A Decals CD and vinyl re-release?

I do not normally post information here without checking my facts. By doing so now I hope to save you some money and some grief.

Adverts are now appearing for new copies of a ‘Lick My Decals Off, Baby’ CD. This album has been unavailable for too many years and is undoubtedly at the top of many people’s wish lists. My advice is to wait before you buy.

According to one retailer, Rhino Records are to launch a Captain Beefheart Remaster CD and Vinyl Campaign in March and April.

‘Trout Mask Replica’, ‘Lick My Decals Off, Baby’, ‘Spotlight Kid’ and ‘Clear Spot’ will be issued on CD on April 10th and on vinyl on April 17th, according to my source. They also say that ‘The Dust Blows Forward’ 2 CD set will be released on March 20th.

Prices seem likely to be very reasonable. The CDs will possibly be about £6.99 and the vinyl £8.99, though the two vinyl discs of ‘Trout Mask Replica’ will be around £10.99. ‘The Dust Blows Forward’ seems likely to be about £19.99.

Once again, none of this has been confirmed. As soon as I receive answers to the questions I have sent out I will let you know.

Remaster? There’s a thought to conjure with while we’re waiting.


  1. I think that LMDOB would be worthwhile, yet the rest wouldnt unless they’re equipped with outtakes, remixes and demos. It would be nice if these re-issued cd’s would be done as the “Safe as Milk” “Mirror Man” albums were: critical essays, complete picture audio outtakes that show how each album blended into the next
    Otherwise, what is the point? Other than the “Lick” cd of course

  2. If this is true, then APRIL 10TH WILL BE THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR FOR ME. Not even joking. I’ve been waiting to hear Lick My Decals Off for AGES (Beefheart is my favorite performer and I’ve never heard it).

    I’ll also pick up the other remasters regardless of what’s on them, but I don’t believe the sound on the original albums is all that bad.

  3. I can’t wait, if it is true. I recently got hold of LMDOB on vinyl, perfect condition and, although it cost quite a lot it sure was worth every penny. Troble is i’m scared to listen to it too much! It’s about time it was put out on CD. Does anyone know why it hasn’t been? It really is one of the very best and most original Beefheart
    albums. FOr those of you who haven’t had the good fortune to hear it i’ll tell you now that you wont be disapointed. It sounds like the missing link between Safe as milk and Trout mask replica (despite the fact it is after trout mask), fusing bluesy-grooves with trutmask-complexity. The Captain’s voice is all over the place but also, somehow, spot on. The lyrics are, of course, un-questionably brilliant, and the performances are simply awesome! Let’s hope it gets a long overdue CD release shall we?

  4. Decals is a classic the frasing and timing of the captains singing is sublime (i’m sure if you try hard enough you can get a good CD version now anyway) but I agree that they should do a proper job of the other albums (remastering ,bonus tracks-outtakes inner notes etc and what about DVD-audio or SACD can you imagine trout mask for instance in 5.1 sound

  5. Great news about Decals.My favourite album.Don excelled.Anyone who hasnt heard the album is missing atreat.”PEON”is my all time favourite Magic Band number.I saw Don and the band many times in the late 60s&early 70s and also witnessed Bill and Mark perform”PEON”on several occasions.It brought tears to your eyes.I met Don and the band on many occasions.What a bloke!The kids of today do not know what they have missed.

  6. i once dl’ed what i thought were cd versions of these songs (have an lp) and wound up with instrumental outtakes, meaning no Cap’n on ’em. Imagine the third disc from the Beefheart box, the Trout Mask rehearsals, and you get the picture.

  7. some months ago rhino asked what albums should be reissued. i wrote that the beefheart albums would be nice. i have the vinyls but wonderful cd-reissues like the safe as milk and mirrir man ones would be fantastic. hope this come true.

    many greetings

    andreas, berlin

  8. Jeeeehawww!

    I will kiss my copy of “Decals”…
    …a thousand times if this comes true.

  9. I have bought this amazing CD a few weeks ago in eBay and haven’t stopped listening to it… You can still find several copies there at very reasonable prices (14$ for “buy it now”). GET IT TODAY!!!

  10. Definatley worth getting “Decals” on CD – I forked out just over £46 last year – worth every penny. Especially having the lyric sheet signed by the Magic Band after their gig at Stoke.

    Play it (and other Beefheart) CD’s on the journey to and from work – brightens up the day.

  11. Funny, I was just looking for “Decals” on CD, when I found this website address. Now I know where to go! Thanx! “Decals” & “Troutmaskreplica” are my alltime favorites. The Captain inspires me everyday.

  12. An anonymous person above asked why his/her post about downloading Decals for free was deleted.

    The answer is simple: we’d rather people bought the legitimate upcoming release of Decals than slipped a sneaky copy in their pocket for nowt or (worse) funded the bootleggers and leeches by buying pirate copies.

    When you buy a legitimate copy you compensate the artists involved for their pain and demonstrate to the labels concerned that there *is* a market for this ferociously inventive album and perhaps they will let some other nuggets out of the archive.

    I would have thought that was obvious, but thanks for trying to be helpful anyway.

  13. Ahhh but whether or not people will download it, isnt that the person’s moral choice and not that of the website?
    Paul Sempschi

  14. Ahh Rhino possibly? Absolutely brilliant news – if correct!!!!!!!!!

  15. SPIN in Newcastle are advertizing them. (www.spincds.com)

  16. I can’t imagine the sound being improved on TMR or LMDOB, the quality is so good….or maybe I’m one of the few with a Japanese LMDOB CD (and a hole in my wallet). But TMR sounds great, I don’t see room for improvement – and I doubt any outtakes will be available.

  17. > isnt that the person’s moral choice and not that of the website?

    I’m a person and I made the moral choice not to have links to Beefheart mp3s which can soon be bought in the shops on my website. Sorry.

  18. graham, it’s your site and it’s the best on the web, i’m sure if you REALLY need to dl LMDOB you’ll do it at limewire or somesuch, people, but don’t argue with the man.

  19. sorry, just the deleting of a relevant post (the Decals dl one) because you do not agree with it smacks of censorship, IMHO.
    Namely because it inflicts your views on downloading music onto other people, namely impedes their choice on whether or not they would download it. Which is what I mean by censorship. Yet in the end, you did give access to the site so the matter is moot. I would still call it censorship though.
    Paul Sempschi

  20. Wenn “Lick my decals off, baby” wirklich kommt, wird in Deutschland zumindest ein Mensch ein Exemplar kaufen. Nämlich ich. :)

    Falls hier keiner Deutsch spricht, viel Spass beim übersetzten. Und nebenbei: Wunderts euch nicht, dass jemand aus Deutschland Beefheart hört?


  21. Paul – I’m not going to get drawn on this further.

    We announce that you will soon be able to buy one of Beefheart’s finest moments and you complain because I don’t want to facilitate people stealing it instead.

    I presume you think people should be offered a similar “choice” whether they download kiddie porn or not as well. Heaven forfend that we censor anyone.

    It’s a topsy turvey world. Over and out.

  22. Its because so many people are ripping music off the internet that music companies are reluctant to re-issue old albums especialy for specialist music like the captain so get ya money out for the trout and decals or hang your head in shame as if its worth listening to its worth paying for it

  23. Has anyone noticed the release date posted on spincds.com was pushed back to July?

  24. Oh sure, that’s a GREAT WAY to deal with criticism, call him a child pronagrapher, or at least allude to it….
    You have my take on the issue, we have yours. Neither one is gonna budge, all I wanted was the matter to be discussed rather than posts to be deleted. Simply doing that is to dismiss an issue rather than address it. But like I said, you have my take, I have yours. Neither one is going to budge. I am deeply offended and disgusted by this bit of low-brow slander as it doesnt say much for you.
    That being said, I love the Decals album and cant wait to pick it up when it comes out.

  25. Paul, why would I call you a child pornographer simply because you think people should steal Lick My Decals if they want to? I would be insane to do such a thing.

    You have completely misread my post. I brought child pornography into this to make the point that most of us would agree that we need to draw the line somewhere regarding censorship / free speech, perhaps I should have made that point clearer though I thought it was obvious. It was irony, I was not calling you a child pornographer nor was I alluding to it.

  26. Children, stealing music causes great harm to only two groups. The Artists who make the music & the fans who love them, so if you hate musicians, steal all the britney you want, but leave my Captain alone or I will hunt you down like the dirty stinkin carcass you are!(is that too colorful?)

  27. I’ve been having this discussion with some friends about our own music…(http://www.sceneless.com/node/143)
    and I find it really interesting. It’s a whole different discussion when you are trying to make money and get promotion for yourself at the same time. I just read an article with john french and he stated that he gets no checks for album sales. By purchasing LMDCOB are you giving the record company incentive to look into further releases or are you truly supporting the artists as people. I have a downloaded copy of this to hold me over until an affordable release is available. I would rather “steal” than encourage sellers to pimp out-of-print CD’s on E-Bay. I will be the first person in line at my local record store when this does come out but until then I say make the best of your bandwith. If record companies did some real market research (ie. asking us what we want instead of telling us) then I wouldn’t have to download as many albums as I do. Many of my favorite Oingo-Boingo albums and the ever-important Z-Rock Hawaii record still exists (for now) only in the confines of iTunes. thanks for listening….

  28. hier wundert sich bestimmt keiner drüber, dass es in deutschland jemand gibt, der beefheart hört, höchstens über die naivität zu glauben er wär der einzige.
    don hat hier evt. mehr fans als irgendwo sonst auf der welt !!

  29. for the artists it doesnt really matters to be cheated by legal companys or by bootleggers.
    if you get no cheques anyway, as john french stated, then it is better to download it free then to feed any company !!

  30. hello, i have seen, in the past, russian “factory” pressings of LMDCOB on e-bay and have always been curious if they are authentic or not. I contacted a seller once and the only information he would/?could? give me is “1989”.

    I wrote “you are selling a copy of Captain Beefheart’s “Lick My Decals Off, Baby” and I was wondering if you had any release information on the disk. The easiest way would be either a year or a catalogue number. I am trying to decide which version it is…”

    and he replied “I only see year – 1989. And nothing…”

    does anyone have any info on this or other disks like this. thanks

  31. You are on the right track, of course, of course, Michael, when you write, “The easiest way would be either a year or a catalogue number. I am trying to decide which version it is…”

    and he replied “I only see year – 1989. And nothing…””

    Clearly an official release would have a catalogue number.

  32. I decided to get to the bottom of of this while at work today. I hunted down some people who had purchased similar items from this seller and e-mailed them. Most people had left positive feedback on these items but one guy was outraged. He told me “No, they are not genuine US pressing… as you might guess from his location they are Russian copies, and have no label information on them at all.. they have been burnt recently… They have a good representation of the artwork but the image on the disk is a little grainy, as they have obviously been scanned with a fairly low resolution devise.” This was great but he also told me that he was selling the real thing on amazon.co.uk. I looked and he did have an Enigma/Retro US one and a Japanese one up there but also an imitation that was selling for considerably less. I don’t understand how E-bay/Amazon are allowing this copyrighted material to be plagiarized so blatantly. At least when someone is selling a bootleg, not that I’m defending or condoning it, it is a recording that is (usually) not copyrighted. Does anyone have any idea why these are coming from Russia now, not Canada anymore (Canada always made sense).

    P.S. I was going to post the sellers information so that everyone could keep away from him but decided not to. (you could find him by searching for LMDOB on e-bay. Remember he’s from Russia.)

  33. i have bought a LMDOB from ebay recently without knowing anything about the origin. since then i tried to get some info on that and today the item finally arrived here in my bost box:
    – it was sent from russia
    – there is no label or catalogue number else than the original reprise vinyl number
    – they managed to print beefhert (!) on the back
    – there are some cd-shops on the internet selling this and other boots without any impressum or real postal adress and it looks like nobody is able to take legal actions against this
    – for ebay i can tell you for sure that they dont ever mind people selling illegal items – they take the profit – they dont even mind people selling nazi-stuff ! they are only in it for the money !!

  34. The only REAL CD’s of “Decals” are the US release on Enigma Retro and also released by Rhino, and a Japanese disc on Reprise.

    Anyting else is a BOOTLEG! The eBay release in a DVD case is taken from vinyl. The mini-LP and cased versions with a Straight LP label on the face are Russian bootlegs. *Don’t bid big bucks on these! If you pay more than 15 bucks for these discs you’re being ripped off!*

    On a related note, the US version of “Shiny Beast” on Engima Retro/Rhino is substantially better sounding than the European Virgin CD. It is worth seeking out.

  35. Bah! Wish I’d known about this re-issue of Decals, as I’ll have to buy it anyway.
    I recently got the Russian boot from the eBay seller in Finland, knowing what it was before buying. (Why? Because I no longer have a record player to play the LP.)
    For anyone who is tempted by the boot, I will say that although the overall quality is OK, there are a couple of things that spoil it: the gaps between tracks are disturbingly long; and, connected with that bad editing, there is a disturbing “phwip!” at the end of “The clouds…” — presumably that should be the start of “Flash Gordon’s Ape”.
    So make sure you save your money for the new, legitimate CD.

  36. Re: John French not getting any money from the sale of Beefheart cds. This is almost certainly the case for all Magic Band members. None of them are listed as composers so they’ll not get any royalties. If you buy the cd then Don will get his royalty check, which is something but he’ll not be sharing it with any of the musicians involved. In a pefect world anyone who played on an album would get a percentage … but that ain’t gonna happen here. Don’t let that stop you buying the cds when/if they come out. Don’t encourage the bootleggers!

    1. Apparently the last two or three MB line-ups were given “a point” or maybe half a point royalties–theres a part in Through The Eyes of Magic where Denny Whalley (?) recounts Tepper and Feldman bursting into applause in an ingratiating manner when Don announced this.
      Whether he came through with it is another thing entirely, though.

  37. I’ve had a downloaded copy of Decals for a while now, and I’m not remotely ashamed of that. I’d buy it if I could, and as soon as it comes out I will.

    There’s nothing wrong with downloading albums that have been deleted by the record company, surely? If that’s the only way you’re going to get to hear it, go for it, I say.

  38. Amazon (UK) have listed ‘The Dust Blows…’ for a May re-release if this helps anyone.


  39. I got the LMDO,B vinyl re-realse! Bought it some days ago. Awesome album! :-)

  40. Well here it is, April 26, and no reissues. It’s not even on Rhino’s schedule for May. What happened? Ah well, Talking Heads was delayed a year, it’s to be expected.

    I just hope they don’t use the crappy DualDiscs. And HEY! Don’t knock Clear Spot!

  41. Tom Waits mentioned Captain Beefheart as one of his favourites and so I checked out “Trout Mask Replica” which left me wanting more … From hearing all that praise for LMDOB I sure hope it’s just delayed and not canceled because I’m eager to buy it. BTW I’m really curious what should be so strange about someone from Germany listening to Beefheart …

  42. I did download and burn “Lick My Decals Off Baby,” because it was something I’d been waiting to hear for years. To say that it is a masterwork would be an understatement. I downloaded because I knew I’d never find it anywhere else.

    But you can bet your ass that I’m going to buy it if I see it in stores. Compensating Don and the gang is the least I can do to show my appreciation of such genius.

  43. I’ve just bought one of the Russian bottlegs (naively thought it was geunine until I read the comments on this page) and can say the sound quality is fine. Mike G is right about the imperfections, but I only noticed them after reading his post. Anyway, if you’re not that bothered about the moral/ legal implications of buying a bootleg (and as it’s otherwise unavailable except at extortionate prices, I reckon there are strong mitigating circumstances), I’d recommend it. Only cost £13 off ebay, including postage. I’ll definately buy the official release when/ if it is released though.

  44. I received a disappointing message today from Dr. Rhino from the Rhino website in reply to the obvious question I posed on april 21 (I quote):

    “…Dear dr. Rhino,

    I am well aware I’m not the first person to ask this, but can you please confirm the rumour that Rhino is planning a new cd release for Captain Beefheart’s legendary masterpiece Lick My Decals Off, Baby?? It would make Rhino my all-time favorite label….


    Herman Grimme

    Groningen -Netherlands..”

    Dr. Rhino’s reply: “I apologize for the tardiness of this response.
    We don’t have current plans for this release, but thanks for your input. I’ll forward your letter to our suggestion box”

    So much for the imminent release of LMDOB…

  45. Same response today from Rhino for me. I’ve emailed back for comfirmation.

  46. This may be an obvious idea, but I wonder if it would help persuade the people at Rhino or Rhino Handmade to reissue LMDOB if a substantial number of visitors to beefheart.com will put the album into Rhino Handmade’s Suggestions Box?


  47. re Hermann Grimme’s idea – can’t do any harm. I’ve visited the link added my voice to the ‘appeal’ anyway.

  48. Strange that “Lick” has been
    oop for so long, also the
    Tim Buckley albums, Starsailor
    and Blue Afternoon.

  49. I paid £30 for it on Enigma/Retro. I love it so much. The offical catalogue nymber is 773394-2. It’s printed on the cd itself too. Happy hunting!

  50. i actually feel sorry for those who have never heard Lick My Decals Off, Baby. it makes me cry.
    it’s the first music i ever heard from the Magic Band, and will always be my favorite. we used to listen to it over and over and over and over and over and over again.

  51. I don’t get it. I realize that these records have been “out of print”, but I do not understand the droves of people saying it is hard to find.

    I have seen virgin vinyl releases of ‘Lick’ and ‘Trout’ around for years selling for around 10-20 bucks. I have also seen reissues available for around 20-25.

    I think perhaps you fellas should go to some record trade shows and not just eBay/internet? /shrug

  52. ^ (Same poster) ^

    I realize now that most of you are likely referring to the CD version of this album as being hard to find.

    One question, why the hell would you want this on such a bastard medium as CD? Give me vinyl over CD any day.

    /shrug, different strokes for different folks I guess.

  53. Let’s face it, if you haven’t got an mp3 copy of it already you’re a computer illiterate. A solid CD version and a remaster would be fantastic though.

  54. i saw the lmdob tour promo in nyc on a frigid night in jan. ’71. i’ve seen alot of acts from the fillmore on thru fusion, punk to contemporary. Nothing i ever saw was as extraordinary as beefheart on that tour. Ry Cooder opened and was so good i did not think beefheart could be as entertaining. Van Vliet mixed all mediums that nite and then transcended them all. I have the original straight and rerelease of lmdob on vinyl and also own the cd. i would love to hear a good remaster on 20-24 bit. this recording deserves it.


  56. So now I’m totally confused… if I download Decals, does child porn come with it or not??

  57. re: downloading — If you download any album you get an inferior copy, ALWAYS. It’s inherent in the technology. It should be choice. And it should also be choice whether the owner of the site allows it.

    re: reissue reluctance for niche market — reissues in themselves have been inherently frustrating as far back as I can remember and I’ve been collecting for about 30 years. It will be great to have Decals available again, it’s a good album, and I’ll be happy to get it again. I think that eventually once the download generation suffers a few billion hard drive crashes and deteriorating CD-Rs the pendulum will swing back to owning an artifact and eventually the market will grow again. It might help when the next music revolution comes.

  58. How do we know the artists get money for the Captain Beefheart reissues, and not just some suits at the record companies? Do you know for sure Vliet gets paid for this?

  59. m such a fortunate bastard to have the original LMDO,B LP, as well as a CD version of same.

  60. Lick My Decals Off, Baby by Captain Beefheart CD 1989 release on Rhino Records R2 70364 ~ Now on eBAY Item# 330355352077 8 days 20 hours Left! Better get over there

    And still no sign of the
    Re Mastered Warner/Bizzare/Straight
    Catalogue of The Captain!

    Would have thought the 'Mighty' Rhino/Warners would have taken heed of previous Buddah/Virgin re masters
    and taken treated several thousand Cpt Beeheart Afficianodos!!??
    to new set of CD'S/VINYL

    I Know OF LATE, Decals got it's vinyl release whappen to the CD??

    Same treatment as another Straight LABEL man
    CRIMININALLY Out of print since 1989 [21 years!!]

  62. I just got MINE….IT’s for real….Im going upstairs to check iut the remaster on my ADAM Ribbon studio monitors!!!!….I’m JACKED!!!!!

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