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Frank Zappa - The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



4.32 | 184 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars. Zappa released some amazing live albums over the years and this one has to be right near the top.This was from the1988 tour as was the "Make A Jazz Noise Here" double live album I hope to review next week. Anyway both are so incredible.They combine that wacky humour with some of the most complex and outstanding instrumental music you will ever hear.This particular recording features big-band arrangements for the most part, so lots of horns.There are no over-dubs of any kind on this double disc live set.

"Heavy Duty Judy" opens with lots of horns then the guitar comes in before 2 minutes. Frank then says "Hello" before 4 1/2 minutes as he talks about meeting Johnny Cash for the first time and how he invited him to perform with them that night and he agreed, but then Johnny's wife got sick so he had to cancel.That is what inspires their cover of "Ring Of Fire" which is a reggae version and freaking hilarious. "Ow, ow, ow".

"Cosmik Debris" is classic Zappa and they bring the "Ring Of Fire" theme into this as well. "Find Her Finer" is catchy with horns.

"Who Needs The Peace Corps?" is going way back and I love the lyrics. It blends into a brief "I Left My Heart In Sanfrancisco" instrumental before another classic in "Zomby Woof" kicks in. I was telling Man With Hat (Phil) about a lady coming into the store when this was on and asking who it was. I could tell when I said Frank Zappa that she had no clue who he was.She continued to listen and upon leaving commented on the complex lines they were playing.Yeah it made me proud. I don't know if she was a musician or music teacher but she seemed to know music.

"Bolero" has a reggae rhythm at first then lots of horns. "Zoot Allures" is such a great sounding instrumental.The guitar solos for the last 3 minutes or so. "Mr. Green Genes" is horns,vocals and a good rhythm.

"Florentine Pogen" has vocals after a minute and a nice guitar solo after 6 minutes. So good. "Andy" is all about the lyrics and fast paced instrumental breaks.

"Inca Roads" continues with the Zappa classics. Lots of vibes and a brief "Stayin' Alive" section. It closes in style with "Sofa #1".

Disc Two is where Jimmy Swaggert gets his ass kicked over and over (haha). It opens with two covers including "Purple Haze" and "Sunshine Of Your Love". Both are electronic versions I guess you could say and the second one is hilarious.

"Let's Move To Cleveland" is complex with lots of horns and the guitar comes in at 2 1/2 minutes. We then get a couple of short instrumental covers in "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" and "Godfather Part II Theme".

Next is the funny political monologue called "A Few Moments With Brother A. West". "The Torture never Stops" parts one and later part two are killer and two definite highlights.

We get another instrumental cover in "Theme From Bananza" then "Lonesome Cowboy Burt" which starts a string of songs aimed at Swaggert's ass, including "More Trouble Every Day", "Penguin In Bondage" and "The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbeque". Funny stuff. A cover of "Stairway To Heaven" ends it in style with funny effects.

I honestly wasn't expecting this to be so good or to hear so many older Zappa classics. Lots of guitar in this too.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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