Yellow Brick Road - Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

Rola: Yellow Brick Road
Traducción: Camino de ladrillo amarillo
Intérprete: Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band
Compositor: Don Van Vliet, Herb Bermann
Disco: Safe As Milk
Productor: Richard Perry, Bob Krasnow
Orden al bat: 071


Duración: 02:25
Año: 1967
Formato: 7"
A la venta: 01/09/1967
Lado B: Abba Saba
Disquera: Buddha Records


Don Van Vliet – vocals, harmonica, bass marimba
Alex St. Clair Snouffer – guitar, bass, background vocals
Jerry Handley – bass, background vocals
John French – drums, background vocals
Ry Cooder – guitar, slide guitar, bass
Milt Holland – log drum, tambourine
Taj Mahal – tambourine



Yellow Brick Road
Camino de ladrillo amarillo
Around the corner the wind blew back follow the yellow brick road It ended up in black on black I was taught the gift of love
Smiling children painted joy sunshine bright girl and boy
bag of trick s and candy sticks peppermint kite for my toy
Yellow brick black on black
Keep on walking and don't look back

I walked along happy and them came back
I follow the yellow brick road
Lost and found I saw you down on the bound off the bound
Taught against the love yellow brick road took my load
Sunshine girl sunshine girl come to my abode 1-2-3-4-5 miles long

Oh I can't ever (so) go wrong
Clouds were gray yesterday down on my shoulder it's time to play
Yellow brick black on black
Keep on walking and don't look back

I follow the yellow brick road..............


1. "Sure 'Nuff 'n Yes I Do"
2. "Zig Zag Wanderer"
3. "Call On Me"
4. "Dropout Boogie"
5. "I'm Glad"
6. "Electricity"

1. "Yellow Brick Road"
2. "Abba Zaba"
3. "Plastic Factory"
4. "Where There's Woman"
5. "Grown So Ugly"
6. "Autumn's Child"

After fulfilling their deal for two singles the band presented demos to A&M during 1966 for what would become the Safe As Milk album. A&M's Jerry Moss reportedly described this new direction as "too negative" and dropped the band from the label, although still under contract. Much of the demo recording was accomplished at Art Laboe's Original Sound Studio, then with Gary Marker on the controls at Sunset Sound on 8-track. By the end of 1966 they were signed to Buddah Records and much of the demo work was transferred to 4-track, at the behest of Krasnow and Perry, in the RCA Studio in Hollywood, where the recording was finalized. Tracks that were originally laid down in the demo by Doug Moon are therefore taken up by Cooder's work in the release, as Moon had departed over 'musical differences' at this juncture.

Drummer John French had now joined the group and it would later (notably on Trout Mask Replica) be his patience that was required to transcribe Van Vliet's creative ideas (often expressed by whistling or banging on the piano) into musical form for the other group members. On French's departure this role was taken over by Bill Harkleroad for Lick My Decals Off, Baby.

Many of the lyrics on the Safe As Milk album were written by Van Vliet in collaboration with the writer Herb Bermann, who befriended Van Vliet after seeing him perform at a bar-gig in Lancaster in 1966. The song "Electricity" was a poem written by Bermann, who gave Van Vliet permission to adapt it to music.

While Safe as Milk mostly conveyed a blues–rock sound, songs such as "Electricity" illustrated the band's unconventional instrumentation and Van Vliet's unusual vocals, that guitarist Doug Moon described as "hinting of things to come".

Much of the Safe As Milk material was honed and arranged by the arrival of 20-year–old guitar prodigy Ry Cooder, who had been brought into the group after much pressure from Vliet. The band began recording in spring 1967, with Richard Perry cutting his teeth in his first job as producer. The album was released in September 1967. Richie Unterberger of Allmusic called the album "blues–rock gone slightly askew, with jagged, fractured rhythms, soulful, twisting vocals from Van Vliet, and more doo wop, soul, straight blues, and folk–rock influences than he would employ on his more avant garde outings".

Safe as Milk is the debut album by Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band, originally released in 1967. It is a heavily blues-influenced work, but also hints at many of the features—such as surreal lyrics and odd time signatures—that would later become trademarks of Beefheart's music.

The album is also notable for the involvement of a 20-year-old Ry Cooder, who plays guitar and wrote some of the arrangements.


Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: Glendale

Don Van Vliet (January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010) was an American musician, singer-songwriter and artist best known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work was conducted with a rotating ensemble of musicians called The Magic Band, active between 1965 and 1982, with whom he recorded 12 studio albums. Noted for his powerful singing voice with its wide range,[4] Van Vliet also played the harmonica, saxophone and numerous other wind instruments. His music blended rock, blues and psychedelia with free jazz, avant-garde and contemporary experimental composition. Beefheart was also known for exercising an almost dictatorial control over his supporting musicians, and for often constructing myths about his life.

During his teen years in Lancaster, California, Van Vliet developed an eclectic musical taste and formed "a mutually useful but volatile" friendship with Frank Zappa, with whom he sporadically competed and collaborated. He began performing with his Captain Beefheart persona in 1964 and joined the original Magic Band line-up, initiated by Alexis Snouffer, in 1965. The group drew attention with their cover of Bo Diddley's "Diddy Wah Diddy", which became a regional hit. It was followed by their acclaimed debut album Safe As Milk, released in 1967 on Buddah Records. After being dropped by two consecutive record labels, they signed to Zappa's Straight Records. As producer, Zappa granted Beefheart the unrestrained artistic freedom in making 1969's Trout Mask Replica, ranked fifty-eighth in Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 1974, frustrated by lack of commercial success, he released two albums of more conventional rock music that were critically panned; this move, combined with not having been paid for a European tour, and years of enduring Beefheart's abusive behavior, led the entire band to quit. Beefheart eventually formed a new Magic Band with a group of younger musicians and regained contemporary approval through three final albums: Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (1978), Doc at the Radar Station (1980) and Ice Cream for Crow (1982).

Van Vliet has been described as "one of modern music's true innovators" with "a singular body of work virtually unrivalled in its daring and fluid creativity". Although he achieved little commercial or mainstream critical success, he sustained a cult following as a "highly significant" and "incalculable" influence on an array of New Wave, punk, post-punk, experimental and alternative rock musicians. Known for his enigmatic personality and relationship with the public, Van Vliet made few public appearances after his retirement from music (and from his Beefheart persona) in 1982. He pursued a career in art, an interest that originated in his childhood talent for sculpture. His expressionist paintings and drawings command high prices, and have been exhibited in art galleries and museums across the world. Van Vliet died in 2010 after many years of suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Among those who took notice were The Beatles. Both John Lennon and Paul McCartney were known as great admirers of Beefheart. Lennon displayed two of the album's promotional 'baby bumper stickers' in the sunroom at his home. Later, the Beatles planned to sign Beefheart to their experimental Zapple label (plans that were scrapped after Allen Klein took over the group's management). Van Vliet was often critical of the Beatles, however. He considered the lyric "I'd love to turn you on", from their song "A Day in the Life", to be ridiculous and conceited. Tiring of their "lullabies", he lampooned them with the Strictly Personal song "Beatle Bones 'n' Smokin' Stones", that featured the sardonic refrain of "strawberry fields, strawberry fields forever". It should also be noted that 'strawberry fields' could also be an oblique reference to a form of LSD circulating at the time. The album's five 'acid stamps' and first track "Ah Feel like Ahcid" may underline this, whilst 'Smokin' Stones' is probably a 'pro comment' on the contrasting rhythm and blues style of the Rolling Stones. Vliet spoke badly of Lennon after getting no response when he sent a telegram of support to him and wife Yoko Ono during their 1969 "Bed–In for peace". Van Vliet did meet McCartney in Cannes during the Magic Band's 1968 tour of Europe, though McCartney later claimed to have no recollection of this meeting.