Rolling Stone - 8/5/99, pp.63-43 stars (out of 5)
- "...a two-CD career retrospective...[whose] intention seems to be to make Beefheart acceptable as a more middle-of-the-road rock & roller....which a part of him undoubtedly was..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 1/00, p.31
Included in Mojo Magazine's "Best Boxed Sets" of 1999.
Includes material recorded from 1966-1982.
Personnel includes: Captain Beefheart (vocals, harmonica, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, musette); Frank Zappa, Denny Walley (vocals, guitar); Napoleon Murphy Brock (vocals, saxophone); George Duke (vocals, keyboards); Ry Cooder, Mark Boston, Richard Redus, John French (guitar, bass); Doug Moon, Alex Snouffer, Richard Hepner, Jeff Cotton, Bill Harkleroad, Elliot Ingber, Dean Smith, Jesse Ed Davis, Jeff Moris Tepper, Gary Lucas (guitar); Eric Drew Feldman (keyboards, bass); Michael Smotherman, Jimmy Caravan, Mark Marcellino (keyboards); Art Tripp (marimba, drums, percussion); Tom Fowler, Roy Estrada, Richard Snyder, Ira Ingber, Jerry Handley (bass); Cliff Martinez, Robert Arthur Williams (drums, percussion).
Producers include: Bob Krasnow, Richard Perry, Pete Johnson.
Compilation producers: Gary Peterson, David Baker.
Includes liner notes by Barry Alfonso.
This two-disc anthology tackles the daunting task of presenting an overview of Captain Beefheart's music in two hours. And it succeeds stunningly. The chronologically arranged set allows a novice reasonable entry points into this iconoclastic artist's often dense works. He and the Magic Band mine a sonic landscape completely of their own making. The music is blues-based at its core, but with a highly engaging sense of fractured poetics.
Throughout this collection, the ensemble demonstrates clockwork interplay. From a relatively simple track like 1966's "Diddy Wah Diddy," to the three selections dating from the final album (ICE CREAM FOR CROW) in 1982, these songs make clear why the world is still catching up with this man and his band. Though Beefheart was a never a significant commercial success his day, his influence is still being heard in countless artists who followed him. The 60-page accompanying book is loaded with photos and notes.