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Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 1 CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



4.04 | 129 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The "You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore" series consists of 6 volumes and 12 cds. It took over 20 years to put together and it originally contained previously unreleased live material only with no over dubs. The music on this first volume is all over the place from different periods of Frank's career and is not chronological. Some have called this first volume the most varied of the set. I presently just own the first two volumes.

Disc One is to my ears much superior to Disc Two. It starts off with a conversation at the Florida Airport where one of the band members talks about throwing up on stage while singing. Then we get "Once Upon A Time" which is an intro to "Sofa #1". By the way the show that this song is from is significant for two reasons. One it was the week after their concert in Geneva, Switzerland where a fire destroyed the Montreux Casino they were playing in. DEEP PURPLE were there of course and wrote "Smoke On The Water" because of it. Anyway all of Zappa and his band's touring equipment was destroyed in that fire so here they are playing with what they could scrounge up here. Secondly it was this same concert that Frank was tackled and injured by the fan accusing him of making eyes at his girlfriend. Frank spent a month in a hospital and the better part of a year in a wheel chair as a result. "The Mommy Anthem" has a heavy sound to it and the guitar dominates before 2 1/2 minutes. Great track ! This was the opening number of the infamous Palermo riot concert from 1982.

Another highlight is "Tryin' To Grow A Chin" where many of the band members were ill, yet inspite of this they gave an incredible performance although at one point Denny forgets the lyrics. "Lets Make The Water Turn Black / Harry Your A Beast / The Orange County Lumber Truck" is classic ! A rare early Mothers Of Invention track a few months before they broke up. "The Groupie Routine" is a bit the band performed every night back in 1971 and every night it changed a little. This one was done in L.A. The start of "Ruthie-Ruthie" is hilarious where Frank talks about those voices from the audiece and tells them about this guy who followed his concerts throughout Europe yelling "Freak me out Frank, freak me out." Haha. "I'm The Slime" and "Big Swifty" are from the early days of the 1973 band and the latter might be my favourite track on this whole recording. Disc one ends with an over 20 minute version of "Don't You Eat The Yellow Snow".

Disc two begins well with "Plastic People" from a concert in the Spring of 1969 in the Bronx. This was a bus tour and Frank relates how cold and miserable it was. The intro is funny with Zappa announcing that a green Chey needs to be moved or it will be towed. "The Torture Never Stops" is a killer track from a venue in Germany. We get a guitar solo from before 6 1/2 minutes to after 14 minutes. "Zomby Woof" is such a great song. Lots of vibes and vocals and the guitar leads from before 2 1/2 minutes to before 5 minutes. This is from Milan Italy in 1982. Frank relates that the venue was an empty lot fenced in beside a mosquito infested lake. There were about 50,000 people there, most of whom got in by breaking down the fence. As soon as they started to play they were attacked by mosquitos and people in the front rows threw their disposable syringes on the stage. The cartoon illustration on the cover of the "Man From Utopia" album commemorates this event. "Sweet Leilani" is a crazy instrumental while "Oh No" is an uplifting instrumental. "The Deathless Horsie" is another excellent instrumental while "The Dangerous Kitchen" has almost spoken vocals with avant music. Then we get four songs in a row that are just okay before ending with "Sofa #2" which is a great way to end it all from the 1982 lineup.

Not as good in my opinion as Volume 2 but man I couldn't give anything less than 4 stars for this one.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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