Grow Fins: Rarities (1965-1982)

Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band

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Grow Fins: Rarities (1965-1982) Review

by Richie Unterberger

An unprecedented project in the rock field: a five-CD box set of unreleased material by a cult artist that never had anything close to a chart hit. Of course Captain Beefheart is the ultimate cult artist, and one with a following so rabid (if limited) that the compilation has a wider audience than many would anticipate. Despite the impressive chronological span and variety of demos, live performances, backing tracks, and outtakes, be cautioned that this is not a best-of or ad hoc career overview. A good deal of the tracks (some of which have long been available on bootleg) are of slightly substandard or low fidelity, and Beefheart's most significant work is ultimately contained on his numerous official releases. However, this is an important addition to his catalog, and one that many of his fanatics will find essential, though it won't do much to convert the casual fan due to the difficult nature of much of the material. Disc one, with live cuts and demos from 1966-67 that include a few songs recorded on Safe as Milk, is certainly the most interesting and accessible of the quintet. Disc two is more shambling and experimental, with its assortment of 1968 live performances. Disc three is for the hardcore: home-recorded (though in okay fidelity) run-throughs of Trout Mask Replica material from 1969, without vocals. Disc four is for the harder core: 12 more minutes of Trout Mask home sessions, plus enhanced-CD live performance footage from 1968-73. CD five is an interesting, erratic assortment of live, radio, demo, and work tape material from 1969-82, fidelity varying from good to poor. The liner notes are exceptionally detailed, with many first-hand quotes by band members and much historical narrative by frequent Magic Band drummer John French.

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 04:59 Amazon
2
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 08:18 Amazon
3 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 05:04 Amazon
4 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 02:44 Amazon
5
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 01:04 Amazon
6 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 02:02 Amazon
7
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 01:57 Amazon
8 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 02:06 Amazon
9 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 01:23 Amazon
10
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 01:01 Amazon
11 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 04:08 Amazon
12 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 02:40 Amazon
13
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 01:00 Amazon
14 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 02:30 Amazon
15 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 02:51 Amazon
16 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 01:52 Amazon
17
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 01:10 Amazon
18 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 02:33 Amazon
19
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 00:08 Amazon
20 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 01:30 Amazon
21
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 00:35 Amazon
22 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 02:22 Amazon
23
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 01:51 Amazon
24 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 02:53 Amazon
25
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 01:05 Amazon
26 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 04:32 Amazon
27
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 00:04 Amazon
28
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 00:56 Amazon
29 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 04:14 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 5

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 03:54 Amazon
2 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 06:12 Amazon
3 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 02:46 Amazon
4 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 03:23 Amazon
5
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 01:01 Amazon
6 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 05:09 Amazon
7
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 01:49 Amazon
8
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 09:12 Amazon
9
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 00:53 Amazon
10 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 01:45 Amazon
11
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 00:53 Amazon
12
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 00:43 Amazon
13
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 00:50 Amazon
14 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 02:49 Amazon
15 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 04:36 Amazon
16 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 05:10 Amazon
17 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 05:08 Amazon
18 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 03:46 Amazon
19
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 01:22 Amazon
20 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 00:54 Amazon
21 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 02:15 Amazon
22
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 02:19 Amazon
23 Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 01:14 Amazon
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