Third Man Records Vault #36 Trout Mask Replica Review
Third Man Records Vault delivers an exclusive 12″ and 7″ vinyl + a bonus item every quarter. On top of that, there a lot of other perks including live streams of events, pre-sale opportunities, shop access, and chat room access with Jack White and Third Man Employees.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Third Man Records Vault
The Subscription Box: Third Man Records Vault
The Cost: $60 per quarter (There’s a $20 option as well, but that doesn’t include the 12″ vinyl record)
The Products: A quarterly Vault package which includes a 12” record, a 7” record, and a bonus item.
Ships to: Worldwide!
Third Man Records Vault #36 Review
Vault package #36 is fully focused on Don Van Vliet, AKA Captain Beefheart and one of his best works: Trout Mask Replica. Third Man Records pulled out all the stops, as usual, with this month’s vault: remastered music, original artwork, exclusive bonus items, the works. Let’s dig in!
They include a card every month detailing all the items.
The first item and obvious hero this month is this brand new edition of Trout Mask Replica, by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band. This is the first time the album has been pressed on the Bizarre imprint since 1970 and is a full remaster from the original tapes and was, of course, pressed at Third Man’s plant in Detroit. Third Man dug deep and found the original photo for the cover – the first time it’s been used since the original pressing in 1969. It’s pressed on 180g “fruitcake fish-scale colored” vinyl, which looks so cool. It sounds absolutely gorgeous, though this album has never really clicked for me personally. I want to like it, I know it’s a masterpiece and I learned a lot about the making of the album while researching this package, but even after 3 listens through it hasn’t grabbed me yet.
Packaged within the LP sleeve is this 7” single of Pachuco Cadaver b/w Wild Life – originally released only in France. This is the first time the single has ever been repressed, and this time it’s on a stark white piece of vinyl. I was surprised to see this stuffed into the LP sleeve as TMR usually goes out of their way to prevent warpage, but neither of my LP discs were affected so no harm done.
Included in the package is this absurd “Replica Trout Mask” on heavy cardstock, allowing you to march around like the Captain on the cover while listening to the album or just going about your day. It has some tiny holes around the eyes, and it looks like it was created by mirroring the original photo.
We also get this canvas patch printed with the cover art. It’s about 2.5” in diameter.
Everything in this month’s vault came packed within this canvas tote featuring a hand drawn version of the cover art from Trout Mask Replica. The shuttlecock has fallen from the captain’s hat, and he’s saying “Fast and Bulbous!” – a nod to the opening of Pachuco Cadaver. It’s a pretty standard tote otherwise – you may notice a few double-takes when you bring this to the grocery store.
Finally this month we get another broadside print featuring Jack White’s personal epitaph to Don Van Vliet, published in Mojo Magazine a few months after Don’s passing. The poem is printed in ombre from blue to gold on shiny red paper, similar to the broadsides featured in Vault 35. Subscribers will receive it on blue, purple, orange, yellow, red or gray papers.
Verdict: The 36th Third Man Records Vault was well executed and an ideal package for any fan of the dense, jazzy masterpiece that is Trout Mask Replica. I love how dedicated TMR is on all their projects. This vault really goes above and beyond – from working with the Zappa Family Trust to ensure the highest quality possible in all aspects of the release, to providing extra little details that make the package feel truly special to Beefheart superfans. Check out all the past Vault releases to get a sense of what you could expect for future releases!
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, but order by today, 7/31 to receive Vault 37.
Check out all of our Third Man Records Vault reviews and the Vinyl Subscription Boxes in the Subscription Box List. Rate, review, and follow this subscription on the Third Man Records Vault profile page.
What did you think of the 36th Third Man Records Vault?