Recording details

Date – Summer 1970
Studio – United Recording Corp., Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood
Producer – Don van Vliet
Engineer – Phil Schier


Don van Vliet – vocals, harmonica, sax
Bill Harkleroad – guitar
Art Tripp – drums, marimba, broom
Mark Boston – bass
John French – drums

Track list

  1. Lick My Decals Off, Baby
  2. Doctor Dark
  3. I Love You, You Big Dummy
  4. Peon
  5. Bellerin’ Plain
  6. Woe-is-uh-Me-Bop
  7. Japan in a Dishpan
  8. I Wanna Find a Woman That’ll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have To Go
  9. Petrified Forest
  10. One Red Rose That I Mean
  11. The Buggy Boogie Woogie
  12. The Smithsonian Institute Blues (or the Big Dig)
  13. Space-age Couple
  14. The Clouds Are Full of Wine (not Whiskey or Rye)
  15. Flash Gordon’s Ape

Produced by Captain Beefheart for God’s Golfball Productions.
All songs written by Captain Beefheart.

This album had lyrics that came with it, however, they do not exactly match the songs sung. The lyrics shown here are the written ones from the album sleeve.

Included are also other songs / poems that are not sung on the album but are written inside:

Reproduction of a Don Van Vliet painting included on the sleeve.

This is an alternate cover to the album.

The cover photo shown at top was shot on the set of the Warner Bros. movie “Hotel.”

Album overview from Graham Johnston

Often regarded by fans to be the Magic Band’s finest album, despite the towering reputation of its predecessor, Trout Mask Replica. Lick My Decals Off Baby is an astonishing achievement, and closes their most experimental and visionary stage.

The songs are stunning – some are even ‘catchy’ in a strange, warped, Beefheart way; pop but really not as we know it. The opening line seems to address this very point by referencing and subverting a simple Beatles reference:

Rather than I want to hold your hand I want to swallow you whole.

Now that’s a statement of intent. And the album does indeed leave us feeling swallowed whole by a benevolent monster; ever so slightly bruised and semi-digested but strangely at home.

It’s been unavailable on CD ever since 1991; a confusing and frustrating situation – would Sgt Pepper ever be treated like this? However its hard-to-find status has helped enhance its mystery which occasional vinyl-only releases and digital downloads have been unable to shake off.

Trout Mask Replica may be regarded as Beefheart’s greatest masterpiece for good reason but Lick My Decal Off, Baby is where it all really gels.



A television ad was created and screened – view the ad and read about its controversy.

Radio spots were also recorded and issued to DJs on 7″ vinyl. If anyone is able to provide recordings of these for me to add to the site please let me know.

Purchase Lick My Decals Off Baby

Lick My Decals Off Baby releases

View the Radar Station’s full information about the various editions of Lick My Decals Off Baby which have appeared over the years.

Related links

Help us out

If anyone is able to complete or update any of the information above, then please do get in touch.

1 Comment »

  1. Matthew R Thomas says:

    I am curious about the alternative cover, presenting the promo Decal as the cover itself. I want to know if it was actual or not

Leave a Comment »

Popular topics:

1977 | 2017 | Alex Snouffer | Anton Corbijn | Art Tripp | Bat Chain Puller | BBC | Benjamin Horrendous | Big Eyed Beans From Venus | Bill Harkleroad | Bluejeans and Moonbeams | Bongo Fury | Byron Coley | Captain Beefheart The Biography | China Pig | Clear Spot | Collaborations | Covers | Creem Magazine | Dave Dimartino | Death | Denny Walley | Derek Laskie | Doc At The Radar Station | Don Aldridge | Down Beat | Elaine Shepherd | Encounters in the wild | Eugene Chadbourne | Exhibitions | Frank Zappa | Gary Lucas | Gary Marker | Graham Johnston | Grow Fins | Henry Kaiser | Herb Bermann | Ice Cream For Crow | Interview | Jan Van Vliet | Jasper Leach | Jeff Cotton | Jimmy Carl Black | John French | John Lennon | John Peel | Knebworth | Knoedler and Co | Kristine McKenna | Legendary A&M Sessions | Lester Bangs | Lewis Taylor | Lick My Decals Off Baby | Los Angeles Times | Magic Band reunion | Mark Boston | Mascara Snake | Michael Eivaz | Michael Traylor | Michael Werner Gallery | Mike Barnes | Mirror Man | Mojo Magazine | New York Times | Nulsh | Orange Claw Hammer | Orange Claw Hammer (band) | Outtake | Pamela Des Barres | Phonograph Record Magazine | Retirement from music | Revenant | Rhino Handmade | Robert Palmer | Robert Williams | Robyn Hitchcock | Rolling Stone | Ry Cooder | Safe As Milk | Samuel Andreyev | Shiny Beast | Sounds | Spotlight Kid | Steve Froy | Strictly Personal | Sugar 'N Spikes | Sundazed | The Artist Formerly Known As Captain Beefheart | The Dust Blows Forward | The Guardian | The Wire | Through The Eyes Of Magic | Tom Waits | Tragic Band | Tributes | Trout House | Trout Mask Replica | Unconditionally Guaranteed | Victor Hayden | Wha?
Captain Beefheart Radar Station - about us