I Love You, You Big Dummy - Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band





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Published on Nov 17, 2009

Song: I Love You, You Big Dummy (3/15)
Album: Lick My Decals Off, Baby (1970)
Artist: Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band
Lick My Decals Off, Baby (Straight, 1970), Beefheart is the sole composer. In a way this is his most intellectual work, because the album takes the traditional topics of blues, eroticism, freedom, trains and nostalgia, and sets them in a modern context of city alienation. Percussionist Artie Tripp (aka Ed Marimba), is added as a formidable complement to French, while Cotton is gone to play in Merrell Fankhauser's MU.
The sound is still fragmented in a myriad of surrealistic miniatures, employing celebrations of Dolphyesque clarinets (Japan In A Dish-plan), of convulsed false notes (Ballerin Plain), of street rallies (The Smithsonian Institute Blues), of absurd guitar solos (One Rose That I Mean). The best of his chamber jazz-blues is found in I Love You Big Dummy, with splendid confrontations between the pirouettes of the clarinet and the gargles of the voice, and in Flash Gordon's Ape, a revolting chaos of anti-rhythms, breath dissonances and free declamations. Beefheart reaches surrealistic heights in The Buggy Boogie Woogie, a meditation in muted tones. Ethnic cues peek through in Peon, a Mexican serenade, and from Woe-is-uh-me-bop and Lick My Decals Off, both with Caribbean flavors.

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