Agony Shorthand

Monday, April 21, 2003
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART & HIS MAGIC BAND “THE LEGENDARY A&M SESSIONS”….If you’re looking to square the circle and complete your CAPTAIN BEEFHEART collection, you could do far worse than to start at the start (1965) & pick up the brief, early 5-song CD “The Legendary A&M Sessions”, You might think that with Disc One of “Grow Fins” meeting all your early desert-era Beefheart dirty gravel blues dropout boogie needs, why would you need to drop another ten bucks on only five songs? Because they’re among the rawest and most electrifying songs in the Captain’s glorious career: “Diddy Wah Diddy”, “Who Do You Think You’re Fooling?”, “Moonchild”, “Frying Pan” and of course the mighty “Here I Am, I Always Am”. These sessions resulted from the Magic Band’s two-single deal with A&M, who signed them out of Lancaster, California in 1964 with the intention on seeing if this shuffling ersatz blues-belch had a future in the teen scene. It didn’t, but no one’s complaining. It looks like this is the only place in the Captain’s vast discography to find all of these tracks, outside of the many bootlegs, naturally.