The third release from Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, Trout Mask Replica landed in 1969 on June 16th.
Recorded in Los Angeles the album contained their heady brew of signature sounds, blending blues rock with psychedelia, free jazz and more. Don Van Vliet roped in Frank Zappa to contribute to some of the narration and vocals adding to the over all surrealistic vibe of the set. According to documentation the album was not created in the greatest of circumstances with Beefheart running a complete artistic control over the musicians, often using ‘cult-like’ conditions for the band during practice periods running up to the record.
Constantly included in greatest album lists, it ranks highly among Rolling Stone and Mojo magazine and is a favourite of film director David Lynch, John Lydon and a big influence on the development of Tom Waits.
The cover depicts Don Van Vliet holding a carved out trout to his face, put together by Frank Zappa’s regular artistic collaborator Cal Schenkel who produced a majority of his classic sleeves in that period including Uncle Meat , Hot Rats and 200 Motels.