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Frank Zappa - Joe's Garage, Act I CD (album) cover

JOE'S GARAGE, ACT I

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.14 | 554 ratings

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A_Flower
5 stars Probably one of the most overlooked albums of all time.

Joe's Garage is amazing! And not just act one, I'm talking about 1,2, and even 3. This is his second best album behind One Size Fits All. It's funny, progressive, a d the story isn't that hard to follow. Sure, it may get a bit crude sometimes but when you are used to Zappa's dirty humour you can just pay attention to the perfect album.

The album kicks off with a drum beat and a voice saying "This is the Central Scrutinized". It is Zappa whispering into a projecter. The Central Scrutizer works for the government. He is the narrator and the antagonist in the story (He is also my favorite character). He thinks he is very smart and knows all these effects and consequences of life. What he hates most of all is music. Right after he brings up the subject of music we get a an awesome little xylophone melody. He then goes on about music and gives the first of many loading announcements-these are repeated throughout the album.

The next song is the title track. It is the most radio friendly but is just as progressive. Frank Zappa puts in a lot of funny effects describing lyrics after stanzas. Like when he says the girls come dancing, they dance like BOOM, BAM! BOOM BAM BUM! BOOM, BAM! BOOM BAM BUM! The song slowly builds up more and fades out in the end with angry neighbors yelling at Joe and his band.

After the Central Scrutinizer introduces Joe's girlfriend Mary to the story, we get Catholic Girls. This is a stereotypical but funny song. It has good guitar in the middle. It took me a few listens but can be pretty good. The Central Scrutinized, in the end, keeps the story going when he tells us that Mary, one day decided to do something different described in the next song.

Crew Slut is the next song on the album. Mary becomes a groupie for another rock band, or as Zappa describes it, a "Crew Slug." The song is funny when the rock band people start taking to Mary and saying things like "Hey I'll buy you a pizza". In the middle we get a guitar solo. Then end of the song changes the melody, and has Mary talking to the rock group members.

The next song is Wet T-Shirt Night AKA Fembot in a Wet T-Shirt. It starts with lyrics talking about a Wet T-Shirt Night, which I didn't know still existed until my sister went to one last March. The song has a xylophone solo and the first part is pretty good. We then go into a spoken word interview between Mary, who is completing and an Game Show Host. The conversation is funny, but like I said earlier, you have to be used to Zappa's crude humour to get it. Anyway, Mary competes and the boy love her.

Joe, however, somehow finds out about Mary. This song is On the Bus, but on the original LP I guess it was pinned as Toad 'O Line. It is overall a guitar solo until The Central Scrutinized makes an important announcement in the middle. He tells us that Joe went to search for Mary but found another girl named Lucille who works at a Jack in the Box. Lucille and him get it on, but she gives him VD described in the next song.

The next song is "Why Does it Hurt When I Pee?". Yes, the title says it all. It is a crude one, but has some very progressive chord change. Therefore, it is a love/hate prog rock song.

Finally, we get Lucille has Messed my Mind Up. This is the most relaxed song on the album. It's a reggee ballad about how Lucille broke Joe's heart. It may go on a bit and seems to be somewhat of a filler, but it's not horrible. The ending is the Scrutinized Postlude. The Central Scrutinized ends this act off by saying that Joe's problems are not from different things happening but Music itself! Joe then decided to turn to religion to solve his problems, but we hear about that in Act 2. Stay tuned for more on Joe's Garage!.

A_Flower | 5/5 |

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