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Spotlight Kid & Clear Spot

64 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 19, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2 LPs on one CD, and the only way to get the monumentally great CLEAR SPOT album on CD.

In 1972 it probably seemed like the year belonged to a blues-tinged wall-of-sound rock band--maybe Deep Purple, who recorded Made in Japan that year--but from an aesthetic vantage, the blues-rock mantle has to go Captain Beefheart. In 1972 producer Ted Templeman took the controls for a pair of stunning Beefheart diamonds (in the rough of course), The Spotlight Kid and Clear Spot, both collected here in full on one CD. Beefheart's voice sounds rightly inimitable, growly and gruff and lyrically cryptic. For its part, the Magic Band is in top form as well, integrating marimba and an assortment of percussion into the slide guitar forestry. There's a distinct and good reason that the celebrated Beefheart box set of rarities is called Grow Fins: the tune, as it appears on this collection, is a classic terrain-defying testament of love as only Don Van Vliet (Beefheart) could provide, a surreal and funny little tune caught in a skein of rough-hewn music that's stood the test of time splendidly. --Andrew Bartlett

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I'm Gonna Booglarize You Baby
  2. White Jam
  3. Blabber 'n Smoke
  4. When It Blows Its Stacks
  5. Alice In Blunderland
  6. The Spotlight Kid
  7. Click Clack
  8. Grow Fins
  9. There Ain't No Santa Claus on the Evenin' Stage
  10. Glider
  11. Low Yo Yo Stuff
  12. Nowadays a Woman's Gotta Hit a Man
  13. Too Much Time
  14. Circumstances
  15. My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains
  16. Sun Zoom Spark
  17. Clear Spot
  18. Crazy Little Thing
  19. Long Neck Bottles
  20. Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles
  21. Big Eyed Beans from Venus
  22. Golden Birdies

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 19, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise / Ada
  • ASIN: B000005JB4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,183 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Randall E. Adams on November 20, 2002
Format: Audio CD
It's been a lot of years, but I can still remember the disbelief that I felt when listening to each of these two albums when they first came out. I could "get" them, although they were just on the outside edge of my musical comprehension. I was not able to "get" the earlier double album "Trout Mask Replica"--it was just too avant garde.
I recommend this fine reissue of Captain Beefheart's two 1972 albums on Warner Bros for an introduction to this man's great music. These records offer a nearly perfect balance of art and accessibility and if you hear these for the first time now, you will not believe how modern they are. It took everyone else a VERY long time to catch up with the Captain's musical ideas. Now you will know where bands like Wall of Voodoo, The Birthday Party and The Fall got their inspiration from.
"The Spotlight Kid" is the more consistent album,in my opinion. It sprawls with a languid dissonant blues groove. What was originally Side Two of the album (tracks 6 through 10 here) is a relentless string of modern jazz/blues genius. Do you like your blues with marimba? Try keeping track of the rhythym to "Click Clack"--the freshest railroad blues you'll ever hear. In 2002, anybody could cover "There Ain't No Santa Claus on the Evenin' Stage" and sound like they'd just written one of the highlights of their career. Only Don Van Vliet (Beefheart's legal name) could mix sardonic humor and poignancy so delicately.
The high points of "Clear Spot" may exceed even the peaks mentioned above, particularly the dissonant swamp rock of the title track and the exciting psychedelic guitar blues opus "Big Eyed Beans from Venus.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 13, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This Captain Beefheart is some of his greatest material. It is also easy for the pedestrian fan to enjoy as well. But beware! You may become a real fan!I started listening to Beefheart at 13 years old when "Safe As Milk" first hit the shelves. I have never been the same since.And now, 36 years later, I am still a big fan. And, every time I listen to a Beefheart album, I hear something new and it seems fresh all over again.His stuff is still better tahn 99 0/0 of what passes for cutting edge today.Buy and listen to these two cds in the same package. It will open your mind.The good Captain will Booglerize you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By vitrarius on August 27, 1998
Format: Audio CD
.....then this should be it. Running the full gamut of his idiosyncracies, the Spotlight Kid explores some of the same territory as the indigestible classic, Trout Mask Replica, while Clear Spot is the palatable end of his "commercial" output. Featuring the classic Magic Band line-up of Winged Eel Fingerling, Zoot Horn Rollo, Rockette Morton and Ed Marimba, there is such a wealth of weird and wonderful instrumental and lyrical invention, this music exists in a field of its own, undated and unchallenged in twenty five years. Highlights of the earlier tracks are the bluesy rumble of the opener, "I Wanna Booglerize You, Baby" thro' the majesty of "When It Blows Its Stacks" to the gentle beauty of the instrumental, "Peon." Although fans of Clear Spot love the Captain's dark version of blue-eyed soul, the gems are at the end. That moment when Mr. Zoot Horn Rollo 'hits that long, lunar note and lets it float' in Big Eyed Beans,is one of the defining moments of this writers life in music. Golden Birdies, the closer is a showcase for a wonderfully cryptic lyric with a sombre percussive soundtrack. Don Van Vliet, the Captain, gave up music for painting almost twenty years ago. Somebody else can be the judge of whether that is the art world's gain, but music has sorely missed his brand of uncompromising weirdness and beauty ever since.
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Steven Vacca on June 12, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I am 42 years old and have been a Zappa fan for many years. I've always heard of Beefheart (Willie the Pimp), but never knew much about him. After reading some music reviews I decided to check out Trout Mask Replica. And I thank the heavens for that. For most people, several listenings of Trout are required, but from the very start of Frownland, I was totally blown away by this completely unique, non-conformist, unconventional stuff which I had never ever been exposed to before. Vliet's voice is so cool, and his whole way of looking at things is so refreshing, mesmerizing, and creative. I will always look at things differently from now on because of Don Van Vliet (check out his abstract paintings). People of the next millenium, you must re-discover this one-of-a-kind "no-rules", "free-form", masterfully-produced brand of music. The mold, as with Zappa, was made once and broken. I recently downloaded a 1972 performance of Beefheart and band doing "I'm Gonna Booglarize You Baby" on a TV show in Germany and watched it on RealPlayer. I highly recommend this for the avid Beefheart fan. It was so good. And it shows how good he and his band really were. That's all I have to say. If you want to really open your mind up and experience true "non-commercial" yet extremely creative music, go ahead and start with Trout Mask Replica and then try this CD. And remember, most people (conformists who dare not be different) do not get Captain Beefheart and never will. So ignore their ignorant criticisms, turn on, tune in, and do drop into the best musical experiences you'll ever have.
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