I had never heard of Captain Beyond until earlier this year while listening to the "Tell ‘em Steve Dave" podcast. Co host Walt Flanagan had mentioned that he had come across this band from the 70’s that he’d never heard of. He was legitimately shocked he’d never heard of Captain Beyond and he really loved their self titled debut album. He bought strictly off of an iTunes or Amazon recommendation, so I went out and bought it strictly off of his recommendation and he was right, it was bad ass.
The original line up of Captain Beyond featured Rod Evans formerly of Deep Purple (he sang on the song "Hush"). Rod became famous for going on tour as Deep Purple even though he didn’t own rights to the band. According to Wikipedia every show ended in a near riot. Evans was sued by Deep Purple and as a result no longer receives royalties.
Almost a week after I had bought the Captain Beyond debut album I got an email informing me about a new release from Captain Beyond, a live album from a performance back in 1973. The album is called "Live in Texas, October 6th, 1973." Fans will argue over live albums until the end of time. I love live music. There’s something more honest about a live performance than a studio performance. You can’t hide on stage as much as you can in the studio. I love the imperfections.
With an album like "Kiss Alive" you know they went back into the studios and fixed the mistakes and made the crowd more impressive. Then you have a live album like Aerosmith’s "Live Bootleg" that is much more honest and includes every little flaw, but that gives the album a personality and is what makes it my favorite live album of all time. Captain Beyond’s "Live in Texas" is the truest live album that I’ve ever heard.
The album sounds like somebody recorded it with a recorder in the back of the venue. It sounds so terrible that it is amazing. You can’t make out everything, some instruments are louder than others, there is a twelve minute drum solo that sounds so distorted that it just sounds like noise. It makes no sense. That’s what is so awesome about this album. Captain Beyond doesn’t exist anymore and at least two members of the band have passed away. I can’t think of very many bands that would have the courage to release something this vulnerable, something this raw. Captain Beyond’s "Live in Texas – October 6th, 1973" is the most courageous, most honest, truest live album ever released. Listening to the album is an experience for those of us that truly love live music.
BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at email@example.com.