Zappa, Beefheart and Co. ask the listener to take the ultimate leap of faith: to accept the validity of their every musical move. And a hearty leap it is. Beefheart’s meandering musings usually have all the continuity of a random sample. Though technically stellar, the music isn’t much better, segueing in and out of conflicting moods with all the subtlety of a brick wall. The net result is a disjointed, jarring package of seemingly off-the-wall musings that I’m afraid most listeners will not be able to deal with; Bongo Fury is so conceptually jumbled that it seems impossible for it to sustain listener interest for anything but the briefest periods of time.
In a year that’s seen the release of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music it would be difficult to call Bongo Fury 1975’s worst LP, but….