ARTIST: Captain Beefheart
TITLE: Safe As Milk
YEAR RELEASED: 1967
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Yellow Brick Road
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Electricity, Zig Zag Wanderer, Dropout Boogie (All of these are maybe if you listened to college radio or something)
LINEUP: Captain Beefheart, Ry Cooder, Alex Snouffer, John French, Jerry Handley.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The beginning and end of music? Well, maybe not the end, but certainly the beginning of Beefheart’s strange musical odyssey. This is more blues based than the rest of his work.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Yes, Electricity is weird (and wonderful – love that theremin) and some cuts like Abba Zaba are a bit off, but most of this is some form of the blues – weird complicated complex blues.
It’s also heavy – the bass sounds by Handley – especially on Zig Zag Wanderer are deep and powerful. The bass break in that song in the bridge can rattle some speakers.
Beefheart also shows his love for doo-wop and 50’s music here as well as the blues. All in all it’s just fantastic. Play this record loud and often.
NOTES & MINUTAE: Yes, that is THE Ry Cooder. He quit the band after a disaster of a gig where Beefheart fell off the stage during a bad trip. They had to cancel their appearance at Monterey because of that.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. When they released this on CD they added some of the sessions for the next album. Some I could do without – some are downright righteous.
GRADE: A : It’s a great building block of any collection.