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Captain Beyond

Lost & Found 1972-1973

Review by Gary Hill

Fans of Captain Beyond (like myself) have had to live with the fact there were only three albums released. Recently a live disc surfaced. Now, we get this cool set. It includes demos that were used to get the band their recording deal. There are some alternate versions of songs from their first album that are cool. The real shining stars here include the opener (which has never been released in any form) and an early recording of "Icarus" which wouldn't surface until the third album (with a different arrangement and singer). While you can tell that these are demos, they still sound quite good. I would highly recommend this disc to anyone who has ever been a fan of Captain Beyond. It's a real treasure to have.

Track by Track Review
Uranus Expressway (Previously Unreleased Song)

If there's one song only to own this for, it's this one, a previously unreleased cut. There is some killer psychedelic jamming at the heart of this. It's obvious that this would have fit very well on the first album. I love the soaring sounds that take it further along the road. The mellower jam that takes it into a the chorus groove works so well, too. This is really trademark Captain Beyond.

I Can't Feel Nothing, Pt. 1

This comes in with familiar territory. The recording is perhaps a bit less professional, but only slightly, than what we wound up with on the final album. If anything there is more of a drive and immediacy to this.

As the Moon Speaks (To the Waves of the Sea)

There are some definite changes here. This feels at the start a bit more demo-like just because the bits of psychedelic weirdness seem a little more stark and not quite as effective. Still, it's an intriguing variant. As the guitar part joins, it's the familiar musical pattern. I think I like the distant effect vocals on this better than the effect that we heard on the actual album rendition. The demo nature does affect some of the more rocking parts of this. All in all, though, it works almost as well as the final version, and in some ways I like this better.

Astral Lady

This is just a short instrumental movement.

As the Moon Speaks (Return)

This enters with a return of the "moon speaks" section. The melodic guitar soloing is classic stuff for sure, but so is the whole piece, really. There is some killer drum soloing on this, getting a bit  noisier, but in a good way, than the final version.

I Can't Feel Nothing, Pt. 2

This jam is screaming hot here. It might be a bit more intense and immediate than on the final version. However you slice it, though, it seriously rocks.

Icarus
Weird sound effects like a bomb dropping open this, seemingly the titular character falling from the sky. It works into the trippy parts of this from there, seeming much more psychedelic than the final version. As it kicks into the song proper there is much more of a melodic psychedelic mode than the hard stomping version of the final rendition. It's cool to hear this with Rod Evans singing. The mid-track jam takes it into much proggier. I love the soaring guitar solo. The later parts of this are seriously on fire. This is another piece that makes this a "must have."
Raging River of Fear
This stomping hard rocker is on fire here. As much as I love this performance, and particularly the big of Southern rock guitar that emerges here, the vocals get a bit lost in the mix at times.
Dancing Madly Backwards (On a Sea of Air)
As this starts, it sounds so much like the final version that its hard to tell the difference. Yes, the mix is a bit different, but this is quite close to the final release. I think that there might be some alternate vocals later in this cut. The killer off-kilter jamming movement feels a little different, too.
Myopic Void

The weird textures on this version make it feel even trippier than the final release of it in a lot of ways. I've never known what the lyrics to this were. Now, in this version I can actually make them out. This feels more on fire in a lot of ways, although the shift to the "Dancing Madly Backwards" part seems just a little awkward.

 
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