Captain Beefheart: The original Bat Chain Puller

The original Bat Chain Puller

Last week, Frank Zappa’s record label quietly released Captain Beefheart’s original recording of Bat Chain Puller (1976). Bootleg versions of the album’s rough mix have circulated for a long time. The mixing and mastering on the new official release are outstanding. Different versions of some of these tracks were included on Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (1978), which has always been one of my favorite later period Beefheart albums. Different versions of a few songs also ended up on Doc at the Radar Station (1980), and Ice Cream for Crow (1982). But the original tracks sat unmixed and unmastered for 36 years. The CD includes the 12 original songs plus 3 bonus tracks, and liner notes by Magic Band members John French and Denny Walley. Currently this disc is only available from Zappa.com. More info on the release at the Captain Beefheart Radar Station. Many thanks to my friend Steve for the gift! And rest in peace, Captain.

3 thoughts on “Captain Beefheart: The original Bat Chain Puller

  1. I have one of those bootlegs (“Dust Sucker”). I’m interested to hear more polished mixes of those songs. Even so, I doubt the earlier version of the title song will bump the Shiny Beast version off the pedestal it currently occupies in my mind’s gallery of faves.

    • Djll – You will be blown away by the quality of the official release vs. bootlegs like Dust Sucker. I agree that nothing is gonna bump Shiny Beast off the pedestal, but the original recordings are good enough in some cases to share the pedestal.

  2. I agree–this album is like an awesome BONUS! Just wrote about it too on my music blog. They need to work on wider distribution or this one’ll end up like Lick My Decals Off…have a good one!

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