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Frank Zappa - Ahead Of Their Time CD (album) cover

AHEAD OF THEIR TIME

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.26 | 90 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars My first Zappa experience began here and thankfully did not end with this mixed bag that is half genius, half mediocore. It seems a lot of Zappa albums are designed for the immediate impact on the listener. Immediately one will be confronted with a lot of nonsense and shenanigans with staged tomfoolery that at first is humorous and then simply grates on the nerves and you might wish the band would just stop acting the goat and get on with some decent music. Watching this live may be a wonderful experience but listening to this gobbledygook is a cold experience because at times the audience are howling with laughter and we have no idea what the heck is going on. Zappa and his entourage are certainly having a lot of fun with his audience though did not have the listening audience in mind with this material, that is for sure. It takes till about track 11 to get to the good stuff and when Zappa gets into it, the actual music is irresistible.

I have often skipped straight to the classics that are packed into the second half of the show. King Kong at 8:13 is a fantastic song, Help, I'm a Rock is a short blast of weirdness, followed by the devestating jazz of Transylvania Boogie. The infamous Pound for a Brown is here and sounds wonderful clocking almost 7 minutes, and there are short and sweet numbers at less than 1 minute such as Harry, You're a Beast and The Orange County Lumber Truck, Part I. The best track on the album is the lengthy jam session of The Orange County Lumber Truck, Part II at about 10 minutes in length and this showcases the brilliance of the band.

So overall this is a mixed affair but worth it to hear Zappa live when the band were at the peak of their powers.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |

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