Originally released by Virgin Records in the UK (and Mercury Records in the USA) “Unconditionally Guaranteed” represents a fascinating pivot point within Beefheart’s recordings.
Known as he was for his more oblique amalgams of delta blues, avant-garde jazz and rock on albums such as “Trout Mask Replica” and “Clear Spot”, “Unconditionally Guaranteed” captures a musical moment when Beefheart deviates from that path and embarks on an exploration of more melodic soundscapes into which he continues to contribute his uniquely poetic lyrics delivered via his instantly recognizable vocals.
The 10 tracks on “Unconditionally Guaranteed” include a bevy of elliptical yet beautiful love songs such as “This is the Day” and the wonderful “Lazy Music” which is undoubtedly one of Beefheart’s most ravishing and mesmeric recordings. By contrast the album opener “Upon The My-O-My” is a great example of Beefheart and The Magic Band delivering their trademark, earthy take on rock at its very best.
On “Unconditionally Guaranteed” Beefheart is ably assisted by a fantastic line-up of the ever-changing Magic Band that includes key alumni such as Zoot Horn Rollo, Art Tripp, Rockette Morton and Alex Saint Claire. The album is produced by Andy Di Martino.
Unavailable on vinyl for over 20 years this Record Store Day 2021 reissue of “Unconditionally Guaranteed” will return this fantastic album to the vinyl racks where it should be.