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Frank Zappa - Ahead Of Their Time CD (album) cover

AHEAD OF THEIR TIME

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.20 | 66 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Chris H
Prog Reviewer
4 stars One of the only albums available that really shows how weird and exciting an early Mothers Of Invention concert could be. For those of you that don't own this album, you may think "How weird could a concert actually be?". Well let me tell you, The Mothers of Invention didn't perform just concerts, they performed musical sketch comedies as well. However, if you lack the ability to witness this brand of musical comedy in person, just being able to hear it does not do a justice. Without picture, the first 10 songs of this 20 song concert is near worthless. The reason I only say NEAR worthless is because it is still rather funny and you can hear that the audience appreciates it by the wild applause. Also, it gives younger listeners like myself a good idea of how the shows were actually performed back in those days. Don't write this of as half an album right from the start.

The actual strictly music portion of the show is just instrumental re-works of all the classic Mothers songs. A pre-Chunga's Revenge version of "Transylvania Boogie" is featured, being played after a shortened up version of "Help, I'm A Rock" which is the only second half song to contain vocals. "Sleeping In A Jar" is extended, and "Harry, You're A Beast" is shortened while the extended "Oh No" is played to perfection. "Oh No" separates the two- part "The Orange County Lumber Truck", which is finally played in it's full form. The album finishes off with Frank's amazing solo at the end of "...Lumber Truck".

In the end, this is truly an album that any fan of The Mothers Of Invention should own. Of course the play would be much better with visuals, but the audio is still better than nothing and serves its purpose of bringing you the early MOI stage antics. The 10 musical re- workings are truly amazing, and recommended for any fan of jazz-fusion, not just Frank Zappa fans.

4 stars, highly recommended.

Chris H | 4/5 |

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