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Grow Fins: Rarities (1965-1982)

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Review

An unprecedented project in the rock field: a five-CD box set of unreleased material by a cult artist that never had anything close to a chart hit. Of course Captain Beefheart is the ultimate cult artist, and one with a following so rabid (if limited) that the compilation has a wider audience than many would anticipate. Despite the impressive chronological span and variety of demos, live performances, backing tracks, and outtakes, be cautioned that this is not a best-of or ad hoc career overview. A good deal of the tracks (some of which have long been available on bootleg) are of slightly substandard or low fidelity, and Beefheart's most significant work is ultimately contained on his numerous official releases. However, this is an important addition to his catalog, and one that many of his fanatics will find essential, though it won't do much to convert the casual fan due to the difficult nature of much of the material. Disc one, with live cuts and demos from 1966-67 that include a few songs recorded on Safe as Milk, is certainly the most interesting and accessible of the quintet. Disc two is more shambling and experimental, with its assortment of 1968 live performances. Disc three is for the hardcore: home-recorded (though in okay fidelity) run-throughs of Trout Mask Replica material from 1969, without vocals. Disc four is for the harder core: 12 more minutes of Trout Mask home sessions, plus enhanced-CD live performance footage from 1968-73. CD five is an interesting, erratic assortment of live, radio, demo, and work tape material from 1969-82, fidelity varying from good to poor. The liner notes are exceptionally detailed, with many first-hand quotes by band members and much historical narrative by frequent Magic Band drummer John French. ~ Richie Unterberger
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Obeah Man [Demo] Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2:47
  3. 2 Just Got Back From the City [Demo] Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 1:53
  4. 3 I'm Glad [Demo] Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 3:43
  5. 4 Triple Combination [Demo] Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2:48
  6. 5 Here I Am I Always Am [Demo] Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 3:14
  7. 6 Here I Am I Always Am [Demo] Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2:32
  8. 7 Somebody in My Home Captain Beefheart 2:46
  9. 8 Tupelo Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 4:8
  10. 9 Evil Is Going On Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2:33
  11. 10 Old Folks Boogie Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 3:4
  12. 11 Call on Me [Demo] Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 3:1
  13. 12 Sure Nuff N Yes I Do [Demo] Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2:8
  14. 13 Yellow Brick Road [Demo] Captain Beefheart 1:36
  15. 14 Plastic Factory [Demo] Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2:51
  16. 1 Electricity Captain Beefheart 3:42
  17. 2 Sure Nuff N Yes I Do Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2:57
  18. 3 Rollin N Tumblin Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 11:8
  19. 4 Electricity Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 3:54
  20. 5 Yer Gonna Need Somebody on Yer Bond Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 6:25
  21. 6 Kandy Korn Captain Beefheart 4:20
  22. 7 Korn Ring Finger [Demo] Captain Beefheart 7:22
  23. 1 Untitled 1 Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 4:58
  24. 2 Untitled 2 Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 8:18
  25. 3 Hair Pie: Bake 1 Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 5:4
  26. 4 Hair Pie: Bake 2 Captain Beefheart 2:44
  27. 5 Untitled 5 Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 1:3
  28. 6 Hobo Chang Ba Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2:1
  29. 7 Untitled 7 Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 1:56
  30. 8 Hobo Chang Ba [take 2] Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 3:8
  31. 9 Dachau Blues Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2:5
  32. 10 Old Fart at Play Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 1:22
  33. 11 Untitled 11 Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 1:0
  34. 12 Pachuco Cadaver Captain Beefheart 4:7
  35. 13 Sugar 'N Spikes Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2:39
  36. 14 Untitled 14 Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 0:59
  37. 15 Sweet Sweet Bulbs Captain Beefheart 2:30
  38. 16 Frownland [take 1] Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2:50
  39. 17 Frownland Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 1:51
  40. 18 Untitled 18 Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 1:9
  41. 19 Ella Guru Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2:31
  42. 20 Untitled 20 Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 0:7
  43. 21 She's Too Much For My Mirror Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 1:29
  44. 22 Untitled 22 Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 0:34
  45. 23 Steal Softly Through Snow Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2:21
  46. 24 Untitled 24 Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 1:52
  47. 25 My Human Gets Me Blues Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2:53
  48. 26 Untitled 26 Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 1:5
  49. 27 When Big Joan Sets Up Captain Beefheart 4:31
  50. 28 Untitled 28 Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 0:4
  51. 29 Untitled 29 Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 0:55
  52. 30 China Pig Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 4:13
  53. 1 "Blimp" Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 5:9
  54. 2 "Herb" Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 1:7
  55. 3 "Septic Tank" Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 0:51
  56. 4 "Overdub" Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 5:26
  57. 1 My Human Gets Me Blues Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 3:54
  58. 2 When Big Joan Sets Up Captain Beefheart 6:13
  59. 3 Woe Is Uh Me Bop Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2:47
  60. 4 Bellerin' Plain Captain Beefheart 3:23
  61. 5 Black Snake Moan I Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 1:1
  62. 6 Grow Fins Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 5:9
  63. 7 Black Snake Moan II Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 1:50
  64. 8 Spitball Scalped Uh Baby Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 9:12
  65. 9 Harp Boogie I Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 1:32
  66. 10 One Red Rose That I Mean Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 1:44
  67. 11 Harp Boogie II Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 0:52
  68. 12 Natchez Burning Captain Beefheart 0:42
  69. 13 Harp Boogie III Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 0:50
  70. 14 Click Clack Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2:49
  71. 15 Orange Claw Hammer Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 4:36
  72. 16 Odd Jobs [Demo] Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 5:10
  73. 17 Odd Jobs [Demo] Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 5:9
  74. 18 Vampire Suite Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 3:45
  75. 19 Mellotron Improv Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 1:21
  76. 20 Evening Bell Captain Beefheart 0:54
  77. 21 Evening Bell Captain Beefheart 2:15
  78. 22 Mellotron Improv Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band 2:19
  79. 23 Flavor Bud Living Captain Beefheart 1:14

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