April 29, 2008

Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
Bat Chain Puller

In the beginning of 1976 Captain Beefheart (aka Don VanVliet) started working on his 10th album after failing to gain the public's hard earned attention with his two previous 'commercial' records. He formulated a retreat back to the studio with the musicians who remained from his 1975 tour after long time collaborators Elliot 'Winged Eel Fingerling' Ingber and Bruce Fowler left. The remaining band, which consisted of John French (drums), John Thomas (keyboards), Moris Tepper (guitar) and Denny Walley (guitar) turned out a brilliant, yet still mostly unheard record titled Bat Chain Puller.

The record ultimately got lost in legal tie-ups between Frank Zappa, who paid for the sessions, and the Captain's Manager, Herb Cohen. 3 years later, Frank Zappa still owned the rights to the master tapes for these sessions, so Don put together a new band, re-recorded the album and finally released Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) on Warner Brothers Records in 1978.

The original record remained unreleased and unmixed until the late 1990's when The Zappa Family Trust (now the rightful owners of the master tapes) asked Denny Walley to finish the mix he had begun working on in 1975. Even after Denny was finished with his mix, The Zappa Family Trust, for some reason, still chose to withhold an official release for this influential pre-punk record.

The unreleased and released versions, surprisingly, have very few tracks in common with one another; only 5 out of 12. Most of the rest of the original album was re-recorded and released over his next (and last) two records, making a straight comparison of the two albums almost pointless. As a whole I think the song choices and recordings on the official release make for a stronger record. The original band played his songs, in my opinion, more like a group of studio musicians than the later 'trained' bands played them. This is literally because this is the first outing for the entire band, with the exception of long-time drummer John French. No matter which version I personally think is stronger, the fact that this record documenting an integral part of Don's transformation from the commercial pop of Bluejeans & Moonbeams back to the beautiful abrasiveness of Doc At The Radar Station is being withheld needs to be rectified. Enjoy and share!

Track listing:

1. Bat Chain Puller
2. Seam Crooked Sam
3. Harry Irene
4. '81 Poop Hatch
5. Flavor Bud Living
6. Brick Bats
7. Floopy 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

For more information please see www.beefheart.com, the most amazing
Beefheart site on the net.

Download Bat Chain Puller from DivShare(45.74 MB)


Dave said...

Thank You!

Bunny said...

You write very well.

. said...

Okay. Music blog comment cliché 1: "Thanks! I've been looking for this for ages!"
Followed swiftly by Music blog comment cliché 2 : "Oh noes!!! It's on fucking Divshare!!!!!"
I can't get Divshare out here (the Laos/Thai border). No trouble with most of the other upload sites, but Divshare thumbs its nose at us third-world types using bamboo computers and an interweb made of old fishing nets.
Could you PUH-LEEEEEEEEEASE up this to Hotfile, or (ik) Rapidshare, or just about anywhere but (AAAAAAARGH!!!) Divshare?
I promise to come back and say wonderful things about your blog and make you feel all gooey.

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