9 Songs, 1 Hour 16 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The music that comprises The Mirror Man Sessions was not released at the time of its creation. Recorded at TTG Studios in Hollywood in 1967 — just a few months after Safe As Milk —“Tarotplane,” “Trust Us” and “25th Century Quaker” show the Magic Band fully locking into its grunting groove for the first time. For his part, Van Vliet discharges a stream of lyrics that blend blue poetry and surrealism, but even more astounding is the playing of guitarist Alex St. Clair Snouffer and drummer John French. At a time when dozens of American and British acts were getting famous by playing watered-down version of songs by Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters, the Magic Band absorbed the lessons of those forefathers and formulated a whole new strain of music. It may appear tumultuous, but they are as tuned-in to each other as John Coltrane’s classic quartet. The proceedings reach a feverish climax on “Kandy Korn,” a magnificent rock ‘n’ roll song, exploding in joy and fury.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The music that comprises The Mirror Man Sessions was not released at the time of its creation. Recorded at TTG Studios in Hollywood in 1967 — just a few months after Safe As Milk —“Tarotplane,” “Trust Us” and “25th Century Quaker” show the Magic Band fully locking into its grunting groove for the first time. For his part, Van Vliet discharges a stream of lyrics that blend blue poetry and surrealism, but even more astounding is the playing of guitarist Alex St. Clair Snouffer and drummer John French. At a time when dozens of American and British acts were getting famous by playing watered-down version of songs by Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters, the Magic Band absorbed the lessons of those forefathers and formulated a whole new strain of music. It may appear tumultuous, but they are as tuned-in to each other as John Coltrane’s classic quartet. The proceedings reach a feverish climax on “Kandy Korn,” a magnificent rock ‘n’ roll song, exploding in joy and fury.

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
15 Ratings
15 Ratings
Lao Xiao ,

Mirror Man, Mere Man, faces blue cheese

I have always liked this album/these sessions, I had a version of this on vinyl, some weird picture of the boys on stage, some sundown picture of the 1960s. Makes sense this music is not really represented by one album but got scuttled around like music with no referent. This album is not a tight as Trout Mask Replica, and this probably has something to do with the band members. It is such a weird thing, even too weird for the 1960s in some ways. 25th Century Quaker is an abstract painted satire of the Flower Children. But one song that never got its due to me is Kandy Korn. It sounds like an acid trip about that candy, yellow and orange exploding in psychedelic sounds and harmonies. But think about it, this was the age of Warhol. I think Don was thinking that way too, turning Candy Corn into some kind of pseudo-religious image, glowing in the air like the illuminati pyramid on the dollar. Anyways, it's a trip. Tarot-plane is a perfect blues abstraction, with its "found lyrics" floating around our heads like radio wave ghosts. You're gonna need somebody on your bond indeed. Thanks Buddha Records & iTunes. Even the Plastic Corporations can deliver, once-in-a-blue-cheese-moon.

rezeski ,

Glory be to Beefheart

I love this album. It is right up there with Trout Mask Replica, Safe as Milk, Strictly Personal. And of course, this is the original album (four songs), plus! If you are a Beefheart fan, you must have this.

jyo_tirmaya ,

Beefheart blues...

Captain Beefheart's blues on the Mirror Man Sessions is so relishable. I'm surprised how just by playing the blues in a seemingly straightforward type of way, they are breaking new ground -- white blues players -- which many were incorporating into their music in the late 60s early 70s. Janis Joplin's (the white blues-mamma) music has songs that are straightforward blues, as do the Allman Bros. Even Led Zeppelin. They all made the blues work for them. It has to work because the blues are the root, and for anyone to really be considered a great rock star, he/she must have some experience and familiarity with the blues. Listening to Captain Beefheart, one can hear an old black blues singer inside his being. It's like he was a black blues singer in his previous life and came back and took up where he left off.

I tried buying the Trout Mask Replica in '88 and didn't care for it. Hey, I was younger and not so hip to this kind of music so I sold it back to the record store for an exchange. And it was on VINYL too! I think i got it for around 5.99. Nowdays a brand new copy of Trout Mask Replica must go for around 18.99 -- what CDs originally cost when they first came out. Someday all of this pricing will balance each other out as people who release music will realize that fans no longer are only about CDs anymore. I have LPs, CDs and cassettes in great condition and continue to buy and listen to all of them. But, for me, Trout Mask Needs to be purchased vinyl because of the cover art work.

More By Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

You May Also Like