After several years of inactivity and uninspired records, Captain Beefheart returned at the start of the '80s with one of his best albums. Some of the material had been kicking around inside Van Vliet's head for years. No matter -- 'Doc at the Radar Station' sounds great. 'Ashtray Heart' wraps 15 years of Beefheartian weirdness into three and a half minutes of tape loops, beat poetry, bluesy riffs, a jazz combo's impeccable timing and a vocal tic that Tom Waits would adapt within a couple of years. Totally wild and awesome.