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

FILLMORE EAST, JUNE 1971

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.20 | 140 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Fillmore East, June 1971 is the first solo live album from Frank Zappa. I donīt care if it says Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention on the sleeve of the album I still regards this as a Frank Zappa album with hired help. The band that Zappa toured with in 1970-1971 included Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan from The Turtles on vocals, Ian Underwood on winds, keyboards and vocals, Aynsley Dunbar on drums, Jim Pons on bass and vocals, Bob Harris 2nd keyboard and vocals and last but not least old Mothers of Invention collegue Don Preston on Mini-Moog. These musicians where on an off the The Mothers of Invention in that period.

It is a strange period in Frank Zappaīs discography and many fans didnīt like this incarnation of the band. Mostly due to the high pitched vocal performances from Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan and the rather dirty humour about groupies and sex that seemed to be the favorite subject in that period. Many felt Zappa didnīt deliver his most artistically valid albums in that period. I only partially agree. I really enjoy the vocal performances on the albums from this period ( Chungaīs Revenge, Fillmore East, June 1971, 200 Motels and Just another Band from L.A.) while especially the bad sound quality on those four albums sometimes annoy me. There is nothing wrong with the quality of the music though.

The music on this live recording from The Fillmore East is part music and part dialogue about groupies and the size of rock star penises. If you donīt find those parts funny Iīll dare say you donīt have a humour. With lines like: Talking ībout Your haemorrhoids Baby and My Dick is a Harley you kick it to Start this album is a real lyrical gem for those of us who like dirty rock songs. The music is of course great as always. There are both unreleased songs like What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are?, Bwana Dik and Do You Like my new Car?, old Mothers of Invention songs like Little House I used to Live in and also Frank Zappa solo songs like Willie the Pimp and Peaches En Regalia on the album. The new songs are mostly vocal based or dialogue from Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan. They remind me of some of the vocal based tracks on 200 Motels.

The musicianship is excellent and I must say that I really enjoy Howard Kaylanīs wide vocal range. That man is a brilliant singer. Mark Volman isnīt the greatest singer but as Zappa said: He is a funny fat person.

The sound quality is not very good and besides the pretty well produced vocals Iīd say itīs almost of bootleg quality. Well thatīs probably taking it too far but you get the picture.

The cover art also signals bootleg being totally white with only handwritten letters to show whatīs inside. It suits itīs purpose well.

Fillmore East, June 1971 was never my favorite Frank Zappa album even though it makes me laught every time I listen to it. Itīs a good testimony of the time Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan were the lead singers in The Mothers of Invention though. I would recommend that you get Just Another Band from L.A. before purchasing this one though as it is an even better testimony. Iīll rate Fillmore East, June 1971 3 stars.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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