Strictly Personal Import
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Somewhere between 1967 and 1968 Beefheart and His Magic Band struck out to do a double album magnum opus. The non-commercial project became foiled in record company politics and some other general nonsense. Consequently, the band fell out with their previous label, Buddha Records, over this very project (dubbed "It Comes to You In a Plain Brown Wrapper"). Buddha apparently began to focus on popular and more "happy" (or "bubblegum") music. And subsequently the band found their way to Liberty Records and producer Bob Krasnow.
The band had already recorded quite a bit of material for the failed double-album project. It sat moldering in Buddha's vaults for years (The 1999 CD releases of "Safe As Milk" and "Mirror Man" contain nearly all of this material - released, paradoxically, by the "new" Buddha records). With little rehearsal the band cranked out "Strictly Personal" in the spring of 1968. Much of the material overlapped with the aborted Buddha sessions. Notably, very shortened versions of "Mirror Man" (now called "Son of Mirror Man - Mere Man") and "Kandy Korn". The only new addition was the rough grunting blues number "Ah Feel Like Ahcid". Pieces of the song exist throughout the album.Read more ›
Cap'n has been unhappy with all producers and marketers of his recorded opi, as far as I know. I think Bob Krasnow's production tactics are as at least as inoffensive and inobtrusive as any one's else's. Whatever his intent was, I don't believe he sabotaged this recording in any way.
The songs and the lyrics are "authentically strange" as John Peel remarked in a documentary. To me they're idiosynchratic and somewhat flawed. They're just not coherent enough for my liking, and the music's a bit uneven - it has great stuff in there, but alternates into more straight, ostensibly commercially viable sections that drag this down a bit.
The production, the mixes are bad.
The better part of this material is available on the "I May Be Hungry But I Sure Ain't Weird" collection, which is alternate takes of these tracks plus a few more things from this time frame, and "Mirror Man" which was cut by the same band (originally to be bundled with this album in a 2-LP set) and has far superior versions of "Mirror Man" and "Kandy Korn". "I May Be Hungry" has been placed, in two pieces, on the new issues of "Safe As Milk" and "Mirror Man".
So, if you buy the new "Safe As Milk" and "Mirror Man", you'll hear all this material in equivalent or better form, except the opening acoustic track (which is just a basic blues) and the words to "On Tomorrow".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you were a fan of Captain Beefheart then you would want this badly if you didn't already have it.Published 17 months ago by Lawrence S. Boucher
A purple splash on a vitamin C tablet ,restricted to constricting space relics as costume, the magic was transformed by archaic studio enhancements. Glad it wasn't too basie. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Keith Nathan Albrecht
This is one of the finest albums the good Captain has ever put out. Most of his studio albums are great but this one sits at the top of my collection. Read morePublished on February 4, 2013 by F. Campbell
Let's not delude ourselves. The effects that Krasnow added to this album did not prevent Captain Beefheart from getting popular. Read morePublished on December 18, 2010 by Heavy Theta
I have only recently discovered Captain Beefheart having been a fan of bands such as Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Allman Brothers Band, I hadn't really heard any Beefheart songs. Read morePublished on June 11, 2010 by Buyer of CDs/DVDs & BluRays
What's wrong with this album? If Vliet is the antithesis of psychedelia then no amount of phasing, tape delay or other associated ephemera can make him otherwise. Read morePublished on October 17, 2009 by Philippe Landry