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Frank Zappa I Don't Wanna Get Drafted 12'' album cover
3.47 | 18 ratings | 3 reviews | 17% 5 stars

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

Songs / Tracks Listing

A. I Don't Wanna Get Drafted (3:10)
B. Ancient Armaments (4:10)

Total Time 7:20

Line-up / Musicians

- Frank Zappa / vocals, guitar
- Dale Bozzio / vocals
- Terry Bozzio / vocals
- Mark Pinske / vocals
- Ike Willis / vocals, guitar
- Ray White / vocals guitar
- Arthur Barrow / bass
- Tommy Mars / keyboards, vocals
- Vinnie Colaiuta / drums

Releases information

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

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FRANK ZAPPA I Don't Wanna Get Drafted 12'' ratings distribution

(18 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(61%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
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.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars This single contains two non-album releases and was released in 1980. It is claimed that the A-side "I Don't Wanna Get Drafted" is the same as the track called "Drafted Again" on the album "You Are What You Is", but this single is quite a bit different from that. It is a novelty song that is somewhat funny, but it is also an anti-war sort of a track done with tongue- in-cheek humor. It features mostly the same line up that was around at that same time. It's upbeat and fun, but it's all about the vocals more than anything, of course.

The B-side is a guitar solo taken from the Halloween show at The Palladium in NYC in 1978. This is actually an edited version (4:10) of the same performance on the "Halloween" DVD (which has a duration of 8:23. You get a pretty good idea at the slow but blistering guitar solo that Zappa belted out, and if you have no other albums of Zappa's guitar solos, then this one is a pretty good introduction to his guitar work. The "AAA-FMR-AAA Birthday Bundle" from 2008 apparently has this edited version on it, so it is available elsewhere, but the availability of the birthday bundle is questionable.

The tracks are pretty good, and it is definitely a single you'll want to pick up if you find it, especially if you are a collector. But, overall, you'd probably have more luck finding the "Lost Episodes" version of the A-side (which is pretty close, but not quite the same as the single) and finding the "Halloween" DVD (which is also available as a CD) for the B-side which has a more complete version of the track. But, this single is a bit rare, so pick it up if you see it for a good price.

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