Daily Dose: ‘Yellow Brick Road’ by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band

Captain Beefheart (Real name Don Van Vliet) may be some kind of genius, but it’s hard to tell a lot of the time. This is from his debut album, Safe as Milk, before he got *really* weird (see also: Trout Mask Replica). His life, should you be interested, was fascinating (he sadly passed in 2010), I won’t get into it all here, but he rolled with Frank Zappa for a while, released several varied and interesting studio albums with his magic band, and was a prominent and well respected artist in his own right. At its core, this is actually pretty much a spiffy blues number, but there’s also a whiff of the fantastic craziness that would come to dominate some later works. I heard it on the old wireless, and thought since I’d been banging on out a lot of recent releases lately, something that’s a bit more retro might make a ncie change. I suggest that everyone listen to it, because at two minutes thirty it won’t exactly take a lot out of your day (and more importantly, it’s a jolly little tune), but also because it’s a little slice of alternative music history that everyone should be aware of. Fun song though, Wizard of Oz is a good place to mine for material. Should you for some reason decide that you want to tackle Beefheart’s supposed magnum opus, the aforementioned Trout Mask Replica, start here first for a gentle niftry primer, to get you warmed up. They could still right toe-tappers even when they were getting downright freaky, these guys.

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