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Frank Zappa At The Circus album cover
1.59 | 18 ratings | 2 reviews | 22% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Pound For A Brown (On The Bus) 2:16
2. Baby Snakes 2:08
3. Dancin' Fool 3:15
4. Easy Meat 4:42
5. Honey, Don't You Want A Man Like Me? 4:36
6. Mother People 2:43
7. Wonderful Wino 5:44
8. Why Does It Hurt When I Pee? 2:24
9. Seal Call Fusion Music 3:14
10. Bobby Brown 2:56
11. I'm On Duty 1:52
12. Conehead 5:31

Total Time 40:51

Line-up / Musicians

- FZ / lead guitar,vocal
- Ike Willis / guitar, vocals
- Denny Walley / slide guitar, vocals
- Tommy Mars / keyboards, vocals
- Peter Wolf / keyboards
- Ed Mann / percussion
- Arthur Barrow / bass
- Vinnie Colaiuta / drums

Tracks 6 & 7:

- FZ / guitar, vocals
- Mark Volman / vocals
- Howard Kaylan / vocals
- Jeff Simmons / bass, vocals
- George Duke / keyboards
- Ian Underwood / keyboards
- Aynsley Dunbar / drums

Releases information

Ryko Foo-eee R2 71020
Released as part of "Beat The Boots Vol. 2"

Thanks to Evolver for the addition
and to Evolver for the last updates
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At the CircusAt the Circus
$45.14 (used)

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FRANK ZAPPA At The Circus ratings distribution

(18 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(6%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (22%)
Poor. Only for completionists (22%)

FRANK ZAPPA At The Circus reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
1 stars Originally released as part of Frank Zappa's second "Beat The Boots" set, this album can now be purchased separately, or as a download. I'm here to say, unless you are a Zappa completist (like me), don't bother. This may be the worst of the bootleg album Frank took ownership of and released on his own label.

The recording comes primarily from an audience tape from a concert in Munich from 1978, with two strangely entered tracks from 1970 stuck in the middle. The 1978 recordings are awful. You can hear people speaking near the recorder, the volume level fluctuates, there is almost no bass, the high end is clipped as well, the tape warbles, there are numerous drop- outs, and very fer songs are complete. Need I say more?

The two 1970 tracks are a bit better. At least the songs get to the end.

I suppose the value of this recording is a weird, mostly boring, bit of silliness, where Zappa conducts Vinnie Colaiuta in Seal Call Fusion Music, and a spoken bit Zappa performed frequently during that tour where he tells the story of someone walking up to him and asking "Mr. Zappa, what are you on?", and his reply "I'm On Duty!" - There. You've got the joke.

While musically, it may be better than other albums I've rated with one star, against the FZ catalog, it's poor.

Review by TCat
1 stars 'At the Circus' is the 4th disc in the box set 'Beat the Boots Vol 2' which is a collection of bootleg releases that FZ commissioned to make them official releases. This was done by Zappa to get back at the many bootleggers that were making money off of his concerts by taping them and selling them. This was also made available as an album on its own. The venue for the recording throughout most of this album is a televised rehearsal at the Circus Krone in Munich in Sept 1978. The only tracks not recorded at that concert are both tracks 6 and 7, which for some strange reason, are from Uddel at The Netherlands in June of 1970. These official bootlegs kept 'all the warts' of the original bootlegs, as they were recorded without any enhancements.

The recording is atrociously terrible. The volume fades up and down, the songs are all partial with some weird editing. This is probably the worst of the entire bunch of bootlegs that were in both of the box sets. There is plenty of places where you can hear people talking near the microphone of the recording unit, which was probably a cheap cassette recorder.

There really is nothing on this recording that makes this a worthwhile album. There are only 2 original one-offs on the collection; 'Seal Call Fusion Music' where FZ has Vinnie Colaiuta play the drums and make seal noises at the same time, and 'I'm on Duty' which is a silly routine that isn't that funny. Other than that, there is nothing unique about the tracks on this album. (No 'eyebrows' in other words.) All the rest of the tracks are found on much better recordings. Don't bother with this one. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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