Captain Beefheart’s ‘Trout Mask Replica’ to Be Reissued
Jack White’s Third Man Records has announced a reissue of Trout Mask Replica, the classic 1969 album by Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band.
The extensive bundle will be available as the 36th package in Third Man’s Vault series, with subscriptions open until April 30.
The reissue features album artwork restored from the original photo, remastered audio, the first-ever repressing of the French “Pachuco Cadaver” vinyl single, a tote bag, a reproduction of White’s 2011 tribute poem to Beefheart (who was born Don Van Vliet) and a replica trout mask.
“Easter Morning, 1969 ... Frank Zappa calls up Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band and tells them the album he is producing for them is done,” the label says in a press release announcing the reissue. “The Captain instructs the band to dress in their Sunday best clothes before they all go to the studio and listen to the complete finished work for the first time. By all accounts, the experience tiptoed between celebratory and downright religious.
“Trout Mask Replica is a touchstone in the history of recorded music. The mix of dada absurdist blues and previously unexplored experimental avenues has long been praised as one of the greatest albums of all time. As so eloquently put by John Peel, "If there has been anything in the history of popular music which could be described as a work of art in a way that people who are involved in other areas of art would understand, then Trout Mask Replica is probably that work."
The reissue marks the relaunch of Zappa’s Bizarre label imprint and was assembled in collaboration with the Zappa Family Trust. “Out of print on vinyl for nearly 10 years, this remaster was helmed by industry legend Bob Ludwig and cut by the estimable Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman mastering,” the press release notes. “Utilizing crystalline-quality safety masters kept in the Zappa family vault for decades by the trustworthy Joe Travers, the audio here is positively glorious. Every last skronk breathes full life into the room. Every twisted guitar figure uncurls onto paths previously unpaved. Every last bark and howl shines resolute through the vast emptiness of your mind.”
Third Man promises further releases from the Bizarre Records vaults, predicting that “minds will continue to be blown, barriers will be destroyed, verbiage will be significantly hype-worthy.”