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Frank Zappa - One Size Fits All  CD (album) cover

ONE SIZE FITS ALL

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.32 | 559 ratings

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Nightfly
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars One Size Fits All was the last record to feature one of the best line-ups that Frank Zappa ever had; in fact it's also the last record he put out as Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention so it was also an end to a great era. Fortunately it's also one of the best records he released, if not the best. It's got everything a Zappa fan could want; the complex arrangements covering musical bases from Rock to Fusion with a bit of Funk for good measure, the harmony vocals, the humour and it sounds great too with a totally sympathetic production.

The almost 9 minute Inca Roads opens in excellent style. Complex in a Jazz/Fusion style and features an excellent Zappa guitar solo which incidently was lifted form a Helsinki concert and pasted onto the backing track, something that Zappa has not been averse to doing over the years. It fits perfectly and you can't see the seam.

Things get more rocky for Can't Afford no Shoes which is followed by a lovely instrumental featuring the Sofa in space on the front cover and titled Sofa No 1. The track makes a re-appearance at the end of the album as a vocal version as Sofa No 2, a nice way to tie up the record.

The hilarious Po-Jama People with the trademark Zappa humour pokes fun at, you've guessed it, people who wears pyjama's. It's also great instrumentally too with another excellent solo from the man. In fact it can't go unsaid, though expectedly the whole band play brilliantly throughout the album and vibes have never been used as well as on Zappa records in a rock band setting supplied by the brilliant Ruth Underwood. I also love Chester Thompson's drumming on this album too ably aided by Tom Fowler on bass in the rhythm section, though replaced by James Youman in places (not sure where exactly) due to Fowler breaking a hand.

More musical complexity follows with Florentine Pogan with many twists and turns and then we're into more hilarity with Evelyn, a Modified Dog which is over within a minute. The next 2 tracks feature one of Zappa's early heroes Johnny "Guitar" Watson on vocals. San Ber'dino is an excellent mix of Rock and Funk and Andy is more complex though also having funky elements. The afore mentioned Sofa No 2 follows bringing this excellent and most complete album to a close, not a weak track present.

So whilst nowhere near being one of the more commercial Zappa albums it's not a bad place to start for the novice due to the strength of the material and an excellent example of his mid-seventies period work.

Nightfly | 5/5 |

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