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Frank Zappa - Broadway The Hard Way CD (album) cover

BROADWAY THE HARD WAY

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.61 | 91 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Chris H
Prog Reviewer
1 stars I'm the first person to rate this album under four stars? Wow, wow, wow and wow again. Everybody knows that I worship the ground Zappa walked on, and I treasure virtually everything that has his name on it. Key word: Virtually. I have tried burning this album, breaking this album and I even dropped it in a Salvation Army box but it still keeps coming back! Why not just review it to save you the trouble of wasting money?

This album, "Broadway The Hard Way", was released in 1988 and at this time Frank was with one of his most inconsistent bands ever. They didn't perform well together, the music didn't flow, and everything seemed very strained when compared the gelling that was achieved by The Mothers of Invention and The Petit Wazoo Band. This is an album that is just so bad, it is beyond words. They mix dirty bedroom humor with love songs and hard and heavy riffs with comedic lyrics. I can't bring myself to review the whole album but I do have some highlights for you.

"Elvis Has Just Left The Building" starts off the album, and it is actually my favorite song. Still not a great song, but it is quite tolerable. "Planet of the Baritone Women" is a musical train wreck that is a headache waiting to happen, so just skip it. The headache continues into "Any Kind Of Pain", which is a horribly sappy love song!?!?! Frank, why? This is one of his worst songs ever. Ever! The three tracks that follow create a 10 minute filler period and then "Promiscuous" starts. Let me explain, it is a rap song about anal sex. What was Frank thinking here? Two more fillers bring us to "Bacon Fat", which really isn't a terrible song. It is just a shame that the two listenable songs on this album are less than 5 minutes combined. Skip "Stolen Moments" and put on "Murder By Numbers". Frank comes on and tells a story about how met a man named Mr. Sting in the elevator, and then Sting from the Police comes on and gives a speech about the devil and whatnot then bores everyone to sleep with the intensely repetitive "Murder By Numbers". After this, the tracks are mostly just horns and dialogue so you can end your journey here.

The bottom line? One of, if not the worst Frank Zappa albums of all time. This is a truly horrific piece of music that combines free form jazz with rap and heavy metal riffs, love songs and dirty bedroom humor. There is only about 5 or 6 minutes of actual enjoyable music on the entire album. Make this your last Zappa purchase, if you have the guts.

Chris H | 1/5 |

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