Captain Beefheart - Clear Spot
Captain Beefheart - Clear Spot

Thumped Album Club Week 27: Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band – Clear Spot

This week’s Album Club choice is Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band’s Clear Spot

From the Clear Spot Wikipedia entry:

Clear Spot is the seventh album by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, originally released on LP in 1972 in a clear plastic sleeve.

Trout Mask Replica was critically acclaimed but sold poorly. Beefheart wanted more commercial success – hence his decision to work with the widely respected team of producer Ted Templeman and engineer Donn Landee, who also created hits for artists such as the Doobie Brothers, Carly Simon and Van Morrison. Clear Spot gathers together much of the lyrical material that Beefheart had created or formulated at the beginning of The Spotlight Kid recordings.

Clear Spot did not chart in the UK but did reach #191 on the Billboard Top 200.

Captain Beefheart - Clear Spot

Let us know what you think further down the page, or over on the forums.

Previous Album Club selections can be found at



  1. Wahey, finally one of mine (if I remember that far back). On me holliers so am just going to lay back on me sun lounger and imagine those of you who don't know this firing it up in your cubicles, having your minds blown, going up to your boss and taking a shit on their desk and saying "everything has changed…"

  2. Quality. After years of sadistically listening to Trout Mask I discovered this and everything with the Captain was allllright. He could write a damn tune afterall. The intro on Clear Spot is just divine.

    Anyone remember Sun Zoom Spark magazine from the mid 90s?


  3. I'm not an obsessive but I think this is my favourite Beefheart album, or at least the one I reach for most often. Treads that line between all out weirdness (TMR) and more conventional rock/r&b (Safe As Milk) just beautifully. And the vinyl version of it (reissue) is a truly marvellous sounding thing.

  4. Cornu Ammonis

    I've only ever listened to Trout Mask Replica, will be looking forward to this later.

    Yeah me too & that was mainly to do with it's rep and back story. Plus parts of it are very funny & it's great for annoying people.


  5. prefuse

    Yeah me too & that was mainly to do with it's rep and back story. Plus parts of it are very funny & it's great for annoying people.


    I love it but for some reason I've never delved deeper into his back catalogue despite nearly him/The Magic Band being an influence on nearly every band I'm into. I do have Frank Zappa's Hot Rats which features a fantastic vocal performance by Beefheart on "Willie the Pimp" (though the real star of that album is Sugarcane Harris on fiddle, scorchio!).

    (sorry for the shitty sound quality but you get the impression if you've never heard it before)

  6. Listened to the title track on YouTube and thought enough of it to buy the LP on my way past Tower. Was tempted by the box set but was too expensive for me. More on this as it develops.

  7. Cornu Ammonis

    Listened to the title track on YouTube and thought enough of it to buy the LP on my way past Tower. Was tempted by the box set but was too expensive for me. More on this as it develops.

    The sun zoom spark box set? It's pretty terrific. I always thought the cd and vinyl of this already sounded phenomenal so had reservations the remastered box set would offer much, but it's superb. The bonus tracks are pretty great too

  8. When I was in UCD four or five lifetimes ago, I scratched "Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles" onto desks/ writing stands in Lecture Halls right throughout the college. Loved it. Still do.

  9. dudley

    Least listened album so far?

    that'd it not being on spotify for ya

    I wanted to pick up a copy but haven't had a chance to in the past week. Have been through the youtube videos a few times. Excellent stuff, but its not the best way to listen to an album.

  10. dudley

    Least listened album so far?

    I'm hoping to buy a copy tonight; I'm interested in hearing this one. Need to make more time for TAC.
    The days run away like wild horses over the hills lad.

  11. This 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.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

user_login; ?>