Rolling Stone - 4/1/71, p.48
"...it's strictly a fan's album, but those fans will find it an invaluable link in comprehending the man's stylistic evolution..." - Lester Bangs
Q - 12/99, p.1543 stars out of 5
- "...more experimental; from the driving, hypnotic blues of the 20-minute 'Tarotplane' to the surreal sarcasm of 'Beatle Bones N' Smokin' Stones'....compelling."
Full performer name: Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band.
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: Captain Beefheart (vocals, harmonica); Alex St. Caire Snoufer, Antennae Jimmy Simmons (guitar); Jerry Handsley (bass); John "Drumbo" French (drums).
Recorded in Los Angeles, California in 1965. Originally released on Performance (156). Includes liner notes by John Platt and three poems by Don Van Vliet.
Personnel: Captain Beefheart (vocals, harmonica); Jeff Cotton, Alex St. Clair (guitar); John French (drums).
Liner Note Author: John Platt.
Recording information: TTG Studios, Los Angeles, CA (10/1967-11/1967).
Author: Don Van Vliet.
Photographer: Guy Webster.
Unknown Contributor Role: Captain Beefheart.
More than 30 years after these tracks were recorded, the MIRROR MAN SESSIONS are finally being released in the manner of Don Van Vliet's original vision. Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band were always going through personnel changes, but the group was especially in flux during 1967. SAFE AS MILK had just been issued, and the band began recording a follow-up, planned as a double-album. But the following year saw the Captain and his Band dropped by their label (Buddah).
Some of the slated songs (supplemented with electronic effects) became STRICTLY PERSONAL, released by Blue Thumb Records. Buddah followed suit, venturing into its vaults, choosing four extended songs, and packaging them as MIRROR MAN-obscuring facts by billing the album as "live recordings from 1965." This reissue adds five additional numbers, all of which show the band at an evolutionary point midway between the delta blues of its first recordings and the layered rhythmic stew of TROUT MASK REPLICA. THE MIRROR MAN SESSIONS is an essential document of an important ensemble.