Thursday, May 24, 2012

Paul McCartney's Ram reissue review

 Paul McCartney - Ram
Paul McCartney
Ram
Original album rating: **** 1/2
Bonus disc rating: ****

The Paul McCartney Archive Collection has made a fourth entry in their collection of remasters with McCartney's (as well as Linda McCartney's) 1971 classic, Ram. Once again, it confuses me as to why MPL and the rest decided to release the remaster now as opposed to last year, which marked 40 years since Ram was release. Still, this remaster/reissue of Ram follows the remaster/reissues of last year's McCartney and McCartney II. With Ram being my favorite album by Paul, I've heard it plenty of times. So I can safely say that MPL has done it again: the remastering is very good and the bonus disc compliments the original album perfectly.

What else can I say about Ram? It's my favorite album from Paul McCartney and one of my all time favorite albums (if you would like to read my write-up on the 40th anniversary of Ram, click here). All of the songs on the album are amazing. You've got "Too Many People", which is supposedly about McCartney's former band mate John Lennon. "Dear Boy" sounds like a lost outtake from The White Album while "Monkberry Moon Delight" is my personal favorite song off the album as it is just flat out bizarre. As for hits, you've got novelty-like ditty "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey", the autobiographical "Heart of the Country", and the epic closer "The Back Seat of My Car".

As for the remastering, it's actually very good. This is a good thing because most remasters of classic albums (as well as new albums) are often too loud and are a victim of the so-called "loudness war". What's wrong with it being louder, you ask? Sometimes the sound can be so loud that some of the instruments are so distorted that they disappear from the mix altogether. Luckily, this isn't the case with these McCartney remasters or even the 2009 Beatles remasters and the 2010 Apple Record remasters. Until now, I have been listening to a 1987 CD issue of Ram. This new remaster is an improvement: I can hear things that were buried in the 1987 mix. Examples: I never noticed that there was another vocal track accompanying Paul on the first "Ram On" and there are a few things that Paul says at the end of "Monkberry Moon Delight" that were barely audible in the 1987 mix.

The second disc consists of eight tracks, clocking in at 33 minutes. I'm not sure if they could have squeezed the eight tracks with the original album but this doesn't matter: the material on the second disc is actually very good. You get "Another Day", which was a hit single for McCartney, along with its rocker B-side "Oh Woman, Oh Why". For some reason, they put "Little Woman Love" on here. "Little Woman Love" was the B-Side to Wings' rendition of "Mary Had a Little Lamb". The next five tracks are a real treat for die-hard fans: they are all previously unreleased tracks from the sessions for Ram. The first of them (and personally, my favorite) is "A Love For You". It's a really great pop track that could have easily been a hit single. From what I see, the song has appeared on a few bootlegs and a version of it ended up on the soundtrack from the 2003 film The In-Laws. "Hey Diddle" is also on here as is the blues instrumental "Great Cock and Seagull Race". "Rode All Night" is a great eight minute (!) rocker while "Sunshine Sometime" is a nice easy-listening song.

I'm pleasantly surprised by how good this remaster/reissue is. It doesn't matter if you already own a older copy of Ram: this is totally worth getting. They really did a great job at remastering a classic album and the bonus disc is bad at all. If you're a McCartney fan, you should not be disappointed.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Robin Gibb dead at 62

Robin Hugh Gibb
December 22, 1949- May 20, 2012

Robin Gibb has died today after a long battle with cancer. Gibb was 62 years old. Gibb will be best known for being one third of music legends, the Bee Gees. Robin Gibb was born on December 22, 1949 along with his twin brother Maurice. Robin, Maurice, and older brother Barry formed the Bee Gees around 1958. The band didn't achieve major success until the release of their third album Bee Gees' 1st, which included the hit "To Love Somebody". The band were able to release other hit singles but their popularity started to fizzle around 1970 (at which point Robin had briefly left the group for one album). The band made a huge come back with the album Main Course, which included the hits "Jive Talkin'" and "Night Fever". In 1977, the band's popularity was at it's peak when the band's music was used for the movie Saturday Night Fever, starring John Travolta. The Bee Gees fit right into whatever was going on at that time in disco music. The soundtrack for the movie was a worldwide success with hit singles such as "Stayin' Alive", "How Deep Is Your Love", and "More Than a Woman".

The following year the band and Peter Frampton starred in the 1978 musical movie Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, a musical based on the music of the Beatles. The movie was a huge flop and soon afterwards, disco music was considered uncool. Still, the group managed to continue performing. After Maurice Gibb's passing in 2003, Barry and Robin decided to stop performing as the Bee Gees. This was until 2009 when Barry and Robin decided they would try and start performing again. Last month, Robin had been in a coma since April 14 but came out of it on April 20. 

RIP Robin.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Keep On Rolling: The Rolling Stones' Exile On Main St. at 40

 The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main St.
The Rolling Stones
Exile On Main St.
1972
Rating: *****

The Rolling Stones were adjusting to the 1970’s just fine. Their 1971 album, Sticky Fingers, was another chart topping album for the band. For the band’s next album, they would be dabbling in several different genres of music. It would also be the band’s very first double album. That album, Exile On Main St., was released on May 12, 1972. 40 years later, it’s still regarded by many to be the best album the band ever made. Exile On Main St. ranks at #8 on my list of my all time favorite albums. It’s my second favorite album by the Stones, right behind Let It Bleed. An album like this deserves the song-by-song treatment.

            The Rolling Stones (which consisted of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts) had gotten out of their contract with Allen Klein by the beginning of the 1970’s. However in the spring of 1971, the band learned that they were pretty much broke. It got to the point when they discovered they didn’t have the money to pay their taxes. The band left Britain so that before the government caught them. It was decided that the band would relocate in France. Jagger had recently married his girlfriend, Bianca, in France and decided to live there. Richards rented a villa called Nellcote, a 19th century mansion with sixteen rooms. Using their mobile recording truck, the band was able to set up a studio in the basement of Nellcote. Producer Jimmy Miller, who had produced the band’s last three studio albums, was back on board to produce their next one.

Aside from recording the new album, drug use was frequent amongst the band. Richards began using heroin on a daily basis and friends of the band were bringing the drugs to them. Some of Exile had been recorded prior to the band moving over to France. From June till July 1970, the band recorded at Olympic Sound Studios in London. From October till November 1970, the band recorded at Jagger’s home in Stargroves, Newbury, England. The band recorded in France from June 7, 1971 till October 1971. Recording finished in Los Angeles in December 1971, and the album was mixed in two different studios in Los Angeles from December 1971 till March 25, 1972.
           

Track by track review

1.      “Rock Off”- From the sound of the opening lick till the end, “Rocks Off” is a perfect example of the Stones in 1972. The song is bluesy and raunchy, both musically and lyrically. The song, as whole, prepares for the ride you’ll be on while listening to the album. The saxophone and trumpet work from Bobby Keys and Jim Price livens the song up. The lyrics seem to be about the wild and crazy life people live. Personally, it’s one of my favorite songs off the album and also one of my favorite songs by the Rolling Stones.

2.      “Rip This Joint”- This fast-paced rocker is almost like a slice of 1950’s rock n roll, done by the Stones. There is a little dispute as to about the song is about, but the lyrics seem to celebrate the days of early 1950’s rock n roll. The whole first verse of “Mama says yes, papa says no” makes me think of a teenager asking his parents if he can go out and party (“I’m gonna raise hell at the Union Hall/Drive myself right over the wall”). The first chorus of “Rip this joint, going to save your soul/Round and round and round we go” may go back to the early days of the Rolling Stones and the lyrics to “Around and Around”. The “Roll this joint” bit is obviously referencing to drugs. It’s the shortest song off the album but it’s a killer track.

3.      “Shake Your Hips”- According to Mick Taylor, it was Jagger’s idea to cover this Slim Harpo tune. It’s a nice little rocker and Mick’s vocals are pretty good on this one. “Shake Your Hips” is one of the few tracks that weren’t recorded in France.

4.      “Casino Boogie”- “Casino Boogie” is a very interesting song off the album as to the way it was written. Notice that if you read the lyrics, they don’t make any sense. This is because the band wrote this song by using a style of writing that William Burroughs did: the band wrote phrases on pieces of paper, cut them up, put them in a hat, and made new sentences. This was the band’s result of doing that. Musically, the song resembles a slow blues track or simply boogie music. Bobby Keys delivers during his saxophone solo on this one. Overall, “Casino Boogie” is a great song.

5.      “Tumbling Dice”- Of the 18 tracks off the album, “Tumbling Dice” is easily the most popular of them. It also gave the band another hit single. Mick and Keith mainly wrote this soulful track. The song was originally titled “Good Time Women”, which had similar musical structure but different lyrics (“Good Time Women” can be found on the 2010 deluxe edition of Exile). “Good Time Women” was good for what it was but the song just didn’t have a hook. Richards came up with a hook for the beginning and Jagger rewrote the lyrics. Jagger’s inspiration for the song was from a house maid at the villa, who was very much into gambling. Jagger wrote a song around that and the song became “Tumbling Dice”. It’s one of the best tracks off the album and is always a live favorite.

6.      “Sweet Virginia”- The band churns out yet another great song, this time in the style of a country song. From the harmonica solo to the very end, “Sweet Virginia” is a bit of a deep cut off Exile. Lyrically, the band has written what does indeed sound like a country track done in the style of the Rolling Stones. Also, how can you not love the chorus: “Come on, come on down, sweet Virginia/Come on, honey child, I beg of you/Come on, come on down, you’ve got it in you/You’ve got to scrape that shit right off your shoes”.

7.      “Torn and Frayed”- Continuing with the country sound, the band goes into this country rocker ala in the style of Gram Parsons. There are rumors floating around that Parsons himself was on the album but this is not true. Overall, “Torn and Frayed” is a nice little song. This is also one of the few songs that wasn’t recorded in France.

8.      “Sweet Black Angel”- The story behind “Sweet Black Angel” is very interesting: believe it or not, it is a protest song in support of Angela Davis. In 1970, Davis had been blamed for the shootings of a judge, prosecutor, and several other people during a trial. Around the time the album was released, Davis was found not guilty. Still, “Sweet Black Angel” is a powerful song. According to engineer Andy Johns, Jagger and Richards were recorded in a room that was not far from a hall that had wooden floors and no furniture. Jagger, Richards, Jimmy Miller, and Richard Didymus Washington were recorded in a circle playing this little song. You can certainly hear the echo from the hall and it really does make “Sweet Black Angel” a highlight off the album. This was one of the tracks that was not recorded in France.

9.      “Loving Cup”- The Stones go into a ballad of sorts, which is also another great track off this album. The lyrics seem to talk about a man who is intoxicated by the love of a certain woman. I think what makes this song so great is because of the piano playing and the backing vocals of Jagger and Richards. The band has rarely performed this onstage but it did go back in the band’s setlist for the band’s 2002-2003 tour and in 2006. The latter can be seen in the Shine A Light movie, with Jack White joining the band for the performance.

10.  “Happy”- Richards takes the microphone for this rocker, which is another popular track off the album. At that point, Richards singing on a Stones song was rare. He did sing parts of “Something Happened to Me Yesterday” from Between the Buttons and sang all of “You Got the Silver” from Let It Bleed. According to Richards, the song was written and recorded in a very short amount of time. Of all the songs that Richards has sung lead vocals on, this is probably the best of them as it has become a live favorite.

11.  “Turd on the Run”- There isn’t a whole lot written about this fast paced bluesy rocker. Jagger sounds great on this track. The harmonica on this makes the song what it is. According to sources, Bill Wyman is not on this track at all. There is, however, a man named Bill Plummer who is playing an upright acoustic bass. Nicky Hopkins is on piano and Bobby Keys is on maracas! This is certainly a wild one.

12.  “Ventilator Blues”- Mick Taylor gets co-writing credit, along with Jagger and Richards, for this fittingly bluesy track. Not much can be said about this track except that it’s basically just a standard blues song. According to Richards in his 2010 autobiography, the song was recorded in the basement of Nellcote. Richards says that the basement for Nellcote wasn’t big enough but it was “divided into a series bunkers”. There was a lack of ventilation so that’s how this song got its title. The end of “Ventilator Blue” leads into the next track…

13.  “I Just Want to See His Face”- This gospel-riddled track is a song that the Stones have never performed live. Jagger later said that this song was basically a “complete jam”. The song does have some religion linked to it as heard in the lyrics (“Then you don’t want to walk and talk about Jesus/You just want to see His face”). One source suggests Jagger might have been influenced by Billy Preston and their visits to church.

14.  “Let It Loose”- The Stones get soulful in this ballad of sorts. Jagger sings about a woman that he loves but he knows he cannot. The backing vocals on this track are sensational. Dr. John is even there on backing vocals with several other people. This song has not been performed live, as Jagger says it’s a hard song to play live.

15.  “All Down the Line”- An upbeat rocker follows. “All Down The Line” is always a fun song hear played live because usually, the band nails it ever time. There’s a lot going on in this track. Jagger’s vocals are great and there’s a great horn section on here. Mick Taylor is also playing slide guitar. Overall, a great track.

16.  “Stop Breaking Down”- The Stones take on this Robert Johnson tune the best way they can. “Stop Breaking Down” is a simple blues track but there’s some great guitar work from Richards and Taylor here.

17.  “Shine a Light”- Of the 18 tracks on this album, I have to say that “Shine a Light” is my favorite off the entire album. The song has an interesting history behind it as it was originally written as “Get A Line On You” in 1968 when Brian Jones was still in the band. When Jones died in 1969, it is thought that Jagger changed a few of the lyrics to make it a tribute to Jones. There are those who believe it may also be about Jagger’s girlfriend Marianne Faithful after she attempted suicide around that same time. I really think that “Shine a Light” is a tribute to Brian. The lyrics seem to depict Jones. I also love the chorus: “May the good lord/Shine a light on you/Make every song/Your favorite tune.” Like “I Just Want To See His Face”, Jagger found the gospel influence from Billy Preston and their visits to church. Personally, I think “Shine a Light” is the best song off the album.

18.  “Soul Survivor”- Exile closes out with a soulful bluesy track. Jagger’s vocals, again, are top notch. It’s hard to believe that only Jagger and Richards are doing backing vocals because it sounds like there are more than two people doing backing vocals. On the deluxe edition from 2010, there’s an alternate version of this song sung by Keith. Jagger doesn’t think that he wrote this song, he thought it was Keith’s lyrics. Nevertheless, the song closes out Exile brilliantly.


When Exile was released in May 1972, reviews were generally positive. Some critics didn’t know what to make of the album due to its diversity and the fact that it was a double album. The album was a success in the charts, peaking at #2. The band then embarked on one of their wildest tours ever, which was documented in Robert Frank’s Cocksucker Blues.

For me, Exile On Main St. ranks at #8 on my list of favorite albums. I will admit that it did take a while for this album to sink in. After several dozen listens, I absolutely loved it. Forty years after its release, the album is still great by today’s standards. I don’t think it’s the best Rolling Stones album (I’ll give that to Let It Bleed) but there’s no doubt that Exile is indeed a classic.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

George Harrison's "Early Takes- Volume 1" Review

 George Harrison - Early Takes: Volume 1
George Harrison
Early Takes- Volume 1
Rating: ****

With the US DVD release of the Martin Scorsese documentary about George Harrison (Living in the Material World), Universal and the Harrison estate have decided to release an album worth of never-before-released demos and outtakes. The collection, Early Takes- Volume 1, wasn't necessary to release but it still is nice for fans to own.

There are only ten songs on this album, all of which are demos and outtakes. A majority of the tracks are demos and outtakes for All Things Must Pass. Still, its really fascinating to hear these songs as bare bone tracks. This is how they began life before they ended up on one of Harrison's album. The best songs on in this collection are the ones from All Things Must Pass, which I think all fans can agree is George's best solo album. "My Sweet Lord" sounds different from the one that ended up on the classic 1970 album. In some ways, the demo of "My Sweet Lord" sounds a bit like a blues track with a hint of reggae! The early take of "I'd Have You Anytime" isn't too different from the master version while "Awaiting For You All" sounds drastically different from the Spector "wall of sound" riddled gospel track (which, by the way, is one of my all time favorite songs from George). Harrison is basically playing electric guitar to some drums on the latter. Harrison also covers "Mama You've Been On My Mind" by his buddy, Bob Dylan. "Let It Be Me", like "Mama You've Been On My Mind", a song that didn't end up on any album. Also on here is a bluegrass version of "Woman Don't You Cry For Me" (which ended up on 1976's Thirty-Three & 1/3) and an acoustically driven take of "The Light That Has Lighted the World" (which ended up on 1973's Living in the Material World).

Overall, Early Takes Volume 1 is a nice little set. My only problem with this release is that it's only a half hour long: A LOT more could have been put on here. However, the 'Volume 1' may imply that there will be more things to come.

Thin Lizzy's "Live At National Stadium" DVD review

 Thin Lizzy - Live at the National Stadium Dublin 1975
Thin Lizzy
Live At National Stadium- Dublin
Rating: ****

Thanks to Universal and various other people, a DVD containing Thin Lizzy’s performance at National Stadium in Dublin has been released. While the concert is the main feature on this DVD, there are two other features included on here. One of them is a documentary on the life of Phil Lynott and the other is a documentary on the band’s final tour in Ireland in 1983. Overall, this DVD is a real treat for Thin Lizzy fans as this marks the first time all of these features have been released on DVD.

            First of all, you’ve got the band performing at National Stadium in Dublin in 1975. The concert is about 52 minutes and it’s a really cool show. Thin Lizzy are known by many as a great live band and it does work on video. Still, there one downside I want to point out and it has to do with the aspect ratio. For all three features on this DVD, the picture has been cut so that it can be widescreen. These are videos with a 4:3 aspect ratio (which is full screen) so in order for them to be in widescreen, some of the picture had to be cut. So sometimes, you might see a head cut off. It’s a bit annoying but this does not stop the DVD from being enjoyable. This is an interesting show to watch because Thin Lizzy were playing in their hometown (well, at least Phil Lynott and Brian Downey were). The band plays a total of ten songs, most of them coming from the Night Life and Fighting albums. It’s cool to hear songs like “It’s Only Money” changed up as it’s slower than the studio version. Also, rarely played songs like “For Those Who Love to Live” and “Fighting My Way Back” are on here. “Showdown” is really fun to hear as you actually get to hear Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson sing backing vocals during the chorus. “Sha La La” is always a highlight as Brian Downey gets to show off his skills as a drummer. During the solo, the camera cuts to Lynott who is wearing a gorilla mask and still trying to play the bass. Hilarious! The last song played is “Still in Love With You”, which Lynott dedicates to his mother who was in the audience that night (which is a bit awkward for a song choice. Why not play “Philomena”, which is actually about Phil’s mother?)

            The second feature on this DVD is “Renegade: The Philip Lynott Story”, a 1982 TV documentary about Thin Lizzy’s leader. While of the time, the documentary is still great. Most of the documentary is culled from then-recent interviews with Lynott himself. Hearing Lynott tell the story of Thin Lizzy is just wonderful. You also get a bit of an insight as to the kind of guy Phil was. He seemed like a real down-to-earth guy with a nice thick Irish accent. Towards the end, we get to see Phil’s house in Dublin and a rehearsal with Thin Lizzy (which at that time was Lynott, Gorham, Snowy White, Brian Downey, and Darren Wharton). We also get to see just some live footage of Phil’s 1982 solo tour in support of his second solo album, The Philip Lynott Album.  

            The third and last feature here is “The Sun Goes Down: The Last Irish Tour 1983”, a documentary that gives a behind-the-scenes look at the Irish leg of Lizzy’s farewell tour. Although a good documentary, it is personally my least favorite of the three features. It’s less than a half hour and to be quite honest, there isn’t a whole lot of Thin Lizzy in it. Still, it is somewhat interesting to see how the crew sets up for the shows.

            Believe it or not, there is some bonus material on here. There are two performances Lizzy did on the short lived music show 6/5 Live. The band plays “Are You Ready” with Snowy White and Darren Wharton in the band. The other performance is “Whiskey in the Jar”, where Lynott and Downey are reunited with original guitarist Eric Bell. I believe the latter performance was mimed but Phil’s vocals are live. Finally, there’s the promotional video for Lynott’s “Old Town”.

            If you’re a fan of Thin Lizzy, you should really consider getting this DVD. It’s a great release and like At The BBC, Universal is giving fans something that we probably don’t have. The DVD is a bit pricey but it’s totally worth it. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Captain Beefheart- "Bat Chain Puller" review

 Captain Beefheart - Bat Chain Puller
Captain Beefheart
Bat Chain Puller
Rating: ****

Over 35 years after its recording, Captain Beefheart’s original Bat Chain Puller has finally seen the light of day. Released on Vaulter Native Records by Gail Zappa (widow of Frank Zappa, who had obtained the master tapes years ago), the album showcases an alternate version of the work that would later show up on Captain Beefheart’s last three albums. This album is a real treat for all Beefheart fans and it does indeed do justice to the legacy of the good Captain.

            The history of this album goes back to 1975. At that time, Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) had released two albums much to his dissatisfaction as they were both too commercial. He was also in several legal ties that he couldn’t get out of. Vliet’s childhood friend Frank Zappa came to the rescue when he offered to take him on tour with the Mothers of Invention. This later became the live album Bongo Furry. Although it helped Vliet, the friends had grown tired of each other by the end of the tour.

Zappa, however, helped Vliet get back on track to record his next album. He had his guitarist Denny Walley join Vliet and got manager Herb Cohen to help with the project. Cohen reached out to Vliet’s old band mate John “Drumbo” French to be the musical coordinator, a role he had taken on the 1969 classic Trout Mask Replica. After assembling the new Magic Band together, recording for the new album began. When the album was finished, trouble arose. Cohen had taken legal action by taking possession of Zappa’s archival tapes, including Bat Chain Puller. Vliet would end up forming a new band and release his last three albums with them, the first being Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (the other two being Doc at the Radar Station and Ice Cream for Crow).

Years later, Zappa was able to obtain the master tapes for the album from Cohen but still wasn’t able to release it for various different reasons. One of the reasons why Zappa chose to not release the album immediately was due to the fact that Vliet had already released most of the songs from the album already.  So, Bat Chain Puller remained shelved for years and years. Over the years, the album has been widely bootlegged amongst Beefheart fans.

Bat Chain Puller begins fittingly enough with the self-titled track. Compared to the version released on Shiny Beast, this version seems to have a lot more going on. The song has been a favorite of many Beefheart fans for year and years. As many fans may know, the influence for the rhythm of the song was based off the sound wind shield wipers make. In this version, it sounds much more like wind shield wipers. Vliet, as always, delivers the goods while reciting the lyrics in that rough voice of his. This is followed by a “new” song called “Seam Crooked Sam”. The song is basically Vliet reciting a poem to what sounds like a keyboard.
The version of “Harry Irene” off this album is quite interesting. On the Shiny Beast version, the song seems to be played on a ukulele with Vliet singing. The guitar on this version has more echo and the drums and piano are much more up front when in the Shiny Beast version, they sound a bit buried. For some reason, I prefer Vliet’s vocals on the Shiny Beast version but he sounds great on this one.   

Spoken word tracks such as “81 Poop Hatch” and “Apes Ma” are the same exact track that you hear on the released albums they were on. Still, Don’s voice is a little bit clearer. Guitar solos such as “Flavor Bud Living” and “Ah Carrot Is as Close as Ah Rabbit Gets to Ah Diamond” sound less 1980’s like than the ones that end up on Doc at the Radar Station. This would be more so for “Flavor Bud Living”, as it has a really nice echoing sound. Don’s sax solo sticks out more on the album’s version “Brick Bats” while there aren’t too many differences in “Floppy Boot Stomp” except that Don’s vocals are more audible. 

“Owed T’Alex” doesn’t sound too different from the one on Shiny Beast while I do enjoy this album’s version of “Human Totem Pole” more than the one on Ice Cream for Crow. The one track I really like on here is a song called “Odd Jobs”, which another “new” song just like “Seam Crooked Sam”. Don recites poetry to the beautiful sounds of John French’s guitar playing. In the middle, Don sings to the music and he sounds wonderful. I don’t know why “Odd Jobs” wasn’t re-recorded for Don’s last three albums. It’s an amazing song, even 35 years after its recording.

The packaging for the album is also impressive. It’s in a digi-pack case, with the booklet in a pouch. In the booklet are liner notes written by John French, giving background information on the album. Also included is the essay French wrote a few days after Vliet’s passing. Guitarist Denny Walley also has an essay in here too, along with a short note from Gail Zappa.

If you are a fan of Captain Beefheart like I am, I highly recommend buying a copy of Bat Chain Puller. It’s really interesting to hear the alternate versions of these songs and I’m really happy that Gail released this long-lost album. With the album and the wonderful booklet that comes with it, Bat Chain Puller really is a treasure.