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After recording Bongo Fury with Frank Zappa, Don Van Vliet formed a new Magic Band and began recording a new album, Bat Chain Puller, for DiscReet and Virgin Records. Herb Cohen, DiscReet's cofounder and Zappa's business manager, paid for the album's production costs with Zappa's royalty checks, leading Zappa to end his business partnership with Cohen. Cohen and Zappa each demanded to be paid an advance by Virgin, leading Zappa to withhold the master tapes, for which Cohen sued him.
Due to the lawsuit, Van Vliet rerecorded four Bat Chain Puller tracks for Warner Bros: "The Floppy Boot Stomp", "Bat Chain Puller", "Harry Irene" and "Owed T'Alex". The Bat Chain Puller outtake "Candle Mambo" was also rerecorded for the album, as were older unused songs "Ice Rose" (a Strictly Personal outtake formerly known as "Big Black Baby Shoes") and "Suction Prints" (a Clear Spot outtake known as "Pompadour Swamp", no relation to the later song of that name). Four new songs completed the album, these being "You Know You're A Man", "When I See Mommy I Feel Like A Mummy", "Love Lies" and "Tropical Hot Dog Night", the latter being based on a riff of the Bat Chain Puller song "Odd Jobs", which was otherwise not rerecorded. The album was completed with "Apes-Ma", which is the same recording on both versions, due to being sourced from Van Vliet's own home recording. The result was released as Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller). Versions of "Run Paint Run Run" and "The Witch Doctor Life" were attempted during the sessions but not used (they have been bootlegged). They would be finished for Doc at the Radar Station and Ice Cream for Crow respectively.
There was no chart action for this record.
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