The Lost In Rock And Heavy Metal: Captain Beyond

Written by: AndMetalForAll
Published: 03.02.2012
This series of articles will present a number of bands that throughout the history of rock and heavy metal disappeared after a promising start, giving great importance to the main albums that helped these bands in having their "fifteen minutes of fame". The first band is Captain Beyond who, after releasing three albums in the 70s, disbanded several times with different band formations.

The beginning of Captain Beyond was actually quite promising and some of the band members were already known to the public. It formed in Los Angeles in 1972 by former members of other prominent groups, the band was composed by singer Rod Evans that had been with Deep Purple; drummer Bobby Caldwell had worked with Johnny Winter; and guitarists Larry Rheinhart and Lee Dorman had been in Iron Butterfly. This was the first formation of this progressive, heavy and hard rock group. The first album of this very promising band is entitled Captain Beyond and was released via Southern Rock label Capricorn in 1972. Captain Beyond was, in my opinion, the best album of the band.


Original Lineup


The main feature of this group was the top-notch voice of Rod Evans who was the lead vocalist in Deep Purple's first three albums. Technically excellent and exquisite, Rod Evans made his mark in rock history in late 60's and most of the 70's. After Captain Beyond, Rod tried to return to the spotlight with the formation of the fake Deep Purple, touring with unknown session musicians. Actually, this event provoked several riots by the Deep Purple fans that expected to see the real Deep Purple. This event lead to the disappearance of Rod Evans from the world of music, the last known fact of this great singer is that he entered in the medical profession and was practicing in the US city of San Francisco from the early 1980s onwards. Most of the rest of the members that were in the band in the different formations continued in the world of music, connected or not to the rock style. Instrumentally, this band was very good; their guitar player Larry Rheinhart was technically very solid and actually quite a look-alike with the master Ritchie Blackmore, founder of Rainbow and Deep Purple. Larry unfortunately didn't have the same technique but was still a very solid guitar player. The drummer was very progressive, in my opinion he was very innovative and that can be seen in the band's first album. Lee Dorman, the bass player, had a solid style and most of the first album's success is due to his technical remarks.


To provide a better perception about the band's work, Captain Beyond is very progressive. Filled with several progressive and psychedelic rock features, although it has thirteen tracks in the track list, in reality it only has five tracks with tracks 1-3, 6-8 and 9-13 segueing together. All songs are written by Rod Evans and Bobby Caldwell. Technically very good, with great riffs and solos, good lyrics and great performance by the band members. Like I said above, most songs are pretty crazy and psychedelic… transmitting the vibes and spirit typical from the 70s decade with the "peace and love" motto. The accompanying with rock inspiration brought by Rod Evans, Larry Rheinhart and Lee Dorman put this on another level, more hard-rock, psychedelic and in my opinion very progressive… sometimes in the style of Pink Floyd. Captain Beyond is my favorite album, although the following two weren't bad at all, the 1972 release is definitely of the chart.

Captain Beyond track list:

Side one
1. "Dancing Madly Backwards (On a Sea of Air)" - 4:01
2. "Armworth" - 1:48
3. "Myopic Void" - 3:30
4. "Mesmerization Eclipse" - 3:48
5. "Raging River of Fear" - 3:47

Artwork of Captain Beyond

Side two
6. "Thousand Days of Yesterdays (Intro)" - 1:19
7. "Frozen Over" - 3:46
8. "Thousand Days of Yesterdays (Time Since Come and Gone)" - 3:56
9. "I Can't Feel Nothin' (Part 1)" - 3:06
10. "As the Moon Speaks (To the Waves of the Sea)" - 2:25
11. "Astral Lady" - 0:16
12. "As the Moon Speaks (Return) - 2:13
13. "I Can't Feel Nothin' (Part 2)" - 1:13

In 1973 and 1977, Sufficiently Breathless and Dawn Explosion respectively, were released. The 1973 record was quite different with more jazz oriented style, mixing rock and jazz. Bobby Caldwell was replaced by Marty Rodriguez. In Dawn Explosion, Captain Beyond returned to their roots with a more progressive, psychedelic and hard-rock oriented album, this one being more accepted by most of the fans. Rod Evans was no longer present in this 1977 release being replaced by Willy Daffern.

Reinhardt and Caldwell reformed Captain Beyond in 1998 with Jimi Interval on vocals, Dan Frye on keyboards, and Jeff Artabasy on bass. Since then they have been performing at shows and have released a four track EP, but disbanded in 2003.

Captain Beyond is in my opinion a great band. It is unfortunate that they weren't able to pick the right opportunities in order to stay in the spotlight a bit longer than they were.




Check out the band live in 1972:






Hope this article can help the readers to extend their taste to some of the good rarities the music world has to offer.


 
Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.




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AndMetalForAll - 03.02.2012 at 13:56  
Really amazing band...
BestaVermelha - 12.02.2012 at 18:26  
Just finished listening to their debut, self titled album.
In my opinion one of the best albums from all time, i don´t get why this one is forgotten while "In The Court Of The Crimson King" seems to get a lot of recognition. They're both great! And probably this guys owe a lot to King Crimson.
Next you probably should try "The Lost In... Sir Lord Baltimore".
Urs Blank - 12.02.2012 at 18:51  
Amazing album, unfairly ignored by so many. The following album just failed to match this quality and inspiration though. Otherwise I would have probably consider them among the prog rock legends.
AndMetalForAll - 12.02.2012 at 23:08  
Written by Urs Blank on 12.02.2012 at 18:51

Amazing album, unfairly ignored by so many. The following album just failed to match this quality and inspiration though. Otherwise I would have probably consider them among the prog rock legends.


Certainly, they failed because of many factors and are in my opinion one of the top bands that are forgotten...that's why i wrote about them. The second album is different from the first but is still an impressive piece of work. Tough luck they didn't had the right commercial success but we have to remember other styles were arising, other bands were gaining reputation and this band suffered from this factors, also lack of publicity..although the band members were incredible in their talent and had been in other known bands.

greets,
AndMetalForAll
AndMetalForAll - 12.02.2012 at 23:12  
Written by Guest on 12.02.2012 at 18:26

Just finished listening to their debut, self titled album.
In my opinion one of the best albums from all time, i don´t get why this one is forgotten while "In The Court Of The Crimson King" seems to get a lot of recognition. They're both great! And probably this guys owe a lot to King Crimson.
Next you probably should try "The Lost In... Sir Lord Baltimore".


King Crimson's album is amazing and is definitely an inspiration for Captain Beyond..If you liked this album, the 1973 and 1977 releases are pretty good. Although both albums are different than the first like i said in the article, both albums are still very good and very important in order to know the band a little better.

greets,
AndMetalForAll
AndMetalForAll - 09.03.2013 at 15:03  
Captain Beyond - Captain Beyond (full album)

Captain Beyond - Sufficiently Breathless (full album)

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