Author Topic: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #39 - 'The Perfect Stranger'  (Read 40793 times)

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Offline Mosh

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #525 on: May 29, 2016, 11:09:52 AM »
This album is definitely in my top 5, maybe #1. It was my first real introduction to live Zappa. At this point I was familiar with Overnite and Absolutely Free so the reimagining of the songs from those two albums really appealed to me. I hadn't yet heard Uncle Meat, so Cruising For Burgers was totally new to me, but this version is one I'm still partial to. Orbert, I get where you're coming from but I just can't imagine this band playing a song like Cruising For Burgers as it was originally written and it sounding all that good. It's not just Frank "fucking with the song", he's refiguring it to fit the band playing the material.

I also really love the version of Sofa on this album, it's probably my favorite. I'm a huge fan of the Brecker Bros, especially Michael. When I was playing saxophone in high school, Michael Brecker was my biggest influence and his solo on The Purple Lagoon was pretty much my bible. That's the real highlight of the album for me. It especially blew my mind how Zappa managed to combine two pieces and have it not sound all that weird. It totally fits. The other solos are great too, especially the bass solo. Love his tone on this album.

The thing I like the most about this album is the variety of the material presented. This has it all: blues rockers, "hits", weird noise avant garde pieces, comedy numbers, showcases for musical acrobatics. As a result, this is one of those albums I can put on whenever and get some enjoyment out of it. I'm not always going to want to jam to Weasels Ripped My Flesh, but I always have time for Zappa In New York.

I think this is also where Zappa found his perfect balance of humor and "serious music". This carries over to Sheik Yer Bouti too, but I feel that afterwards the two (consciously) became more and more separated, which makes it harder for me to enjoy some of the material. I'm thinking of The Torture Never Stops (the live DVD) in particular here. I feel like Frank barely picks up his guitar in that and it's just a bit too heavy on the humor side. I like that stuff, but I love Zappa music for the variety and Zappa In New York is one of the best examples of that. The pinnacle within the album has to be Punky's Whips, which is going into major prog territory.

This also features the first recording of the infamous The Black Page. I consider this a game changer in Zappa's more technical works, a lot of this type of music he would do later is very similar in style to The Black Page. Similar interval jumps, rhythms, etc. He'd learn to integrate it a bit better with other works though, such as Sinister Footwear.

Overall, awesome album!
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Offline Nihil-Morari

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #526 on: May 30, 2016, 03:04:21 AM »
Thanks for your review/story. I agree with nearly everything, this album really is one of Zappa's best and most diverse. And I would've loved to see Zappa play with the Brecker brothers.

Regarding the redoing of classics, quite the opposite of what Orbert said, I normally don't really care for live shows when bands play the material exactly the same. Goofing around with tempo, solo's, breaks, intro's, lyrics and even harmonies is what makes a live version fun. Otherwise you'll just have a rendition of the studio version that is close, but never perfect.
With Zappa things are different though. I tend to forget what the original version is. Cruising for Burgers has a place on Uncle Meat (I tend to forget it's even on there) but it has a different place and purpose on New York. Same goes for Big Leg Emma, on Absolutely Free it has a different function than on New York. When I'm listening to Zappa's live stuff there's rarely a moment that I think 'this track was on [album] too'. I even had to look it up for Zappa In New York :lol
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Offline Mosh

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #527 on: May 30, 2016, 02:05:33 PM »
Big Leg Emma is pretty faithful to the original, but is augmented by having more talented musicians helming the instruments. The inclusion of this song (and possible the Uncle Meat material as well) seems to be an homage to the original Mothers' residency at the Garrick in NYC.

Btw, for those who like this album but don't have a physical copy, I highly recommend seeking one out. AFAIK all versions include pretty extensive liner notes with program notes on every song by FZ. Some interesting stuff!
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Offline darkshade

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #528 on: May 30, 2016, 04:11:22 PM »
This is a time when Frank was writing faster than he could release albums. The whole Lather debacle threw things off, 1977 was the first full year of no new Zappa albums since 1965. This album was recorded in 1976, same year that Zoot Allures was released, and released in 1978, by then Frank was working on Shiek YerBouti material already, and had a new lineup. But anyway...

Zappa In New York is definitely one of Zappa's best albums. It has a BIG sound, very orchestral, but also filled with jazz, humor, and prog. All these Lather albums (ZNY, SD, ST, and OF) are the last albums featuring any of the early-mid 70s members (George Duke, Ruth Underwood for example) but also feature musicians who would continue to appear on later albums (Terry Bozzio, Patrick O'Hearn) so this era is kind of a best of both worlds. We get everything here.

ZNY overlaps with Lather, but there are cuts here that don't appear on the mammoth 4LP set that never came to be. The live Sofa is the best version, and The Black Page #2 is some epic music, to say the least; this is the best version. I Promise Not To Come In Your Mouth is actually the title track from Lather but the same recording. It should be noted that the songs that do appear on Lather have different cuts, and overall different mastering. (ex. ZNY sounds brighter)

Bozzio is a mad man. Bozzio is a mad man. Listen to this guy play drums. Vinnie Colaiuta may have had the most dexterity, and maybe a couple of Zappa's earlier drummers had more jazz influence, but Terry Bozzio knew how to rock-the-fuck-out AND had the chops to back it up. He also brought some humours vocals to a few albums as well.

I agree that Zappa didn't so much rearrange a song just because he could, but in order to bring out the best in his lineups, and sometimes the live versions are better with Zappa.

I usually end my post on each album with related albums from the same time period that were (usually) released posthumously, but with this period, there's too much overlap between music Frank was working on live while these albums were coming out (Shiek, Joe's Garage material) and the fact that the Lather albums contained different lineups spread across different eras that it's too confusing and/or a spoiler for upcoming albums (if you care enough). The only thing I can say is Philly 76 because ZNY is also from 1976 and has a similar, but stripped down, lineup and with occasional female vocals.

Here's some more interesting facts about this era. Look at what was supposed to be released in 1977 before Zappa In New York:



It looks like the cover of Joe's Garage. Let's take a closer look...



This era is one of those times where, even if just slightly, things went Zappa's way, the remaining discography may have been COMPLETELY different from here forward. For better or worse? We'll never know, but Zappa did get way more cynical after the Lather fiasco.

Offline Mosh

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #529 on: May 30, 2016, 04:58:46 PM »
I find it interesting that when it came time to put the albums on CD, Zappa decided to acknowledge the unauthorized albums as official, or "canon". Lather in its intended form didn't see the light of day until after he died and AFAIK he wasn't ever preparing a CD release of Lather.

Good call on Bozzio, he was definitely the Keith Moon of the Frank Zappa drummers. He fit especially well on Sheik Yer Bouti, which had an almost punk rock recklessness to it at times.
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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #530 on: May 31, 2016, 02:04:20 AM »
Good find! Yeah, the not releasing of Lather by Warner Brothers pissed Frank off to no end. It was the straw that broke the camel's back. Frank took to performing with a banner stating 'Warner Brother Sucks' on stage and the relationship would never be repaired after that. Hence the start of Zappa Records, but now we're getting ahead of ourselves.
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Offline darkshade

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #531 on: June 13, 2016, 10:18:35 PM »
Seriously, though, Läther is probably the best Zappa album.

I'm glad it was released. There was a long period of time where I dismissed the 'sub' albums (ZNY, Studio Tan, etc..) and would only listen to Läther if I wanted any of the songs from this era. The reissue of the original Sleep Dirt, in 2012; without the added vocals, from later CDs from the 80s and 90s, and the upgraded audio on Studio Tan, got me to re-explore the Lather albums and I'm glad I did. There are enough differences to call them all original releases, they are all their own world, Läther is just the penultimate version of all albums put together as one meta-album, in effect (along with the dialogue pieces added and material not found anywhere else) Läther is also it's own, unique world.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2016, 10:24:59 PM by darkshade »

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #532 on: June 14, 2016, 09:25:10 AM »
I've only listened to Lather once, but I remember it feeling like a compilation album of a bunch of unrelated material pasted together. And at the time I had only heard ZINY so it was all mostly new to me. But then again Zappa's albums could feel like a random collage of music.  :lol
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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #533 on: June 27, 2016, 08:19:35 PM »
Spun Freak Out! today....    I really love that album.    50 years ago today....everything awesome about modern rock-n-roll was born. 

We all look at the pillars like Sgt. Pepper, Days of Future Past, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Court of the Crimson King.....but Freak Out! beat them all to the punch.

Happy Anniversary to Freak out!
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Offline darkshade

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #534 on: July 03, 2016, 09:26:08 AM »
What happened to this thread. We've been left hanging in the middle of the Lather era with Zappa In New York. ???

Offline Nihil-Morari

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #535 on: February 26, 2017, 09:58:10 AM »
Thinking about rebooting this. I might take a couple albums head start, so the next album could take a couple weeks. But I will finish this. Only 85 albums to go, we're so close!
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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #536 on: February 26, 2017, 11:30:33 AM »
Bring it on! A lot of the 80s albums are uncharted territory for me so I'm excited.
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Offline Nihil-Morari

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #537 on: February 26, 2017, 11:39:13 AM »
Bring it on! A lot of the 80s albums are uncharted territory for me so I'm excited.

Well with Thing-Fish and Francesco Zappa to go, what could go wrong?  :lol
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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #538 on: February 26, 2017, 02:44:06 PM »
I actually enjoy Francesco Zappa. Haven't heard Thingfish, kinda dreading it :lol
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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #23 'Zappa In New York'
« Reply #539 on: February 27, 2017, 03:12:20 AM »
 :metal Good man!  :metal
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Offline Nihil-Morari

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #24 'Studio Tan'
« Reply #540 on: March 06, 2017, 04:35:24 AM »
Official Release #24 'Studio Tan'
(Released 09/1978)



Background Information:
The second released disc of the Läther record. After Zappa’s problems with manager Herb Cohen and distributor Warner Bros. Records, Warner decided on their own to release the Läther 4-LP box-set on their own terms, i.e. as four separate albums, with their own artwork, and no credits. The released version will be the one discussed here, mainly because Läther itself was released eventually (the first official release was in 1996).
The fact that the album title (which is more of a point with the next record) and even the artwork did not change when Zappa reissued the albums. Had he laid the dispute to rest, or couldn’t he give a toss anymore?

The Album Itself:
The album actually is a tour-de-force of studio technique. The band consists mainly of the 1976 New York band, but with a ton of overdubs of people ranging from Zappa aficionados Malcom McNab to a ton of people who have only played on this record.
The record starts off with ‘(The Adventures Of) Greggery Peccary’, an entire comic-book style rock-opera in itself. A nihilistic story about a peccary inventing the calendar, and after being chased ends up inside the mouth of Billy the Mountain and more of that stuff. Musically it’s an interesting piece too, with a lot more jazzy feel to it than for example the piece Billy the Mountain itself.
Side two consists of three pieces, the extremely poppy and upbeat ‘Lemme Take You To The Beach’, which is a satire if Zappa ever made one. And two really clever instrumental pieces of which RDNZL is the jazzy improv track, and ‘Revised…’ a really well-composed piece of orchestral music played by a rock band. Both tracks sound awesome, again due to a great recording technique, but the piano interludes during the theme of RDNZL take the cake. The theme itself is a wonderful composition, it just shows how much you an achieve with (mainly) eighth notes.


Essential Tracks:
Greggery Peccary
RDNZL
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #24 'Studio Tan'
« Reply #541 on: March 06, 2017, 07:03:45 AM »
I like this one a lot.  I got it way back before we knew about the Warner lawsuit or any of that, so I have to admit that the lack of credits and really liner notes of any kind was disappointing, but as always it was all about the music for me, and this did not disappoint.  I love how Greggery ends up on Billy the Mountain and we briefly hear the "Billy was a mountain..." theme.  Side Two is all good, too.  I love "Lemme Take You to the Beach" and the two instrumentals are chill and fun.

Played a bar in Manistee, Michigan a few years later, and this was back in the days when a band played a place all week (or in this case Thursday through Saturday) so by the end of the week the band and some of the employees have gotten to know each other pretty well.  The crew was all heading to the beach Saturday during the day, and they told us we should come along.  We could hang out, then all be back at the bar to work that night.  Back then, we traveled in a converted school bus so if anyone went somewhere, we all went, or chose individually to stay at the hotel, or the bar, or wherever until later.  So that was a no-go because Pete (our asshole leader) didn't want to go.  The one cute waitress had her car and said she could take some of us, and started singing "Lemme take you the beach... ♫♫"  I thought that that was awesome that she knew the song.  But we didn't go, because Pete is an asshole.

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #24 'Studio Tan'
« Reply #542 on: March 06, 2017, 07:17:05 AM »
It may not surprise anyone here, but this is a favorite of mine. I'll admit that as a teenager, my friends and I were initially drawn to this album because of the general weirdness of Greggery Peccary. The story is odd, seemingly nonsensical, but the lyrics are brilliant and in the end make a trippy kind of commentary on modern life. No moral, mind you, just an absurdity.

But during the course of several listens, a funny thing began to happen. The music really soaked in and its storytelling brilliance became obvious and thrilling. This composition single-highhandedly changed my opinion of Franks other orchestral pieces forever and opened a door that allowed me to enjoy avant-garde music.

Because my name is Gregg in real life, my friends began associating "the little pig" with me. It was a high-school buddy who first suggested I get a personalized license plate for my car that said PODAAR. When I asked him why, he said, "Because you are a Peccary of Destiny Adventure And Romance." To this very day, I can call a business associate (who recently turned 62) and when I say, "Good morning, Sam." He will usually respond with, "Greggery Peccary! Good morning." I can't even help myself when someone happens to mention that they went to Catalina Island my head automatically thinks of that part of the song and sometimes it just blurts out my mouth.

So this album has been a big part of my life and I still enjoy it today as much as I did back in the day. Mrs. P hates it!  :lol
« Last Edit: March 06, 2017, 09:07:39 AM by Podaar »

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #24 'Studio Tan'
« Reply #543 on: March 06, 2017, 10:10:41 AM »
My wife likes Catalina salad dressing.  Any time she asks me to get out the Catalina dressing, I can't help but sing ♫♫ Catalina, Catalina!  Catalina! ♪♫

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #24 'Studio Tan'
« Reply #544 on: March 06, 2017, 10:22:28 AM »
"Mysterious angelic voices singing from a great distance", has become a common phrase in my family as a substitute for inspiration. I swear I've heard everyone of my kids say it as some point or another.  :biggrin:

Offline Nihil-Morari

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #24 'Studio Tan'
« Reply #545 on: March 06, 2017, 11:15:19 AM »
It's great to read your enthusiastic reactions. Obviously I knew about these albums not being 'real Zappa albums' when I heard them. That might've messed up the way I could've enjoyed them otherwise. I rarely listen to Greggery Peccary, and when I do I always end up comparing it to Billy. Which to me is more funny, just as musical, and the fact that that one is live recorded makes it all the more impressive. Plus: Flo and Eddie. I was sure however that this album had fans on this forum, so it was awesome to dive in once again. Will possibly re-listen tonight, I'm getting excited from reading your point of view, Gregg and Orbert  :)
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Offline darkshade

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #24 'Studio Tan'
« Reply #546 on: March 06, 2017, 06:04:15 PM »
It's funny, I went through a Zappa kick a couple months ago, but haven't listened to much since, then I put on Studio Tan for no reason a couple of days ago, and now here we are.


The album actually is a tour-de-force of studio technique. The band consists mainly of the 1976 New York band.

Not to be that guy, but this is inaccurate. The album is pretty much the '74 lineup (minus Napoleon Murphy Brock), with a few guests. The exception is Eddie Jobson on keys and Paul Humphrey on drums for "Lemme Take You To The Beach".

This is the 'main' band for the majority of Studio Tan.

George Duke - keys
Ruth Underwood - marimba/percussion
Tom Fowler - bass
Chester Thompson - drums
Bruce Fowler - trombone

Anyway, this album is the only Lather album where there are no differences between the Lather versions and this, other than different track order (though tracks 2-4 are also the last 3 tracks of disc 1 of Lather.)

Greggary Peccary is certainly a dense piece of music. I first hated the very beginning of the piece, that I overlooked the entire piece for years. Over time, I have let it digest, and it has grown on me immensely. Hearing live versions from posthumous albums helped in understanding its development. I now think it's one of Zappa's greatest achievements in music, and always get a kick out of it when I listen.

RDNZL is a Zappa classic, top five Frank tune, up there with Peaches en Regalia and Inca Roads. The rest of the album is fun and challenging, and worth every penny. I'm one of those who got Lather first, and ignored ST because there is nothing changed, and Lather had better sound than the old ST CDs. When Studio Tan got a re-release in 2012, the audio was upgraded to the original analog mix, and I began listening to it as its own album, and with improved sound (Lather is similar, but slightly different mix to my ears) I enjoy Studio Tan outside of the Lather concept.

Greggary Peccary is way more complex and technical than Billy The Mountain, and I also think it's more humorous. Plus it has a Herbie Hancock "Chameleon" tease. Doesn't make it better or worse, but I prefer GP over BTM.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2017, 08:46:51 PM by darkshade »

Offline Nihil-Morari

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #24 'Studio Tan'
« Reply #547 on: March 07, 2017, 12:59:47 AM »
Not to be that guy, but this is inaccurate.

Please, do! As I said at the very beginning I'm not a zappologist, I can mis things, or just quote things wrong. I'll definitely listen to the album again now, knowing it's from a different line-up, maybe I'll find clues of it being the '74 band in terms of sound. I always like hunting for clues, why a certain bass line should be Tom Fowler's, or if I hear one of Chester's fills.
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Offline darkshade

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #24 'Studio Tan'
« Reply #548 on: March 07, 2017, 08:03:45 AM »
Not to be that guy, but this is inaccurate.

Please, do! As I said at the very beginning I'm not a zappologist, I can mis things, or just quote things wrong. I'll definitely listen to the album again now, knowing it's from a different line-up, maybe I'll find clues of it being the '74 band in terms of sound. I always like hunting for clues, why a certain bass line should be Tom Fowler's, or if I hear one of Chester's fills.

The Lather era is a confusing time in Zappa's career. Lather had participation from almost every Zappa alumni up until this point in time (1977) and Studio Tan focused on the lineup I listed before (of course, there's like 20 something other musicians on the Studio Tan as well, between the orchestra players and the guest musicians, but not anyone from the '76 NY live band besides Ruth or Jobson.) I recall reading that Frank had been putting together Lather for a long time, so I want to say the ST tracks were recorded before Zappa hooked up with Bozzio and O'Hearn, the main rhythm section from 76-78, who, by the way, are featured on a few tracks on the next Lather album, Sleep Dirt.

Offline Mosh

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #24 'Studio Tan'
« Reply #549 on: March 07, 2017, 07:52:50 PM »
The Lather albums are a strange bunch. Albums released without his permission in ways he did not intend, yet they are now considered "official" and are probably the versions 99% of Zappa fans are familiar with, not Lather. Was Zappa involved at all with what songs landed on which album and in what order? Because these are actually curated really well. I might even say better than what eventually became Lather.

Studio Tan in particular is good because it gives a taster of Zappa's main strengths: the comedy rock, the satire, the 20th century orchestral music, and the jazz fusion. All 4 really high quality offerings too. My only real gripe with this album is the production. Something about Zappa's albums starting at about 1976 seems too polished. It's all clear and pristine to the point of sounding artificial. Frank struck me as the type of artist who was going for absolute perfection. His preference in the synclavier toward the end of his life seems to support this. I get that he wanted his music portrayed as accurately as possible, but some of his studio recordings from this time period are almost too perfect. It's a minor complaint, but it's one reason I prefer his earlier work.


Greggary Peccary is interesting. I can't help but miss Flo and Eddie when listening to this, especially with all the Billy the Mountain references. Their delivery of Frank's words really brought it to a new level. The story isn't as entertaining either IMO. Instrumentally, however, it is far superior to Billy the Mountain. It's chaotic but somehow works. Nice mixture of Jazz and avant-garde. There are't any choruses or major recurring motifs like in Billy the Mountain, which makes it much more dense, but it flows smoothly enough not to seem disjointed in a bad way.

Overall an interesting piece, but not one I find myself going back to often. Still, the composition is so impressive that I can enjoy it thoroughly whenever I do listen to it. I also love the chaotic finale.

The album's real strength for me is side 2. Let Me Take You To the Beach is one of the best pop songs he's written. I've said it before, but the reason his satire works is mostly because he is so good at writing pop music. He's not just tearing apart a genre he doesn't really understand, he definitely gets what makes a good pop songs. So you get the foundation of a great pop song but with Frank's signature weirdness. The extended instrumental section in this tune is so cool. It's kinda strange but also extremely catchy. Blows my mind that it is under 3 minutes, they really accomplish a lot in such a short time.

Revised Music For Low Budget Orchestra is a taste of Zappa's many orchestral endeavors he would embark on in the 80s. Cool piece. His orchestral stuff can often be difficult, but I feel this one is unusually catchy.
Love the section where the horn section doubles the guitar solo.

RDNZL is the best song on the album and one of Frank's greatest pieces. Chronologically, it's the first time this tune was released, but there are many recordings that predate this. I became familiar with the YCDTOSA Vol 2 version. Honestly, in comparison to that this version feels a little bare. The production is really polished, but I miss all those horn flourishes. Still a great piece and a nice way to close out this album. Also a fantastic guitar solo.



 
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Offline Nihil-Morari

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #25 'Sleep Dirt'
« Reply #550 on: March 10, 2017, 02:28:31 PM »
Official Release #25 'Sleep Dirt'
(Released 01/1979)



Background Information:
The next installment of Läther tracks. Though a couple of tracks appear in a different form than was originally intended on Läther, there are bigger differences to be found in different versions. The LP version (just like the Läther version) is entirely instrumental. But when the album was re-released in CD in 1991 Zappa asked Thana Harris to overdub vocals on a couple of tracks. Frank originally intended three tracks to be part of a musical called Hutchentoot, Chris Ullsperger called the vocal overdubs to be ‘an important restoration’. This makes it all the more difficult to state which version would be the ‘best’ version of these tracks compiled by Warner as ‘Sleep Dirt’. The original vinyl version without vocals (and as stated by John Bamford in 1986 with ‘wrong equalization’), the 1991 CD version with vocals (but also with Chad Wackerman drum overdubs, overdubbing old drum parts was a nasty habit Zappa had during that time), or the Zappa Records 2012 issue which reverts back to the original master tapes, without vocals, but with correct sound.
Since the vocal versions are all out of print and most people would have the new CD version or the old vinyl version, that will be the version discussed below.

The Album Itself:
On to Hot Rats III. Or Sleep Dirt? Zappa’s intended title for the album was Hot Rats III, which was simply put aside by Warner, to be substituted by Sleep Dirt, the name of a beautiful acoustic guitar piece.
Since we are discussing the instrumental version of this release, this is an all-instrumental record, which is a rare thing with Zappa. Like Waka/Jawaka and The Grand Wazoo this album has a jazzy sound, even though it’s stylistically very different from either of those records. Apart from the track closing off the album ‘The Ocean is…’ the pieces have a more compositional nature, instead of the long solo’s that happen on Waka/Jawaka and The Grand Wazoo. Pieces like Flambay, Spider of Destiny and Regyptian Strut all sound amazing.

Essential Tracks:
Filthy Habits
Flambay
Regiptian Strut
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #25 'Sleep Dirt'
« Reply #551 on: March 10, 2017, 02:41:36 PM »
This one escaped me on my original pass, and also my second pass in the 80's.  I think I finally downloaded a copy of it in the 00's when I was trying (in vain it would seem) to "complete" my Zappa catalogue, but I'm not very familiar with it.  I should do something about that.

Offline Mosh

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #25 'Sleep Dirt'
« Reply #552 on: March 10, 2017, 04:49:26 PM »
Not familiar with it either. Ordered it on amazon for this.  :metal
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Offline Nihil-Morari

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #25 'Sleep Dirt'
« Reply #553 on: March 11, 2017, 04:53:02 AM »
Cool guys! Interested to read what you think! It's not really an essential Zappa album imo, but the sound of a couple of tracks is something that he's rarely done, the jazzy stuff, with an upright bass, it's really a nice addition to your Zappa collection.
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Offline Podaar

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #25 'Sleep Dirt'
« Reply #554 on: March 11, 2017, 06:49:28 AM »
Like Orbert, I missed this one on release. In fact, the first time I heard it was a couple of years ago when you first started talking about doing this thread, Nihil.  :lol  I've gone back to a few times but not for a while now. I remember especially digging, Filthy Habits, Flambay and The Ocean is the Ultimate Solution. Still, I think the entire record is quite easy to listen to and is consistently interesting. There is some patented Zappa guitar leads, at times, which helps tie this record to his later work... for me anyway.

Offline Nihil-Morari

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #25 'Sleep Dirt'
« Reply #555 on: March 11, 2017, 12:42:14 PM »
Funny to read that this has been spun less by the Zappa community, aka you guys. Possibly because it doesn't have a 'hit' on it, not a song that would rotate later concerts or anything. I mean, that's how it worked for me, the first couple of years. I knew a couple YCDTOSA releases (mainly 1, 2 and 3), New York and Roxy, and would work from there, recognising songs etc. A while later I figured I might as well start from the beginning, but Sleep Dirt slipped through for me as well.
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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #25 'Sleep Dirt'
« Reply #556 on: March 11, 2017, 12:43:44 PM »
I don't know why it is for me. I've heard all other Lather albums several times, but haven't given Sleep Dirt much attention despite being especially fond of that side of him.
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Offline Nihil-Morari

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #25 'Sleep Dirt'
« Reply #557 on: March 11, 2017, 12:49:31 PM »
I kept thinking about the 'no live versions'. Regyptian Strut is on Wazoo. But since that's pretty new, it doesn't count  :lol
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Offline darkshade

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #25 'Sleep Dirt'
« Reply #558 on: March 11, 2017, 05:34:23 PM »
Filthy Habits is on You Can't DO That On Stage Anymore Vol. 4, played by the 1988 band. But not much else besides Regyptian Strut in its primordial version from 1972 under a different title ("Processional March" or something like that.)

Sleep Dirt is a weird one, because for the longest time, unless you had the original vinyl, the only available version was the remix with off-putting (even for Zappa) vocals and overdubbed 80s drums, so not preferable. When the original analog recording got released in 2012 it was like a revelation.

I'll try to listen to this tonight and leave some comments.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Frank Zappa Discography Thread - #25 'Sleep Dirt'
« Reply #559 on: March 12, 2017, 07:31:54 AM »
I'm pretty sure I missed this one the first few times because of the shitty cover.  Zappa has often been obscure with his album titles, but back in the days of shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, catchy album cover art would still grab my attention.  Again, I was unaware of all the Warner Bros. crap going on at the time, but seeing this one looked like another album that Frank put very little effort into.  And it turns out I was right, but for the wrong reasons.  Frank put no effort into the packaging -- that's all on Warner Bros. -- but the result was the same.  No sale from me.

I think I may also have had a feeling like Frank was so prolific that he was putting out tons and tons of material and thought that he didn't need to bother with packaging because people would eat it up anyway.  Frank insists that he really doesn't care whether or not people like his work (he always claimed to do it 100% for his own amusement), and Warner Bros. obviously didn't care, so why should we?  So Warner Bros. fucked up, no surprise there.  They could have actually sold more units if they'd've put some effort into it.