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Frank Zappa - Freaks & Motherfuckers! CD (album) cover

FREAKS & MOTHERFUCKERS!

Frank Zappa

RIO/Avant-Prog


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Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This CD is yet another of Frank Zappa's "Beat The Boots" series, where Zappa took some of the many bootleg albums circulating out there, and repackaged them as is under his own label. As we should all know by now, the value of bootleg Zappa albums is judged by sound quality, performance quality, and eyebrows.

On this one, the sound quality is not great. Although it sounds like a sound board mix, it probably is a few generations away from the original tape. There is quite a bit of distortion, and the bass is almost completely washed out. And some songs are not complete.

The performance is very good. The band sounds like they were having a lot of fun at this concert. And they played a good amount of good Zappa material, as opposed to some of the comedy heavy concerts released by this lineup.

The eyebrows are fairly strong here, with a performance of Wino Man, that turns into an imitation of Dr. John, and a short bit called Palladin Routine. Another interesting point comes in Sleeping In A Jar, which turns into a jam that contains music that will become parts of Inca Roads and Easy Meat in the years to come.

Not an essential album by any means, but it has it's moments.

Report this review (#367793)
Posted Wednesday, December 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
2 stars This is the third bootleg disc that was later released legally on its own or as disc 3 in the Beat the Boots I compilation. As a fair warning, the sound on this is awful. But, if you are a FZ collector/completionist, then there is definately some value to this recording. There is some debate as to when and where this performance took place. Most sources use the date on the bootleg cover saying it was performed at Fillmore East on 5/11/70 but the band that performs on the bootleg (Flo & Eddie) hadn't been formed at that time. There was a show at Fillmore East on 11/14/70, but apparently the setlist on this recording is different from that show. It is thought that this was actually performed at Fillmore West possibly on 11/6/70 because of the song list.

This is admitedly not my favorite FZ lineup in that I find Flo & Eddie somewhat obnoxious taking away the excellence of the music. It makes it even harder to listen to this performance because the recording is definately poor. I prefer the instrumentals on this recording because even with the poor sound quality, you can still feel the excitement and complexity of the music.

The album starts out with a lousy rendition of "Happy Together". The version on the official album "Mothers at the Fillmore East" is much better. "Wino Man" is a much better performance with a funny impression of Dr. John singing part of the song. The performance of "Call Any Vegetable" sounds like it would have been amazing as an official live album-worthy performance. Too bad it's not available with better quality. In "Holiday in Berlin" lyrics are added in this version (to this date I haven't heard lyrics with this song before) in which the band recounts musically an incident in Germany where some so-called student demonstrators tried to get Frank to lead a demonstration during his concert which he refused to do. The demonstrators tried to incite a riot during the concert and ended up breaking a lot of the band's equipment, but FZ and band continued the show until authorities cleared out the stadium. "Sleeping in a Jar" is the best track on here and the music hints quite heavily to the future song "Inca Roads".

Anyway, again we have a bootleg that is not easy to listen to because of the sound quality but has some interesting and historical moments. This is one for Collectors/fans only.

Report this review (#490388)
Posted Monday, July 25, 2011 | Review Permalink

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