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Frank Zappa  I Don't Wanna Get Drafted 12'' album cover
3.60 | 15 ratings | 2 reviews | 13% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I Don't Wanna Get Drafted
2. Ancient Armaments

Line-up / Musicians

Releases information

Record Label: Zappa
Catalogue No: ZR1001
Country of Origin: Canada

Thanks to mogorva for the addition
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FRANK ZAPPA I Don't Wanna Get Drafted 12'' ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(67%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FRANK ZAPPA I Don't Wanna Get Drafted 12'' reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tom Ozric
4 stars During 1980, Frank Z put out this curiosity on his own Zappa Records label. Just two relatively short tracks of which the A-side title song, 'I Don't Wanna Get Drafted' was recorded 1980 and is a disco influenced tune but a lot of fun. This one may be recorded by the line-up photographed on the cover (but who knows with Zappa ??!!). The B-side instrumental track, 'Ancient Armaments', is nothing less than stunning. Label info states this was recorded live in 1978 (Halloween) and sounds like to my ears it's possibly with either Chester Thompson or Terry Bozzio providing some amazing Drum work, and Patrick O'Hearn's growly fretless Bass. There's also some tasteful keyboards by whoever Zappa had at the time, but it's Frank himself who performs some marvellous soloing over the slow, atmospheric backdrop (save for the aggressive outbursts of the drums). This tune is in the same league as 'Black Napkins' (from Zoot Allures) and is worth owning this E.P. for. Excellent !!
Review by patrickq
3 stars 'I Don't Wanna Get Drafted' / 'Ancient Armaments' was a 1980 non-album single released by Frank Zappa on his Zappa Records label as a 7-inch single in the US (catalog no's. ZR 1001 and WS7-73000) and as a 12-inch 45 RPM in Canada. It was a minor hit in North America, 'bubbling under' the Billboard Hot 100. Zappa re-recorded the a-side (as 'Drafted Again') for his 1981 album You are What You Is.

Although the subject matter was serious, 'I Don't Wanna Get Drafted' was a novelty song insofar is it humorously dealt with a current issue - - the reinstatement of military-draft registration in the US. Although it might not have been a challenge for Zappa, he manages to squeeze quite a bit of commentary into relatively few words. With the first verse, he suggests that the resistance of young men in the 1980s to a draft would be self-centered, rather than political, as it might have been a decade. He then raises the issue of drafting women (which was more controversial than the draft registration itself), but rather than weighing in on the issue - - which would involve breaking the so-called 'fourth wall,' he trusts his listeners to recognize the inconsistency of US President Jimmy Carter's support of the Equal Rights Amendment with his males-only draft-registration proclamation. Finally, through the inanity of his characters, Zappa reminds us of the possible perils of a conscripted military force which would, he suggests, be made up of cowards.

I'm not sure Zappa had a realistic view of human nature,* but he certainly did have a knack for approaching issues from odd and humorous angles.

The b-side is an edit of 'Ancient Armaments,' which the single label identifies as having been recorded at a 1978 concert. It's a muscular instrumental workout led by a healthy dose of guitar soloing by Zappa. Despite the military reference in its title, 'Ancient Armaments' has nothing to do with the a-side.

Funny, fun, and superior to its 1981 remake, the 1980 single version of 'I Don't Wanna Get Drafted' apparently didn't become available on CD until the 1996 compilation The Lost Episodes (which is where I got my copy). 'Ancient Armaments' was eventually re-released on the AAAFNRAAA Birthday Bundle 2008 CD.


*In this case we've never gotten to find out; no one has been drafted into the US military since Carter's 1980 declaration.

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