THE MIRROR MAN SESSIONS
RE-MASTERED MIRROR MAN
5 tracks i may be hungry but i sure ain't weird
go to the start - THIS is PART 2 the REST
the STOCK COPIES
the european plate
although the general lay-out of the original elpee was copied, this issue has considerable changes - partly for practical reasons: the three poems on the back cover would have been unreadable tiny, for example. so it was replaced by one of the three pictures guy webster found back from the 'strictly personal' photo sessions: a close-up of don van vliet wearing a strange hat. just like on the famous official 'spacemen's portrait' everyone on the other two pics (with the whole band) is wearing a hat too! especially the one on which they wear real mad-hats is worth stealing the booklet, if the music was shit....
to keep in style, the replacement beefheart for the spring 1970 band in the broken mirror on the front cover also wears a hat! being the cover of 'i may be hungry but i sure ain't weird' it's a well known publicity shot from summer 1969 - which still is one and a half year later than the actual date of the 'mirror man' recording. but to my relief the re-newed notes don't say 'these performances were recorded one night in los angeles in 1965' any more. the buddha that fooled us for a long time has improved....
picture by guy webster
john platt continues his story where he left us in the 'safe as milk' booklet and again delivers some unknown facts from the mysterious beefheart years: don in jail, for instance, and the following order of the recording steps in the process which should have led to the double album 'it comes to you in a plain brown wrapper' but became 'strictly personal'.
(by the way: i think john is completely wrong with the aim of the january '68 europe tour: beefheart was sent to europe as part of a promotional buddah circus, and therefore to draw attention to 'safe as milk' - so náturally the band show-cased that album at the first 'peel session' and the midem festival. and it's a pity he doesn't know that bob krasnow not only was beefheart's manager, but also the boss of buddah records, and later on the founder and owner of the 'blue thumb' label....)
in complete contrast to the above mentioned wonderful contributions, the team of sixteen (wow!) project coordinators gloriously scores an insufficient mark by nót re-mastering óne tiny letter in the poem one nest rolls after another!
AND THE MOST AMAZING IS...
the low-budget price! i am dumbfounded that both ceedees only cost 25 guilders each [12 euro or dollar] plus a bit of post costs - and after buying them you even have a third one for free! which makes it the easier to replace all your version of 'safe as milk' and 'mirror man' by this ABSOLUTE MUSTS. yes, you can throw that old vinyl and ceedee re-issue stuff away!
the STOCK COPIES
despite the revolution in sound reproducing technologies over the past decade, some people still love the good old vinyl. in what probably is the last convulsion of a dying breed there even sprouted up a record company specialized in re-releasing all kinds of classic recordings. but with a difference: as a start that english firm, simply vinyl, melts a larger amount of vinyl for an elpee (which guarantees a much better sound quality) and then they are realistic enough to use recently re-mastered and / or digital versions of the worn-out originals.
one of the latest additions to their catalogue is captain beefheart and the magic band. maybe inspired by the magnificently renewed 'buddha versions' of their (chronologically spoken) first two recordings, they started with transforming those records into - so-called audiophile - double albums. safe as milk was their first project, and of course the bonus tracks are neatly gathered on the second elpee. some time later plans arose to also re-release THE MIRROR MAN SESSIONS for the vinyl lovers!
in case you want to get this item:
of course you're lucky if you're an internet surfer and credit card owner, for you can directly order from the secured simply vinyl site. the price for englishmen is 19 pounds (includes the posting) and for foreigners: around 30 us dollars / euros plus additional postcosts.
people without such facilities shouldn't despair: the albums are properly distributed to the old-fashioned better record stores too....
(cd booklet only) picture by guy webster
after a few months of delay the vinyl version also got available. a quite pricy double-album of which the package is a lot less sloppy than the easy-going outfit of 'safe as milk'. no wonder, as the manufacturers could take advantage of the fresh design for the re-named 'mirror man' album. front and back cover, and labels are basically the same as on the ceedee. all the new liner notes - except for the beefheart close-up picture - are reproduced on an insert sheet, which also contains the three original poems - and, you bet, 'one nest rolls after another' will keep its typing error for ever....
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captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo