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Frank Zappa - Zoot Allures CD (album) cover

ZOOT ALLURES

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.71 | 287 ratings

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Nightfly
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Apparently Zappa said that Zoot Allures was his atempt to make a straight Rock record. To be honest I don't think Zappa was ever capable of making a straight Rock record but I can see where he's coming from as around half the album is by Zappa's standards fairly accessible Rock music albeit laced with the great man's sense of humour. It's basically a Zappa solo record as he plays most of the instruments, though not Drums which are supplied by the superb Terry Bozzio. Other musicians/vocalists make the occasional appearance though here and there.

Wind Up Working in a Gas Station opens, a short track at only two and a half minutes, it's one of the aforementioned straight Rock moments with falsetto vocals supplied by Davey Moire complimenting Zappa's own. Though decent enough, much better is following instrumental Black Napkins which is actually a live recording with all audience noise removed. It features a classic Zappa guitar solo, one of his very best in my opinion. The Torture Never Stops is a slow sleazy number with Zappa on vocals and orgasmic squeals supplied by an undisclosed female. Amusingly with reference to this Zappa states in the liner notes that he was director of recreational activities. At almost ten minutes it does outstay its welcome a little though.

Back to the Rock with Ms Pinky, an amusing track, Ms Pinky being a rubber sex doll. Find Her Finer has a nice slow groove to it and is followed by another excellent instrumental, Friendly Little Finger with more fantastic guitar from Zappa and Bozzio is also excellent on Drums. Ruth Underwoods Marimba adds a bit of colour to the start of the track also. This segues into the riffy Wonderful Wino, ultimately though one of the least satisfying tracks on the album.

Instrumental and title track Zoot Allures is generally highly regarded amongst Zappa fans, again featuring his distinctive guitar well to the fore. It's a slowish piece, held in check beautifully by Bozzio and an album highlight. Last but not least Disco Boy has Zappa having a go at, you guessed it Disco boy's, the Disco movement being in it's prime at the time of this albums release. It's another straight Rock number and an excellent album closer; great fun!

This was the very first Zappa album I ever bought on its release in 1976 and I've always had a soft spot for it. It's an excellent album though he's done better but it's fairly accessible and would make a good introduction for someone wanting to check him out.

Nightfly | 4/5 |

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