Its now safe to shelve your copies of Music in Sea Minor, Abba Zaba, Dropout Boogie, Thats Original and The Beefheart File, as the "New Buddha" has now provided a defining moment for the Beefheart albums Safe As Milk and Mirror Man. With decent sound and design, these new, bonus track-laden reissues are the last editions of these oft-poorly repackaged records that youll ever have to buy. And that sound in the distance is the Buddha salesman pleading, "You gotta trust us!"
Don Van Vliet and his cohorts kicked off a monumental long-playing career with Safe As Milk, originally released in 1967 on Buddah. Its still an astounding LP, which ought to shock only those whove never heard this classic connection of electric Delta hoodoo and rock experimentation. Singular showstoppers like "Electricity" and "Zig Zag Wanderer" reveal the Magic Band as peers of other lionized left-field 60s legends such as the Silver Apples and the Red Crayola each taking rock one step beyond in their own way. Mirror Man, recorded not long after Safe, showcases four lo-o-ong electric blues jams that transcend into otherworldly psychedelic trance-outs. Soon the Magic Band would surpass this initial era of brilliance with Trout Mask Replica, that pinnacle of outsider art-sound.
Liner notes spell out some unknown Beefheart lore Don in jail in April 68? The Dr. Samuel J. Hoffman on theremin on "Electricity"!? but youll have to do extra research to get the full story. And most of the bonus tracks have been regurgitated a couple of times before, on the One Way reissue of Safe As Milk and a nifty lil collection called I May Be Hungry But I Sure Aint Weird. Still, besides sprucing up the sound, the vault explorers did a bit of extra unearthing. The extended blues mutation "Korn Ring Finger," from the Mirror Man era, makes its way onto the end of the Safe As Milk disc though Grow Fins has this same bonus of a bonus track please dont call the lawyers!
Sure nuff, if you dont have this stuff, then yes you do need this big ba-boom. Abba Zaba Zoom!
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.