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Frank Zappa - Läther CD (album) cover

LÄTHER

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.91 | 140 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Around 1977 Frank approached his record label (Warner Brothers) about releasing a 4 LP set, but the label rejected him flat out. Frank would then have this 4 LP set played from beginning to end on a radio station while encouraging fans to record it.Yeah he was pissed. The songs here would end up on several albums that were released in 1978 and 1979 in "Sleep Dirt" , "Studio Tan" , "Zappa In New York" , "Orchestral Favourites" and one song on "Sheik Yerbouti". So in "Lather" we have Frank's vision finally realized, even though it took 20 years. The weird thing is that I like this set much better than the individual pieces. I know some have said that if you own the albums I mentioned above then you can take a pass on this one, but I couldn't disagree more. Maybe it's just Zappa's brilliance but this set is so well done and it's a solid 4 stars in my world. I enjoy and agree with Syzygy's thoughts on this.

Disc One is full of amazing tracks.Throughout this set we get some fantastic brass, violin, guitar, drums, keyboards and more. "Re-Egyptian Strut" has this funny intro then the music kicks in.This sounds great with the horns and percussion. Chester Thompson is on drums. "Navan Aviation In Art" is really a Chamber-like Classical piece. "A Little Green Rosetta" is good with that guitar solo before a minute. "Duck Duck Goose" opens with ripping guitar then we get a funny laugh before a minute then a fifties style vocal soundscape takes over. "Down In De Dow" sounds really good once it gets going.We then get some funny vocal tracks in "For The Young Sophisticate", "Trying To Grow A Chin", "Broken Hearts Are Assholes" and "The Legend Of The Illinois Enema". Love the narration to start the last one I mentioned. "Lemme Take You To The Beach" is too much fun. The last two tracks are excellent and serious instrumentals.

Disc Two opens with "Honey, Don't You Want A Man Like Me ?". Funny stuff. "Honey, honey hey..." "The Black Page #1" is a short complex instrumental. "Big Leg Emma" and "Punky's Whips" are both pretty funny with Terry Bozzio shining on the latter. The next six songs which takes us to the end of Disc Two are all instrumentals and man this is good. I'd especially mention "The Purple Lagoon" and "Pedro's Dowry".

Disc Three begins with "Filthy Habits" which is a top three for me. An amazing instrumental with a funny ending. "Titties And Beer" and "The Adventures Of Gregory Peccary" are pretty funny especially the latter. "The Ocean Is The Ultimate Solution" has some killer bass from Patrick O'Hearn and Frank offers up a tasteful solo as well.

"Lather" pronounced "Leather" sits proudly with all my other Zappa favourites.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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