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Frank Zappa - Joe's Garage, Acts I, II & III CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.77 | 142 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is a 1987 compilation recording of the two "Joe's Garage" albums ("Act I, II & III") which were both originally released in 1979 the same year as "Sheik Yerbouti". No doubt a profitable year for Frank and his band. The first original "Joe's Garage" was a single LP while the second was a double which fits onto one cd, so we have a double disc recording here.This really is set up as a play in the liner notes with the different "Scenes" shown and it also shows who is speaking (singing) the parts and there is a narrator (The Central Scrutinizer) and so on. And it's great that they united these two recording into one because this is one long concept album about Joe and his life. Poor Joe (haha). This is very sexually explicit and bizarre to say the least. My maturity level isn't very high so there are times when i'm laughing right out loud.Yes this is freaking hilarious at times as we follow Joe and his fucked up life.

"The Control Scrutinizer" is none other than Frank as he almost whipers the narration.There are times he can't help but laugh at what he's saying.The narration is really important here and it's definitely a plus not a negative. As he speaks we hear this groovy music. "Joe's Garage" might be Zappa's most known song.Yes it was on the radio back in the day. Heck there's even sax 2 minutes in.I really like the section from the 4 minute mark on. "Catholic Girls" was also one i'd heard back then but not on the radio. "Crew Slut" is crude as the Control Scrutinizer tells us that Joe's girlfriend Mary didn't show up at church to meet Joe because she was busy doing something backstage at the Armory. From there Mary travels with a band then enters a wet t-shirt contest because she needs the money to get home."Why Does It Hurt When I Pee ?" is where Joe finds out he contacted some disease after fooling around with the taco stand lady after he heard about Mary's escapades. "Why does it hurt when I pee? I got it from the toilet seat, it jumped right up and grabbed my meat." "My balls feel like a pair of maracis." "Lucille Has Messed Up My Mind" has a reggae vibe. Joe then gets desperate and joins a cult called the Church of Appliantology and meets it's leader L. Ron Hoover. Priceless ! After wrecking an appliance while having sex with it he's thrown in jail where things get worse for him.This is taken up on the second disc "Acts II & III".

Lots of extended instrumental sections on this second disc and so we get longer tracks. Frank is laughing as he talks to start this album. "Keep It Greasy" has a good instrumental section from 4 minutes to the end. "Outside Now" is a tough one as it's repetitive and slow going for the most part. "He Used To Cut The Grass" is a good track with narration and guitar. Guitar, vibes and drums lead early on "Package Goose" before the vocals come in. Nice instrumental section 4 minutes in to 8 1/2 minutes when the vocals return.The Scrutinizer is laughing again trying to say his lines to start "Watermelon In Easter Hay" then we get this laid back and beautiful guitar solo that goes on forever. A classic ! "A Little Green Rosetta" sounds like a celebration by the whole band to end the album.

4 stars for this insane show. And I love playing Zappa in the Summer, it just seems to fit.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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