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Frank Zappa - Strictly Commercial CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.24 | 57 ratings

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4 stars This CD was my first proper introduction to Frank Zappa. The only FZ song I had been even remotely familiar with before hearing this album was Valley Girl (the one song on this album where the compilation title applies most aptly), due to receiving some radio air-time when I was young. (It was an actual top 40 hit on the US Billboard singles charts. Now THAT's weird!) Valley Girl is as crazy a song as I remember it, but in light with its present company on this CD it's actually one of the lesser tracks here. Even better is the instrumental coolness of Peaches En Regalla and the firey guitar solo on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. Fine Girl, Disco Boy, San Ber'dino, Let's Make the Water Turn Black, Cosmik Debris, and Don't Eat the Yellow Snow are all also new faves. Some of the lyrics are totally odd-ball, while others have more down-to-earth commentary. This being backed by instrumentation that draws from a variety of styles from both within and outside of Rock N Roll.

The CD is thoughtfully sequenced. Considering this is a compilation songs spanning three decades, varying song styles segue into one another nearly effortlessly as if part of a grand suite. Almost everything here is top-notch, though I suspect, as is usually the case when a musical maverick's work is funneled for the masses, that greater material awaits on the sources of his massive catalog. I'll just have to explore and see.

catfood03 | 4/5 |


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