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Frank Zappa - Tinsel Town Rebellion CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.07 | 150 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Let's hear it for another glimpse of occasional greatness: a live set by turns inspired, stupid, nostalgic, forward-looking, cruel, funny, and so on. This double album leads with its lone studio track, "Fine Girl", the kind of funked-up music that appeared on Ship Arriving Too Late, "included", in Frank's words, "so that conservative radio stations can play something on the air." From there, it's a mix of golden oldies ("Love Of My Life", "I Ain't Got No Heart") and new material performed live and recorded cleanly enough to warrant the live label moot. Typical of Frank's music from this period, the highs are very high, the lows very low. "Easy Meat", "The Blue Light", "Pick Me, I'm Clean" and ""Tinsel Town Rebellion"" are fine additions to the FZ canon. However, "Panty Rap" and "Dance Contest" find Frank playing to the groundlings as he collects female underwear for a quilt and tries to get drunk people to dance (remember the Be-Bop Tango?). The performances are drawn from a few different venues, primarily the Hammersmith Odeon and Berkeley Community Theater. Honestly, I could have survived without the first two "Sides" of music: swap "Easy Meat" for "Dance Contest" and you've got the makings of a great single elpee. From "The Blue Light" to "Peaches III" (another reinvention of the old "Peaches En Regalia" tune) this is great stuff. Whether he's ripping apart the social fabric with the Absolutely Free entry "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" or attacking the Hollywood music scene in ""Tinsel Town Rebellion"", ZAPPA's fury is a force to be reckoned with. Such heavy fare makes the lighter moments seem flimsy, but by now most ZAPPA fans have learned to accept the composer's irregular genius as a glass half full. "Tinsel Town Rebellion" is definitely half full, no worse (and no better) than "Sheik Yerbouti".
daveconn | 3/5 |


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