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Trout Mask Replica

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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$46.10 $27.99

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: 1970
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise / Ada
  • ASIN: B000005JA8
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (444 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,159 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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
See all 28 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Given total creative control by producer and friend Frank Zappa, Beefheart and his Magic Band rehearsed the material for this 1969 album for over a year, wedding minimalistic R&B, blues, and garage rock to free jazz and avant-garde experimentalism. Warner

A colleague of Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart (aka Don Van Vliet) and his Magic Band produced some of the most eccentric music of the late 1960s--or, for that matter, ever. The high water mark of Beefheart's bizarre career, this double album of freeform "Dada rock" features such daunting tracks as "Pachuco Cadaver," "Hair Pie (Bakes 1 and 2)," and "Neon Meat Dream of an Octafish," all of which actually sound as unusual as their titles. Between Beefheart's mind-bending lyrics and cavernous voice, as well as the twisted playing of guitarists Zoot Horn Rollo and Antennae Jimmy Semens, bassist Rockette Morton and drummer The Mascara Snake, this album fully explains the expression "far out." --Billy Altman

Customer Reviews

This is extremely challenging music.
Darrell Goodman
I've made a concerted effort to fine one redeemable track on the disc but to no avail.
Let's just make one thing clear - you will never get this album on first listen.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

188 of 208 people found the following review helpful By ewomack TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 13, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Yes yes yes. It's cacophonous, it's gritty, it's unpleasant. Put it on at a party and watch people make a mad dash for the door. Just try and dance to some of the arhythmic beats that fill the album like a car being thrown down a large flight of stairs. It's not popular music was never meant to be and will never apologize for not being so. It is as about an acquired taste as you can get.
Nonetheless, I truly think this will be one of the albums that survives the twentieth century. I think people will still be listening to this in a few hundred years when the concept of music changes and dissonance and staggering rhythms are as harmonious as the choir in the fifth plane of heaven. Rock has produced nothing like this up to this point. Nothing with this sense of exploration and personal vision. Nothing as playful, nothing as fun. Nothing that stretches the boundaries of what people think of as 'rock music.'
I don't think 21st century music listeners in America are ready for this. To truly appreciate this album for what it is you need to have a different definition of music and rhythm from the norm. No words will prepare you for how jarring it is. Your friends will hate you, people will think you're insane or on drugs (Beefheart, by the way, was not a drug user even in the early 1970s). My girlfriend still won't allow me to play it when she's home. People plain wonder what's wrong with me. Why would I listen to such tripe? Such ridiculous trash?
The answer is that if you're one of those like myself that discover what's in this music, you simply can't stop listening. It's not for arty reasons, or reasons of influence (I could care less who Beefheart influenced, to be honest), or showing off my tolerance. There really is something here for those who can find it. I get more and more from every listen.
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Darrell Goodman on November 26, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I bought Trout Mask Replica as a very young man when I saw the cover. Anything this strange, I thought, deserves a chance.
I forced myself to listen to it, once, all four sides -- hell, I'd paid good money for it. Caveat emptor, I thought to myself, and put it away for several years.
Then, when I was listening to Bongo Fury by Frank Zappa, which rapidly became one of my favourites, I recognized that voice, reciting the wierd poetry. I listened to Trout Mask Replica again.
I don't know how I missed it the first time -- not musically sophisticated enough, I guess -- but they were one of the tightest bands I'd ever heard.
You will not tap your foot to Trout Mask Replica, nor will you dance to it. But, if you can get your head around the oblique, sometimes obnoxious changes and time signatures (in some songs there are a number of simultaneous time signatures), you will never be the same.
The bass, at times, sounds like a drunk falling downstairs, but in tight rhythmic harmony with the drums. They just never miss.
This is extremely challenging music. This is not music for people who want to think about or do something else while they're listening to it. But it is for people who enjoy the unusual, and appreciate the whole notion of anti-pop.
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192 of 227 people found the following review helpful By Shotgun Method on November 17, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Wow, this album is one of the most divisive I've ever heard. Nobody thinks that Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica is simply "okay." Most of the reviews on this page either dismiss it as contrived, deliberately atonal, pretentious trash, or think it's a work of genius, and naturally both crowds are antagonistic towards each other.

So let me clear this up: You are not necessarily an MTV-watching mainstream drone for hating this album. By the same token, enjoying Trout Mask Replica hardly makes you a Mensa member (that said, you probably are more interested in "out-there," non-conformist music if you are in the latter camp). This album is strictly an acquired taste, and that's how the Captain intended, I think. I enjoy plenty of weird stuff--Zappa, The Boredoms, some RIO prog, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, Zorn, etc. along with quite a bit of abstract jazz and fusionized metal; and after multiple listens I still find this album to be pretty exhausting, especially in one sitting where 2 LPs of this material tends to become obnoxious after a while. It probably would've been better as a single record.

I don't hate the Captain for making this album. For better or worse, it's interesting, and both a product of its era (in that it seems to be psychedelic in a rather odd sort of way) and yet exploits musical idioms that were unheard of in rock during its time. The free-jazz-meets-Delta-blues-at-a-postmodern-poetry-slam sound of Trout Mask Replica is rather unique. There's plenty of abstract rhythmic ideas going on--it all sounds rather stupid at first, but Beefheart actually intended it to sound this way, and the Magic Band practiced for nearly a year trying to hammer these compositions out. So, you can't call it "amateurish" or "incompetent." These guys knew what they were doing.
Read more ›
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57 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 5, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Yes, it's difficult. Yes, sometimes it's silly ("a squid, eating dough in a polyethylene bag, is fast and bulbous" - see?). Yes, sometimes the production is atrocious (most of the album is a sound engineer's worst nightmare). But you need to know this album.
You need to know it because it doesn't have any pretence at being more than it is. You need to know it because it's "seminal" (I think that means that lots of people cribbed from it..). But most of all, you need to know it because it has a depth and a complexity which you really just don't find outside the classical greats, which means that each time you come back to it, you'll find it says something different. You'll hear a different game being played between instruments, or a different set of word games being played across tracks (if you enjoy Joyce's "Ulysses" you'll love TMR!).
There are no cliches on this one. "Moonlight on Vermont" isn't just the standard formula rock track - hear the lyrics. "China Pig" works on more levels than cotton field blues guitar. The poetry is rough, off the cuff, but narrative ("bore me seven babies, with snapping black eyes, and beautiful ebony skin").
I first heard TMR when I was 16 - I have to say I got it so that I'd look REALLY cool carrying it around high school. I'm now 37 (wife, kids, Volvo estate car, desk, secretary, MBA, etc. etc.). But I'd say I still listen to this every two or three months. It's one of the few CDs I'll make time to sit down and listen to (rather than have as background-to-life) - because it really repays the effort. And, if I make to retirement age, I'm sure that I'll still find hidden corners to this album that haven't yet sprung themselves on me.
So if you want to stretch yourself a bit and perhaps confuse yourself for a while, but you want to make a musical friend for life, this is a must have.
Enjoy - please enjoy!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


Topic From this Discussion
CD release
It appears that it will be re-released, see Very little info so far.
Apr 1, 2013 by gongstar |  See all 3 posts
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