Everybody gets the blues -- Captain Beefheart just got them in some very strange ways. This live compilation, creatively titled 'Live 1966-67', documents an understated side of one of avant-garde's most important figures, capturing them as a more overtly blues-oriented band with none of the experimental bluster yet incorporated. The record comes with some rare shots of the band in their embryonic stages.
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- Live 1966-67 by Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
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9/10 Timmy the Cat Customer review, 27th February 2015
Live recordings of Captain Beefheart aren't exactly difficult to find, but to get decent sound quality on tracks laid down way back in 1966-67 is a huge bonus, especially nearly 50 years down the line.
This album essentially covers material which led up to Safe As Milk and is primarily the sort of classic blues you would have got from contemporaries like Howling Wolf or Lightnin' Hopkins. The band is spot-on and the good Captain whoops, hollers and blows his harp with customary gusto. Expect covers of Tupelo, St James Infirmary and Evil is going on, plus a good smattering of Safe as Milk tracks which sound equally terrific.
Taking age into consideration, sound quality is at the very least good, and on most of side 1 considerably better than that. The album weighs in at a very generous 55 minutes and the insert re-prints a couple of contemporary band articles. The only downsides are that there is no information about where the recordings came from or where they have been hiding, and that there has been a bit of clumsy editing on side 2 (although this may well have been on the original tapes, so it would perhaps be unfair to hold Keyhole records responsible for this).
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