Vinyl Vlog 122

Vinyl Vlog 122

Thursday, 18 February 2016

A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Sundazed pressing of Safe As Milk by Captain Beefheart.

There is a bit on Marc Maron’s standup album Thinky Pain where, after talking extensively about his vinyl midlife crisis and trying to find the perfect record player how it’s time for him to “understand Beefheart.” “I will never be smart enough or large enough of mind to assess and understand Captain Beefheart. It’s just hanging there.” In many ways, he’s not wrong; there aren’t a lot of musical avenues which find a terminus at Captain Beefheart, or even pass by that place peripherally. The music isn’t exactly in the mainstream. I had an ever-so-slight upper hand on getting into the music, I started at Trout Mask Replica. That’s the one, you know? Marc Maron started at Save as Milk. The difference between the two, as far as I can tell, is that Trout Mask Replica is a Leviathan (and a very weird one at that) and Safe as Milk is just cool as hell.

I can’t explain the sound of Captain Beefheart except to say that one I first heard the music I thought I was listening to Tom Waits. Yeah, that took Tom Waits down a couple notches because I always thought he was incredibly unique at what he did. And by that I mean playing growly blues rock. But nope, Captain Beefheart did it first and, after trying to digest Beefheart (and you will ALWAYS be digesting it), I think I might have to say that Safe as Milk might be the way to go for any newcomer to the band. It just sounds so relatable, strange, and like I said, just downright cool, and really has to be heard to be understood. Scratch that, it has to be heard to be believed. Don’t believe me? “Zig Zag Wanderer” or “Plastic Factory” both do everything I just said. Really, Beefheart was the pioneer of a sound which has barely survived. This album also needs to be listed as a must-have for any record collector.

And Sundazed again has handled an elegant reissue of this vinyl, which makes it a wonderful way to snag this album. I’ll quote Sundazed themselves for the details on this piece of wax:


“Now released on LP and CD by Sundazed Music, this landmark album now sounds the way it was meant to sound, thanks to the restoration of Perry’s rare original — and, to most fans, superior — mono mix, which was later altered by Beefheart’s label without the artist’s involvement. Both the LP and CD version of this definitive edition feature authoritative new liner notes by Rolling Stone editor and longtime Beefheart enthusiast David Fricke.”

Get it and, like the name says, you’ll be safe as milk. [OLLIE OTTOMAN]


Get your Sundazed copy here:

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