The Weekly Music Thread Considers the One Before the One

Let’s discuss any and all music here. You’ve got a new artist who’s rocking your boat that you want to talk about? Post a video! Found out about that unearthed Coltrane album that has the jazz freak in you losing your mind? Lay it out for us! Do you have a theory about what your favorite band might do for their next album? Let’s hear it! Anything and everything music-related goes here.

This week’s discussion prompt is courtesy of the Avocado’s very own Apples:

apples WMT album prompt

What is the best album by an artist that came out before the one they’re most famous for?

beefheart don

When the name Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band comes up, the first album to get mentioned is almost inevitably Trout Mask Replica, the band’s third album from 1969. While TMR is a challenging, experimental, avant-garde, art rock masterpiece deserving of its reputation as one of the late century’s most imaginative, innovative and uncompromising works of art, it casts a huge shadow over the rest of Don Van Vliet’s musical output.

Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band’s 1967 debut Safe As Milk is a lot more conventional musically: a mix of blues, garage rock and psychedelic rock that is fairly typical for the era (though with plenty of hints of the less-travelled musical roads that Van Vliet and the band would take with subsequent works). It’s a strong album full of well-written, memorable songs and solid musicianship (including a young Ry Cooder on guitar), and the fact that it’s more accessible may well make it a better point of entry for new fans than the more famous and revered Trout Mask Replica.

As always, any and all music-related topics are welcome. Have fun, and rock out with yr guac out!