Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Captain Beyond – Captain Beyond (US 1972)

Captain Beyond - Captain Beyond 

Capricorn – CP 0105 (AUS)

 

well, this one is pretty heavy stuff – i dont listen to it very often, mostly because i am more into psych and garage rather than heavy or hard rock, but on the plus side, the heaviness of such albums when listening to them doent ‘wear off’ as soon as if you listened to them all the time, and they still really shake your bones.
theres one interesting thing about this album and about this band, as their vocalist was rod evans, who was the singer of deep purple on their first three albums (which by the way are nothing like hard rock at all, interestingly).
 

Captain Beyond - Captain Beyond 

as i had been a great deep purple fan at the time, this is how i got to know this LP. while deep purple’s music became really heavy compared to their previous stuff, once evans had been replaced by ian gillan, and they started to define what we would eventually call hard rock, rod evans did the same thing in his new group captain beyond. no more covers of neil diamond or ike & tina turner (YES, deep purple did that. they covered a lot in their early days.), no more touching ballads (although i must admit i like ‘anthem’ a lot, for instance), but instead heavy prog rock like it became typical in the early to mid-70s; i would even call it space rock in some places, not only because of the fantasy/space-like theme they chose for their debut album. speaking of that theme, i must mention the cover art. personally, i find it a little trashy, but as i dont plan to put it on my wall as a giant poster thats ok, it still is a nice LP cover. the original US issue has a slightly different cover than my australian one, it has some ‘fancy’ 3D or cats-eye effects on it (see here), which makes it even more trashy than just the painted picture, so i deliberately chose a copy from a different country than where the band came from, to have a version of the cover i like better.
 

Captain Beyond - Captain Beyond 

 

A1 Dancing Madly Backwards (On a Sea of Air) 4:01
A2 Armworth 1:48
A3 Myopic Void 3:30
A4 Mesmerization Eclipse 3:48
A5 Raging River of Fear 3:47
     
B1 Thousand Days of Yesterdays (Intro) 1:19
B2 Frozen Over 3:46
B3 Thousand Days of Yesterdays (Time Since Come and Gone) 3:56
B4 I Can’t Feel Nothin’ (Part I) 3:06
B5 As The Moon Speaks (To The Waves of the Sea) 2:13
B6 Astral Lady 0:15
B7 As The Moon Speaks (Return) 2:13
B8 I Can’t Feel Nothin’ (Part II) 1:13

 

Captain Beyond - Captain Beyond 

theres no really quiet or slow number on this record (except for some short filler tracks) – most songs blend into one another so that the album is one continuous freak-ride through progressive space land. apart from rod evans the personnel of the band consisted of former members of iron butterfly, most notably larry reinhardt and lee dorman (unfortunately both deceased meanwhile.. theres no information like this about rod evans though, he seems to have disappeared from earths surface decades ago), and they did a pretty solid job in creating this goddamn masterpiece. they put out a second album a year later, called ‘sufficiently breathless’, but i dont like it very much; it lacks the fierce power and pace of the debut, and it has some latin influences i dont like at all (thats because i dont like latin music, not because they did something wrong with it).
 

Captain Beyond - Captain Beyond
 

Captain Beyond - Captain Beyond 

anyway, here are my two favourite tracks from the album – sorry for the dull sound quality of the videos, there were not many to choose from as the music is blocked in a lot of countries; you might need this to play them (worked for me at least). i must admit that i love rod evans’ deep and powerful voice (i would even say some deep purple numbers sounded better when he sang them than when ian gillan sang them), but thats just one facet of this awesome music:

 

 

 

 

 

in the likely case that you cannot see these videos, heres one with the full album which is working for me: youtube

 
this album has been rereleased numerous times, for instance this one, and theres a vinyl reissue out on tapestry. the original vinyls are also not very expensive and not very scarce, just look for them on ebay or discogs.

 
interesting links:
captain beyond on rateyourmusic
captain beyond on last.fm
 
 

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