Music History

Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica Album: Why It’s Amazing But Hard to Listen To

One album that keeps showing up on critic’s list as (a) essential listening; (b) brilliant; and (c) influence is Captain Beefheart’s 1969 album, Trout Mask Replica. That’s why I bought it on vinyl AND compact disc. All the music writers I admired told me I HAD to have this album because it’s so bloody awesome.

But I’m not gonna lie: I’ve never been able to listen to the thing all the way through. Not once. And gawd, I’ve tried.

What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I appreciate its supposed brilliance? Am I listening wrong? Am I just too dumb to understand what Beefheart accomplished with this record?

Let’s take a look at this video for some guidance.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38413 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.