Album review

Captain Beefheart And His Magic Bands - Railroadism: Live In The USA 72-81

Dispelling once and for all the myth that Van Vliet was appreciated less in his native land than elsewhere, this excellent trawl through nearly a decade of US truck-stops is as much an opportunity to compare Magic Bands as it is to marvel at the Don. Plenty of high points (the Delta growl of "Old Black Snake" from '72; a swampy "Grow Fins" from NYC's Bottom Line in '77; a strangely tender "Harry Irene" a year later), but on this evidence, the newly semi-reformed '81 line-up—six cuts from Reseda Country Club, California—takes some serious shifting.

Rating: 4 / 10


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The 43rd Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...