Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Frank Zappa - Roxy & Elsewhere CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



4.37 | 359 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
5 stars One of Zappa's most delightful albums: a glorious mixture of jazz-rock, operatic prog and something that can only be called 'Zappa-esque cabaret'.

As jazz-rock, this is superb, one of the best efforts in the genre, with sophisticated team playing and many first-rate solos by George Duke (on keyboards), Don Preston (on synthesizer), Zappa himself (on electric guitar), Chester Thompson (on drums) and particularly Ruth Underwood (on vibes). The sudden stops and starts, hilarious tempo changes and manic virtuosity displayed on 'Don't you ever wash that thing?', for example, have to be heard to be believed. And the good news is the playing never grates on the ear.

As operatic prog, ROXY AND ELSEWHERE is just as adventurous. 'Cheepnis', for instance, is a six minute 'mini-opera' which takes earlier examples of the genre (such as the Who's hugely enjoyable 'A Quick One') to a totally new level. 'Cheepnis' also prefigures the massive choruses and madcap humour of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' - but at incredible speed, with superior band playing and, of course, without sentimental bombast. At first glance 'Cheepnis' seems to be about third-rate monster movies... Only Zappa could take a line such as: 'I ate a hot dog / it tasted real good / then I watched a movie / from Hollywood' and make it rock like hell.

And for all those who still believe Zappa was merely a clown with a dirty mind, there's 'Village of the Sun', a lovely tribute to the town where our Frank played R&B in the 1950s, brilliantly sung, with great sensitivity, by Napoleon Murphy Brock.

P.S. Although earlier reviewers have pointed out this was originally a double album, it is now available on a single CD, which is very good value indeed.

P.P.S. Many of the same compositions are also available on a later live album, YOU CAN'T DO THAT ON ANYMORE VOL. II, where they get played at even crazier speeds (in Finland!) but in my opinion ROXY itself is still unsurpassed.

fuxi | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this FRANK ZAPPA review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.