After a brief retirement from the mid- to late-'70s (during which time Van Vliet devoted himself to painting), Captain Beefheart (a.k.a. Don Van Vliet) brought together a solid new Magic Band to record SHINY BEAST. The original tapes were recorded by Frank Zappa, but have never been released (the parenthetical part of the album's name was its original title). SHINY BEAST is the re-recorded 1979 release. It marked the beginning of a solid three-album return for the Captain. DOC AT THE RADAR STATION and ICE CREAM FOR CROW followed before Beefheart finally stopped music for good, concentrating solely on his visual art (and ultimately finding a measure of financial success that eluded him in music). This may be one of the easier entry points for anyone daunted by the gorgeously dense complexities of his early classics. It's all here: the bluesiness, the verbal wordplay, the ecological concerns, the whole shimmeringly rhythmic onslaught that is the Magic Band.