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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Captain Beefheart

Somewhere Over Vancouver

Review by Gary Hill

I’d have to say that this is probably mostly just for hardcore fans who have to own everything. It’s got some good performances, but the sound quality really leaves a lot to be desired. It’s definitely a bootleg recording. When you figure there is a new double disc set from the same general period of time that has much better sound quality, it’s obvious that’s the superior product. Still, for those who want to own all Captain Beefheart stuff, this has its charms.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Hair Pie: Bake III

Super-heavy and super-low, this is a smoking hot bass solo. It’s noisy, but also very cool.

Suction Prints
This comes in out of the previous one, as they launch into a screaming jam. Parts of this instrumental make me think of the crazed, psychedelic side of Led Zeppelin.
Low Yo Yo Stuff
The lack of sound quality really affects this one. It’s a smoking hot tune, but sounds like it’s recorded from a mile away. The weird psychedelic drop back at the end is cool.
Nowadays a Woman’s Gotta Hit a Man
The harmonica adds something to this. There are some smoking hot psychedelically tinged moments. Again, though, the sound quality is a problem here.
Abba Zaba
There is a lot of Zappa in the mix here. This one doesn’t suffer quite as bad from the sound quality issues. I love the weirdness at the end of the track.
Band Intro
This is precisely what it says it is, the introduction of the band members.
Sugar 'n Spikes
Psychedelia with a Frank Zappa type of bent to it is the order of business here. This is another that manages to overcome the sound quality issues better than a lot of the others do. It’s another instrumental
Peon
This is another instrumental. It’s got a lot of the usual players, psychedelia and Frank Zappa mostly, in the mix. It’s good stuff.
I'm Gonna Booglarize You Baby
Another that suffers pretty badly in terms of sound quality, this is a crazed rocker.
Old Black Snake
Starting with harmonica, this is mostly acapella. It’s basically an old school blues styled tune. It’s quite short with probably a minute just crowd noise afterward.
Alice in Blunderland
This instrumental is the most mainstream progressive rock oriented piece of the set. It’s quite a cool jam. I just wish I could hear it better.
I’m a King Bee
Much more of a classic electric blues jam, this is pretty cool. It’s not really prog, though. It does get a little crazed at times.
Sugar Mama
There is some of that blues sound here, but mixed with some psychedelic rock and more. This is noisy and rather fun. The instrumental section really screams at times.
Mirror Man
This hard rocking tune really suffers from the poor sound quality of the recording. It has some cool moments, though.
Big Eyed Beans from Venus
Kind of a weird psychedelic rock excursion, this is very freeform. It’s pretty short.
 
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