|1. I'm Gonna Booglarize You Baby the Spotlight Kid|
|2. White Jam the Spotlight Kid|
|3. Blabber 'N Smoke the Spotlight Kid|
|4. When It Blows Its Stacks the Spotlight Kid|
|5. Alice in Blunderland the Spotlight Kid|
|6. The Spotlight Kid the Spotlight Kid|
|7. Click Clack the Spotlight Kid|
|8. Grow Fins the Spotlight Kid|
|9. There Ain't No Santa Claus On the Evenin' Stage the Spotlight Kid|
|10. Glider the Spotlight Kid|
|11. Low Yo Yo Stuff Clear Spot|
|12. Nowaday's a Woman's Gotta Hit a Man Clear Spot|
|13. Too Much Time Clear Spot|
|14. Circumstances Clear Spot|
|15. My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains Clear Spot|
|16. Sun Zoom Spark Clear Spot|
|17. Clear Spot Clear Spot|
|18. Crazy Little Thing Clear Spot|
|19. Long Neck Bottles Clear Spot|
|20. Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles Clear Spot|
See all 22 tracks on this disc
Clear Spot is heavy metal blues, 1972 style. It is arguably Beefheart's most "commercial" album (all things being relative), and while it doesn't match the avant-garde oddness of Trout Mask Replica, the application of Beefheart's musical and rhythmical preoccupations into something approaching a standard verse-chorus-verse formula allows the Magic Band to demonstrate just how exciting and fresh 'traditional' song structures can be made to sound. "Low Yo Yo Stuff", "Nowadays a Woman's Got to Hit a Man", "Crazy Little Thing", "Long Neck Bottles", "Big Eyed Beans From Venus", "Sun Zoom Spark" and the title track are taut, tight four-minute bursts of energy. None of them are exactly "blues", but they are certainly the extended family of the blues tradition, with slide guitar leads; harmonica breaks and gravelly, half-narrated vocals.
Part of what makes this album so special is the range of percussive rhythms that underpin most of the "standard" song structures. Long before Paul Simon upped and left for Africa, the Magic Band's rhythm section were producing a "push-pull" effect of contrasting rhythm, similar in effect to the native percussions of Africa and Latin-America. Each player has a definite rhythmic part and the way these parts fit together is the secret of this album. While the songs might sound straightforward, listening to the underlying drum beats and timings really throws you off-guard again, and keeps the music sounding fresh.
You also get the Stax-soul era "Too Much Time", complete with female backing singers and a rasping horn section - possibly Beefheart's most commercial track ever recorded (it got plenty of airplay on the Motown stations until it was discovered that Beefheart wasn't quite the act they thought he was) - and unusually for Beefheart, two love songs. The beautiful "Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles", used in the Big Lebowski soundtrack but in context here and all the better for it, and "My Head Is My Own House Unless It Rains", which is in equal parts Delta Blues, Big Star and something else which is undefinable but strangely addictive.
Warner rereleased this album as a double with 'The Spotlight Kid' which isn't in the same league in my opinion, but still offers "White Jam" and "When It Blows, It Stacks" for company. If you've ever wanted to gamble on an album to kick off the mystery of Beefheart, I'd really recommend that this double album is the one to get.
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