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Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 6 CD (album) cover

YOU CAN'T DO THAT ON STAGE ANYMORE, VOL. 6

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.78 | 55 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

tarkus1980
Prog Reviewer
3 stars It seems strangely fitting that, instead of ending the YCDTOSA series on a relatively serious note, Frank would overload the finale with his trashy and smutty side. This collection would probably seem like a nightmare to anybody who preferred to think of Zappa as a "serious" artist, but I've always accepted that aspect as a crucial part of what made Frank Zappa so interesting. Sure, I dislike the bulk of Thing Fish or the Flo and Eddie era as much as most people do, and I've never been a big fan of stuff like "Punky's Whips" or "Dinah-Moe Mum," but even for all his missteps I still think Frank could do tongue-in-cheek smutty better than anybody else could. After all, I really like Joe's Garage, I feel that the smutty half of Sheik Yerbouti is easily the better half, and I hope I never grow too old to laugh at "Titties and Beer" or "The Illinois Enema Bandit." A lot of this album is gross and pointless (the monologues, in particular, are very hit and miss, and when they miss they miss by a mile), but I end laughing and smiling at this album much more than I don't.

The first disc kicks off appropriately with "The M.O.I. Anti-Smut Loyalty Oath," which is the F&E lineup promising on stage that they won't expose themselves during the show (a la Jim Morrison), to great effect. A great 70's performance of "Dirty Love" is set up by "The Poodle Lecture," a story from the 80's where Frank tells an amusingly gross story about why the poodle has such a ridiculous arrangement of hair. There's another version of "Honey, Don't You Want a Man Like Me?" (I'm not sure why we needed a version on Vol 3 and on here, but whatever, it's fun in both places), fun and faithful versions of "Father O'Blivion" and "I'm So Cute" (bookending an amusingly smug and self-satisfied monologue about how ridiculous rock music must be if it can have a song like "I Have Been in You"), a very 80's-ified version of "Ms. Pinky" (preceeded by a reeeeeeally gross story about Frank seeing a blow up doll ad in a Finnish porn maganize), and fun renditions of "Wind Up Workin' in a Gas Station" (not really smutty, but definitely not sophisticated either) and, of course, "I Have Been in You." "Dinah-Moe Humm" isn't really superior to the Baby Snakes version (which was only kinda decent, though better than the original), but "He's So Gay" is a pleasant surprise, and the pairing of "Camarillo Brillo" and "Muffin Man" must have made everybody in the audience happy when they heard it. And, well, I have to admit that I laugh at "Make a Sex Noise." And, well, I kinda like "Magic Fingers" (done by the 80's band) and "Shove it Right in" (done by F&E), two 200 Motels tracks, in this context.

The second disc pulls back a little bit on the smut factor, though there are great versions of "Catholic Girls" and "Crew Slut" here to keep some continuity with before, not to mention the opening "Illinois Enema Bandit." "Black Napkins" is okayish, and neither "We're Turning Again" nor "Alien Orifice" do much to make themselves sound stronger than the originals, but "Tryin' to Grow a Chin" is still a lot of fun, and it's great to hear "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance" again (done as a jazz-fusiony instrumental, with a great electric violin part near the beginning). Apart from this, the Joe's Garage material and a great new instrumental called "Thirteen" (so named because it's subdivided into 5/8 and 4/4 time, which essentially puts it in 13/8), the highlights of the disc actually come from 200 Motels material. "Lonesome Cowboy Nando" splices together performances from 1971 and 1988, with the 1971 performance featuring JCB singing "Lonesome Cowboy Burt," and the 1988 performance featuring Zappa singing a parody about a guy from Italy, and the effect is amazingly great. "200 Motels Finale" is a great uptempo number that actually makes F&E's overdone vocals sound pretty great, and the 1981 version of "Strictly Genteel" that finishes the set is everything you would want it to be.

There's other stuff on here I don't like much (the track sung by the woman who did the awesome operatic vocals on "Teenage Prostitute" is really boring), but I like the overall effect of the set. There's lots of energy, and tension, and ridiculous enjoyment, and that should be enough to make up for any deficiencies in "seriousness" and "good taste" that it might have. A Zappa fan who doesn't like this at least a bit doesn't like Zappa for the same reasons I do.

tarkus1980 | 3/5 |

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