ARTIST: Captain Beefheart
TITLE: Strictly Personal
YEAR RELEASED: 1968
CHART ACTION: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Beefheart fans probably know Trust Us and Safe as Milk
LINEUP: Don Van Vliet, Alex St. Clair, Jeff Cotton, Jerry Handley, John French
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Because psychedelia was all in vogue, Beefheart’s record company rejects a potential double album and the producer then drenches one half in echo, phasing and other psychedelic tricks to no one’s benefit and releases it on his label.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Mind you, getting the actual straight story isn’t possible now, since Beefheart was always contradictory and vague and the producer, Bob Krasnow, defends his work. At any rate – there was to be a double album but instead Krasnow took half of it, made it all psychedelic and released it.
What the end result was a mess. There were some good songs here (and some I don’t like) that are available in pure form on the bonus tracks from his previous album. This, though, has a lot of goofy phasing, repeated phrasing, effects and shenanigans. What happens is that it ruins the flow. The first side would be a killer side if taken straight – especially “Safe as Milk” and “Trust Us”
Side two of the record is also kind of a bummer for me, though “Beatle Bones ‘n’ Smokin’ Stones” is rather humorous.
At any rate, it’s worth hearing, and the strength of the material somewhat overcomes the production. But not enough for novices.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The other double album, featuring long blues workouts, was released in the early 70’s. Oh, and this isn’t streaming, due to rights foibles I am sure.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: C+: The effects really kind of ruin it for me – I prefer the unadorned versions – and those are streaming.