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


Frank Zappa



3.40 | 322 ratings

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James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Let me tell ya, don't ever make the mistake I just made- following Jean-Michel Jarre's "Oxygene" with FRANK ZAPPA's "Chunga's Revenge". Still, something can be said for cleansing the audo palette before this album- I think it's under-appreciated even by most Zappa fans.

"Transylvania Boogie", especially, is a great example of Frank's rocking best. Though every guitarist he worked with was an undisputed master, I still mostly prefer when Zappa plays; I have no idea why he's not as synonymous with the wah pedal as Hendrix or Clapton. "Road Ladies" combines Frank's amusement with blues-rock and tour group sexuality. "...and the band plays some of the most terriblist s**t you ever known" is just one of his many lyrics that always makes me smile."Twenty Small Cigars" is pretty, and therefore relatively rare on a ZAPPA album. "Nancy and Mary Music" is more instrumental fun, including an interesting scat section."Tell Me You Love Me" and "Sharleena" are also interesting, largely serious Flo and Eddie showcases with harmonic similarities to their work on T-REX's "Electric Warrior", but "Would You Go All the Way" and "Rudy Wants to Buy Yez a Drink" have a more do-wop feel (Frank really loved this stuff, huh?). "Chunga's Revenge" returns us to long song territory, terminating in the percussive anomaly "The Clap" (no relation to Howe).

These 70s rock-oriented works are my favorite examples of ZAPPA's long and varied career; though still raw and unaplogetically weird like the original MOTHERS albums, his music further matured in scope and complexity. His cutting humor and funky virtuosity was more raw and real, rather than the (also wonderful) 'elder outsider' social commentary that intensified as the 80s began. The Flourescent Leech and Eddie deliver delightful lines like "the monster from the USO" and "that's one good reason I carry a gun", and Aynsley Dunbar reaches new levels of genius in drumming. If there are few truly high points on the album, it is redeemed by consistently maintaining a high level of talent and fun.

James Lee | 3/5 |


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