16-track compilation from eccentric American rocker Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) and the Magic Band. Tracks span the 1960s to the '80s and include "Safe As Milk" and "Bat Chain Puller".
Liner Note Author: Mike Barnes .
This is a compilation of tracks from the Magic Band's tenure on the Virgin and Liberty labels. This is unfortunate on two counts: there is no material from the vital Reprise period (including the legendary Trout Mask Replica), and there are selections from Bluejeans & Moonbeams and Unconditionally Guaranteed, generally acknowledged as the weakest albums in the good Captain's catalog. Any best-of for a singular artist like Captain Beefheart is going to have some debatable inclusions and omissions, but five tracks combined from Bluejeans & Moonbeams and Unconditionally Guaranteed is too many, by almost anyone's estimation. By contrast, the Dust Blows Forward anthology has a grand total of one tune each from those albums. Aside from that, selections are nothing to quibble about, but those two mediocre efforts account for nearly one-third of this compilation. Beefheart fans, of course, will probably already own this material, and a true novice would probably be better-served with Dust Blows Forward, which covers Beefheart's entire career, encompassing all represented record labels. ~ Sean Westergaard