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


Frank Zappa



3.62 | 124 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is part of a trilogy of albums that were released to document different facets of the live performances of FZ's lineup for the 1988 tour. The other two are "The Best Band You've Never Heard in Your Life" which features Zappa's back catalogue and some unlikely covers (including the amazing rendition of "Bolero" by Ravel), "Make a Jazz Noise Here" which features Frank's instrumental works, and this one which features Frank's newer songs and a few covers and plenty of surprises that were pertinent to the time it was released. All three of these albums are well produced and sound amazing.

Since this one is featuring new compositions, you will be hearing a lot of new and mostly unfamiliar stuff. There is plenty of regular and warped humor here, plenty of political statements and a ton of "eyebrows" which is what FZ fans love to look for in live albums. This album seems to suffer from a lack of great guitar solos, unlike "The Best Band...." but it does have a lot more interplay among the musicians as far as all around silliness. I would say this one is probably the weakest of the three in the trilogy, but it still packs a lot of great musicianship and there are a few great guitar solos, just not enough of them. A lot of the musicianship reflects the style of the day which does tend to weaken things; for example bad sax solos, dated synth, outdated subjects (though some do apply currently) and etc. But, it's Zappa, so it's still good in it's own way.

So, if you like the repartee in FZ's live shows with group and audience interaction, this is one you will appreciate, especially if you were around during that decade to appreciate the timely humor. Not the best, but a good album to have in your prog collection just to say you have it. 4 stars....mostly for production and musicianship. But there are better albums in FZ's live discography.

TCat | 4/5 |


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