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Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 6 CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.90 | 102 ratings

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4 stars This is the last volume of the "You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore" series that Frank Zappa put together to represent some of his best live performances and to also collect some tracks that were not at that time available anywhere else. Volume 6 focuses on the comedy of his bands throughout the years. The tracks on this collection are collected from live performances through his career.

The first disc consists of humorous and shorter songs focusing on the vocals. The subject is all about sex and the bands on here are not afraid to delve into the most off-color and sexually explicit material and nothing here is sacred, so to speak. This material is not for the easily offended, so make sure you understand that before listening to this collection.

On the first track, FZ introduces the collection from an introductory speech made at a concert in Tallahassee, Florida on 10/9/1970. This was shortly after Jim Morrison was arrested for exposing himself and FZ and the band were confronted before going on stage by what he called "a redneck with a gun" saying that they had better not have any intention on exposing themselves. This is the oath they made up in answer to that performed on stage in front of a very excited crowd. It's a great introduction to the disc. This leads into the next spoken word track, "The Poodle Lecture". This helps explain the whole poodle controversy that is brought up time and time again in Zappa's music and concerts. After that you two songs, the famous "Dirty Love" that usually follows the lecture and then "Magic Fingers" that appeared on the rare album "200 Motels". Next is an audience participation track dealing with panties followed by a very mediocre version of "Honey Don't You Want a Man Like Me" and then an interesting version of "Father O'blivion". More spoken word follows with FZ talking about what was a big hit at the time in the song "I'm in You" by Peter Frampton. It really irked him that anyone would think that it was a romantic song to have someone making love to a woman and whispering this phrase in her ear. He carries on about this for 4 minutes. Next, Ted Nugent gets blasted on the song "I'm So Cute" which he was deserving of, then there is a strange avant garde style vocal styling called "White Person". After this is more spoken word explaining what the song "Ms Pinky" is about and then that particular song is performed.

Another great progressive selection from "200 Motels" follows in the song "Shove it Right In". After this is a version of "Wind Up Workin' at a Gas Station" is performed. This song is special in the fact that it is a rare recording of Bianca Odin performing with the band. There are not very many recordings of her during her short stint with the band. Also, Eddie Jobson from Roxy Music is on keys here. Not the best version of this song, but it is valuable in because of it's rarity. Next is the hilarious audience participation track "Make a Sex Noise" followed by "Tracey is a Snob" which is mostly a jazz fusion instrumental with sex noises behind it which was one of Frank's favorite jokes. The next song is "I Have Been in You" which is Frank's answer to Peter Frampton's "I'm in You" just to show how ridiculous lyrics like this can be. I guess he figured if Framption could do it, so could he. Another song with sex noises follows, then we get four of Zappa's most well known songs about sex in some pretty decent renditions which ends with "Muffin Man". It's actually a great ending for the first disc which leaves you wanting more of the same, but it takes way to long for the disc to become consitently good and unfortunately, the last song doesn't play out, but just fades out which is very annoying.

Disc 2 is much better and has the better performances and a lot more instrumentals, something that was sorely missed on the first disc. There is a great version of "The Illinois Enema Bandit" which is followed by an amazing instrumental called "Thirteen" that has a violin solo by guest artist L. Shankar. This is a wonderful solo that just works so well after the substandard music on disc 1. For some reason, during the last section of the song, Frank edits to another concert that features a guitar solo, but I would have rather heard the rest of Shankar's performance. It's still a great track though. Patrick O'Hearn gets featured on bass on the next instrumental track called "Lobster Girl" and does a great job, then this follows into a slow blusey rendition of "Black Napkins" which has the distinction of the melody and main hooks being played by brass in the beginning. This is another amazing performance and is a nice way to present this instrumental. Frank edits to another venue in the middle of the song and the rhythm suddenly changes from the slow blues to a more reggae sound, but it is still a great performance so it all fits well.

Next, you get a rare performance of "Turning Again" which is a good track, but it pokes some fun at Jimi Hendrix. Right after the bit about Hendrix, Keneally messes up his guitar part which Ike Willis finds very amusing. There is another instrumental called "Alien Orifice" which is interesting enough, which is followed two songs from Joe's Garage; famous "Catholic Girls" and "Crew Slut". Then comes Adrian Belew singing lead on "Tryin' to Grow a Chin" from Shiek Yerbouti followed by the instrumental version of "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance." Next Lisa Pomeil, a soprano operatic singer and sister to the Ronco ad announcer does a strange song about her life, or at least she says it is. The country tinged "Lonesome Cowboy Nando" is great and it includes lyrics about a jellyfish that has something to do with FZ actually have a jellyfish scientifically named after him (hydrozoan P. zappai) by a Zappa-fanatic that just happened to be a scientist (look it up, it's true). The "200 Motels Finale" follows and then the entire series is brought to an amazing close with a non-orchestral version of "Strictly Genteel" which is an appropriate closer.

So, if you are into Zappa's humor, this is the collection for you. But, disc 2 offers plenty of great music for when you are feeling a little more intellectual, yet still has a lot of the same humor in it. The 1st disc suffers because of the lack of cohesiveness and not a lot of progressive music, just silliness, but it's still not completely terrible. The 2nd disc is worth the purchase alone, so the two together make a pretty good compilation. Just be ready for a lot of off-color humor. As far as recommendation, I would get volumes 1 or 2 before this one, but it has plenty to offer for the humorous Zappa fan. 3.5 stars, but we'll round it up to 4.

TCat | 4/5 |


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