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Trout Mask Replica

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

1969

Trout Mask Replica
Album Summary

Trout Mask Replica is the third studio album by the American band Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, released as a double album on June 16, 1969, by Straight Records. The music was composed by Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) and arranged by drummer John "Drumbo" French. Combining elements of R&B, garage rock, and blues with free jazz, avant-garde approaches, and other genres of American music,[7] the album is regarded as an important work of experimental music and art rock. The album was produced by Frank Zappa and recorded in March 1969 at Whitney Studios in Glendale, California, following eight months of intense rehearsals at a small rented communal house in Los Angeles. The lineup of the Magic Band at this time consisted of Bill "Zoot Horn Rollo" Harkleroad and Jeff "Antennae Jimmy Semens" Cotton on guitar, Mark "Rockette Morton" Boston on bass guitar, Victor "The Mascara Snake" Hayden on bass clarinet, and John "Drumbo" French on drums and percussion. Beefheart played several brass and woodwind instruments, including saxophone, musette, and natural horn, and contributed most of the vocal parts, while Zappa and members of the band provided occasional vocals and narration. The well-rehearsed Magic Band recorded all instrumental tracks[a 1] for the album in a single six-hour recording session; Beefheart's vocal and horn tracks were laid down over the next few days. Trout Mask Replica sold poorly upon its initial release in the United States, where it failed to appear in any charts. It was more successful in the United Kingdom, where it spent a week at number 21 on the UK Albums Chart. In recent years, however, Trout Mask Replica has been widely regarded as the masterpiece of Beefheart's musical career, as well as an important influence on many subsequent artists. Its highly unconventional musical style, which includes polyrhythm, multi-octave vocals, and polytonality, continues to polarize audiences and has given the album a reputation as one of the most challenging recordings in the 20th century musical canon. It was ranked number 60 on Rolling Stone's 2012 edition of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, and has appeared on the "best of" lists of many other publications.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.25

Votes

10715

Genres

  • Rock
  • Blues

Reviews

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View Author
Mon Dec 12 2022
1

Remember that scene from A Clockwork Orange when that dude in a wheelchair locks Malcolm McDowell in an upstairs room and plays Beethoven loudly, knowing it'll drive him insane? And it causes McDowell's character Alex such sickening pain that he throws himself out of the window? That's what this album made do, and I'm still in sickening pain as I write this. Apparently the dude who created The Simpsons of all people claims you have to listen to this album a whopping SEVEN times before you realize it's brilliant. I don't have that many windows I'm willing to jump out of to confirm whether or not he's correct.

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Tue Aug 23 2022
3

This is not a bad album. On a technical level, what they are doing takes immense amount of skill and you can tell that all musicians involved are virtuosos in their own right. On the question of how enjoyable it is, it is unbridled creativity, a storm of brutal sound that can also be quite intriguing at times, like an LSD-infused dadaist poetry slam. But I won't be listening to it regularly, I imagine. It is TOUGH to get through. The best use for this album is as a palate-cleanser. It doesn't matter what you were listening to before, Napalm Death or Mariah Carey, Iron Maiden or Stevie Wonder - by the end of this album, your brain will have thoroughly reset and by any chance, you won't even remember how you got here. But it's going to be an uncomfortable 80 minutes until then.

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Mon Apr 10 2023
5

Alright, this certainly is one of the albums ever created. Impossible to separate the artist and the mythology from the music itself, when the entire thing truly sounds like someone held talented musicians against their will and forced them to learn these horribly complex compositions. But in the end, the record really is a blast. Never boring, often humorous, and avoids being repetitive in its challenging of the listener. 'Bill's Corpse' really is a bop.

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Mon Jan 02 2023
1

You could give this a 5 for the sheer brass balls of releasing this on the public, but, really, it gets a 1 for being shit.

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Tue Aug 23 2022
1

I understand this album is incredibly complex, creative, and original. I also find listening to this type of polytonal, polyrhythmic music to be a chore. Because certain arrangements are possible does not mean they'll sound good. I'll let music scholars sing the praises of this album; it sounded horrible to me.

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Fri Jan 27 2023
5

I can truly understand why this album is one of the lowest rated albums on this list. It is 80 minutes of audio chaos and I’m sure many listeners aren’t even going to get to the end of “Frownland”, let alone the last track. It’s hard to believe that this charted in the UK the first week that it was out, but it did and I’m sure that it was word of mouth that caused it not to chart the second week. That being said, this album is a masterpiece and totally deserves to be on the list. There’s nothing that sounds like it back in 1969 and unlike the Velvet Underground, which was trying to be different in the most pretentious way possible this album is different in the most unpretentious way. You won't find any Warhol-inspired fashionable music on here nor anything romantic either. It’s as raw as a punk album but with some of the crazy polyrhythms that you would expect to find on an avant-garde classical album. All the while Van Vliet’s lyrics and vocals seem to be taking you somewhere quite different entirely. It seems like Zappa the producer was hearing all of this and instead of producing just sat in the studio smoking his cigarettes and letting the chaos unfold around him. That hands-off approach is probably what made this album what it is and I'm forever thankful for it. Trout Mask Replica is an album that when someone says it's total garbage and unlistenable I can actually see where there coming from and just say that I love it for what it is. It is not an album that I can listen to often. But when I do listen to it, I’m glad that I live in a world where this album was able to be made. I’m also going to give this 5 stars for 2 reasons. The first is that someone had the balls to make this at a time when they had to either know that it was not going to make them any money or had enough faith in the listening public to think that they’d like something as far out there as this. The second is that I don’t think anyone else here has given it 5 stars yet (4 is the highest that I’ve seen so far).

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Wed Dec 14 2022
4

Captain Beefheart you son of a gun. You owe me a go on your sister's tits. She disappeared down a drain pipe on a dark night last spring. She broke my heart, she broke my mind, she broke my penis and I cried. Shelly Beefheart, my love, my muse, my everything.

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Fri Dec 30 2022
5

The album is a fucking trip. It encourages me to be freer with my own creativity, because there are things on here that just seem like silly-ass outtakes - then the next song slaps you in the face with the ripping guitars and forceful vocals. It defies category and stands out.

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Wed Mar 29 2023
5

As silly as it sounds, Matt Groening was right, it does take multiple listens until it just clicks. I've listened to this a bunch over the years and it's a favorite now. Loved reading all the takes from other unsuspecting listeners, they are not wrong lol.

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Fri Sep 01 2023
5

- definition of scaring the hoes - Sounds like crack was heavily involved - I can’t tell if every word is meticulously planned out or freestyled - Sometimes they get into a groove but it’s very rare - The singer actually has a cool voice - HOBO CHANG BAAAAAAA - Kinda feels like a really dark fucked up version of the chili peppers - Overall just an absolute mess of people learning to play instruments and a singer that needs to be committed. It held my attention the whole time and is unlike anything I’ve heard before or will hear again. 5 stars

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Sun Sep 04 2022
4

Always meant to get around this this one and was surprised to not hate it or find it that much of a challenge---must have heard enough music inspired by it over the years that it doesn't seem that crazy. I really like Double Nickels on the Dime by Minutemen and today realized that Trout Mask Replica was likely a huge influence.

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Mon Sep 26 2022
4

This album is a lot of fun, chaotic and pretty all over the place. Captain Beefheart's sound is truly unique and he is truly an artist. This album is a trip to listen to.

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Sun Jan 01 2023
4

Fast and bulbous. Also, tapered.

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Tue Aug 23 2022
2

Word is that you have to listen to this double album six times before it doesn't sound terrible. While I can appreciate the creativity and difficulty in producing this unique work, it might take a while for me to appreciate it. Trout Mask Replica was added to the United States National Recording Registry for the year 2010 by the Library of Congress. Wow. I may have to check back with an update at a later date.

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Fri Mar 17 2023
5

I know this is way out there, but I was actively engaged listening to it. It was refreshing to have something that compelled me to pay attention, even though I’m not sure why.

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Wed Jul 05 2023
5

My spirits made up of the ocean And the sky and the sun and the moon And all my eyes can see I cannot go back to your land of gloom Where black jagged shadows Remind me of the coming of your doom I want my own land Take my hand and come with me It's not too late for you if it's not too late for me To find my homeland Where a man can stand by another man Without an ego flying With no man lying And no one dying by an earthly hand Let the devils burn and the beggar learn And the little girls that live in those old worlds Take my kind hand My smile is stuck I cannot go back to your frownland Here's the thing, this isnt FOR you. Its for THEM. The people who made this album made it because THEY wanted it. They didnt give a fuck that it wasnt going to make any money, it was ART. Art for the sake of art? Man, we could use more of that in this late-stage capitalist hellscape. 5/5

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Wed Oct 04 2023
5

Atonal caterwauling I like. Where free jazz meets electric delta blues.

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Fri May 10 2024
5

Once you get hooked on listening to this album you want to listen to it again and again. Way ahead of their time.

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Fri Sep 30 2022
4

I totally dug that offbeat album. It’s obvious to see the influence it had on Tom Waits and I look forward to giving it another listen.

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Thu Feb 23 2023
4

Fuck you ‘Trout Mask Replica’, fuck you.

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Fri Dec 30 2022
3

What if every song on an album was a mandatory overtime style jam? Well here you are. This sounds like the musical equivalent of experiencing schizophrenia. You can hear the influence it had on later Tom Waits albums, and I have respect for the insane bravery of this chaotic experiment, but definitely not something I'd listen to for enjoyment. I prefer his somewhat more tuneful output that followed.

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Thu May 25 2023
3

It does take some effort to listen to in its entirety, but there are some true gems in there. The concept is really crazy, I like it. I still think of the trout mask included in the vinyl. I don't have it, though. Love all the talking passages and the fact that the album got made in like one single 6 hour session. Pena is still my all time favorite. + Ella Guru + Sweet Sweet Bulbs + Pena + Fallin' Ditch + Sugar 'n Spikes + Ant Man Bee + Orange Claw Hammer + Wild Life FAST AND BULBOUS

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Thu Oct 26 2023
3

I approach this album with some trepidation similar to when an album by slayer. Or iron maiden comes up here. It's not that I dislike metal and things like that. It's just that I don't know what i'm getting myself into often at an early hour in the day. Also I read some brief reviews of this and saw how it's one of the lowest rated albums in the entire project. I also knew of captain beef hearts affiliation with Zappa. So that in itself meant this would be weird and interesting. I don't know how else to write this up so it will be sort of like a brief travel log from my day. I drive a truck around in the Chicago area all day. It's partly why this project has been so great for me to hear new random stuff all the time. So I make the final delivery in West Chicago and have to drive all the way back up to Gurnee. The North suburbs, the journey will take about an hour and a 1/2. Which is roughly how long this album which is the double album. First couple of tracks must be on here to separate out those who are ready for the journey and cull the herd, so to speak. If you can't get through those first two, then this is just not meant for you. And it's better to probably just get out of the way. I decide to carry on after about 10 or 15 minutes. I think to myself you know what? I need to just see how much weirder this gets because it's gonna get weirder. I can't believe a record company actually released this. Turn off it does get weirder. And it's just hard to even explain. But within the weirdness, there are some cool beats and grooves where you just cast things off. Wow, that's an interesting what? What was that? How did that happen? Where that come from? So between just strange spoken word nonsense and weird polyrms and times signatures. And whatever else at all was is interesting music. In the very small amounts that you can hear in there. But there's just so much else going on. And it's just so damn weird that it's just. You don't even know what to think about it. When else would I ever play this? I certainly could never play this any sort of social setting. This could certainly not be separate music. But it is weird and it is interesting and it gets. I don't know I have to I could just only put it right in the middle like 3 stars. So they we go. What also was strange as I had to listen to It on YouTube. Because it's not on Apple Music or Spotify. Believe it or not, so during this strangeness, that's going on. They're all the Sudden will be an ad for Disney World or other things like that. Because the algorithm remembers that I watched some Disney World videos in preparation for a tripl awhile back. So it's very kinda disjointed to all of a sudden have a targeted ad for Disney World pop-up. And the middle of this absolute strangeness. After an ended, I was about 10 minutes away from the shop. And just let it go in silence the rest of the way trying to process what I had just listened to. And I still don't really understand what the hell that was but it was a trip. So this is just too interesting and weird to give a one. But it's also just too weird and out there to give a 5. So I gotta just give it the three. I type this up on a voice to text self. There's any weird grammatical airs or formating issues it's because of that.

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Fri May 31 2024
3

Should be a 2 but it made me laugh

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Mon Oct 31 2022
2

I used to hate this for how "quirky" it was. It's like a hipsters staple album to brag about cause it's so "unconventional". Honestly, it's not that bad, it's just not really my thing.

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Fri May 10 2024
2

I can’t pretend that I enjoy the music (*yet*… maybe it’ll all click one day) but I still feel somewhat enriched for having heard this mythical piece of tomfoolery before I die. What I can say with certainty is that I enjoy the album art and title very much. Very much indeed.

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Sun Jun 02 2024
2

uhhh i don't get it. i think it's funny when he says "a squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous got me" though. 2.5/5

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Sun Aug 28 2022
1

There's not a single moment on this bloated mess that's enjoyable in any way. Weird for the sake of being weird. At last Zappa's shit jams. Also, that's a catfish. Best track: N/A

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Wed Oct 05 2022
1

It was always beyond me, back in the day, how on earth this cacophonous discord was ever a rated album & it still is. The only difference is that I can no longer be bothered to wonder why.

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Wed Nov 02 2022
1

They made this...on purpose? "Avant garde" will always sound like a cover for making noise that's indistinguishable from someone with no talent discovering an instrument. And why must these albums be so long? Scary that I can see where some other albums got inspiration from this like Tom Waits and the Minutemen. So a star because I'm learning and piecing together some music history. Otherwise, yikes.

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Fri Jul 07 2023
1

The insipid experiments with no more substance than the goal to impress the listener already happened in 1969. A colleague of Zappa's but without his artistic savoir faire, Captain Beefheart gives light here to a sonorous experiment that sometimes comes close to music. It's laughable where it pretends to be imaginative; it's absurd where it pretends to be innovative; it's interminable where it pretends to be incomprehensible

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Tue Nov 28 2023
1

Captain Beefheart is a sadistic, weird Tom Waits without the musicality and goofy likeability.

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Thu May 30 2024
1

i got a headache and it freaked me out

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Mon Apr 10 2023
5

What I find most fascinating about this record is that the instrumentals were recorded in a single eight hour sessions. How well rehearsed and disciplined did the Magic Band have to be in order to achieve that and be able to play these extremely complicated songs like that every time? What an achievement! Captain Beefheart delivers one of the most challenging records of the 20th century with Trout Mask Replica. It’s polyrhythmic, polytonal and at times almost incomprehensible. Spoken words, free jazz, dirty blues, progressive rock and avant-garde is thrown together in a seemingly random order. The product on the other hand is not random at all. The sheer discipline of the band points toward that. There is a great amount of humor but the album is not a joke at all. “Moonlight In Vermont”, “My Human Gets Me Blues”, “Ant Man Bee” and the closing “Veteran’s Day Poppy” (a song that almost displays a certain beauty) are what this album is all about. Horribly demanding but nevertheless extremely well thought out. Nothing tops the legendary opening that is “Frownland”. It’s not rare that I find myself singing parts of the song alone at home. Despite all its complexity. Despite the weirdness. Despite of the fact that it seems that the song itself wants me not to like it. This is genius in its purest form. Or maybe it’s madness? That’s not for me to decide. And I don’t care.

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Thu Jun 08 2023
5

Sure, I get it. 5 stars for that?!?! Am I saying that out of some sense that this is the “correct” answer? Is this a case of the emperor’s new clothes? Am I on drugs? Am I mentally well? A 5 for an album that I wouldn’t want to listen to more often than not? It just doesn’t make sense. I promise you, it is sincere. Many years ago I heard Frank Zappa for the first time and my musical world grew quickly. I found that I was drawn to things that stood in stark contrast to the kinds of music that was familiar. I wouldn’t always enjoy it, but I didn’t need to. My fascination with its uniqueness was enough. Of course, the less I enjoyed it, the less likely I was to return for another listen. Zappa’s album Hot Rats was my introduction to Captain Beefheart, and I loved his vocals on that album. When I found out that Trout Mask Replica existed, I immediately sought it out, and was truly fascinated by what I found. It was awful, and a strange musical mess, but damned interesting. I walked away thinking it was something I never needed to hear again, and thought I was done. A short time later, I tried to describe the experience of listening to the album to a friend, and decided to short cut things by just playing some of it for him. Some time later I repeated this with another friend. Over and over again, I’d find myself coming back to the album and playing it again, and before long the curiosity had been replaced by appreciation. More and more of it had started to click, until one day I realized that I actually enjoyed the thing. It’s still not an album that I can throw on any old time. It’s an experience that can only happen under the uncommon ideal circumstances, But when those elements come together, it’s electric.

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Thu Jun 08 2023
5

One of my favorites. It just packs so much music to enjoy in one album… Also it can be a lot if you’re not in the headspace to listen to this kind of stuff

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Mon Oct 23 2023
5

I am someone who appreciates experimentation in music but will not herald it unless the experimentation creates something that is satisfying to listen to. In all honesty, I was a little worried coming into the album due to the cover and the fact that I had never heard a Captain Beefheart song before listening to this album. This can be described as nothing short of an experience. If you go into this album knowing nothing about Captain Beefheart, I genuinely believe there is no possible way you could expect all the weird pockets this album goes into and I think that it consistently works. It reminds me a lot of Tom Waits (I looked into it and Tom was heavily inspired by Captain Beefheart in his 80's work). There are obviously some misses which can be expected in such an experimental work but they are surrounded by some incredible songs so it evens out. I think the standout characteristic of this album, besides the general weirdness, is the instrumentation. The guitars and drums throughout the album are amazing and are a massive highlight of the album. Despite that being a highlight I also like some of the acapella tracks ("The Dust Blows Forward 'N the Dust Blows Back" and "Orange Claw Hammer"). I think on of my favorite aspects on the album was the different vocal styles that are tried throughout the album from the more wailing type of vocals to the raspier vocals at times that remind me of New Orleans singers like Dr. John and then you have tracks that are essentially spoken word. Also the level of complexity to some of the arrangements on the songs is amazing. You could listen to some of these songs dozens of times and still not understand every moving part. This is not an album that I could imagine picking a couple songs and putting them on a playlist. It is like a full-length feature film more than any album I have listened to. This sort of reminds me at times of experimental jazz more than it does experimental rock. I do have to qualms towards this album though is the treatment of band members while it was being made because that is truly some horrible stuff and at times the level of syncopation is a little to much for me and I find it occasionally makes my head hurt. Despite this, overall this is the best experimental rock/avant-garde album I have heard. 9.5-10/10

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Fri Nov 03 2023
5

That old time religion... Trout Mask Replica is much more known for its myth and legend than its compositional fuckery and, quite frankly, it is both warranted and a shame. Warranted because, it had been the usual standard paint by-the-numbers clock-in and clock-out studio session, there wouldn't be as much of a shadow handing over and it is a shame because lain within it is some of the most daring, whiplash inducing mish-mash of blues, jazz, hard rock and poetry ever committed to tape by anyone. It is the blues at its dead end; any poaching of the blues afterwards should have been considered necrophilac. It is jazz at its most disjointed; it is rather fortunate that the genre kept its gaze towards the present before its placement as past tense. Hard rock was never as surrealistic as it was here and it hasn't been since and the debauched poetry of Don Van Vilet on showings such as The Dust Blows Forward 'n' the Dust Blows Back, China Pig and Orange Claw Hammer ranks as amongst the most Dadaist that's ever Dadaed. There is a time and place for a dalliance with this album and what is required is years and years of burrowing down varying tunnels of sound and becoming acquainted with the idea of off-kilter melodies and experimental tastes. Upon first glance, this is not for the ones who are ill-prepared for what's to come and they shouldn't come back until they've gained that experience. When that time comes, and when all is understood, then the light shall be shone. It's good enough for me. https://youtu.be/aF0g-2SeoMM?si=bhlbMIcHjnvcSn-r

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Sat Nov 18 2023
5

It takes a lot of smarts to sound this stupid.

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Sun Nov 19 2023
5

A glorious mess of an album. Blues album taken to the experimental avant-garde extreme. So many gems... Some of them are even melodic! Among my faves: Dachau blues Hair Pie - Bake One Moonlight on Vermont Pachuco Cadaver China Pig My Human Gets Me Blues Pena When Big Joan Sets Up Wild Life This one's a keeper...

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Mon Nov 20 2023
5

My music taste is broken beyond repair

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Mon Nov 20 2023
5

The mascara snake is right. It is fast and bulbous. Tight also. And annoyingly not available on streaming!

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Fri Nov 24 2023
5

I hated this to start with, and then it suddenly just clicked into place. Insane and brilliant in equal measure; I can't think of any other album that keeps you on your toes so much. FAST AND BULBOUS

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Wed Dec 06 2023
5

I love how Captain Beefheart was basically Zappa’s answer to D-12 or G-Unit, but with more of a legacy. This is probably perfect if you want a less politically aggressive We’re Only in it for the Money, which probably means that it matters less, but I’d recommend it for any serious music lover’s collection. A-

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Mon Dec 25 2023
5

Music is time and time means nothing and there Captain Beefheart leaves us. It's been a while since my inaugural listen, long enough for the album to enter and leave streaming at least once. Record player's half-broken and un-hooked-up, so YouTube it is, doubling the eighty minutes of dread invoked by this glorious cover. Still totally unique, Trout Mask Replica has more hooks this round. It also, exhaustingly, clicks together further and further. Like a wonderful comedy routine, bits are funny, the assemblage something more.

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Wed Jan 31 2024
5

Fast and bulbous. Tight also.

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Wed Jan 31 2024
5

An album that defies most all types of categorization, including whether it’s “good” or “bad.” It’s chaotic but was deliberately planned to be that way, it’s secretly an homage to several genres, it’ll turn your brain to soup.

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Sun Feb 25 2024
5

Esta vaina es una locura. 10/10

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Sun Feb 25 2024
5

Its caotic and so interesting, loved it. 9/10

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Mon Mar 11 2024
5

The moment we started this project, I've been wondering how our little group is going to react to this famously challenging album. Me? I dig it, though it's certainly not an album I turn to very often. I really have to be in the mood for Beefheart, and even then, I usually reach for Doc at the Radar Station. Still, this one is pretty groovy and wild and I do genuinely love it. Also, it's surprisingly catchy.

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Fri Mar 15 2024
5

The only album that sounds normal.

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Sun Mar 17 2024
5

If you don’t like this album, you probably don’t truly like every kind of music or play a musical instrument. It is chaotic yet a marvel of precision. Beefheart’s other work is excellent too but this is a perfectly timeless time capsule of an exploration of what was/is musically possible. He outdoes Zappa because he is not elitist, he loves sound and poetry and this has an innocent humor that I love.

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Sun Mar 17 2024
5

it's bad, it's good, it's aggressively not music as well as very musical. comes closer to 'art' than many many albums on the list. really there's nothing i can say that hasn't been said already, but i gotta slap a 5 on it just for the novelty, influence and vision (if you can call untreated schizophrenia vision). there really are many snatches of genuinely catchy and enjoyable music here, but i think only someone interested in developing some schizophrenia of their own would want to listen to this front to back on anything approaching a regular basis. as they say, fast and bulbous

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Sun Mar 24 2024
5

Got this album as a teenager in the 70s. Been in love with it ever since. It sounds like Don Van Vliet wrote down all the rules of music and then purposefully avoided every single one.

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Wed Mar 27 2024
5

Is it hard to listen to? Yes. Is it a relief after days of landfill indie? Also yes.

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Wed Apr 10 2024
5

Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons, has the best review of this album. He said that the first time through he thought it was the worst album he'd ever heard and with each listen he warmed up to it a little more. By the 7th time around, he decided it was one of the best albums he'd ever heard. Unsurprisingly, many people's first reactions are pretty negative, as reflected by the fact that this is one of this lowest rated albums on this site. It's definitely a challenging one and it requires some effort on the part of the listener. Those willing to try it are in for an experience though. Personally, I love 'Trout Mask Replica' in all it's bizarre glory. It's a different view of the 60s, more chaotic than the typical flower power, summer of love vibes. This album is part bad trip, part confusion. It's blues, it's psychedelic, it's avant garde. The background of the recording reminds one more of the Stanford Prison Experiment than Woodstock, with the band effectively locked in the house, converted into a giant recording studio, under the watchful eyes of Frank Zappa. Officially, Zappa is the producer here, but his involvement is debated. More than likely, he created the space and opportunity for Captain Beefheart to fully explore and experiment, with both music and people. It's a challenging album but it is brilliant if you give it enough time.

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Wed Apr 17 2024
5

It's like a squid eating dough in a poly-ethelene bag

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Wed May 08 2024
5

I wanted to get around this album already and finally I listened to it for the first time. I didn't find it too challenging to listen to, perhaps because I like all kinds of experimental music. In fact, it is a highly interesting album. Definitely the most unconventional and one of the strangest (in a good sense) albums on this list so far. It's chaotic but if someone listens to it carefully every note is well thought out. The story how this album was made is also fascinating. Many say it takes 7-8 times to get into this album, so I'm still far away from it but I've already liked it a lot. I can't wait to discover all those layers more and more if I listen to it a couple of more times. It already deserves a 5.

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Fri Oct 14 2022
4

very odd eclectic, interesting sound. Would like to listen more, overall enjoyed.

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Fri Oct 14 2022
4

Chaotic, Abstract, Experimental Noisy, Complex, Complicated

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Sun Oct 16 2022
4

It's such a wacky, sometimes wonderful album. Unfortunately it also can be a chore to get through with its ridiculous length. It's best in small doses rather than one sit down session. This album is perfect for this list, this is really something people should hear, if only once. Much appreciation for the influence on artists like Tom Waits and Ween.

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Mon Nov 07 2022
4

I think this undistilled, straight Captain Beefheart is a little too much for me. I really love a lot of what came from this like Swordfishtrombones or Double Nickels on the Dime. I like the collaborations with Zappa too, Bongo Fury is one of my faves. This is one of those albums that I appreciate more than I actually like it. I'm glad it exists and it has its place but I'll probably never listen to it again voluntarily. I think it's important enough to give it four stars but I can't bring myself to give it five.

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Sun Jan 01 2023
4

In my 20s I owned this on cassette of all things, and listened to it many times, though not for years since, up to now. Is it genius? Reading for the first time about Van Vliet’s abuse of his compatriots throughout its creation, my tolerance is somewhat diminished. It’s genuinely funny and interesting, certainly unique and influential. Is this enough to carry the aggressive weirdness through? I conclude yes, and though I find the tales of the Captain’s cultish and violent dominance of his band abhorrent (and anyone theorizing it was necessary to generate this can go pound sand), it’s still one of the greats.

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Fri Jan 06 2023
4

The daring work of expert musicians. I admire just how difficult this record must have been to write and record. So I admire Trout Mask Replica and it was fun in a quirky mayhem sort of way for a few songs. But once again I have had difficult making it all the way through the album - started to feel like a chore. It does bring a new appreciation for how Tom Waits and others inspired by the record have been able to capture its wit and spirit and tone down the sense of assault. File this one away with Throbbing Gristle "Second Annual Report": very glad it was made, respect the hell out of the musicians, but for the sake of my sanity it will not often see my (figurative) turntable.

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Wed Jan 11 2023
4

In het begin dat ik wat een kakalbum, maar halverwege is het beginnen klikken. Wel heb ik het gevoel dat je een paar keer moet luisteren om deze ten volle te waarderen, ik ga in de toekomst dus zeker nog eens luisteren. Ik was niet verrast toen ik zag dat de man met Zappa bevriend was

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Sun Feb 19 2023
4

This is like modern art, it's garbage but somehow highly acclaimed. Would give it a generous 3/10, but some guitar legends such as Steve Vai and Frusciante highly praise this album. And apparently many listens are required, so I will give it a high rating and come back to it.

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Thu Mar 02 2023
4

An unpredictable musical journey full of dissonance and cacophony. Some may qualify it as garbage, others as gold. In my case, it makes me feel a gallery of emotions that range from joy to discomfort. It is one of those that doesn’t work as background music. It demands your attention for sure

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Fri May 19 2023
4

The fuck is this album? I'm not even mad, I'm amused. I think this is how crack sounds like.

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Tue Jul 25 2023
4

This was an astonishing album and impossible to rate, really. Chaotic, abrasive, poetic, alienating, surreal, bluesy, atonal, polyrhythmic, dissonant, ..., fast and bulbous.

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Thu Jul 27 2023
4

The making of this album and its whole sound are so fascinating. I understand many finding it hard to digest, but I think it’s actually pretty hooky at some points. Charming chaotic weirdness. It’s a bit long, though.

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Thu Aug 03 2023
4

Definitely one of if not THE weirdest album in this list. It's intentionally difficult, and I totally get why someone would absolutely hate it. However, the songwriting is truly next level and this album has definitely gone on to massively influence music. I real iconic album.

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Sat Aug 19 2023
4

I appreciate it, but can't listen to it very often.

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Wed Sep 13 2023
4

Been waiting for this one! I had a go listening to this a few years ago and was excited to return to it with a more developed ear. Exactly as chaotic, crude, and experimental as I could’ve hoped - not every track lands (I could’ve done with less rambling near the end), but to hear a band in the middle of creative expression and churning out some great riffs along the way is an exceedingly rare experience. A testament to the chaos is how I was able to listen for the full 78 minutes in one sitting, I was intrigued the whole way through (for better or worse) and never thought to take a break. Here’s to challenging, weird music!

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Thu Oct 05 2023
4

I love the bizarreness of this record. I’m just trying to figure out how these guys had the ideas to put all the different parts of this album together, and knowingly form a jumbled mess of music. I don’t understand how one can hate this album since it’s constantly taking interesting turns and telling intriguing stories - it’s a fantastic experience to have. Looking forward to coming back to this one and letting it soak into me and to allow me more time to have the strangeness of it all become more familiar. 7/10

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Thu Oct 12 2023
4

This is an album that represents a lot of things to a lot of people - it's a patrician album that weeds out the normies to some, weird for the sake of weird to others, unlistenable garbage to others, a meme to still others, an example that rock critics are out of touch with the common music listener to more. So what is it? It's all right. It's a shame that it's overshadowed the rest of Captain Beefheart's career, because the man has some fantastic albums - Safe As Milk, Strictly Personal, Lick My Decals Off Baby, Doc At the Radar Station, Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller), and Ice Cream for Crow are all great albums that I revisit frequently. Trout Mask? Not so much. I don't hate it... it's better than some of the safe, boring mid-career albums Beefheart released - but I'm not usually looking for how far you can push music to its extremes. So is this an album you must listen to before you die? Eh. I don't like putting this album on that pedestal because it will probably make the uninitiated uninterested in digging deeper into his discography. There are some great songs on this album, mind you. But if you aren't looking for an album that's going to be obtusely challenging for the average music listener, start elsewhere in his discography. It's still better than the majority of albums on this list though.

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Wed Oct 25 2023
4

what the hell did I listen to

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Tue Oct 31 2023
4

There is brilliance in this crazy-ass album and enjoyed listening, but this will be a one time thing. Certainly can see how Zappa would be part of this.

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Fri Nov 10 2023
4

8/10. Listened to "Safe as Milk" instead since I couldn't find this on Spotify.

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Sat Nov 18 2023
4

Fun and experimental for sure, but honestly was expecting a bit more out of this.

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Mon Nov 20 2023
4

Denna skiva är en riktig ryggkliare! Det här får man inte någon annanstans. Riktigt groovy, bortsett frownland som har så bra lyrics och vibat att det inte gör någon skillnad. Gitarristerna är otroliga, bassisten är så nice, trummisen swag. Lyricsen är roliga och fantasifulla och framför allt är varje del av denna skiva originell. Tack Beefheart!

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Fri Nov 24 2023
4

yep thats what i expected. its complex, difficult, and deeply interesting in a way that i loved. i'd never put a song on a playlist, but id buy a record and put it on every once in a blue moon

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Wed Nov 29 2023
4

Daring and hilarious, Trout Mask Replica rewards repeated listens, but it's obviously so long and awful that few will be brave enough to reach such rewards. It's way too wacky for a five, but I find it's deserving of a four for its sheer commitment to chaos. It's definitely my favorite absurdist blues record of all time...

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Wed Dec 06 2023
4

Heard this a few times before, so was ready for it I've actually grown to enjoy this after 3-4 listens. I'm not in love with it, but it is good. 3.5/5

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Wed Dec 06 2023
4

This album is great! It's like a concentration of many of the weird things I like about Mr. Bungle, Primus and Tom Waits, who likely all drew direct inspiration from this record.

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Fri Dec 15 2023
4

What a strange conglomeration of styles and genres. Just weird, crazy music. However, I found it interesting in an odd way for me. This was certainly something ahead of its time for 1969. In retrospect, I was just 6 years old and had no clue that this stuff was out there. For the great creativity and pioneering spirit I give it 4 stars!

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Thu Jan 04 2024
4

weird album. enjoyed reading about it more than listening, the vox earworm and other extensive analysis. still had fun with it and listened 2x. 3.9/5

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Fri Jan 05 2024
4

It's no wonder that Frank Zappa is connected to this album. If you don't like Zappa, you won't like this. And that's okay. This is one of those uncatagorical albums. If you force this squad peg into any hole it won't fit. It's a fun, yet complex journey through a minefield of different genres. instead of trying to figure out what it is, listen to how it got to be and you may enjoy-ish it. 4/5

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Sun Jan 07 2024
4

So unique! I really enjoyed this because I hadn't heard anything quite like it before, but the talent is there.

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Tue Jan 09 2024
4

Truly a wild listen. I really don't know where to begin on this one. From the cover to the soundscape throughout the album to even the name of the band and album. I just don't know how to feel. From the asynchronous playing of the instruments to the sometimes gruff vocals and storytelling I felt like I was on a rollercoaster for my brain - it hurts. There was something about this that made me want to both keep listening but stop at the same time. The overlapping melodies that shouldn't work by any normal stretch of the imagination worked so well and the practice that they did definitely paid off. Best & Worst: I have no idea and I'm so confused. Note: This album isn't available on Spotify so I listened to it on YouTube

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Sun Jan 14 2024
4

Ahh, Trout Mask Replica. This is gonna sound pretentious, but I don’t know what it is about this, but I love it. It’s definitely not an easy listen for most people, and is 100% an acquired taste. But I think it’s fun, and hilarious. The writing is good on some songs. The spoke word passages can be tedious though. It’s definitely not for everybody, but I like it for what it is.

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Thu Jan 25 2024
4

One of the big ones, let's go. Shocked to see this isn't on Apple Music, not sure why. Thankfully I've had it on CD for years and it's in my personal itunes library. Wow, I'm learning for the first time today that Captain Beefheart was NOT just an alter ego of Frank Zappa, it's a whole different guy, Don Van Vliet. Zappa did produce this album, and the two were friends, so that all tracks, but man I've been living a lie for years now. This album is weird, and all the weirdness is a kind that I enjoy. Songs have unconventional and unpredictable length, structures, melodies, lyrics, everything feels just pulled out of thin air. "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous, got me?" No, we don't got you. But I love it. Definitely a classic album, I think the back half of the album lacks some of the punch present on the front, but I can't really in good faith give this less than 4.5 stars, it's just a formative classic to me. I was so weirded out and impressed when I heard this way back when, and I still am. Critical inclusion here. Favorite tracks: Dust Blows Forward, Ella Guru, Pachuco Cadaver, Neon Meate Dream, China Pig, Pena, Orange Claw Hammer. Album art: Classic, iconic cover. A mystery man in a long pilgrim hat, and wait, his head is a fish. Is it a trout mask? I'm not certain, seems more like a catfish. But it's perfectly weird to fit the music, and the bold pink background is great for contrast. 4.5/5

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