Music History

Why This Impossible-to-Listen-to Album is Actually a Timeless Masterpiece

One of the reasons early punks gravitated to Captain Beefheart’s disagree-sounding 1969 album, Trout Mask Replica, was because it was disagreeable. It was so different, so out there, so hard to bear that it fit perfectly with their desire to piss people off. If you ever want to clear out a party, just put this record on at high volume.

I’ve never made it through the record in one sitting. I just…can’t. Yet TMR lives on as a masterpiece of…60s freakout? Free jazz? Drug music? I think we could use a bit of schooling on the subject.

This video is supposed to help us. It’s certainly a lot easier to watch than the album is to hear. Click on the image to get started.

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 38341 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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