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Frank Zappa - Ahead Of Their Time CD (album) cover

AHEAD OF THEIR TIME

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.26 | 61 ratings

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Man With Hat
3 stars Ladies and gentlemen, the Mothers Of Invention.

By listening to this record you can tell the Mothers live were a force to be reckoned with. In that regurd, Ahead Of Their Time shows off two very different sides of the Mothers. Side one consists on a play. I'm sure this was a blast to see live, however, just the audio from it leaves a bit to be desired. The musical portions have some interest in them but alot of the humor of the situation is lost. Some humor gets carried over, but it seems to have been much funnier truely live. Also, it seems to drag on a bit towards the end. Nevertheless this does make this record more of a historical document, and thus should have a bit more of important for true Zappa diehards.

But the real meat and potatoes comes after. Starting with King Kong and ending with The Orange County Lumber Truck Part II, there is never a dull moment. These ten songs really show the avant-rocking power of the early Mothers Of Invention. The saxophones and Frank's Guitar really steal the show here. King Kong, The Orange County Lumbar Truck, Pound For A Brown, and Oh No, and Translyvanian Boogie contain fabulous solos by the above. In addition there are some great reworkings of classic Zappa songs, such as Sleeping In A Jar, Let's Make The Water Turn Black, and Help, I'm A Rock. But perhaps the greatest moments occur in the suite of the last five songs (which would later appear in an augmented/expanded form later in the Zappa repertoire). My only wish is that there was more ofm this kind of material around from this line up of the Mothers.

All in all, this album is certainly one of two sides. If this was just the first ten songs, I would give this two stars, and if this was just the last ten songs I would give this five stars. Needless to say it's both, so I will try and spilt the vote as fair as I can...and thus give it a 3.5. I'll round down though. However, don't let this discourage you from investigating this one. The latter half has plenty of enjoyable material and shows a (perhaps more) progressive Mothers. Recommended.

Man With Hat | 3/5 |

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