Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band
Lick My Decals Off, Baby


4.5
superb

Review

by Frippertronics CONTRIBUTOR (116 Reviews)
October 21st, 2017 | 31 replies


Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist

Review Summary: O captain, my captain.

Trout Mask Replica is, and always will be, an incredibly divisive record. Containing 78 minutes of uncompromising, chaotic and often sloppy bluesy destruction, the 1969 classic still evokes the same reactions out of its audience nearly fifty years later. Whereas a great deal of attention is dedicated to The Magic Band’s magnum opus, its successor is underneath its shadow while featuring a remarkably concise set of songs that molded the Captain Beefheart sound into a highly developed album; perhaps it's the band’s true masterpiece rather than the album that people still can’t decide on whether it’s supposed to sound horrible on purpose or not.

Released in December 1970, Lick My Decals Off, Baby essentially narrows down the freeness of Trout Mask Replica, confines and refines it into a 39-minute showcase of what The Magic Band could really do when given the right material. And what didn’t these guys do – the band’s ability to transform Beefheart’s embryonic piano improvisations into full-fledged free jazz/blues improv bursts of incoherent madness is nothing short of brilliant. Lick My Decals Off, Baby is a special record in the Magic Band canon, emphasizing the prowess of its members and even moreso stressing the staying power of Beefheart’s songwriting in pieces such as the titular track, “Doctor Dark”, “The Smithsonian Institute Blues” and “Petrified Forest”. As a whole, Lick My Decals Off, Baby is an entire step above Trout Mask Replica, featuring a set of songs that highlight a more mature and rewarding period in The Magic Band’s run yet doesn’t lose the playfulness or the humor that comes with a Captain Beefheart record.



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user ratings (159)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
TheJonneh123 (4.5)
The Captain gets up to more Avant-Garde tomfoolery in this gem of an album!...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2017


15231 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

bought this the other day and i almost forgot how this is his greatest achievement



Lick My Decals Off, Baby: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZvAkh4hsSY

TV Advert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRlmTzDyw7s

SandwichBubble
October 21st 2017


4839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Glad you reminded yrself how good this is

Digging: Madonnatron - Madonnatron

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2017


15231 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

a reminder to all that Trout Mask is the weakest of the classic albums when compared to stuff like this, Ice Cream for Crow and Doc



@sandwich me too

SandwichBubble
October 21st 2017


4839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Now that's just crazy talk

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2017


15231 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not so crazy when you think about it 🤔

SandwichBubble
October 21st 2017


4839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just the right amount of crazy

I could see the case for this and maybe doc being better, but not ice cream for crow. that one's weak

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2017


15231 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

dunno man, his last few records are probably among his best works for me



it's a case where I think he got better as he got older (and got those terrible Mercury-era albums out of his system)

Asdfp277
October 21st 2017


15838 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

let's discourse

SandwichBubble
October 21st 2017


4839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

1966-1971, 1975-1980 is all I need FULL STOP



@Asdfp277 discursing all night

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2017


15231 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

no Clear Spot? That's a pretty fine record.

Asdfp277
October 21st 2017


15838 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i'm 73 seconds in and it's already better than Trout Mask

SandwichBubble
October 21st 2017


4839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Clear Spot's fine, but not as good as those years I posted

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2017


15231 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

plus it's just about half the time of Trout Mask, so even if it ultimately does nothing for you, at least you won't have to sit for another full LP's worth of stuff



Sandwich, I'd say Mirror Man is just a tad bit lacking in comparison with the records in the '66-'72 era

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2017


15231 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ex; a ranking



Decals [4.6]

Milk [4.1]

Clear Spot [4.0]

Trout [3.7]

Mirror Man [3.7]

Strictly Personal [3.3]



haven't heard Spotlight Kid yet and really should've picked it up when I had the chance last fall

Asdfp277
October 21st 2017


15838 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

it's easier on the ears too, a way better starting point than what i've tried following ars' list

SandwichBubble
October 21st 2017


4839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Asdfp277 listen to Safe as Milk if you didn't like Trout Mask Replica



@Frippertronics Mirror Man is incredible, don't say stuff like that

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2017


15231 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

well ars is way more into that stuff and I'd imagine he's more a hardcore fan considering the whole Zappa relation



Trout Mask is the absolute worst starting place for any fan, and of any discography. I'd say in the long run, listen to that one once you get a decent grip on Beefheart's style and the way his band plays his compositions because Trout Mask is like the goddamn Iliad when you compare it to the other records in his catalog. It seriously doesn't help it's an incredibly divisive record that could honestly turn people off his other works too.

TheSpaceMan
October 21st 2017


9592 Comments


oh sweet, barely remember anything about trout mask tbh

"Whereas a great deal of attention is dedicated to The Magic Band’s magnum opus, its successor is underneath its shadow while featuring a remarkably concise set of songs that molded the Captain Beefheart sound into a highly developed album that is perhaps the band’s true masterpiece rather than the album that people still can’t decide on whether it’s supposed to sound horrible on purpose or not"

this sentence has too much going on, its trying to say way too much in a single breath. would be worth breaking up imo.

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2017


15231 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

updated (everyone check the Pop Group)

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2017


1879 Comments


difficult to talk about one albums relationship with another in just two paragraphs, but you managed it so well here. well done : ))



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