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Frank Zappa - Roxy & Elsewhere CD (album) cover

ROXY & ELSEWHERE

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.40 | 230 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars The best Zappa live album. Indeed, one of Uncle Frank's best albums period. When this was first released it contained music that had not been on any of his studio albums. The only exceptions being "Son Of Orange County" which is basically the song "Oh No" but with only a portion of the lyrics that leads into a section of the instrumental "Orange County Lumber Truck"; and "More Trouble Every Day" which is "Trouble Every Day" performed in a style similar to "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow". There are some overdubs on here, most noticeable on "Cheepnis", where the middle section has sound effects and a sped-up voice which was obviously not recorded in concert.

The highlight of Roxy is what was originally side 2 of the double LP. Or in other words, the songs "Village Of The Sun/Echidna's Arf(Of You)/Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?" About 18 minutes of some of the most breathtaking music you will ever hear. The last two of the three in particular are amazing showcases of both Zappa's compositional skill and his band's awesome technical abilities. The first three songs here(or side 1 in vinylspeak) are my least favourite, but that actually says more about how completely totally awesome the rest of Roxy is as opposed to how "bad" these songs are. Songs about penguins, bondage, pygmies and smoking high-school diplomas. Frank's speeches before the songs are pretty funny, especially "Cheepnis" about cheap B-movies.

"Be-Bop Tango(of the Old Jazzman's Church)" showcases Frank's famous 'dance routine' where he gets audience members to come onstage and makes them dance to extremely complicated music. As good as this part is, it's one of those "you had to be there" moments where seeing what's going on is just as important as hearing it. I'm not sure if this would be a good place to start one's journey into the music of Zappa, but there are plenty of worse choices one could make(Thing-Fish, Lumpy Gravy). 4.5 but I'll round it down to 4 because while this may be essential to Zappaphiles, it may not be so essential to progheads in general.

zravkapt | 4/5 |

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