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Frank Zappa - Studio Tan CD (album) cover

STUDIO TAN

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.70 | 184 ratings

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Evolver
Special Collaborator
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars This was the first of the three unmarked albums Frank Zappa released from the material originally meant for the "Lather" boxed set. I wasn't until the CDs came out in 1991 that any of the musicians were listed in the credits.

Pieced together or not, this is a fine display of Zappa's eccentricities. The focal point of the album is the twenty minute The Adventures Of Greggary Peccary. This bizarre, and sometimes very funny epic tells a story of a peccary (a type of swine) who invents the calendar, gets chased by people who don't want to know how old they are, and ends up on Billy The Mountain. Confused? It doesn't matter. The entire piece is spoken and sung over music written and played back in the "Grand Wazoo" days (listen to "Joe's Domage" for pieces of this music). The whole thing is quite spectacular.

Side two of the album begins with Revised Music For Guitar and Low Budget orchestra. This piece was originally released on Jean-Luc Ponty's "King Kong" album. While this version is good, and more polished. I like Ponty's rendition better. Let Me Take You To The Beach follows. This song as far as I know was Zappa's only techno-fusion pop song. It almost seems like he was serious about it. The song is driven by some cool Eddie Jobson synths. RDNZL closes the album. This difficult piece is one of my favorites.

The songs might flow better on "Lather", but I still love this album.

Evolver | 4/5 |

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