Beefheart’s Bat Chain Puller Released

 

Legendary unreleased
album, oft-bootlegged, arrives officially Jan. 15.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Our devotion to all things Don Van Vliet – that’s Captain Beefheart to you, pal – is sincere, and well
documented, and that includes some of the Beefheart-themed hoaxes we’ve pulled
over the years, such as the one involving a supposed comeback tour and album
that alternately amused and outraged various members of the BLURT (and before
that, Harp) readership.

 

This apparently is no joke, however (or so we assume, since
it was not announced on April 1 like, ahem, our own Beef-y blurbs): the
oft-bootlegged Bat Chain Puller,
which was slated for release in ’76 but got shelved due to a legal tussle
involving the artist, album producer Frank Zappa and erstwhile Zappa/Beefheart
manager Herb Cohen, is finally going to surface officially next month, on
January 15, which fittingly, marks Van Vliet’s 70th birthday. He
died almost exactly a year ago, on December 17, 2010. (Read Contributing Editor A.D. Amorosi’s tribute to the good Cap’n here.)

 

British magazine The
Wire
reports
:

 

 

Wire contributor and Beefheart biographer Mike
Barnes says “The tape is owned by the Zappa estate and although Don didn’t
want it released they’ve been true to the work. Not only that, its availability
was announced on the anniversary of Don’s death and will be released on his
birthday.”

This release has been mixed by Magic Band members Denny Walley and John French,
who also provide liner notes. It contains the 12 original album tracks plus
three bonus tracks and is expected to arrive around the 15 January.

 

 

 

The Zappa mail order website Barfko-Swill is already taking
pre-orders for the CD, albeit with minimal information provided. Beef fans will
recall that in addition to bootlegs, some of the material did get rerecorded for
inclusion on 1978’s Shiny Beast (Bat
Chain Puller)
album. As tapes of the original version did make their rounds
among journalists and the like, fairly high quality bootlegs eventually
surfaced, among them the Ozit-Morpheus Dust
Sucker
which has a certain “semi-legit” cachet and has been a mainstay of
the BLURT jukebox for nearly a decade.  (Thanks to archival site Radar Station for the
following tracklistings and art.)

 

 

 

The Original Bat Chain
Puller
(1994)

 

  1. Bat Chain Puller
  2. Seam Crooked Sam
  3. Harry Irene
  4. Poop Hatch
  5. A Carrot Is As Close As A
    Rabbit Gets To A Diamond
  6. Brickbats
  7. Floppy Boot Stomp
  8. Flavour Bud Living
  9. Carson City (Owed T’Alex)
  10. Odd Jobs
  11. 1010th Day Of The Human Totem
    Pole
  12. Apes Ma
  13. Bass Solo
  14. Alice In Blunderland
  15. Abba Zabba
  16. Click Clack
  17. My Human Gets Me Blues
  18. I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby
  19. Golden Birdies

Tracks 1 – 12: Original Bat Chain Puller 1976
Tracks 13 – 19: The Bataclan, Paris 15th April 1972 (incorrectly labelled as
1973 on the cover)

 

 

Bat Chain Puller – The 1976 Sessions (2000)

 

  1. Bat Chain Puller
  2. Seam Crooked Sam
  3. Harry Irene
  4. A Carrot Is As Close As A
    Rabbit Gets To A Diamond
  5. Brick Bats
  6. Floppy Boot Stomp
  7. Flavor Bud Living
  8. Carson City (aka Owed T’Alex)
  9. Odd Jobs
  10. The 1010th Day Of The Human
    Totem Pole
  11. The Witch Doctor Life
  12. Candle Mambo #1
  13. Candle Mambo #2
  14. Run Paint Run Run
    (instrumental)
  15. Suction Prints
  16. When I See A Mommy I Feel
    Like A Mummy

 

 

Original Bat Chain Puller + Safe As
Milk (mono)
(2000)

 

Bat Chain Puller (1976)

  1. Bat Chain Puller
  2. Seam Crooked Sam
  3. Harry Irene
  4. ’81 Poop Hatch
  5. Flavor Bud Living
  6. Brick Bats
  7. Floppy Boot Stomp
  8. A Carrot Is As Close As A
    Rabbit Gets To A Diamond
  9. Owed T’Alex
  10. Odd Jobs
  11. The 1010th Day Of The Human
    Totem Pole
  12. Apes Ma

Safe As Milk (mono mix 1967)

  1. Sure Nuff N Yes I Do
  2. Zig Zag Wanderer
  3. Call On Me
  4. Dropout Boogie
  5. I’m Glad
  6. Electricity
  7. Yellow Brick Road
  8. Abba Zabba
  9. Plastic Factory
  10. Where There’s Woman
  11. Grown So Ugly
  12. Autumn’s Child

 

 

Dust Sucker (2002)

 

1. Bat Chain Puller
2. Seam Crooked Sam
3. Harry Irene
4. 81 Poop Hatch
5. Flavor Bud Living
6. Brickbats
7. Floppy Boot Stomp
8. A Carrot Is As Close As A Rabbit Gets To A Diamond
9. Owed T’Alex
10. Odd Jobs
11. 1010th Day Of The Human Totem Pole
12. Apes-Ma
13. Bat Chain Puller
14. Harry Irene
15. Flavor Bud Living
16. Floppy Boot Stomp
17. Owed T’Alex
18. Well Well Well
19. My Human Gets Me Blues

Tracks 1 to 12: the original Bat Chain Puller
Tracks 13 – 17: taken from the My Fathers Place 1978 show
Track 18: a ‘Decals’ out-take.
Track 19: Amougies Festival 1969

 

 

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