Trout Mask Replica manages to be both one of the weirdest and most important records ever. Perpetual champion of the underground John Peel said "If there has been anything in the history of popular music which could be described as a work of art in a way that people who are involved in other areas of art would understand, then Trout Mask Replica is probably that work.” Okay, then why on earth has it been out of print for a decade? (No, you can’t stream it either). There was that version that came out as part of the Third Man Vault Subscription, but good luck getting someone to give up their copy. Thankfully, 2019 saw the rebirth of Frank Zappa’s Bizarre imprint, and this album was a great place to start. Mr. Beefheart (aka Don Van Villet) leads a surrealist orchestra that digs deep into nearly every form of popular (and unpopular) music. The audio is from the 2012 remaster, and in the words of Third Man, “…Every twisted guitar figure uncurls onto paths previously unpaved. Every last bark and howl shines resolute through the vast emptiness of your mind.” The artwork has been given new life as well, scanned from the original photographs after decades of CDs clad in blurry, nth generation scans. This record is pressed on double heavyweight black vinyl and includes a tri-fold insert.
- 180g black double vinyl pressing
- packaged in high quality replica gatefold jacket, includes printed tri-fold insert
- remastered by Bob Ludwig (Gateway Mastering), cut by Chris Bellman (Grindman Mastering)
- original release year: 1969
- music label: Third Man Records 2019
reviewed by Valley Boy 05/2019