Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks

Hey Good Lookin'

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Hey Good Lookin' is an animated feature film by Ralph Bakshi -- of Fritz the Cat and Heavy Traffic fame. Dan Hicks' involvement with the project began in 1974, shortly after the dissolution of his Hot Licks. Bakshi solicited the singer/songwriter to provide music for the soundtrack. After almost a year in delays, the film -- which satirizes biker and gang movies of the '50s -- ended up taking nearly eight years to complete. When eventually released in 1982, the film had been re-scored by pop/rock producer John Madara. So, where did the tracks Hicks created for the project end up? His then record company, Warner Bros., decided that since Hey, Good Lookin' had yet to be scheduled for release, they would revisit the recordings for a Dan Hicks solo album -- which was humorously titled It Happened One Bite. As the music was cinematic in nature and origin, Hicks chose the title as a send-up of the 1934 Frank Capra film It Happened One Night. The spirit behind the sounds picks up right where the final Hot Licks album, Last Train to Hicksville, left off. Ever the master of timing and rhyming, Hicks unveils more than just a few minor classics on this disc. Among the most notable are the opening track, "Cruizin'," which features a bossa nova-influenced shuffle à la "Where's the Money," as well as "Crazy 'Cause He Is," with its agile tempo and lyrics that border on surrealistic. This is Dan Hicks at his Mad Magazine Dadaist best. Likewise, "Dizzy Dogs" is a slightly askew electric jug band instrumental that harks directly back to Hicks' days as a founding member of the psychedelic Charlatans. In 2001, the Rhino Handmade Internet-only audio boutique reissued a It Happened One Bite: Widescreen Edition, including bonus material that consisted of two sessions made subsequent to the film recordings. The release is limited to an edition of 4,500.