My Essential 100 Albums – The First One! Captain Beefheart


The idea behind this list is for me to say which 100 albums I will take with me if I was marooned on a desert island or when I have to go to live in an old folks’ home (not that I am anticipating that in the near future). The prospect of paring my CDs down to just 100 essential albums is daunting. However, it is also quite intriguing, which albums would I just have to keep and which, however good, would have to stay behind?

The only self imposed rule is that most artists or bands would be restricted to just one CD. Obviously, that ‘rule’ will probably not apply to Zappa or Beefheart but will to most people.

Although later choices will be more difficult the first choice is easy.

Strictly Personal – Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band. (1968)

I have written an article about this album or rather How I Met Beefheart elsewhere on this site. This was the first Beefheart album I heard and is an automatic choice for the essential 100 albums list.

Released in October 1968 I first heard it in 1969 when a friend gave it to me as he had bought it and hated it. It had a profound affect on me. It seemed like grown up music. I had listened to blues, firstly, as part of the British Blues Boom and later I had begun listening to the original bluesmen. This was different. It was not like the straight blues copies of the BBB, Beefheart had taken a blues and changed it. Ah Feel Like Acid is the first track on the album and it mesmerised me.

From Strictly Personal I went to the wonderful Safe as Milk, the first album by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band. I was a Beefheart believer, sometimes disappointed, often mystified, but always a devotee.

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