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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is lick my face off music for only the most hardcore, 30 Jan 2009
By 
A. Weaver "Thing Witch" (Somewhere in England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lick My Decals Off Baby (Audio CD)
Lick My Decals Off, Baby (lets shorten it to Lick) came one year after the groundbreaking Trout Mask Replica (TMR) and follows that album about as much as it leads the listener away from it. This is quite hard to explain but Lick does and does not sound like TMR. The songs are shorter overall, as is the album at only thirty nine minutes compared to TMR's seventy nine minutes, and the fifteen songs are in general more polished than what's on TMR. They have a greater sense of structure to them, though don't take that to mean they've all got versus and choruses. A lot of the draw of this album is that The Magic Band took what worked well on TMR and honed it to a finer degree, trimming away anything that wasn't absolutely essential. Personally I still prefer TMR to Lick but this is an extremely close second. There isn't a single bad track on the album and a lot of the songs are much better than the bulk of TMR. But it just doesn't have the same impact as TMR in terms of feeling like you just entered another universe, which obviously no other album could emulate, or should attempt to for that matter, and I guess that's why I still prefer that album to Lick.

It opens up with the title track, a song that is both instantly catchy (a lot of this album could be said to be catchy) and fantastically strange. `Lick My Decals Off, Baby' is a wholehearted cry to let go of the decals - or labels - of society and embrace an unrestrained way of living and the power of sexuality. The captain sings `I wanna lick you everywhere it's pink n everywhere you think' in a low glassy voice that's just freaking lush. His lyrics on Lick are as unrestrained and humerous as ever. Later on the album, during the song `I wanna find me a woman that'll hold my big toe till I have to go' (great title) he sings beautifully about a yearning to find a companion in life and be around nature till he dies. A fair few of the songs on Lick talk about love and sexuality, though the vast majority deal with themes of enviromentalism.

There are three instrumental songs here, with `Peon' being my favourite, though it took a couple of listens for it to click with me. `Peon' is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written, a duet between guitar and bass that takes the listener on a journey (for me anyway) through old wild west towns and a lost American way of life, evoking the hard lot of Peons before and after the civil war. According to Beefheart it's a love song to his wife, Jan, but whatever. The last track on the album, `Flash Gordon's Ape' is probably the most intense piece of music captain Beefheart ever wrote in his life. Like big band free jazz numbers there are numerous instruments playing at once, including multiple saxophones, clarinets and horns, along with the usual guitars, bass and drums, as well as rocking marimba solo. The left speaker plays one song, all jazz, while the right speaker plays another, rock as Beefheart knew it. This resulting mix, not forgetting of course Beefheart singing straight down the middle, parting the sea as it were, makes for incredibly tough but rewarding listening. As far as I can tell the song is about modern life, evolution, and the human race growing more technologically powerful before we should. Beefheart sings `Take to your trees, there's no escape, the leaves are getting faker everyday, Flash Gordon's ape your too day'. It's wonderful and almost certain to clear the room of everyone but the most musically adventurous. Though at times i do wish the guitar and bass parts on the album were a little louder.

Lick isn't actually available to buy on CD, unless that is you are willing to pay over a hundred pounds for a new copy on Amazon marketplace, so you'll have to do what I and most other people have done, and that's download it free off the internet. Don't feel bad about it though, if it was available to purchase on CD we all would. This album is stunning, one of the greatest ever made, and should be heard by everyone. Go download it right now, it'll take no more than five minutes.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eccentric and ingenious classic, 1 Mar 2005
By 
Patrik Lemberg (Tammisaari Finland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lick My Decals Off Baby (Audio CD)
My favorite Captain Beefheart recording. Yes, I like it better than its precursor Trout Mask Replica, even though the latter is known as THE Beefheart album, and even though there's no reason to compare the two.
Listening to the Captain you can't do without either of the above mentioned though. Trout Mask Replica (recorded and produced by Frank Zappa) was revolutionary in its day, but Lick My Decals Off Baby is more concrete and rhythmically together (though highly exceptional). Nothing like this has been done prior to or since its release in 1970 - not even by the Magic Band. There's no point in (and not enough space for) trying to describe the album track by track since you won't be able to get even a slight comprehension of what it's all about without having listened through it all at least ONCE. Having listened through the album close to 50 times now, it's quite obvious that this band has been strictly led - musically more so than for the Trout Mask album (and yes - I am familiar with the circumstances of rehearsal and recording for that album).
Lick My Decals Off Baby contains genius ideas rhythmically, melodically and harmonically. There are three instrumental tracks, two of which are performed on only guitar. The famous "stereo-guitars" on this album are used together in ways that two guitars hadn't much played together before - basically all instruments play seemingly "odd" parts considering what they're "supposed" to do (or at least what they were supposed to do 35 years ago), allowing a result of a very individual groove - unlike anything you've heard by a band without Magic. The album also contains a great amount of marimba, which gives the sound a fresh flavour and, at dominating levels, a great kick.
Incidentally Captain Beefheart was the first person to ever make a music video, and he did so in 1970 with the title track to this album.
Unfortunately, unlike any other Beefheart recording at the moment, this one is--and has been for a long time--out of print. What's happened since no one's released it is that people are now selling USED copies of a 15 year old CD edition for 75!
Naturally, and in lack of patience, people are going to download this music from other people's PC's via the internet, since there's no other alternative at the moment...I mean, you have to be QUITE sure that you want this album if you're going to spend 75 on a used copy.
Would someone PLEASE re-release an edition of this ingenious avant-garde classic!
The latest CD edition of this album was released in Japan (with Japanese liner notes) in 1993.
...considering the HUGE amount of money that is thrown away on the same old CRAP (music as far from revolutionary it nowadays can get) in the production industry of popular music today, it's quite shocking that this title isn't being offered anywhere in the world. Especially so since all the other Beefheart titles sell well worldwide, and people are waiting in line for a chance to buy this one too...
My advice to anyone is: get a hold of this music any way you can until it's available in stores - this music will develop a sixth sense for you.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-release this stunning classic now!, 4 Aug 2005
This review is from: Lick My Decals Off Baby (Audio CD)
"Lick" is the only album ever compatible to legendary "Trout Mask",
yet this classic hasn't been available for years.
Similar in style to TMR, "Lick" is much better produced, the main difference is that TMR's twin guitar sound is changed into a
guitar/marimba interplay that's truly amazing, courtesy of
Bill Harkleroad and Art Tripp III. The performances, compositions
and lyrics are top-notch all over - the Captain's peculiar
humor shining through ever so often.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You may think I'm crazy, but I want you to get Lick My Decals Off, Baby, 15 Aug 2008
This review is from: Lick My Decals Off Baby (Audio CD)
Let me just start this review by saying something about Trout Mask Replica. I wrote quite a lengthy review of TMR on this site in which I tried to describe the journey of getting into that album. When I wrote the review I hadn't really managed to permeate it yet, and about a week after writing it I had an epiphany and it all made sense - all the overlapping rhythms and melodies came together and I was able to recognise even the most difficult piece as containing the genius I kind of knew it always did - yes, even Hair Pie: Bake 1 was lucid and clear. Despite wanting to tell the world, I decided I wanted my review to retain its integrity, so there it is on Amazon forever, telling everyone that I don't quite get Trout Mask Replica.

Ok, now I can get on to Lick My Decals Off, Baby. No, it's not commercially available, but since hearing about this album I have made it my mission to acquire it - though I would never go so far as to buy a secondhand copy for 50. All I did one day was search the internet for it - "Lick My Decals Off Baby free download" was my criteria. It came up on the first page of results. I couldn't believe it, but there it was. Let me just add a disclaimer here: if it was available to buy, I would buy it. I still would. Whatever record company hasn't made it available, so I've had to find it on my own. And downloading it is just like buying a secondhand copy anyway - the artist doesn't get any proceeds from secondhand sales. So really I've just been smart, and saved myself 50. And the version I found for download is very good quality. Go look for yourself. (Next I've got to find the original tapes of the Bat Chain Puller album).

Now, the review proper. Released the year after Trout Mask Replica, Lick My Decals Off, Baby continues in much the same vein. That Captain Beefheart was able to put out one album of absolute madness is amazing enough, but to follow it up with another beggars belief.

To discuss Lick My Decals Off, Baby, you really do need to reference Trout Mask quite a lot. So I'll just say: if you do know Trout Mask Replica, you have a pretty good idea of what the music on Lick My Decals Off, Baby is going to be like. Decals has a few immediate advantages over Trout Mask though:

1. Its half as long
2. Its less silly
3. There are no a capella songs
4. The sound is slightly clearer

The music is just as complex, in fact it's even more so in some places, but as you may have heard, the album is more completely realised. It's more succinct, more cohesive. It is still very, VERY hard to listen to. Yet I've been largely unable to stop listening to it since I started. This I put down to what I would call the three main anchors of the album - for me, what are three strategically placed tracks that drag me through the album. The first is track 3, "I Love You, You Big Dummy", which is a brilliant rock workout with an infectious groove, and has the Captain gleefully and repeatedly declaring his love almost to the point of absurdity.

The next anchor is track 6, the audacious "Woe-is-uh-Me-Bop". Musically this is probably the most difficult piece to listen to that I have heard from Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band so far. I don't know how the band were able to tell they were even playing it right. It's an absolute ridiculous mess, but it's brilliant - largely thanks to the Captain's crazy rock n' roll vocal. I don't know how he could even conceive singing like that over that music, but his voice is huge, rich and so deep - deeper than Dachau Blues. It just sucks you in, and keeps you coming back for more.

After a few more tracks you have the third anchor, "Smithsonian Institute Blues", which is an almost standard blues rock number, but has that special skewed Beefheart aesthetic. In between all these songs are tracks that I probably haven't fully absorbed yet, that still require some subconscious unfurling. What I will tell you though: do believe the hype, do get this record - but only if you're already well versed in the music of Captain Beefheart.

I'm only going to give it 4 stars, though. Cos it is so hard to listen to, and I don't think I've had enough time to let it become a 5 star album yet. The fact of a record being genius is one thing, but to get 5 stars from me, I have to love nearly every song on it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Recording but spoilt by awful 180 gm pressing, 24 Aug 2014
By 
Kamil Othman (Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
180 gm. Limited Edition. Premium pressing for super fidelity. Music the way it is meant to be heard. Thats what the sticker proudly states. What a joke. As soon as I slipped the vinyl out from the paper inner sleeve , I was horrified to notice scuff marks all over the record's surface. On playing there were clicks and pops every now and then. Could be only static I had hoped but after repeated spins they were indeed because of scratches. OK so the music is classic hence four stars but I think vinyl lovers out there ought to know that sometimes all this 180gm hyperbole can in reality be a pain in the neck. Obviously not all 180 gm in my collection are like this one (this Beefheart classic LP back cover has a sticker saying Manufactured by Rhino Records exclusively distributed by Scorpio Music Inc) but a few bad apples like this particular copy show that they might be many vinyl pressing plants short changing us. Why cant I return it? Well I was visiting London and got a copy from Sister Ray's (not their fault that is for sure). Now im home and God knows when I will be in London again. I dread the thought of having to go through the ordeal of checking out the other ten vinyl LPs bought during the same visit, all bearing the same 180 gm super pressing virgin vinyl sticker.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's good but not that good, 17 April 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lick My Decals Off, Baby (MP3 Download)
This album is something of a holy grail for Beefheart fans, being only available in the CD format on a Japanese import for some astronomical sum like 85 a throw. As such is nice to see that you can now pick up a download for 7.50 and satisfy your curiosity about this long-time lost Trout Mask Replica follow up.

To an extent this shows the Captain painting himself into a corner musically from which the only escape was to become more commercial as proven by the Spot Light Kid album the following year. With Jeff Cotton no longer on board there is a less dense sound than on Trout Mask Replica which allows Bill Harkleroad and Mark Boston to intertwine there exploding note theory guitar and bass lines without the added complication of a third instrument. John French and Art Tripp are once again poorly served by the flat production leaving their drums to sound like cardboard boxes and the Mix once again is dominated by Van Vliet's voice which sometimes obscures the sound of possibly the best Magic Band line up.

However, as an album in it's own right "Lick My Decals of Baby" stands as a more accessible version of it's predecessor although it does cover some of the same ground. The aforementioned more open sound of the instrumentation coupled with a couple of almost songs "I love you, Big Dummy" make this a better introduction to Beefhearts more difficult work than the long slog that is "Trout Mask Replica". Not that you get off lightly and there are some challenging pieces but Boston and Harkleroad playing the gorgeous "Peon" as if joined at the hip is worth the price of this download alone.

The one down side of this album coming after Trout Mask Replica is it's lack of charm, it has none of the interludes and snippets of conversation that make it's predecessor so engaging, it's just a straight ahead album and as a result it's just not as likeable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beefheart's Best!, 11 April 2011
This review is from: Lick My Decals Off, Baby (MP3 Download)
Finally got hold of this treasure through Amazon's MP3 store ; and it's well worth the wait! A magical fusion of the good Captain's more 'challenging' stuff (esp. Trout Mask Replica) and his more tuneful, accessible material. Every track is a gem, including the instrumentals. Truly sui generis, this stands as the greatest memorial to Beeheart's genius.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You need this in your life, 22 Oct 2009
By 
Ted Maul "Ted Maul" (Cowsick) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Lick My Decals Off Baby (Audio CD)
Well, if you like Beefheart you certainly do anyway. Lick My Decals Off, Baby is the follow-up to the more widely-acclaimed Trout Mask Replica and is, in my opinion, just as good, if not better. It is just as rhythmically unorthodox as Trout Mask in places (the title track, for instance) and it has just as many bizarre lyrics (Woe-Is-Uh-Me-Bop, say), albeit without the infamous spoken word segments (Fast n' bulbous! etc). It was originally released on Frank Zappa's Straight label, and due to some still-unresolved legal issues it is, at the time of writing, currently unavailable on cd (hence the astronomical prices it fetches). However, if you can find a way to obtain this album- I'm pretty sure it is available commercially on vinyl, if nothing else- than you absolutely must. While the Captain did of course make several other truly great LPs in his time- Safe As Milk, Trout Mask Replica, Clear Spot and Doc at the Radar Station all being genuinely worthy of five stars- this may well be his best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real gem, 23 Oct 2008
By 
Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen (real name) (Thread rehab facility 37) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Lick My Decals Off Baby (Audio CD)
I just got hold of this "lost" epic and have had it on constant replay over the last couple of days.

It does indeed live up to the hype, wonderful obscure wordplay and an unfeasibly flexible rhythm section, musically speaking that is. As to whether it is worth 60 is a question that only you can answer. I had to dig deeper than usual to get hold of my copy and have not regretted it.

The playing here is easily as good as anything I have heard by any of the various Magic Band incarnations. Having only one guitar was not in any way a bad thing, especially as there are two of the best on various percussion. This extra emphasis on the provision of a polyrhythmic backbone really keeps the whole thing juddering along like a living thing.

There are three instrumentals on the disc which are superb. Peon is a stunning duet with Zoot Horn and Rockette Morton, guitar and bass respectively, created by Beefheart on piano and then transcribed by the superilluminated John French(Drumbo), which at the very least ought to be in the top ten greatest guitar tunes of all time. I would love to see a Guitar World transcription of it.

Beefheart really lets rip with various sax related instruments all over the place. It is interesting to hear what he does considering his total lack of knowledge on the instrument. A lot of the time it is indistinguishable from Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman or Anthony Braxton, recognised geniuses of jazz.

More melodic than Trout Mask and like nothing else by anyone else in the recorded world.

Essential!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential purchase, 23 Mar 2014
By 
M. Rocks (Glasgow,Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lick My Decals Off, Baby (MP3 Download)
Although neglected in comparison to its immediate predecessor, the sprawlingTrout Mask Replica, Lick My Decals is, in some ways, a better, more tightly focussed album. Shamefully unavailable on CD, Lick My Decals contains some of the the Captain's best cuts, including Flash Gordon's Ape , the greatest integration of free improvisational jazz into a rock context. Essential purchase , if you already know Beefheart's work and a great introduction to the weirder end of things if you don't.
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Lick My Decals Off, Baby
Lick My Decals Off, Baby by Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band
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