No, this CD is not a »best of« collection, nor is it a collection of Friedemann's greatest hits. Here Friedemann, guitarist, composer and producer, looks back on a wide variety of memories from the past three decades of his career as a musician, without sinking into self-indulgent nostalgia or just rehashing old, well-known recordings. He has searched through his private tape archive and selected a few previously unreleased tracks to document his career and development as a musician from his first performance in 1967. He looked up some of his old fellow musicians such as Bonnie Dobson, Anne Haigis, Davic Moses or Klaus Weiland, and in 1996 he wrote and recorded a number of new tracks with them.
So titled because the original album, simply titled Bat Chain Puller, had to be ditched and rerecorded after a legal tuzzle involving Frank Zappa's manager, Shiny Beast turned out to be manna from heaven for those feeling Beefheart had lost his way on his two Mercury albums. Then again, what else could be assumed with a song titled "Tropical Hot Dog Night" that sounds like what happened when Beefheart encountered Miami disco and decided to make something of it?
The Mirror Man Sessions features the complete remastered contents of Mirror Man, albeit in a resequenced running order, and fills out the rest of the CD with a number of bonus tracks taken from additional recordings, both finished and unfinished, made around the same time for what would have been a double album titled It Comes to You in a Plain Brown Wrapper.