Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sound Makes the Record Go Round

Song 427: This week the playlist features the sound of Lazy Music by Captain Beefheart, written by Don Van Vliet, Jan Van Vliet and Andy DiMartino (note: Don Van Vliet was Beefheart's legal name, and Jan was his wife), and you can find a YouTube video of it by clicking on the title. Back in June of 1974, my car radio surprised me one day with Sugar Bowl (Song 148), and I liked that cut so much I added Unconditionally Guaranteed to my collection not long after. The LP became a regular spinner on my turntable, and almost every track left a deep impression, to the point that this marks my 4th UG blog - Upon the My-O-My is Song 265 and Magic Be is Song 350. The Captain had established an earlier reputation as an experimenter in the fusion of rock and jazz, but what I had heard of his previous work hadn't really grabbed me, whereas his spring 1974 offering immediately got my attention. Evidently critics did not applaud Beefheart's move towards more conventional songwriting and recording, but I personally would echo the Sounds reviewer Steve Peacock, who wrote in the 4/6/74 edition, ”Something very strong does glow through what would otherwise be an unexceptional album, but it's something that I feel rather than can identify." When writing the Song 265 blog a few years ago, it surprised me to learn that less than a year after UG's release, the band members and the band leader all disowned the 33, but that hasn't changed the way I hear it - for me, Lazy Music still makes the whole thing keep going round and round.

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