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Frank Zappa - Uncle Meat CD (album) cover

UNCLE MEAT

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.14 | 345 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Evolver
Special Collaborator
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
5 stars This album marks a maturation of Frank Zappa's musical style. Here he shifts away from the focus on his lyrics, and more toward the music. While "Lumpy Gravy" also focused on the music, it is here that Zappa develops the rhytmic and tonal qualities that will permeate his music for the rest of his career. And the addition of Ruth Komanoff (eventually Underwood), gives him a percussionist able to to keep up with his compositions.

While most of the pieces are short and to the point, they also provide many of the songs that would become favorites of Frank and the band for the next two decades. Dog Breath, , A Pound For A Brown On The Bus and Cruising For Burgers all first appear here. And while King Kong was part of "Lumpy Gravy" a few years earlier, it is here where it was first released in all of it's glory.

The album isn't perfect. There are some pieces that just sound like filler, like playing Louie Louie on the Royal Albert Hall pipe organ, or getting the crowd to sing God Bless America. But that hardly diminishes the album.

4.5 stars, rounded up for the original album.

The CD is extended with over 40 minutes of dialogue from movie that was supposed to be released from the album, but was never completed at the time. This portion is detracts from the album, and is unfortunately inserted before King Kong. It is made up of Zappa feeding the cast words and phrases that they were to integrate into their parts. The only bright spot is Phyllis Altenhaus, who Zappa hired away from Tom Wilson, who adeptly uses Zappas odd phrases, without sounding overwhelmed by him.

One of the phrases that keeps popping up is "Tengo na minchia tanta" (I don't know if Frank provided it, or it just occured), but Zappa much later (in the 80's, it sounds like) took the phrase, and recorded a song around it, with vocals by Italian journalist Massimo Bassoli. This song, while it goes with the dialogue, is out of place on this album.

Only 4 stars for the CD. But I'll use the LP rating here.

Evolver | 5/5 |

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