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Frank Zappa - Fillmore East, June 1971 CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.21 | 150 ratings

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Man With Hat
3 stars Flo & Eddie & Frank...happy together.

Fillmore East is a bit of a two headed beast. On one hand, you have some very explict, expertly worded, and sometimes hilarious dialouge dominated affairs, and on the other hand you have some fantastic, intense, hot music. Flo & Eddie are fully unleashed here and take no prisoners throughout. If bawdy lyrics offend you, it is probably best to avoid this album. With that being said, if you have an ear for Zappa's dirty side (and specifically this line up of The Mothers) these tracks for the most part should be enjoyable. What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are? is, IMO, at the top of the list of these vocal dominated tracks (just edeging out The Mud Shark). There are also a few middle of the road tracks which balance vocals and music such as Bwana Dik and Latex Solar Beef (both of which are very enjoyable).

However, there are some more important reasons to own this record. First and foremost, The Mud Shark. Even though its basically a story and mostly spoken, this starts the ever recurring theme of the Mud Shark through out Frank's Music. Thus essential for Zappa fans. Now for the musical moments: Little House I Used To Live In. An excellent rendition that really show the use of Flo & Eddies vocals in top form (aka to emphasize the music, as opposed to completely dominating it). Not to mention its always fun to here this one played live. Willie The Pimp, Part One. A blistering show for guitar. The only downside to this song is that it is much too short. Lonesome Electric Turkey. Another song that is much too short. Fantastic key work, a great jazz-rock/jammy atmosphere, and a good excercise for the band (albeit a short one) make this one a winner and a must have. Peaches En Regalia. One of the rare times this was actually released played live, it is certainly in top form, with F&E vocals once again putting the perfect puncuation on the music. (As an aside, I've always liked The Turtles hit with a bullet Happy Together, so to hear it here in a more exciting form is also a plus).

All in all, this one is perhaps the best of the bunch from the Flo & Eddie lineup of The Mothers. Although I would have liked to hear more insturmentals, or at least more emphasis on the music, Fillmore East does have numerous points of interest. The humor is not for everyone, and this isn't exactly the most progressive record Frank made, both of which will hurt the rating it recieves here. Also, this one should be picked up near the end of your Zappa adventure, unless you are hunting for the more sexual side of his work. On PA's scale, a 3 should fit nicely. On my own scale, a 3.5-3.8.

Man With Hat | 3/5 |


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