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Frank Zappa - Valley Girl CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa


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3 stars "Valley Girl" is a single release by US experimental rock artist Frank Zappa. The single was released through Zappa Records in 1982. The title track on the A-side of the single is also featured on the "Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch (1982)" album. The B-side track "You Are What You Is" is featured on the "You Are What You Is (1981)" album. Other versions of the single featured "No Not Now" and "Teen-Age Prostitute" as B-side tracks, and one version of the single even features "Valley Girl" on both sides in slightly different versions.

"Valley Girl" which features spoken vocals by Frank Zappa´s, at the time, 14 year-old daughter Moon Unit Zappa, is a comic rock track, with Moon Unit Zappa speaking in the distinct "Valley girl" or "Valspeak" dialect over a pretty repetitive musical background. The chorus is sung by Zappa´s regular cast of musicians. The song was the only Top 40 single Frank Zappa ever had in the US, and while it was meant as a satire over the "Valley Girl" lifestyle and way of expression, it ended up being popular both among those living the lifestyle and those finding it ridiculous. It was just one of Zappa´s few odd "mainstream" hits, that got popular by chance.

While "Valley Girl" isn´t the most interesting Zappa track in his huge discography it´s still a pretty entertaining song if you are in the right mood. The fact that it´s available on "Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch (1982)" and the fact that almost every B-side track on the various versions of the single are also available on one of Zappa´s full-length releases, make the single release a bit less interesting overall though. At least to the fans, who pretty surely already have those albums in their collection. Quality wise I´d say a 3 star (60%) rating is still deserved though.

Report this review (#230333)
Posted Friday, August 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars Both songs are great, but unless your a diehard Zappa fanatic, I suggest buying the original albums: "Ship Arriving To Late to Save a Drowning Witch" and "You Are What You Is". Since this is Zappa music, his songs always work better within the context of the albums. On top of that, neither of these tracks would be my pick as the best songs of their respective albums - in fact, the entire Side 2 of "Drowning Witch" is worth the price of the album; far more interesting of a composition for us prog geeks! As for "You Are What You Is", the album is a concept album of sorts - each song segues into the next and seems to tell some kind of coherent story.

So, if you're a Zappa vinyl collector like me and you find the 45 rpm single in a used record store, I recommend this, but this is in no way essential to a 'prog rock collection'. Buy the albums instead.

Report this review (#587018)
Posted Monday, December 12, 2011 | Review Permalink

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