Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band was inducted into the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry in 2010, nearly 40 years after its release. The album has been widely cited by artists of all kinds as a shining point of creativity and original thought.
It is also very hard to listen to.
Its complex polyrhythms and discordant motifs sound improvised by a child. That might be because Don Van Vliet — who used Captain Beefheart as his stage name — composed them on an instrument he did not know how to play. But every sound and riff you hear on the album was arduously rehearsed over the course of a year by a group of young musicians who were remarkable in their own right.
Samuel Andreyev and Susan Rogers join me on episode six of Vox Pop's Earworm to break down why this album is such a masterpiece, and why its crazy sounds have impacted so many musicians since its release.