordinary 'tribute'....
but there's even more! experienced addicts will immediately notice that the relaxed sphere at the rehearsals also charmingly infected the production team (most of the time john french, by the way). for, as a successful 'gimmick', the ceedee includes some of the conversation and two false starts which happened during the 'ethnic recording session' - thus creating a feeling similar to 'trout mask replica'!
who really cares that, except for 'the floppy boot stomp' from five years later, all compositions date from the first half of beefheart's career [= till 1973]? at least, it doesn't change my opinion that áll tracks are great, and that it's simply unbelievable (who said that before?)! no doubt, compared to all the recent 'hundred percent beefheart' ceedees with a wrong concept and / or terrible sound quality, this is
CONCLUSION: much too heavy! ADVICE: so, get it. get it, big dummy!
in an e-correspondence with john about the reunion, he remarked:
I never planned on singing as part of my original vision, save Big Eyed Beans From Venus in a live concert. My idea was to play Trout Mask Replica and Lick My Decals Off, Baby instrumental pieces with Cotton, Harkleroad, Boston, and Tripp. Cotton and Tripp weren't interested, and Harkleroad stepped off immediately after I withdrew from the original failed attempt about one year ago.
Lucas replaced Harkleroad, and Walley had already replaced Cotton. The vote on the songlist revealed a strong inclination to play pieces that really needed vocals in order to be complete. I had been working on Big Eyed Beans From Venus for a year already, and of course had been practicing singing several other Beefheart vocals to keep my voice in 'husky' shape. So, it was only one-step further to actually step in as vocalist.
I am grateful that you and the fans at the concerts seemed for the most part to accept this, not as me 'replacing' Don, but merely attempting to fill in the gigantic void created in his absence. The whole experience has given me more understanding of the tremendous pressure Don was under as vocalist, to step up to the microphone and expend such a huge amount of energy each performance.
There has been far more positive than negative reaction to the reunion, and though I don't plan to continue doing this for the rest of my life, I do hope that we can do an occasional short tour. Special thanks goes to Barry Hogan and Helen Cottage of All Tomorrow's Parties for turning my vision into a reality. Also, to Elaine Shepherd for her encouragement and support.
put that lollipop down!
.....? hey man, that's a song!
click clack back to the magic band or return to the power station
captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo