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Safe As Milk [CD]

Captain Beefheart Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
Price: 4.81 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Safe As Milk + The Spotlight Kid/Clear Spot + Strictly Personal
Price For All Three: 20.21

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Sep 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sony Music CMG
  • ASIN: B00002DF8F
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,044 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. "Sure 'Nuff 'n' Yes, I Do"
2. Zig Zag Wanderer
3. Call On Me
4. Dropout Boogie
5. I'm Glad
6. Electricity
7. Yellow Brick Road
8. Abba Zaba
9. Plastic Factory
10. Where There's Woman
11. Grown So Ugly
12. Autumn's Child
13. Safe As Milk
14. On Tomorrow
15. Big Black Baby Shoes
16. Flower Pot
17. Dirty Blue Gene
18. Trust Us
19. Korn Ring Finger

Product Description

"I may be hungry, but I sure ain't weird," Don Van Vliet, a.k.a. Captain Beefheart, famously intones on this bright-sounding re-mastered version of the 1967 debut by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band. Safe as Milk is a bold, tough-ass distillation of Delta blues stomp and 1960s garage-punk swagger, fused with a radically polyrhythmic and tempo-shifting style that one might term "art rock". Listening to the delightfully playful, absurdist "Abba Zabba", it's easy to see why Lester Bangs called Beefheart "the only true dadaist in rock"; the song is a good indication of the intricate, rule-breaking music the Magic Band would continue to hone. But there are also formidable ballads (the psychedelic "Autumn's Child", the lachrymose "I'm Glad"), mid-tempo pop-soul tunes (the Otis Redding-ish "Call on Me"), and straight-ahead blues-rock workouts ("Plastic Factory"), all of which showcase the fretwork of a young Ry Cooder. Much has been made of Beefheart's multiple-octave vocal range; he sings menacingly on "Dropout Boogie" and allegedly broke a very expensive microphone on the eerie "Electricity". The last seven tracks on this reissue (for the most part fascinating, unfinished instrumentals) were recorded with a different line-up; they are outtakes from Mirror Man Sessions. --Mike McGonigal

Product Description

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART & HIS MAGIC BAND Safe As Milk (1999 UK 19-track CD album originally released in September 1967 including seven bonus recordings taken from the October/November 67 Plain Brown Wrapper sessions complete with 12-page picture sleeve booklet with liner notes by John Platt)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got Milk? 12 Aug 2005
Format:Audio CD
This is a band that developed FAST during the 60's. To think that this album was recorded the year after their 1966 single "Diddy Wah Diddy" - a Bo Diddley cover performed in a manner that made the group sound like any mediocre pop group of early/mid 60's, and 2 years before the revolutionary 1969 Frank Zappa production "Trout Mask Replica" (for which Van Vliet was given 100% artistic freedom)...
Blues elements have always been apparent in Beefheart's singing as well as in his music, and it's probably the strongest element on "Safe as Milk;" the album starts off with a slide-guitar dominated tune, played over a commonly used blues structure used by Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, among others.
"Grown So Ugly," though not a 12 bar structure completely in 4/4, is also a blues tune and cover of blues singer/guitarist Robert Pete Williams. The guitars on the other tracks are also very bluesy, with perhaps the exception of the 3/4 R&B/doo-wop tune "I'm Glad," which--Beefheart's voice aside--musically sounds unlike the rest of the album.
Another bluesy element is Beefheart's distorted tremolo harmonica (introduced on "Plastic Factory") which, just like his emotional singing on "Where There's Woman," is performed from his heart in a skillful, personal way.
The overall sound has been digitally improved. It's not only clearer than on the original LP record, but also compared to earlier CD releases of the album. This has made the audio picture wider and the listening experience "easier" if you will. Some might disagree and call this kind of "updating" rape of art.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far out in spades - take yourself there 17 Feb 2007
By Moz
Format:Audio CD
The Magic Captain is wierd (wired?) & strange by any popular measure but this first album is more accessible than Trout Mask or Strictly Personal or even the Spotlight Kid. Whoever takes any notice of popular measure anyhow. Critics invariably get it wrong, and maybe this review is no different. Check it out for yourself.

Really there are so many varied opinions about this album that there's little sense to be made of them all. The only opinion that counts is yours but, for what it's worth, I think this is five star stuff. But then wierd & strange is okay by me (I still like Syd Barrett!) It's certainly original, unique, unusual and powerful.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fac'trys no place for me boss man let me be 28 Feb 2010
Format:Audio CD
The good Captain's first album has bits of doo-wop, bits of 60's pop, bits of psychedelia and, of course, a huge dollop of warped delta-blues. He hasn't quite worked out exactly where he's going (though the seven bonus tracks on this remastered version give you a pretty good idea) but he, and we, know there'll be hell to pay getting there.

Ry Cooder plays on it and was indeed, briefly, a member of the Magic Band, until things got too weird for him and he high-tailed it out of there. It was produced by Richard Perry, who went on to produce Leo Sayer, Carly Simon and Barbara Streisand among others; nothing like starting how you mean to go on eh?

In my opinion you can forget your Brian Wilson and your Arthur Lee - Don Van Vliet was the `real' genius who came out of the West Coast in the 60's; a man who's music, even today, makes me laugh, makes me shuffle about the room in an approximation of dancing, makes me mad, makes me sad, makes me wonder. There really was nobody like him: and in 1982 he just stopped! Imagine that - he just stopped! He didn't want to do it anymore - he'd said everything he wanted to in music . Just think of the all the other musicians from the 60's and 70's who's reputations would be so much greater today had they followed suit. (McCartney, Bowie, Ferry - there's three to start off with, and that's before I even think about it - oh yeah, the Stones - there's another one).

`Electricity' is the best song on the original album (and there's a great live version on YouTube), but `Zig Zag Wanderer', `Abba Zabba', `Plastic Factory' and `Grown So Ugly' are all absolutely brilliant as well.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New favourite band 20 Jun 2007
By Neil
Format:Audio CD
Amazing. I have found my new favourite band, thanks to seeing the film "Captain Beefheart: Under Review".

This is EXACTLY the kind of music I like. It seems criminal that I should be 29 years old before I hear this music, but at the same time I'm glad because it shows that there are still amazing things to discover.

This music is so groovy yet so complex at the same time that I just find it irresistible. The first track, "Sure 'Nuff N' Yes I Do" is a little throwaway, but once you get to "Zig Zag Wanderer" you're just grooving. It sounds so fresh, and just blows anything else out of the water. I used to think The Doors were good, but compared to this... they just seem so lame!

Since I've been listening to this record it seems I've had a different track in my head each day: "Dropout Boogie", "Abba Zaba", "Yellow Brick Road", "Plastic Factory"... they're all so infectious.

I love the production: vocal in one ear with a spiky clean guitar, and rhythm section in the other ear (for the most part). The performances are on the money - especially Beefheart himself whose combination of blues and soul-like singing with some weird eccentric moments ["Eeeeeelec-tri-city....ngaa-ngaa-ngaaaaa-aaaahh!] are like nothing I've heard before. This music is just audacious. It's so refreshingly brilliant I just found myself laughing out loud at it's genius.

So this CD contains the original 12 tracks from Safe As Milk as well as 7 (I think) bonus tracks - totalling about half an hour each. To experience this record properly I listened just to the album tracks a few times first before trying the bonus tracks. True enough, the bonus tracks aren't up to scratch with the album tracks, but when isolated, they are still original examples of quality work.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Still wonderful after all this time.
Published 19 days ago by jrjcm
5.0 out of 5 stars It's The Captain - what more do you need?
Jangling, twangy blues rock with wailing harps and rumbling bass, growling vocals and some surpisingly tender interludes; this is an awe-inspiring album. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Angus the Bat
5.0 out of 5 stars great album, quality reissue
When it was first released in 1967 this album sold very poorly in the USA, although it caught on relatively quickly in the UK due to the efforts of John Peel. Read more
Published 5 months ago by freewheeling frankie
4.0 out of 5 stars Great album, rip off though methinks
Both the stereo and mono versions of this album could fit on one cd, but......having sold the original stereo with bonus tracks, some marketing guy thought " Hmm, price is now low,... Read more
Published 8 months ago by 70s
5.0 out of 5 stars Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band - Sheer Electricity
Is this Captain Beefheart's best album? Not quite. But neither for that matter is the boundary breaking "Trout Mask Replica". Read more
Published 9 months ago by Red on Black
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird but good album
An acquired taste of an album. You either love or hate it, for most people. Being a lover of Prog Rock/Experimental I quite liked this. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Philip Westley
5.0 out of 5 stars An early musical breakthrough
An album i,ve listened to when first released, has ideas and style that are still being used by modern today.
Published 10 months ago by geoff coates
5.0 out of 5 stars Eccentric, forgotten masterpiece from the 60s.
Three elements make this essential to any collection: the Captain's extraordinary urgent bluesy voice; the strange but wonderful music (Ry Cooder, John French); the weird lyrics. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Stephen Perry
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for those bored with convention
I bought this album because I had heard a few tracks on a TV show. I wasn't expecting much and when I listed to it first time round, I thought 'this sucks'. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Simon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2.99 for this!!! every home should have one
I can't praise this album enough, having not heard it since the eighties I was taken aback by just how good this record is. Read more
Published on 17 April 2012 by Mr. N. A. Sherreard
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