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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Safe As Milk

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

1967

Safe As Milk

Album Summary

Safe as Milk is the debut studio album by American music group Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, released in June 1967 by Buddah Records. A heavily blues-influenced work, the album features a 20-year-old Ry Cooder, who played guitar and wrote some of the arrangements. Before recording Safe as Milk, the band had released a couple of singles through A&M Records, and it was to this company that the group first proposed their début album in 1966. They presented the label with a set of R&B-influenced demos, which the label felt were too unconventional and decided to drop the band. Beefheart later said the label dropped them after hearing the song "Electricity" and declaring it "too negative". A&M's Jerry Moss thought the content too risqué for his daughter's ears. This, plus Leonard Grant's severance as manager, added to the discontent. The band instead turned to Bob Krasnow, who was then working for Kama Sutra Records; he recruited them to record for the company's new subsidiary label, Buddah. Meanwhile, Beefheart had been secretly planning changes to the Magic Band's line-up—a practice common throughout the group's existence. The group that recorded the two A&M singles had consisted of Doug Moon and Richard Hepner on guitars, Jerry Handley on bass, and Alex St. Clair on drums. Hepner had already left, and Beefheart was keen to replace Moon with Ry Cooder, who was then playing with Gary Marker and Taj Mahal in the Rising Sons. These and other changes resulted in a Magic Band with Handley on bass, St. Clair on guitar, and John French on drums, with Cooder providing additional guitar parts. Cooder's arrival had been swayed by Marker, who had spent time with Beefheart and had been given to believe he would produce the album; in fact, Marker was only engaged in demo recording. Don Van Vliet has said that the title "Safe as Milk" is a sarcastic reference either to the contamination in women's breast milk, either with the pesticide DDT or radioactive strontium-90 in different published interviews.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.04

Votes

580

Genres

  • Rock
  • Blues
Reviews
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4

Delightfully weird.

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4

The only Beefheart album I knew before this was Trout Mask Replica, so I wasn't expecting something so... accessible? But still, some pretty experimentally fun stuff here!

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3

good album, I can understand its importance

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5

excellent!

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4

A "comfortable listening" example of it's genre

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4

Good album, good tracks that keep the interest. I feel is loses it's way a little near the end but the first half is solid R&B

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4

I think that this is the truest acid music. The fact that he and Zappa would compete shows through already in this album. Good stuff, maybe a hair too disjointed for a 5.

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4

Good album - mix of traditional and innovative.

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4

A perfectly okay blues rock album. Not particularly crazy. "Electricity" stood out for whatever reason. Riding very close to the line between 3 and 4

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4

This was nothing like their other album on this list, and that's a great thing. Best track: Safe As Milk - Take 5

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4

If John Lennon thinks your milk is safe enough to be placed on his fridge doors, then it's good enough for the rest of us. Safe as Milk provides a plentiful introduction into the madness that occupied the brain of one Don Van Vliet; a madness that would coagulate into creating one of the most infamous albums ever recorded. But that had yet to be seen as this album fits into neat pockets of R&B musings and fledgling psychedelic rock, showcasing that the Magic Band can remain in the game while being simultaneously out of it. This milk is safe enough for me. Favorites: Sure 'Nuff 'n' Yes, I Do, Zig Zag Wanderer, Call on Me, I'm Glad, Abba Zaba, Where There's Woman, Grown So Ugly, Autumn Child, Safe as Milk - Take 5, On Tomorrow, Trust Us - Take 9.

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4

4.25

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4

I realize it’s not ground breaking now. But imagine being on a ton of acid at some club and this band comes on and just blows your top off. That’s be fun…..

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4

This was dope! Solid bluesy classic rock with some wacky elements and a wicked howl on vox. Other beefheart stuff is a lil too chaotic jazz rock for me to have enjoyed it. Side bar, there was a bit on the Mark Maron show (I think that was a thing?) where he was like I needed a project so thought I'd try to get into Captain Beefheart, but I was so nervous buying it at the record store cuz I'm not cool enough and everyones laughing at me. But he buys this album (I'd guess it was this one, don't remember) and then hes at a taqueria afterwards and the cashier is like "Oh I love Captain Beefheart, Safe As Milk is a great starter album". Haha kind of how I feel.

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4

4.5/5. I love this album. It comes from my favorite era of music, and is in my favorite style. While it is kind of out there, I still find it great.

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3

Kicked off with some really filthy delta blues. I was thinking this was a sure 4, maybe 5. But for all the songs that totally killed it there were others that just devolved into BS late 60s psychedelia and more avant garde stuff. Not that there isn't a place for that. But it make me love the album as much as I thought I would.

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3

Well . . . I'm glad that's over. I'm gonna wash out my ears with some Howlin' Wolf. There were some moments of pure brilliance though. The horns on I'm Glad were fantastic.

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3

In it's core the album is a (country) blues rock album with somethimes some songs with soul influences. But what's up with the troatsinging!? Some song are pretty... experimental to say the least. It has some ups and downs in de amount of experimental sound. Also worth noting that the album has some nice instrumental songs at the end of the album. Overall opinion: It's a decent album, nice to have listened a few times but I won't look it up again any time soon.

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3

I was expecting some noisy, annoying shit from Captain Beefheart. My college roommate was into him and I hated that shit. Fortunately, CBH hadn’t yet hit his disdainful stride for this debut album and it’s very listenable. I actually like it and I would gladly listen to this album again. CBH shows his eccentricities in his varied song styles: delta blues, soul, and psychedelic rock. The weirdness is there just not fully formed yet…thankfully.

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3

I got to learn where the Black Keys heard some of their initial cover songs from. The music was interesting with lots of range and good to have in the background.

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3

It is a decent album with some interesting aspects to it and good bass. But overall I don't think it is all too special. "I'm Glad" is probably the track that I like the most, but the one that feels like it belongs on the album the least.

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3

More accessible than I thought it was gonna be, especially in terms of the instrumentals (which I really enjoyed!), but gets a little weird around half way through. Some of the vocals became a bit grating after a while.

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3

Echt te oude poprock. Klinkt als beatles/kinks maar dan wat minder poppy en bij vlagen beetje raar/experimenteel. 3*

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3

Eclectic, inventive and quite interesting

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3

3.5/5

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3

6/2 be fart

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3

Liked it more than I thought I would. Some pretty interesting stuff in this album

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3

This was good... just show me the next band though.

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3

After trout mask replica this one had me scared, but it was surprisingly good!

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3

Normally I like late 60's experimental/psychedelic/garage music, but this didn't do much for me. It was probably pretty cool when it first came out but it hasn't aged well. Didn't hate it, but didn't enjoy it much either. 3 stars.

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3

It's fine. Vanilla Zappa, but it's a relatively decent listen.

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2

Mostly insanity, but shure 'nuffand I'm glad were good.

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2

When someone said "let your freak flag fly", Captain Beefheart understood the assignment. This is what The Kinks would have sounded like if they made a conscious decision to avoid commercial success. It's also kind of what your "creepy but not in a good way" uncle sounds like in your nightmares. That said, the guitars are fuzzy in just the right places and jangley in just the right way. 4/10.

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2

Not my kinda style. But it’s definitely funky

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2

Captain Beefheart as a stage name is certainly a bold choice. And it's bold music. It's just not good music. The bluesy bits were decent, but the rest was mostly off-putting. Milk is not always safe. It can spoil. Make sure you check the date, and give it the ol' sniff test. Beefy failed the test.

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2

I have actually listened to a couple CB albums in the past. I liked that opening track which was a classic. Despite the funky name, this band is pretty conventional with a whiff of the 60's psychedelic style into Zig Zag Wanderer. That whiff turns into a full odor by the time you get to Dropout Boogie. I'm Glad makes a complete shift to RNB and that's kind of weird. By electricity, we are back to the gimmicky psychedelic soul replete with therimin. Is that what I'm hearing?? Anyhow, the last ten songs seem to blur together into an ooze and others overheard this and said, that must be the worst music I've ever heard!

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2

Listened to on 8/30/22 2.5/5 Favorite song: I’m Glad This album gave me whiplash with every some being a very different vibe - not my favorite but a few hidden gems

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2

Inte jätteimponerad. Det är inte dåligt, men samtidigt inte särskilt bra heller.

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2

bad

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