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Frank Zappa - Sleep Dirt CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.62 | 261 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars First of all i'm reviewing the cd, which unlike the LP has vocals. This is important because I know people who have the all instrumental album who rate it as one of the very best Zappa records. These same people who have heard the cd with the added female vocals say it's a big step down in comparison. Part of the reason is that the vocals are a little annoying, bizzare, funny, almost Dagmar Krause-like at times. The thing to remember is that this is what Frank wanted, for better or worse. I still have a hard time getting past the vocals but I am used to them, I just don't enjoy them. The LP is the only way to get the original recording. Even the Lather compilation that has the Sleep Dirt cd in it is different than the original, although it has no vocals some songs have been shortened and some changed somewhat.

"Filthy Habits" is my favourite track on here and actually one of my favourite Zappa tunes period. It is a dark instrumental where the guitar and drums absolutely shine. Check out the way Zappa holds the notes on the guitar, and the chunky bass. Keys before 4 minutes. Marching style drums 6 1/2 minutes in to the end of the song. "Flambay" is where we hear vocals for the first time as she sings accompanied with piano. There is almost a burlesque flavour to this tune and singing. The xylophone and light drums that follow are overshadowed by the annoying vocals. "Spider Of Destiny" is the song that made me think that maybe she's singing so badly because it's funny. Some nice angular guitar though. She even rolls the "r" at one point.

"Regyptian Strut" is thankfully an instrumental. It opens rather dramatically before drums and horns take over. Xylophone follows from Ruth Underwood. It's a good tune. "Time Is Money" is all about the vocals, they are the focus throughout she even wails 2 1/2 minutes in. "Sleep Dirt" is cool as dual acoutic guitars are the only instruments played in this instrumental. "The Ocean Is The Ultimate Solution" is the 13 minute closer. Like the opening track it is performed by a trio.This track is so interesting to really listen to. The interplay, and it's all so complex and intricate at times. This song along with the opening track really stand out as two of Frank's better compositions.

The Lp would easily be 4 stars, but I can only give this one 3 stars because of the vocals.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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