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Music / Unconditionally Guaranteed

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A "new electric ride" with "lazy music".

Unconditionally Guaranteed is a 1974 album by Captain Beefheart, which provided a Lighter and Softer sound than his usual Avant-garde Music exploits. Beefheart hoped that this would improve his poor sales. Unfortunately the record proved to be the low point of his entire career. His band members were so horrified when they heard the slick Rock sound with its uninspired lyrics that they all quit. They too were desperate for success, but this total Sell-Out was not something they wished to be associated with. To make matters worse Unconditionally Guaranteed failed to become a bestseller, was destroyed by critics and even alienated his loyal fans. Together with Bluejeans & Moonbeams (1974) its generally seen as Beefheart's weakest album and many Beefheart afficionados ignore both albums ever happened. Even Beefheart himself would later perceive both records as an Old Shame and advised everybody who bought them to go to the store and ask for their money back.


Despite bad reviews most listeners will probably have the opinion it is rather So Okay, It's Average than truly awful.


Side One

  1. "Upon the My-O-My" (2:43)
  2. "Sugar Bowl" (2:13)
  3. "New Electric Ride" (3:02)
  4. "Magic Be" (2:55)
  5. "Happy Love Song" (3:54)

Side Two

  1. "Full Moon, Hot Sun" (2:19)
  2. "I Got Love On My Mind" (3:08)
  3. "This Is The Day" (4:51)
  4. "Lazy Music"" (2:49)
  5. "Peaches" (3:20)


  • Captain Beefheart: vocals, harmonica
  • Alex St. Clair: guitar
  • Bull "Zoot Horn Rollo" Harkleroad: guitar, glass finger guitar
  • Mark "Rockette Morton" Boston: bass
  • Art Tripp: drums, percussion
  • Mark Marcellino: keyboards
  • Andy DiMartino: acoustic guitar
  • Del Simmons: tenor sax, flute


Unconditionally Guaranteed Tropes

  • Covers Always Lie: Despite Beefheart's unconditional guarantee that this record will be "100% pure and good" it disappointed many long time fans.
  • Face on the Cover: Beefheart grinning while holding money in his hands.
  • Lighter and Softer: This is the most easy listening Beefheart ever sounded.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: "Sugar Bowl" about children who love to eat sugar from a bowl. "Full Moon, Hot Sun" about the sun and moon. "Peaches", the one true exciting song on the entire album, and its about a woman throwing down peaches from a tree or a methaphorical Unrequited Love song.
  • Naughty Is Good: "Sugar Bowl"
    They know they're being naughty, but they love that sugar bowl.
  • New Sound Album: Beefheart changed his image from wearing a goatee to a moustache instead. The music is pure, uncomplicated Rock and lacks any Word Salad Lyrics.
  • Non-Appearing Title: The album title is not mentioned in any of the songs.
  • One-Word Title: "Peaches".
  • Packaged as Other Medium: The album cover has the look of an advertisement.
  • Record Producer: Andy DiMartino.
  • Rock: This album sounds like typical early 1970s rock.
  • Sell-Out: Beefheart provides this image on the album cover, where we can see him holding several dollars in his hand. He also defended himself against the perception that he was a Sell-Out with the immortal line:
    I have a right to win a Grammy!
  • Silly Love Songs: "Magic Be", "Happy Love Song", "I Got Love On My Mind", "This Is The Day" and "Lazy Music".
  • Solar and Lunar: "Full Moon, Hot Sun"
    Full moon, hot sun
    Enough to make a good girl run
    Get in the shade of the burning hot sun
    Better hide, baby, before the full moon come
  • The Something Song: "Happy Love Song".
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: The love songs show that Beefheart could be romantic.
  • Unrequited Love: "Peaches"
    I know you see me standing under that tree
    As long as you got so many peaches
    Why don't you throw one down to me?
    If I was a cherry red bird
    I'll fly up and take you along with me


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