RELEASE
1969
LABEL
Reprise
GENRES
Pop/Rock, Psychedelic, Proto-Punk, Experimental, Alternative/Indie Rock, Experimental Rock, Art Rock, Blues-Rock

Album Review

Trout Mask Replica is Captain Beefheart's masterpiece, a fascinating, stunningly imaginative work that still sounds like little else in the rock & roll canon. Given total creative control by producer and friend Frank Zappa, Beefheart and his Magic Band rehearsed the material for this 28-song double album for over a year, wedding minimalistic R&B, blues, and garage rock to free jazz and avant-garde experimentalism. Atonal, sometimes singsong melodies; jagged, intricately constructed dual-guitar parts; stuttering, complicated rhythmic interaction -- all of these elements float out seemingly at random, often without completely interlocking, while Beefheart groans his surrealist poetry in a throaty Howlin' Wolf growl. The disjointedness is perhaps partly unintentional -- reportedly, Beefheart's refusal to wear headphones while recording his vocals caused him to sing in time with studio reverberations, not the actual backing tracks -- but by all accounts, the music and arrangements were carefully scripted by the Captain (aided by John "Drumbo" French), which makes the results even more remarkable. As one might expect from music so complex and, to many ears, inaccessible, the influence of Trout Mask Replica was felt more in spirit than in direct copycatting, as a catalyst rather than a literal musical starting point. However, its inspiring reimagining of what was possible in a rock context laid the groundwork for countless future experiments in rock surrealism, especially during the punk/new wave era.
Steve Huey, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Frownland
  2. The Dust Blows Forward 'N the Dust Blows Back
  3. Dachau Blues
  4. Ella Guru
  5. Hair Pie: Bake 1
  6. Moonlight on Vermont
  7. Pachuco Cadaver
  8. Bills Corpse
  9. Sweet Sweet Bulbs
  10. Neon Meate Dream of a Octafish
  11. China Pig
  12. My Human Gets Me Blues
  13. Dali's Car
  14. Hair Pie: Bake 2
  15. Pena
  16. Well
  17. When Big Joan Sets Up
  18. Fallin' Ditch
  19. Sugar 'N Spikes
  20. Ant Man Bee
  21. Orange Claw Hammer
  22. Wild Life
  23. She's Too Much for My Mirror
  24. Hobo Chang Ba
  25. The Blimp (Mousetrapreplica)
  26. Steal Softly Thru Snow
  27. Old Fart at Play
  28. Veteran's Day Poppy