Conventional wisdom has it that Captain Beefheart recorded his most groundbreaking music in the 60s, then sought commercial success through the 70s before coming back around to some sort of melding of his avant-garde inclinations in a way that smoothed off the rough edges. Recorded 11 months after the release of his epochal Trout Mask Replica , however, Lick My Decals Off, Baby hit the shelves in December and found him achieving his biggest commercial success without sacrificing his artistic inclinations. Besting Trout Mask by one place when it peaked at No. Not that this stopped the Captain from filming a bizarre advert for the album. Initially composing fragments of melodies on the piano, which he captured on cassette, Beefheart gave the recordings to guitarist Bill Harkleroad aka Zoot Horn Rollo to piece together into fully fledged songs. Beefheart claimed that Lick My Decals Off, Baby was his favourite of his own albums — and many fans are inclined to agree.
Lester Bangs reviews Lick My Decals Off Baby
Lester Bangs reviews Lick My Decals Off Baby – Captain Beefheart Radar Station
Lick My Decals Off, Baby lyrics
The follow-up to Trout Mask Replica , it is regarded by some critics and listeners as superior, and was Van Vliet's favorite. Van Vliet said that the title was an encouragement to "get rid of the labels", and to evaluate things according to their merits rather than according to superficial labels or "decals". French had been arranger and musical director on Trout Mask Replica.