Captain Beefheart Returns!


On Sundazed vinyl, that
is… what, you were expecting a reunion or somethin’?

By Fred Mills


Sundazed Records has a beef. Specifically, a “Beef” – that’s
Captain Beefheart to you, punters. En route is It Comes to You in a Plain
Brown Wrapper
, due July 22
from the venerable reissue label. It’s a 2-LP, vinyl-only edition of the
good Captain’s 1968 record with the Magic Band, Strictly Personal — well, not quite. We’re talking “mind-blowing
lost 1967 sessions,” previously only available on bootlegs. Here’s the scoop
according to Sundazed:


  • Recorded
    in part as the follow-up to Safe as Milk, Beefheart’s debut from earlier
    that year, the world-shattering material on It Comes to You in a Plain Brown Wrapper was rerecorded,
    truncated, and issued—without the Captain’s approval—as Strictly Personal in 1968. Mastered
    directly from the original analog tapes and featuring a wealth of unedited
    takes never before on vinyl, Sundazed’s stunning gatefold double-LP
    release of this infamously enigmatic opus comes to you wrapped in a sharp
    outer sleeve bearing specially commissioned artwork by Frank Zappa/Straight
    Records illustrator Cal Schenkel replicating the album’s planned ’67
    design (deliberately not shown here. It’s a surprise!); inside are rare
    photos and fascinating, exhaustive liner notes by Magic Band drummer John
    “Drumbo” French.


  • So
    here, then, is Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band’s second album of
    gloriously disjointed avant-rock/blues and free-jazz skronk, presented
    just as nature—and the Captain—intended. Even after more than 40 years,
    this music is still hopelessly ahead of its time—or, as one-time Magic
    Band member Ry Cooder once described it, “right on time.”


No word on what Mr. Van Vliet himself has to say about all
this. Could be he’s busy at home, planning a new album and tour. Or dispelling
notions about all those random Beefheart rumors and silly hoaxes circulating on
the Internet. Or maybe just working on his painting and chatting with Polly
Harvey on the blower from time to time. But you can put your money on the
fact  that It Comes to You in a Plain
Brown Wrapper
is the real
deal, and that you gotta have it.


Track Listing:


Gimme Dat Harp Boy 

Dirty Blue Gene 

Beatle Bones ’n’ Smokin’ Stones Pt. 1 & 2 

Trust Us (take 9) 

Safe as Milk (take 12) 

Moody Liz (take 8) 

On Tomorrow 

Big Black Baby Shoes 

Flower Pot 

Korn Ring Finger  S

Safe as Milk (take 5) 

Trust Us (take 6)
Moody Liz (take 16

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