- May 21, 2008
- In Dillman's Grove
here you go dudeThis is the week I found out how hard it can be to listen to an album if you don't have it readily available on one of your devices. Listening via youtube didn't really work. It feeds you the songs out of order, and whatever way it calculates what to listen to next, you find the playlist switching between songs on different album. It got a bit trying at times.
I tried again this morning while keeping the tracklisting open beside me, hoping to actually listen to the album in the proper order.
It didn't work.
At this stage I don't even fully know if I've heard every song on the album, but I reckon I've heard most, at least a few times.
So basically, I've heard a bunch of songs from the album, rather than having heard the album itself. Maybe I'll come back to this thread after I get a copy of it, listen to it how it was meant to be listened to, and form a fair and proper opinion.
My thoughts on what I have managed to listen to are this. The wiki page said that this was an attempt by Beefheart to get himself more commercial success (and I presume, money). I can hear that here. The songs are very catchy. There wasn't a single song that I'd have classified as a 'difficult' listen. I'd contrast that with the other 2 albums I've heard, 'Safe as Milk', and 'Trout Mask Replica'.
'Safe as Milk' has one or two songs that are better than anything on here, but overall, as an album, this seems far more accessible.
And I'm surprised I'd never heard any of the songs from it before. 'Long Neck Bottles' and 'Her Eyes are a Blue Million Miles' are amazing. Why these never garnered 'classic rock' status is a mystery. I was curious to read that the album had been out of print for a long time which, I presume, is an indication that it didn't do so well commercially (the wiki page says it didn't chart in the UK, and scraped a 191 in the Billboard 200). Very odd. Maybe I'm being wide of the mark by saying this, but might that because the sound is more typical of mid to late 60s, than of early 70s? Or maybe thats completely wrong, and it just wasn't publicised enough.
And, other than as part of a box-set, it didn't get a reprint until 2015? Thats a bit mad. Probably why its not on spotify either.
Anyway, I'll buy it and give it a proper listen. I'm loathe to give it a mark out of 5 because I don't feel fully informed at this point. But, its album club and I feel the need to grade it based on whatever amount of listens within the week. So, I'll agree with what allmusic say, and give it 4/5. Seems excellent and I look forward to more listens.