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Frank Zappa Finer Moments album cover
3.17 | 47 ratings | 5 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

(Disc One)

Mozart Piano Sonata In Bb
The Walking Zombie Music
The Old Curiosity Shoppe
You Never Know Who Your Friends Are
Uncle Rhebus

(Disc Two)

Music From The Big Squeeze
Enigmas 1 Thru 5
Pumped And Waxed
There Is No Heaven From Where Slogans Go To Die
Squeeze It, Squeeze It, Squeeze It
The Subcutaneous Peril

Line-up / Musicians

Unknown so far...

Releases information

Released 18 December, 2012

Zappa Records (ZR 3893) ???

Covert art: Bill Miller

Thanks to darkshade for the addition
and to Evolver for the last updates
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Buy FRANK ZAPPA Finer Moments Music

FRANK ZAPPA Finer Moments ratings distribution

(47 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(19%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

FRANK ZAPPA Finer Moments 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
3 stars This album, a collection of mostly live tracks recorded by Frank Zappa and the Mothers from 1969 through 1971, with a few of Frank's studio experiments, would be deserving of a higher rating had it been released when FZ originally compiled it, back when he was recovering from an injury caused by an idiot fan in 1971.

But released now, it is good, but the value has been diminished by having about two thirds of the album released on other albums, sometimes with different edits.

But of course, this is Zappa's music, and as such, it is a joy to listen to. While the titles make it appear that this is an album of all previously unknown tracks, it turns out that most of them, even the experiments, are known to the true Zappaphile under other names. My presumption is that these titles are the ones FZ assigned when he completed the album, and the family trust wanted to released it as such.

One low point: I really don't like listening to Frank conducting Roy Estrada, with his shrill falsetto, so having yet another irritating recording of Squeeze It, Squeeze It, Squeeze It is not welcome.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is a double album of mostly instrumental pieces that Frank put together back in 1972 when he was laid up after being attacked by a crazed fan. This recording was never released although many of these pieces have seen the light of day mostly under different titles. So we get music from 1967 to 1972. A lot of these appear to be improvs and I did think of Frank's "Guitar" album at times.

The first four tracks of disc one are from a gig at Royal Albert Hall in 1969. After an amusing intro with Frank discussing what was about to unfold we get "Sleazette" with Zappa soloing on his guitar while drums and organ help out. The "Mozart Piano Sonata In B Flat" is one I really do not like. Underwood plays piano while we can hear the crowd laughing at what is happening on stage. I feel like i'm missing out on not having the visuals here. "The Walking Zombie Music" is one I do like. It's dark and experimental Chamber music. "The Old Curiosity Shoppe" was recorded live in Chicago in 1971. Ian Underwood is fantastic on alto sax here just wailing away. Zappa follows him up with a long guitar solo. Good song. "You Never Know Who Your Friends Are" is short thankfully. Just not a fan. "Uncle Rhebus" ends disc one and it's almost 18 minutes long recorded live in Boston in 1969. An excellent track with plenty of horns.

Disc two begins with "Music From The Big Squeeze" which apparently was the same music that Frank won a Clio award for. Yes it was used in a Luden cough drop commercial. It's 41 seconds long and from 1967. Next up is "Enigmas 1-5" which features Zappa and Art Tripp having a duel with percussion in LA 1968. "Pumped And Waxed" is something Frank put together in his basement in 1972 when he was laid up. What we get here is a series of electronic sounds throughout. It's okay. "There Is No Heaven From Where Slogans Go To Die" is very Chamber- like music and somewhat dark at times. "Squeeze It, Squeeze It, Squeeze It" is from 1969 and is a little bizarre to say the least, especially the vocals. "The Subcutaneous Peril" was recorded live in New York City in 1971. Carnegie Hall to be exact. Like disc one this disc ends with a long track ( over 19 minutes). And this is a highlight for sure. Frank leads the way with some fine guitar work then it turns dark after 6 1/2 minutes before we get a prolonged drum solo. Back to the guitar after 11 minutes then the tempo picks up.

There's too many misses for me to offer up 4 stars. I think my expectations were a little too high for this one. Still if your a hard core Zappa fan, especially of his early years, then this is well worth checking out. 3.5 stars.

Review by darkshade
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is a great Frank Zappa album, one of the best to come out of the vault. The focus here is on the 60s Mothers, mixed with the Flo n Eddie era, but without the vocals. In fact, there isn't really any singing on this one, it's basically instrumental, and some dialogue, a lot of it pretty hilarious, like in the beginning when the guy in the audience can't hear what Frank is saying.

The music is quite thrilling, and definitely has that 60s Mothers vibe, even though it's mixed with early 70s stuff, and was supposed to be released in 1972. Lots of studio sounds as well, which gives a lot of the album a very eerie vibe. Exotic could also be a way to describe some of the music. But this album also rocks out, Uncle Rhebus is great early jazz-fusion, and gets a little funky too. This is not to be confused with Uncle Rhemus from the Apostophe album. The Old Curiosity Shoppe is classic Zappa, throwing down a great guitar solo, and a great sax solo before that. The Walking Zombie Music, is quite a wild ride as well. There is also the aforementioned dialogue here and there, but it adds more color to the already colorful album. The first disc is basically worth the price of admission.

The second disc is a little more avant-garde, but still contains amazing music. Enigma's 1 thru 5 has a lot of percussion, and is quite intense. The Subcutaneous Peril is the best part of this disc, and another mammoth jazz-fusion, rock jam. Very experimental. To be honest, I find this album is an album you can only truly appreciate at night, as I do most of Zappa's music from the 60s period, which most of this album is from.

If this were released in '72 like it was originally intended to, I believe this would be a classic among his other jazz-fusion works, though I don't think it's quite as good as Grand Wazoo or Hot Rats or most other 70s albums of his, it's still a crazy album, and worth checking out for anyone with more than 10 or so Frank Zappa albums.

Review by Alucard
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The Crux of the biscuit #2

I am a big fan of Zappa. I have most of his records in different formats , videos, books etc. and for a long time I have bought blindly all new releases ?.until I got a bit disappointed by some newer releases for their editorial inconsistence . One good example is Finer Moments : A part from the nice cover ( and liner notes ) by artist Bill Miller this double CD consists of material recorded between 1967 and 1972 (with the majority of tracks from 1969) that has already been released by Zappa himself , mainly on his YCDTOSA series. Its excellent material and for a "newcomer" that might be a good introduction into this period, but as a fan I feel a bit disappointed. The recording dates and locations are all give but I would have preferred also an indication that this material was already released.

Some examples:

- Mozart Piano Sonata In Bb on (YCDTOSA Vol 5) as Mozart Ballet -You Never Know Who Your Friends Are in ( Mystery Disc) as Harmonica Fun -Uncle Rhebus is Uncle Meat/King Kong - Music from The Big Squeeze in (The Lost Episodes) - Enigmas 1 Thru 5 is Theme From Burnt Weeny Sandwich -'There Is No Heaven From Where The Slogans Go To Die' is the long version of 'You Call That Music?' in (YCDTOSA Vol 5) -'The Subcutaneous Peril' contains solos from 'Pound for a Brown' 'King Kong' in (Carnegie Hall),

3 Stars for the material 1 Star for the release

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is an important document and I am really pleased to get a chance to hear it. Most of the pieces are live recordings featuring the original Mothers band. For fans of FZ's guitar-playing, it doesn't get much better than "Sleazette", which is reminiscent in flavor to "Get A Little" from Weasel ... (read more)

Report this review (#878964) | Posted by strongbow | Wednesday, December 19, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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