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Frank Zappa - Chunga's Revenge CD (album) cover

CHUNGA'S REVENGE

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.39 | 231 ratings

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LiquidEternity
Prog Reviewer
2 stars One of Zappa's earliest solo albums, it is a noticeable step down from its predecessor and the majority of the releases that will follow it.

This album blends the focus of Hot Rats with the early psychedelic insanity of the Mothers music. So parts of the album play like straightforward quality music, while other parts sound like little more than a band goofing around on their instruments, though I have no doubt that that's the intent. There is a fair amount of instrumental jamming, showcasing the skills of the almighty Frank Zappa, but there still are a number of songs that listeners can sit down and enjoy. Even a song or two that would, were its lyrics a bit more socially acceptable, fit on a classic rock radio station. This is basically the perfect transition album between early Frank, with his jamming and goofing, and later Frank, with his tighter compositions and better melodies.

The album seems focused on two instrumental jams, Transylvania Boogie and the title track, each on a side of the LP. Both are, as far as jam tunes go, very listenable. Chunga's Revenge in particular flows with some spastic guitar noodling from the man, and this time it is certainly to the music's advantage. A third instrumental jam session, the live-recorded Nancy & Mary Music, features a lot of rambling instruments and solo spots, but it keeps its flow well. Other songs of particular note include Would You Go All the Way, a song that begins in the vein of something I would expect to find being played on Oldies radio. A catchy chorus and sexually charged lyrics mark this very clearly as a Zappa tune, though. The conclusion of this song is stunning, I must add, and makes the whole song consistently worthwhile. The rest of the songs are good, entertaining, just not terribly remarkable one way or another.

Like I wrote above, this is a clear transition album for Frank Zappa. If you like his early music and want to get into his later stuff (or vice versa), this is a weak intermediate step, but not a horrible place to turn to. Slightly below average, but an considerably interesting one for the serious Zappa fan.

LiquidEternity | 2/5 |

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