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Captain Beefheart Live At Bickershaw 1972

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Album Review

In the annals of Beefheart-ian lore, the 1972 Bickershaw Festival goes down among the most startling shows he ever performed: Joe Strummer apparently declared it the best gig he ever attended, and sundry other luminaries, too, have described it as a classic. This is not necessarily apparent from the recording, at least at first. Never intended for commercial release, the show was taped because it could be, with what sounds like some very rough equipment — you can hear the microphone thumping around in someone's bag, for goodness sake. The vocals distort, the levels are all over the place, and you could probably catch a migraine from the feedback. But still Live at Bickershaw Festival 1972 is compulsive listening, one of the earliest complete Beefheart live recordings available (legally, at any rate), and one that is overloaded with brutal energy and electricity. Plus, you simply cannot fault the set list.


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...
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