Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band

Grow Fins, Vol. 2: Trout Mask House Sessions

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This double-LP set is the second of three limited-edition double LPs on Table of the Elements which came out in conjunction with the Grow Fins CD box set to satisfy the vinyl collectors' market. These four sides of audiophile vinyl packaged in elaborate color gatefold sleeves are surely among the most beautifully designed Captain Beefheart objects in existence. The set features a 24-page booklet and poster, unpublished photos, and extensive liner notes by John French, David Fricke, and John Corbett. The collection is largely instrumental and takes tracks from the legendary Trout Mask Replica album, when Don Van Vliet put the band up to the extraordinary task of learning to play the sounds inside his head. While holed up in a California villa, the group developed the extraordinary instrumental vocabulary that makes Trout Mask Replica one of the most noteworthy albums in the history of rock, and here that process is documented with alternate versions, outtakes, and general disciplinary studies under the direction of the mad captain. The ideas were no less unhinged prior to the studio sessions that made the extraordinary album, making this album an essential compendium to the album, even if the sound quality is poor in places. Even with repeated listens, however, this still sheds little light on the mystery of one of the most fascinating and bizarre recordings of the '60s, and these rehearsal tapes are equally as compelling as the end results. With all tracks previously unissued, Grow Fins, Vol. 2: Trout Mask Home Sessions is as essential as any of the Magic Band's live recordings.