The mid-’70s is known by most Beefheart fans to be the creative nadir of the man’s output. While it’s true that the two albums from this period (“Bluejeans and Moonbeams” and “Unconditionally Guaranteed”) aren’t smokin’ hot, cost and are in fact a boring letdown, patient the live performances from this period are incredible. Dunno who the sidemen were, but they knew exactly what they were doing, and how to compliment the Captain’s aesthetic. If this band had been behind him for “Trout Mask Replica”, it might’ve made that album listenable for me.
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band – Live In Brussles ’74 (ZIP file)
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band – London 1974 (ZIP file)
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band – Crazy Little Things: Live At Cowtown ’74 (ZIP file)