Author Topic: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #39 - 'The Perfect Stranger'  (Read 41023 times)

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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #21 'Bongo Fury'
« Reply #490 on: April 18, 2016, 10:08:33 AM »
Although the connection is clear, I've never considered this one a Roxy Band album.  To me, it's either a one-of-a-kind thing because of Captain Beefheart, or transitional because of the presence of Denny Wally and Terry Bozzio, and the absence of all three previous percussionists (Chester, Ralph, and Ruth).  Or both.

Captain Beefheart is an acquired taste.  I checked out a few of his albums way back when, and found them to be interesting, but I never go back to them.  A little bit too "out there", and I don't really like his voice.  He's great on "Willy the Pimp" from Hot Rats, and I like some of his stuff here.  What makes it tough for me is that I really don't care for "Debra Kadabra", the opening tune.  When the first thing you hear when you put an album on is a track you don't like, you tend not to put the album on very often.

I do kinduv like where Captain Beefheart is coming from.  His spoken pieces are fun.  Not quite my thing, but fun.  "Opaque melodies that would bug most people" and "Sam was a basket case!" and my favorite "So this was a drive-in restaurant in Hollywood...  So this was a drive-in restaurant in Hollywood...  So this was a drive-in restaurant in Hollywood..."

One of my all-time faves, "Advance Romance" is what saves this album for me.  There are ups and downs, and there's no denying that this one is essential listening, but when I think of this album, in my mind it's one of the "lesser" albums.  It's a bit of a Frankenstein creation, as many if not most Zappa albums are, but this one never quite worked for me.  Which again is odd because of so many good bits.  It just feels unbalanced, and lacks the crazy jamming that I'd come to love about the mid-70's Mothers.

Offline Mosh

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #21 'Bongo Fury'
« Reply #491 on: April 18, 2016, 05:07:22 PM »
This is the first album so far I haven't heard. Will try to get to it.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #20 'One Size Fits All'
« Reply #492 on: April 18, 2016, 05:10:27 PM »


Well, I thought that I'd take 2-3 weeks for more popular albums, so that people could catch up if they'd only want to participate in those albums. (Apart from the fact that I didn't have the time to continue  :big grin: )

Yowza, given that Zappa has like 1,342 albums, this thread will last until 2022 at this rate...:P :lol

Offline Nihil-Morari

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #20 'One Size Fits All'
« Reply #493 on: April 19, 2016, 05:03:57 AM »


Well, I thought that I'd take 2-3 weeks for more popular albums, so that people could catch up if they'd only want to participate in those albums. (Apart from the fact that I didn't have the time to continue  :big grin: )

Yowza, given that Zappa has like 1,342 albums, this thread will last until 2022 at this rate...:P :lol

Well, I was planning on taking at least two years, yeah  :D

It's nice to read that you feel the same about this one Orbert, I don't really like the opening track either, and I don't like Beefhearts vocals enough to play this album often.
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Offline Mladen

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #21 'Bongo Fury'
« Reply #494 on: April 19, 2016, 05:15:07 AM »
I should check out this album, being that I'm a huge Beefheart fan.

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #21 'Bongo Fury'
« Reply #495 on: April 19, 2016, 05:19:12 AM »
Then you definitely should. Although Beefheart albums always went a bit too far for my tastes, and this doesn't, I can totally see why a Beefheart fan would dig this album. Tell us what you think!
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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #21 'Bongo Fury'
« Reply #496 on: April 19, 2016, 07:23:41 AM »
Bongo Fury is a bit of an odd-ball album, even for Zappa. It has some good moments, but a lot of it just falls flat and when it does, it's just bad.
This tour was something of a token of Frank's appreciation for Beefheart, and definetely an act of kindness towards the fledgeling Captain. Stories abound about how Beefheart would carry his world posessions around in big carrier bags which he would forget or leave behind in airports around the country. I can imagine that it started off as somewhat fun in the beginning of the tour, but I can't imagine being so much fun for the band as it wore on. This wasn't a match made in heaven and so it didn't last long.  It's definetely a work of an artist in transition again as Frank would prove with a much leaner version of the Mothers (but not really) on the next album, Zoot Allurs. This tour did however, increddible but true, provide us with the embryonic version of 'The torture never stops'.

Favourite tracks for me: Sam with the showing  scalp flat top, Carolina hardcore ecstasy, Advanced Romance, Muffin Man. 
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Offline Podaar

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #21 'Bongo Fury'
« Reply #497 on: April 19, 2016, 04:53:49 PM »
I'll schedule some time to listen to this tomorrow so I can contribute. I also need to gather some thoughts about One Size Fits All...one of my favorites.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #21 'Bongo Fury'
« Reply #498 on: April 19, 2016, 05:31:21 PM »
You're falling behind, Mr. Peccary!  And you even had extra time.  What, do you have a life or something?

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #21 'Bongo Fury'
« Reply #499 on: April 20, 2016, 08:45:04 AM »
Spring time, Orbert, Spring time. Business, home, and Golf always demand more of my time in this time of year.

One run through Bongo Fury and I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I'll need to listen more.

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #21 'Bongo Fury'
« Reply #500 on: April 24, 2016, 09:16:48 AM »
Not a bad album. Beefheart's bits are interesting, but I'm not sure about the rest. What I love about Beefheart's solo stuff is that his voice is very upfront, it's all about his own craziness. This time around, though, he's just one little piece of a puzzle, which means there's plenty of flavors I'm not too familiar with. It's probably going to need more spins.

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #501 on: April 28, 2016, 04:34:57 AM »
Official Release #21 'Zoot Allures'
(Released 10/1976)



Background Information:
A year after Bongo Fury, Zappa gathered a new band, and made Zoot Allures, a guitar-heavy album, stylistically very different from any record he made before. This is Zappa’s only Warner Bros. album, after bypassing Discreet Records (his regular label) when Zappa found out that the manager of Discreet, Herb Cohen, was taking more money than they had agreed upon. 
Originally this was intended to be a double album, but was shortened to fit a single LP. The sound of the album is different from earlier Zappa albums, and has a more punchy, rock-y type sound. Zappa himself played nearly all the instruments, with Terry Bozzio being the only other musician that features on all tracks. Most guest musicians are Zappa-aficionados: Roy Estrada from the early Mothers era, Ruth Underwood, Bruce Fowler and Napoleon Murphy Brock from the Roxy era, Captain Beefheart, trumpeter Sal Marquez and long time collaborator Ian Underwood.
Using all these guest artists, Zappa had a problem with playing this music live. The band portrayed on the album cover had nothing to do with the recording of the album (Eddie Jobson and Patrick O’Hearn don’t play on a single track), but more with the tour that was inevitable.

The Album Itself:
In terms of style, this album is more a rock-oriented album. Most tracks are between 3 and 5 minutes long, have vocals, and are relatively easy to sing along. The fact that this is album is mainly recorded in a studio makes it both a rarity in Zappa discography as well as ‘cleaner’. As Zappa played most instruments himself, everything is thoroughly arranged, and the final mix is really in-your-face.
There are three guitar tracks on this record, all three would become as good as standard in Zappa’s live shows in coming years: Black Napkins, Zoot Allures and (though it does have vocals) The Torture Never Stops. Then there’s a couple of song-oriented tracks: Wind Up Workin’…, Ms. Pinky, Find Her Finer, Wonderful Wino and Disco Boy. The only remaining track, and thus the only oddball is Friendly Little Finger, which is a xenochronic song, meaning the guitar solo was taken from a totally different recording (other tempo, possibly even another key and time signature) than the backing track.

Essential Tracks:
Black Napkins
The Torture Never Stops
Wonderful Wino
Zoot Allures
Disco Boy   
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 11:52:17 AM by Nihil-Morari »
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #502 on: April 28, 2016, 06:31:04 AM »
I always liked this album, and thought it was very "different" sounding, though I could never put my finger on why.  Your explanation certainly helps.  I never realized that Frank played almost all of it himself.  I did notice that this one's much more obviously a studio creation, which I suppose explains a lot of it.  I didn't know that Eddie and Patrick don't even play here.

"Black Napkins" is an all-time fave, as is "The Torture Never Stops".  Fun fact: My second college roommate, eventually the lead singer in our band, was rather vertically challenged, and one of his self-appointed nicknames was "Sinister Midget" which of course came from this song.

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #503 on: April 28, 2016, 07:37:26 AM »
I said I'll follow this album but I joined after #21 albums :\ As I said, I know only few full albums and more songs (off Youtube) and I like his guitar-driven songs more than anything else so I may try this one :tup
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Offline Mosh

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #504 on: April 28, 2016, 09:10:11 PM »
Zoot Allures is a good one. It reminds me a lot of Chunga's Revenge, oddly enough. Transitional album that introduces us to a new band (or at least a new drummer, didn't know the other two guys weren't on it), lots of guitar centered pieces, almost all studio material. Also like Chunga, it is a mixed bag.

I like all the instrumentals, especially the title track and Black Napkins. The title track in particular is such a cool, hypnotic melody. Again, two songs that were even better on live recordings.

Torture Never Stops is a song that I'm a bit on the fence about, sometimes I enjoy it and sometimes I don't. Comes down to the recording I guess, but I've never really understood why this one became a staple.

Find Her Finer is a fun deep cut, but I highly recommend checking out the Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life, much superior version IMO.

Friendly Finger is like something off of Sheik Yer Bouti with the xenochrony. We're starting to get a glimpse at how zany Zappa would get with this technique.

Everything else is unremarkable, but enjoyable. Being heavily studio, this is a unique sounding album. It has a much more raw sound, I wonder how much attention Frank was paying to the punk rock movement that was happening.
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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #505 on: April 28, 2016, 09:52:10 PM »
Just a brief interruption...

I'm trying to start a campaign to get all classic rock radio stations to play "Trouble Every Day" on the 50th Anniversary of the release of Freak Out!, which will be on Monday June 27th 2016.   

See...and share...and spread the word...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_TayMEoBtI

We now return you to your regularly scheduled album discussion.  :xbones
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #506 on: April 28, 2016, 10:48:07 PM »
So I was listening to Zoot Allures tonight, and I didn't realize how much of the lead vocals were done by Frank himself, and how unusual that is.  I guess that was because I got this one really early in my Zappa/Mothers journey, and because it is a Zappa solo album, so it just didn't stick out.  But no Flo & Eddie, no Napoleon Murphy Brock, mostly just Frank.  Something else that gives this one a rather unique sound.

I love how Frank realized that the name on the front of the album was both important and pretty much whatever he wanted it to be.  We've had "The Mothers of Invention", "Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention", just "The Mothers", or just "Frank Zappa"; Roxy & Elsewhere actually says "Zappa/Mothers/Live" and that's fine because that's all you need to know.  Bongo Fury was by "Zappa/Beefheart/Mothers".  Here it's just "Zappa".  And again, that's all you needed to know.

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #507 on: April 29, 2016, 02:20:19 AM »
Yeah, it's sort of a rarity to have Frank do the lead vocals himself. Listening to it, it feels sort of 'loose' to me.
As if he was going like 'yeah, here's some songs, don't know if you'll like em, but it's what it is.'
I love a great deal of the songs here. There's the goofy wind up working in a gas station, the absolutely scathing parody of Disco Boy, (sounds like Bobby Brown is right around the corner), Wonderful wino, Find her finder. Miss Pinky is great as well. Off course, there's The torutue never stops, but I don't like this studio version as much as the monster live version on YCDTOSA 1. The title track is a great subtle track. The ensuing tour would bring us the next great Zappa Band with the likes of Bozzio, O'Hearne, Marrs,. Ray White and all. Enter yet a new Phase of Zappa music.
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Offline Nihil-Morari

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #508 on: April 29, 2016, 03:05:04 AM »
I normally would skip this album, I mean, the man has so much better music than this. But when I was writing my piece about it, I kept coming back to the album. Reading your stories and opinions about it makes me revisit it yet again. I think I like this album way more than I thought I would. There's about 35 minutes of very, very good music on this album.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #509 on: May 01, 2016, 06:52:00 AM »
Of the 12-15 Zappa albums I have, this is one of my favorites; just a very nice listen from start to finish.  :hat

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #510 on: May 01, 2016, 11:57:12 AM »
Of the 12-15 Zappa albums I have, this is one of my favorites; just a very nice listen from start to finish.  :hat

I have to agree with you on that last point. It's one of the very few Zappa records that doesn't need extra attention per se. You could find extra details by listening to it closely, but it's a nice listen from start to finish. The early Mothers albums aren't that, they can be very interesting, or challenging, or funny, etc. etc. but not nice all around.
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Offline darkshade

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #511 on: May 02, 2016, 06:32:09 AM »
I fell behind on this thread. I'll recap what I've missed.

Roxy & Elsewhere - I've said so much about this album over the years that I don't know what else to say besides repeat myself. I'll say this... When I first got this album, I listened to it so many times and eventually got so burnt out on it, that I couldn't enjoy it for years.

I'm glad the ZFT released Roxy By Proxy, a nice companion album to Roxy. Also, the Roxy Movie is gorgeous, and probably the best video release of the 73-74 bands.

One Size Fits All - I've also said a lot about this album in the past. Inca Roads is the quintessential Zappa song. Frank's most renowned guitar solo, great fusion soloing from George Duke, and an overall impressive and captivating composition. I once considered this Frank's best album overall, it's a very consistent release, and definitely more accessible than Roxy. This albums is just full of funky goodness, with some Johnny Guitar Watson on Andy.

Other releases from this time period are The Dub-Room Special, A Token of His Extreme.


Bongo Fury
- Terry Bozzio's first appearance on a Frank Zappa album. Once Bozzio enters the picture, Frank's music began taking on more and more controversial and/or cynical subject matters, but at the same time, the lineups started changing and younger musicians joined Frank's band. This helped Frank stay relevant in sound as music landscape was changing in the mid-late 70s as the 80s approached. Before all that happened, we get Bongo Fury. The 73-74 lineup was more or less still going; Duke and Brock are still there, Frank is still playing rhythm guitar, but Ruth is gone (but still appears on many future releases), and Chester is replaced by Skinny lil Ted Bozzio, who is my favorite Zappa drummer and 3rd favorite Zappa musician (behind George Duke and Arthur Barrow). Last, but not least, Captain Beefheart is here too, and makes the affair very strange.

The music on Bongo Fury is much more bluesy than anything released by Frank at this point. Spliced into it all is the Captain's "madness", reciting strange poems over odd, sporadic music. However, there is gold in this album. Carolina Hardcore Ecstasy is a great tune, and The Muffin Man is one of Frank's most popular songs, and a live staple for years, usually in the encores. Lots of Conceptual Continuity in this album, especially on Muffin Man, alluding to the upcoming "Lather era"

Not much has been released from this lineup on future releases. I believe there's a couple of tunes on YCDTOS vol 4. There's some soundboard recordings on zappateers.com

Zoot Allures - I didn't like this album at all for a long time. First, I always felt these songs were better live (though Black Napkins and the title track are already live anyway, but they're from the FZ:OZ lineup, a very transitional band. Another reason was the sound, I always thought this album sounded really weird. However, the 2012 UMe remaster sounds awesome, and helped me finally appreciate this album as the sound is so much better. Sounds clearer, has more punch, overall a better album than the original CD releases. However, I still feel like Torture Never Stops is better live, but this studio version is cool on the 2012 release. Disco Boy is slow here compared to live. Gas Station is fine, but a cool version is on YCDTOSA vol 6. This album also alludes to the upcoming "Lather era" (Leather is mentioned at least once in this album).

Later albums from this era includes the aforementioned FZ:OZ, Joe's Camouflage, and Philly 76 (which technically belongs to the Lather era)

Offline Nihil-Morari

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #512 on: May 02, 2016, 07:27:09 AM »
Funny you should mention the other albums that relate to these releases. Most of all with Zoot Allures, the Camouflage band is a strange thing, with Roy Estrada, Ruth Underwood, Napoleon Murphy Brock and Terry Bozzio, total wacky band. I love Philly 76, because of Lady Bianca, she added so much in musical terms to this band.
Like you said lineups would change in months, instead of in years or tours from now on.
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Offline DragonAttack

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #513 on: May 07, 2016, 02:36:07 PM »
Just wanted to say....I've given the last two releases a listen, and enjoyed amongst my distractions.

[I think we're still following and reading the threads when given a chance, but with playoffs, warmer weather, household duties....etc]
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Offline Nihil-Morari

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #514 on: May 09, 2016, 09:51:15 AM »
Yeah, I get what you mean. I'm a teacher, so these couple of months are the most hectic of the year. But we'll continue onwards to Zappa In New York soon! What an album to enjoy!
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Offline darkshade

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #515 on: May 09, 2016, 06:45:24 PM »
Surely there is going to be some in-depth backstory behind the next few albums. 1977 was one of 3 years during Zappa's lifetime where there was no new albums. In 1977, Lather was supposed to be released.

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #516 on: May 09, 2016, 07:28:24 PM »
Yep, we're about to get into the most confusing period of Zappa's career.  :lol
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Offline splent

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #8 Hot Rats
« Reply #517 on: May 09, 2016, 09:31:06 PM »
So while searching for a good copy of Hot Rats on vinyl, I found Jean Luc Ponty Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa (JLPPTMOFZ) record. Somehow I never checked that one out, and although it's not going in the official Discography Discussion, cause it's not an official Zappa release, it really is worth checking out. The version of King Kong is really really rocking, great to hear George Duke play that one. (And man that piano solo on Music for...  :eek)
Listening to this record though, I can't understand why I like this instantly, and Hot Rats is a difficult one for me. Maybe it's the low expectations vs. the stamp of it being one of the best Zappa records. There are loads of solo's on this one too.

One big difference to me though is the diverseness in dynamics. The solo's go somewhere, the band follows, instead of just continuing a groove. (I'm trying to find things, it's not that that's the case all the time on Hot Rats)

Anyways, really enjoyable record, recommended!

I haven't heard a lot of Zappa, but this is related. When I saw Return to Forever (the latest incarnation with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, Frank Gambale, and Ponty), Zappa plays Zappa opened for them, and JLP played a few songs with them. It was KICK ASS.
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #518 on: May 09, 2016, 10:23:57 PM »
Ponty is playing with Return to Forever? :omg: When did that happen?

Offline Tomislav95

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #22 'Zoot Allures'
« Reply #519 on: May 10, 2016, 12:13:02 AM »
While we're on Ponty, Enigmatic Ocean is one of the best jazz albums imo. Said that, I haven't heard it for 3-4 years :facepalm:
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Offline Nihil-Morari

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #520 on: May 24, 2016, 11:55:11 AM »
Official Release #23 'Zappa In New York'
(Released 03/1978)



Background Information:
Recorded in New York (well… duh) at the end of 1976 (four shows between Christmas and NYE), and praised as one of Zappa’s big Live Works, Zappa in New York is a tasteful blend of mind bending compositions and impossible-not-to-tap-along-to pseudo-hits.
Since Zoot Allures Zappa had been busy playing on SNL, touring with any combination a lot, and has been busy writing most of all.   The work he was focused on the most was Läther, a (then unseen) 8 sides Magnum Opus, consisting of anything anyone would even remotely call ‘music’. Orchestral ballets, live R’n’B, elaborate studio pieces and many combinations thereof. Now Zappa wanted to release this box-set to show the diversity in his music, but not only that. Zappa said in an interview with Michael Branton in December 1977:

“You gotta understand how this thing came about,” he says. “I had a contract with Warner Brothers Records, and it was supposed to expire on December 31st of this year. I had to deliver four units to them by December 31st. A unit is one completed album.
“So, I proceeded to deliver four completed albums to them in March of this year. And the contract specified that upon receipt of the tapes they had to pay me.
“It also specified that they had six weeks in the United States and six months outside of the United States to release these albums. They didn’t pay me, they didn’t release the albums, and they haven’t paid me the royalties on other albums that have already been released. Therefore, I claim breach of contract.”


This album was just a way for Warner to put pressure on Zappa. He wasn’t getting out of his contract by giving them four full albums in that short amount of time. In this interview in December 1977 (the album wasn’t out by then) Zappa in New York is still just a threat:

Both Zappa and his estranged company have copies of the recordings, so now it’s up to the judicial system to grant release privileges. “I know who has the rights to them. I do!”

Meanwhile everything for the album was done. Overdubbing had been taking place in April 1977, and in June the album was announced as ‘imminent, but delayed’. Before the album actually came out there was quite the time gap. To put things into perspective, between Zappa stating the album was ‘delayed’ and the album actually coming out, this happened:
Zappa got an almost entire new band (with Adrian Belew, Tommy Mars, Ed Mann and Patrick O’Hearn amongst others) and started writing the songs on Sheik Yerbouti, recorded Baby Snakes (movie and album), played a couple of shows at the Hammersmith Odeon in London (which became most of the backing tracks on Sheik, as well as being released entirely posthumously) ánd decided to play Läther in its entirety on a small radio station, for people to tape.

Finally in March 1978 the first version of Zappa in New York was released. First version, because there were still a lot of versions to come. (It wasn’t until January 1979 that the final piece of Läther was released, but more on that later.)


The Album Itself:
The double album featured a lot of new music at that time. The sound of the album remains the same throughout, mainly because it was recorded with the same gear, at the same venue, in the same week, but the content differs very much. Tracks like Big Leg Emma and Manx Needs Women don’t have anything in common musically.
The record starts off with a comedy routine by Zappa and Terry Bozzio about the devil being a mammalian protuberances enthousiast. In other words ladies and gentlemen, a titty-fan. It features a lot of great stuff, mainly when one of the two guys crack up themselves.
After a long guitar solo (Cruisin’ For Burgers), one of Zappa’s rare moments of pure beauty shines through. I Promise Not To Come In Your Mouth is a wonderful track, with a wonderful half-solo, possibly arranged in the overdubs.
Punky’s Whips (the middle point in the differences between track lists of the different version of this album) is a track that has it all. Wacky instrumental bits, crazy lyrics and a rockin’ guitar solo.
After a short pop-esque tune (Honey…), The Illinois Enema Bandit is a crazy track about a criminal from ‘Right around Chicago’ with a near as makes no difference 4 minute blues guitar solo a third into the track.

Side two is even more of a rollercoaster. The most extreme organisms on either side of the spectrum live on this second disc. I’m The Slime is a rocking track, Pound For A Brown/Manx Needs Women/Black Page #1 is one of the most instrumentally challenging series of tracks ever recorded. And although The Black Page (named after how the page looked black with white dots for having so many notes on it) is one of the most famous ‘hard pieces’ Zappa ever wrote, every listen makes the amount of respect for both the composer and the players bigger. Manx Needs Women needs an extra heads up too, for being possibly even denser.
Big Leg Emma and Sofa make you go on a trip, from foot-tapping to floating. The Black Page #2 is an amazing remake of the aforementioned track.
The album closes with one of the ultimate versions of The Torture Never Stops, the 5 minute improvisation shows Zappa at the top of his on-the-spot guitar composing. The Purple Lagoon/Approximate is the place where other members of the Rockin’ Teenage Combo get their solo spots. The Brecker Brothers are on fire on this track, the first sax solo is out of this world.

Essential Tracks:
I Promise Not To Come In Your Mouth
Punky’s Whips
Manx Needs Women
The Black Page #2
The Torture Never Stops
(But really listen to the entire album)
The FZ Discography Thread! https://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=44650.0
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Offline Nihil-Morari

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #521 on: May 24, 2016, 11:58:41 AM »
Sorry for the holdup guys, but this review had to be good, as the album is nothing short of great!
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #522 on: May 24, 2016, 12:34:24 PM »
I knew some of the history behind this album and the Warner Bros lawsuit, but not all, so thanks for the background.

I often find myself in the minority when it comes to opinions on music and personal preferences.  I've seen it mentioned more than once in this very thread how much people prefer the live versions of much of Frank's work, for example, but I rarely prefer the live versions if the studio versions are any good (which they usually are).  I'm sure that half the "fun" of playing in Frank's band is playing with the arrangements, seeing how fast you can play them, seeing how ridiculous they can be, but to me, this is very close to disrepecting the music itself.  I just want to hear them play the song "properly" and they never do that.

It is entirely Frank's prerogative, of course, to do whatever he wants with his music, so I can't really complain, but I rarely, if ever, have heard a live version of a Zappa composition that I prefer to the original studio recording.  That is not to say that I prefer his studio work to his live work.  It's not the same thing at all, especially for Frank, because there is so much live material that never appeared on a studio album.  If the live version is the only version, or only live versions exist, then there you go.  There are certain parts of live renditions which can be quite interesting, musically, but in general, I prefer the live version of a song to have a little less "Let's see how much we can fuck with this song" to it.

The drummer for our band at the time had this album, and loved it.  I loved some of it, mostly the stuff I'd never heard before.  The live versions of songs I knew from earlier Mothers albums, I tended to not really appreciate, I guess.

Offline Cyclopssss

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #523 on: May 25, 2016, 03:43:24 AM »
It's a STELLAR live album (last recording with Ruth Underwood, if I'm correct). All the performances (however cheesy) are right on. You have to get the complete cd recording howver with Cruising for Burgers, King Kong and Torture never stops  :omg: Ray White is singing out of this world on this one, especially in Illinois Enemy Bandit. Black Page and Purple Lagoon are stupendously good.
Titties and Beer (repeat ad infinitum) fun, as is Big Leg Emma and Punky's Whips is just 'wow' drumwise.

The atmosphere comes close to some of the famous 'Halloween' shows and the intro's by Don Pardo are sufficiantly funny.
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Offline Nihil-Morari

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #524 on: May 25, 2016, 08:41:35 AM »
It's a STELLAR live album (last recording with Ruth Underwood, if I'm correct). All the performances (however cheesy) are right on. You have to get the complete cd recording howver with Cruising for Burgers, King Kong and Torture never stops  :omg: Ray White is singing out of this world on this one, especially in Illinois Enemy Bandit. Black Page and Purple Lagoon are stupendously good.
Titties and Beer (repeat ad infinitum) fun, as is Big Leg Emma and Punky's Whips is just 'wow' drumwise.

The atmosphere comes close to some of the famous 'Halloween' shows and the intro's by Don Pardo are sufficiantly funny.

You mean Punky's Whips, right?

But yeah I agree. This was Bozzio's heyday!
The FZ Discography Thread! https://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=44650.0
Nihil-Morari is generally considered the resident Zappa person.