Saturday, September 7, 2019

Captain Beyond - 1972 [1997] "Captain Beyond" [Remastered]

Captain Beyond is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1971.

Captain Beyond is the self-titled debut album by Captain Beyond, released in 1972, featuring former members of Iron Butterfly, Deep Purple, Johnny Winter, and Rick Derringer. The album cover for the U.S. release included 3-D artwork (using lenticular printing). The album was dedicated to the memory of Duane Allman, who Captain Beyond drummer Bobby Caldwell had played with in an informal capacity.

Captain Beyond is unique among guitar-driven hard rock albums in that it contains a wide range of influences, including Latin and jazz, often with various time signatures and a broad range of dynamics within the same song. Most of the album consists of three medleys of tightly arranged interconnected songs. The first starts with "Dancing Madly Backwards (on a Sea of Air)" and ends with "Myopic Void". The second starts with "Thousand Days of Yesterdays (Intro)" and ends with "Thousand Days of Yesterdays (Time Since Come and Gone)". The third starts with "I Can't Feel Nothin' (Part 1)" and finishes the album. Songs flow directly into each other without any lag time between selections, a feature that is shared with other more progressive bands of the era such as Moody Blues and Jethro Tull.

All of the songwriting was credited to lead vocalist Rod Evans and drummer Bobby Caldwell. However, the songs were in fact written by the group as a whole. Due to their still binding contracts with Iron Butterfly, guitarist Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt and bassist Lee Dorman could not be listed as songwriters on this record for legal reasons.

What is it about Rod Evans ? He gets slated left, right and centre for the Tom Jones limitations in his voice, yet two of my favourite albums involve him, "Shades of Deep Purple" and this one. Perhaps he was just one of those guys that knew how to start something but couldn't sustain it because he was involved in two of heavy rock's greatest debut albums in my view.
This is a sizzling album, also featuring the mighty Bobby Caldwell {who later went on to do sterling drum work on Armageddon's first and only LP} knocking out some of the funkiest, jerkiest, heaviest most dynamic drumming in heavy rock. The two guys from Iron Butterfly that made up the group on guitar and bass {Rhino Reinhardt and Lee Dorman} are two hugely under rated players in the heavy rock ouvre.
As a unit Captain Beyond were pretty dynamic and wrote a series of superb songs. The songs on this album are packed with melody, loud guitars, wild yet controlled drums and sympathetic booming bass.

Captain Beyond is a one-of-a-kind progressive album with rock, heavy metal, and jazz influences with a "space rock" lyrical bend. Formed by former members of Deep Purple (Rod Evans, vocals), Iron Butterfly (Rhino, lead guitar, and Lee Dorman, bass), and Johnny Winter (Bobby Caldwell, drums) Captain Beyond is an album that flows from riff to riff, drumbeat to drumbeat, often with various time signatures within the same song. Taking a tip from the Moody Blues, songs flow directly into each other without benefit of any lag time between selections. Taken as a whole, the album is kind of a rush, as quick, riff-laden guitar lines predominate for a few songs before slowing down temporarily into a lull until the next takeoff. Lyrically, the album differentiates itself by exploring themes of the outer world and meanings of existence, often with references to the moon, sea, sun, and so on. Listeners may get the feeling of taking a journey to space in a rocket ship headed for destination unknown. Musically, the album is superior in all aspects. Rod Evans has a strong rock voice, Rhino plays an enormous amount of hook-laden guitar lines, and Lee Dorman plays complex basslines (for example, at the end of "As the Moon Speaks-Return") that lead to typically rhythmic, nimble Bobby Caldwell drumming. The tightness between musicians is enormous, never lets up for long, and leaves the listener feeling like the ride should continue for the indefinite future.

Track listing:

01.    "Dancing Madly Backwards (on a Sea of Air)"    4:02
02.    "Armworth"    1:48
03.    "Myopic Void"    3:31
04.    "Mesmerization Eclipse"    3:48
05.    "Raging River of Fear"    3:47
06.    "Thousand Days of Yesterdays (Intro)"    1:16
07.    "Frozen Over"    3:46
08.    "Thousand Days of Yesterdays (Time Since Come and Gone)"    3:57
09.    "I Can't Feel Nothin' (Part 1)"    3:06
10.    "As the Moon Speaks (to the Waves of the Sea)"    1:27
11.    "Astral Lady"    0:58
12.    "As the Moon Speaks (Return)"    1:57
13.    "I Can't Feel Nothin' (Part 2)"    1:46

Personnel:

    Rod Evans – lead vocals
    Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt – guitars
    Lee Dorman – bass guitar, backing vocals, piano
    Bobby Caldwell – drums, all percussion instruments (including bells and vibraphone), backing vocals, piano

5 comments:

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  2. Saved as a favorite, I like your web site!

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  3. Thanks. Look forward to follow up album "Sufficiently Breathless" if you've got it.

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