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Frank Zappa - Over-Nite Sensation CD (album) cover

OVER-NITE SENSATION

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.99 | 402 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Over-Nite Sensation from 1973 marked a notable change in Frank Zappaīs sound and it also meant that he had his first really well selling album. Over-Nite Sensation is the first album where Frank Zappa began to show commercial potential. The avant garde and jazz/ rock parts are toned down on Over-Nite Sensation and what we get here is high energetic, funny and entertaining rock music. Of course with a lot of twists and turns as weīre used to from Frank Zappa. Hardcore avant garde fans might not find this album very entertaining but for those of us who love the silly/ humourous side of Frank Zappa this is a brilliant album.

The album is very short. The playing time is only 34:25 minutes but what sweet minutes that are. From the moment I put this album on to the moment it finishes Iīm in Frank Zappa heaven. Iīm laughing, Iīm intriguied and I canīt help singing along or playing along to the many solos that are featured on this album. Iīm one big smile when the album ends. Over-Nite Sensation is without a doubt one of the most entertaining albums I have ever heard.

The albums starts with the pop/ rock song Camarillo Brillo. Itīs a very simple song but the silly lyrics are hilarious. I'm The Slime moves into more serious territory lyric wise and the arrangements in the song is a bit more elaborate than in Camarillo Brillo. Itīs in Iīm the Slime that weīre presented with Frank Zappaīs close-mike teqniques for the first time. Something that he would use many times later on in his career. Itīs also the song where we hear the backing vocals from The Ikettes (Tina Turner, Debbie & Lynn) for the first time. Female soul singing on a Frank Zappa album. Oh yeah thatīs quite different from anything else he ever made. A great solo from Frank Zappa ends that song. Dirty Love is another song sung by Frank Zappa with a great guitar solo. A simple rocker and a live favorite. Some really dirty lyrics acompany this song. Fifty-Fifty is a great rock song which in addition to featuring the great Ricky Lancelotti on vocals also feature both an organ solo from George Duke, a guitar solo from Frank Zappa and an electric violin solo from Jean-Luc Ponty. I read an interview with Ricki Lancelotti where he said that Frank Zappa asked him to sing as crazy as possible on Fifty-Fifty and I think it shows.

Zomby Woof is one of the more challenging songs on Over-Nite Sensation and again Ricki Lancelotti absolutely shines. Great backing vocals from The Ikettes. Frank Zappa also sings on this song but itīs his outstanding guitar playing that takes the price here. What a great guitar solo. There are also some great brass arrangements and a few violin parts that contributes in making this such a special song. When I first started getting interested in Zappaīs music Zombie Woof was one of the first songs I really liked and I still like it as much today as I did then. Frank Zappa never made a song like it again IMO. Dinah-Moe Humm is another classic Frank Zappa track. The dirty lyrics of course takes the price but note the funky rythm section and the clever vocal arrangements on this one too. Montana ends the album and itīs another great track. Note the vocal arrangement in the middle section of the song. Interesting part that one. The Yippy-Ty-Os that end the song is sung by Kin Vassy.

The musicianship is outstanding on Over-Nite Sensation and Frank Zappa proves yet again that he knows how to pick the right musicians for his projects. One of the biggests assets on Over-Nite Sensation is the incredible Ricky Lancelotti on vocals. He is one of my favorite vocalists. His voice is not easily imitated. He was a very skilled musician. Full of fierce power. Seldom have I heard a singer with more attitude. Unfortunately Ricki Lancelotti refused to tour with Frank Zappa and got fired from his band after the Over-Nite Sensation recording sessions. Ricky sadly died in 1980 due to complications after a car accident.

The production is wonderful. Warm and powerful. A real seventies production.

Over-Nite Sensation is one of my favorite albums and of course it deserves 5 stars. If Iīm having a bad day I can always take out Over-Nite Sensation and itīll turn my mood around. If Iīm having a good day it will only get better if I put on Over-Nite Sensation. I only have one grudge and thatīs the fact that Wino Man with Ricki Lancelotti on vocals were not included on the original album ( or re-issues for that matter), even though it was recorded at the same sessions. Wino Man would appear a couple of years later on Zoot Allures with Zappa on vocals but the more raw version with Ricki on vocals would first see a release on The Lost Episodes album many years later. That song would have fit perfectly on Over-Nite Sensation and made the playing time just a bit longer. Over-Nite Sensation is perfect as it is though and fully deserves the 5 stars that I will rate it. For newcomers to the Zappa universe this is one of the best places to start IMO.

UMUR | 5/5 |

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