england 2006 ceedee sony / bmg 8 28768 05302
as milk (with 7 bonus tracks)
4 tracks i may be hungry but i sure ain't weird
1 track the mirror man sessions
some record companies simply can't stop repeating old stuff, even when the artists aren't 'in their hands' any more. but as long as the music brings more revenues than costs, they will try to keep the money rolling to them (don't forget they're nót on this world to support a-r-t). already in the ancient days of vinyl some albums regularly were re-released in standard form, with other sleeves and / or in combination with other records from the musicians, or tracks were used for compilations.
those labels, although they come and go as quick as bands and often are absorbed by bigger companies, were delighted when new technologies created the compact disc. for it was a possibility to do the same thing again looking a bit different. and when the digital sound got boring, all the master tapes were remastered, brought out, and put on audiophile vinyl, and compiled, and so on.
if it's commercially attractive, the music business likes to release leftovers, forgotten takes and half-finished recordings, too. and all that also happened to captain beefheart and buddah records (now: buddha, oh no: bmg, oh no: just now it's sony bmg, i'm sorry)
for the only album don van vliet and his band made when they were active for that new branch of the kama sutra label was their debut 'safe as milk'. next, buddah producer bob krasnow kidnapped the tapes of the sessions for the second elpee, a double album 'it comes to you in a plain brown wrapper'. he distilled 'strictly personal' from it for his brand new record company, blue thumb, and later returned the unused material to buddah as a compensation for the studio time and other facilities it had provided.
so, that's the reason why budd-whatever-he-is-now has brought out thrée records in total: the captain beefheart classic 'safe as milk', 'mirror man' (the useful 'brown wrapper' leftovers, though four long songs merely for fans who - once in a while - want to hear the band changing to a new sound), and the crippled ceedee 'i may be hungry but i sure ain't weird' with some interesting (half-way completed) outtakes and several alternate takes from...: 'strictly personal' (sic!).
with this unbalanced catalogue it is no wonder that most compilations focus on 'safe as milk' without the two soft songs 'i'm glad' and 'call on me', and a track (or two) from 'mirror man', plus nowadays a few alternate versions from the hijacked 'strictly personal' album. and that is just what this latest THE BUDDAH YEARS compilation is: more of the same same.
okay, there is an important difference. because you know that at the end of the previous century there appeared these wonderful remastered versions of the old elpees extended with the digital 'alternate beefheart' and an unreleased song as bonuses. well, those two ceedees are the source of this sampler.
so, folks, why did you do this? of cóurse...: we already have the original releases! and do you seem to forget you just reissued the complete catalogue together in one package as x2 less than half a year ago ?
for the record, the disc contains:
8 tracks SAFE AS MILK with seven bonus tracks
sure 'nuff 'n' yes i do
zig zag wanderer
yellow brick road
big black baby shoes (bonus track)
4 tracks THE MIRROR MAN SESSIONS
safe as milk (take 12) (bonus track)
gimme dat harp boy (bonus track)
trust us (take 6) (bonus track)
the above content, apart for the better sound of most tracks, is almost identical to one of the previous low-budget compilations: zig zag wanderer (the best of the buddah years). even worse: in total it has one song less, and the playing time is twénty minutes shorter! no wonder, if you skip the long 'tarotplane' and don't fill up the gap....
oh yeah, someone wrote an intro - which i couldn't read because the font(size) and the colours used for the lay-out make that impossible - and the notes sheet has pictures from times when captain beefheart had long left the company which he worked for in 1967 and early 1968. the back is a 1973 live shot, and the front shows a picture from 1980 (síx labels away from buddah) which has been treated with the same fish-eye effect as the 'safe as milk' cover.
MY CONCLUSION: no good at all MY ADVICE: buy the sources, if you didn't
click clack to the power station, the news or the other RE-RELEASES
captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo