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Bat Chain Puller

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iTunes Review

This album is Mastered for iTunes. Recorded in 1976 but unreleased until 2012, Bat Chain Puller restores a missing chapter in the legendary career of Captain Beefheart (a.k.a. Don Van Vliet). The album’s tracks were cut under the auspices of Frank Zappa and then shelved due to legal entanglements. Though most of these songs were rerecorded for the Captain’s final three albums, the versions here have a freewheeling energy all their own. Tracks like “Floppy Boot Stomp,” “Owed T’Alex,” and “Brick Bats” crackle with a kinetic weirdness that ranges across Delta blues, free jazz, and primal rock. From the old-timey swing of “Harry Irene” to the tumbling sparkle of “Candle Mambo” and the brooding surrealism of “Human Totem Pole,” Beefheart shows off his full creative range. Spoken-word pieces like “81 Poop Hatch” and “Apes-Ma” capture the Captain’s inspired poetic spew, while “Flavor Bud Living” and “Ah Carrot Is As Close As Ah Rabbit Gets to Ah Diamond” display his odd grace as a composer. Of special interest are such rarities as “Seam Crooked Sam,” “Odd Jobs,” and “Hobo-ism.”

Customer Reviews


Listed to this album driving home from work today ... and it changed my life.

Is it the best CBH album ever? Perhaps ... the musicianship is stellar, the songs are a juxtposition of Beefheart madness, musicality, and polish - a cross between TMR and "Clear Spot", with a little Bongo Fury thrown in for good measure. A couple more listens and this might well be my favorite Beefheart album!. So sad that we had to wait over 3 decades for its release.

Lost Masterpiece

Just one of those works of art that never saw the light of day due to legal and other material obstacles. Anyone with appreciation for Captain Beefheart must hear this for it is the holy grail,the Excalibur, the Smile of the desert bleached brain poet laureate, Don Van Vliet

Rest in restlessness, Don V V

I moved to Arcata, CA from Minnesota in autumn 2010. A few months later I noticed the local newspapers all had an article about the death of Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart. He had lived up the street in the most beautiful little town- Trinidad, California. He died December 17th (my birthday).
People spoke of how Captain Beefheart inspired endless musicians and influenced modern music. He had been on my radar for quite some time but I had never really listened to his music. Now, years later, I’ve fallen under his spell. His art has a way of waking me up, demanding my attention and lifting my awareness.
Bat Chain Puller is an incredible album. Listen to it. Also, listen to Safe As Milk, Doc at the Radar Station, and Clear Spot. Heck, listen to all of his albums. Let yourself awaken to modern music as it was meant to be: experimental, lasting, exploratory, daring and free.
I cannot imagine a life lived without experiencing the richness of Don Van Vliet's art. Check out his paintings too. He retired from music in the late 80’s to focus on paining.


Born: January 15, 1941 in Glendale, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

Born Don Vliet, Captain Beefheart was one of modern music's true innovators. The owner of a remarkable four-and-a-half-octave vocal range, he employed idiosyncratic rhythms, absurdist lyrics, and an unholy alliance of free jazz, Delta blues, latter-day classical music, and rock & roll to create a singular body of work virtually unrivaled in its daring and fluid creativity. While he never came even remotely close to mainstream success, Beefheart's impact was incalculable, and his fingerprints were...
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