My Top 1000 Songs #202: Sufficiently Breathless

Here's another one from the "unexpectedly great songs from artists I don't otherwise care for" file. Captain Beyond's 1973 sophomore LP Sufficiently Breathless was a mix of prog and harder 70s rock, shades of both Yes and Styx. It's not bad, and a few songs are interesting, but also not terribly memorable. 

But the title track is another story. It's a blissed-out, elongated tune with a pastoral, slightly folkie acoustic open-string tuning, pleasant and wistful, coupled with a distinctive riff, some pretty harmonies, and a fantastic Floyd-like spaced-out jam in the middle. Sounds more jam-band-tinged psychedelia than prog, perfect for drifting off with a pair of headphones. (Led Zeppelin's "Going To California" may be a decent comparison.)

It's also one of those songs I found so striking on first listen I can still visualize it. I was on break from law school around 1989 or so, visiting my folks in suburban Chicago, and it came on in my car. It sounded amazing, one of those great lost tracks that preceded my discovery of rock music in the mid-70s and evaded my forays through rock history once I started exploring. And then it was gone again--the record was out of print and I couldn't track it down. Years later I was finally able to pick up the CD and re-acquaint myself with the song, finding it still magical.

Live version from a reunited band in 2013: