Captain Beefheart


Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band‘s 3rd studio album was released on 16 June 1969.
In 1968, Beefheart found himself without a label, and a completed album waiting to be released (the sessions would not be released until 1971′s Mirror Man), when Don Van Vliet’s (Beefheart) high school friend, Frank Zappa offered him complete artistic freedom to release an album on Zappa’s Straight label (Trout Mask Replica was the second album on Straight, following Alice Cooper’s Pretties for You released in May 1969).
Van Vliet prepared for the recording session by having the band all live in the same house, where band members later confirmed that they were not allowed to leave, frequently abused, verbally and physically, rationed food (being fed soybeans for a month), and subjected to grueling rehearsal sessions that lasted 14 hours.
The resulting album is one of the most original, confounding, alienating, and engrossing albums ever released. “Then and now, it stands outside time, trends, fads, hypes, the rise and fall of whole genres eclectic as walking Christmas trees, constituting a genre unto itself: truly, a musical Monolith if ever there was one,” Lester Bangs wrote.
It was a commercial disaster in the US, but peaked (for a week) at #21 in the UK.