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Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) Import, Original recording remastered

39 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, August 14, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

2006 digitally remastered reissue of this 1980 album. 12 tracks that featured a bigger and smoother sound, marking a return to classic Beefheart form with the album being thrilling, hilarious and deeply unusual in equal parts. Features extensive liner notes written by Beefheart expert Mike Barnes. Virgin.

1. The Floppy Boot Stomp
2. Tropical Hot Dog Night
3. Ice Rose
4. Harry Irene
5. You Know You're A Man
6. Bat Chain Puller
7. When I See Mommy I Feel Like A Mummy
8. Owed T'alex
9. Candle Mambo
10. Love Lies
11. Suction Prints
12. Apes-Ma

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 14, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Virgin Int'l
  • ASIN: B000FDJ2VK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,110 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Alex De Visscher on September 29, 1998
Format: Audio CD
When I first heard this CD, I was surprised in many ways. First, Shiny Beast is less bluesy than Beefheart's other records. Second, the atmosphere of some of the songs differs completely from anything I had heard from this man. And third, this is one of the best albums I have ever heard in my life.
Many of the songs on this album are very accessible, but the apparent simplicity is deceptive. As usual, Captain Beefheart is strong on arrangements. My absolute favorite in this respect is the title track. There are some sounds on this song that made me think "how the hell did he do that?". Candle Mambo is one of these songs that really surprised me when I thought I was getting to know the man. But Beefheart can be predictible as well: a Beefheart album always contains one or two nice instrumental songs, and Bat Chain Puller is no exception. Ice Rose really is a little jewel.
A must for any Beefheart fan.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By William Michael Brown on September 17, 1998
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The result of a short-lived late 70's association with a major label, reviewers at the time didn't give "Shiny Beast" a lot of sympathy. Too bad, 'cause this is clearly one of the Captain's most accessible albums, managing to be exquisitely tuneful while sacrificing none of his unique brand of home-grown American Surrealism. It's also one of the best incarnations of the Magic Band, mixing all of the threads evident from "Trout Mask Replica" on -- fast meter shifts, slashing guitar, octave-spanning blues hollers, strange lyrics -- with the tender, even (dare I say it?) mellow influences of Bruce Fowler's trombone and Art Tripp's marimba. "Owed T'Alex" wonderfully evokes the San Berdoo/Lancaster California desert Biker world the Captain grew up in, while "Suction Prints" could have come straight off "Trout Mask" (if that album had had better production). The title tune is sheer over-the-top Beefheart madness, a blistering fever-dream of environmental disaster that will leave welts on your mind. If you liked "Doc at the Radar Station", you _must_ have this.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By JOHN SPOKUS on October 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD
It can be both edgey and accessible in a strange sort of way. I owned this originally in High School on 8 track, which I probably paid a buck or less for in the almighty bargain bin (Remember those good ones with cut outs before they were loaded with pre-fab budget greatest hits releases). That tape was my intro to the Captain, although it is long gone I just got a used copy of the LP at a local record store, and I must say that this record is even better than what I remembered from twenty years ago.I love the title cut; it used to get played often on Towson State's radio station back when this was new.Other favorites are "Tropical Hot Dog Night", "Harry Irene", and "Floppy Boot Stomp"(the title always made me think of a friend of mine's worn out Sunny's Surplus work boots that he just wouldn't throw away). After just hearing it again I must conclude that this is an essential Beefheart release
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Josh on February 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I'm quite familiar with the work of the captain, and have every album aside from the commercial follies unconditionally guaranteed and bluejeans and moonbeams. While I would say that every other beefheart album is at least as strong as most other things I've heard, this album in particular seems to have the most redeeming qualities. It is, as other reviewers have pointed out, a highly listenable album (with very warm production), and is simultaneously quite an outing in terms of the uniqueness of songwriting and musicianship involved. While not quite as cacophonous as say Trout Mask Replica or Lick my Decals off, Baby; the album is no less adventurous and refreshing. In spite of the unique/experimental nature of the album, there is nevertheless a catchiness and almost dancable quality to many of the songs. The rhythms (with added marimba) are almost buoyant: This is an incredibly happy and uplifting album, in spite of some of the dire ecological warnings; the album also contains what I would call some of the captains' best love songs. All in all, this is possibly Captain Beefhearts' best attempt at combining unique and artistic song-writing with joyful listenability.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Norman Clature on May 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I've had the album, the cassette, and just yesterday my CD arrived. I listened to this "beast" twice already. Maybe I'm just so used to Beefheart (I have them all except "Decals") that I don't know what mainstream is anymore, but most of this stuff seems very accessible, with a few tunes I'll bet even your mother might like (Love Lies, Harry Irene).
Of course, accessible Beefheart is still Beefheart. The two instrumentals (Ice Rose, Suction Prints) are very satisfying, with great interplay between the marimba, the horns and guitars.
Beefheart's vocal stylings are great here and you can't help but notice his low octave range. The title song has one of the coolest grooves ever and you can do some sort of weird dance to it. The kickoff song (Floppy Boot Stomp) sounds like some sort of square dance/hoe down cowboy thing not unlike "Ice Cream for Crow" which would come a few years later. The band is super-tight. "Tropical Hot Dog Night" is one of the most joyous songs Beefheart's ever done. It's almost mainstream without being corny and it fills the mind with imagery of laid back nightime festivities on your favorite island.
"Mommy-Mummy" has a very convincing Egyptian music backing, although the melody and lyrics are not quite up to classic Beef standards. "Candle Mambo" is sounds just as the title suggests, with Beefheart musing on what the candlelight can do to save the night.
Clocking in at 0.38 is the last track "Apes-Ma", which despite it's short length, just may be the best poem Beefheart has ever done. I don't know what it would mean to most people, but for me it's a very ominous warning to Humankind.
If you like Beefheart at all, add this to your collection. It's essential.
Thanks and have a good tropical hayday!
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Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)
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