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Frank Zappa

RIO/Avant-Prog


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Frank Zappa Guitar album cover
3.48 | 86 ratings | 9 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Live, released in 1988

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc One (62:48)
1. Sexual Harassment In The Workplace (3:42)
2. Which One Is It? (3:04)
3. Republicans (5:07)
4. Do Not Pass Go (3:37)
5. Challk Pie (4:51)
6. In-A-Gadda-Stravinsky (2:49)
7. That's Not Really Reggae (3:16)
8. When No One Was No One (4:49)
9. Once Again, Without The Net (3:43)
10. Jim & Tammy's Upper Room (3:11)
11. Were We Ever Really Safe In San Antonio? (2:49)
12. That Ol' G Minor Thing Again (5:02)
13. Hotel Atlanta Incidentals (2:44)
14. That's Not Really A Shuffle (4:23)
15. Move It Or Park It (5:43)
16. Sunrise Redeemer (3:58)

Disc Two (63:42)
1. Variations On Sinister #3 (5:15)
2. Orrin Hatch On Skis (2:12)
3. But Who Has Fulcanelli? (2:48)
4. For Duane (3:24)
5. GOA (4:51)
6. Winos Do Not March (3:14)
7. Swans? What Swans? (4:23)
8. Too Ugly For Show Business (4:20)
9. Systems Of Edges (5:32)
10. Do Not Try This At Home (3:50)
11. Things That Look Like Meat (6:54)
12. Watermelon In Easter Hay (4:02)
13. Canadian Customs (3:35)
14. Is That All There Is? (4:08)
15. It Ain't Necessarily The Saint James Infirmary (5:14)

Total Time: 126:30

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Frank Zappa / guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Steve Vai / guitar
- Bobby Martin / keyboards, saxophone, vocals
- Ed Mann / percussion
- Chad Wackerman / drums, vocals
- Ike Willis / guitar, guitar (rhythm), vocals
- Vinnie Colaiuta / drums
- Warren Cuccurullo / guitars
- Tommy Mars / keyboards, vocals
- Scott Thunes / synthesizer, bass, vocals
- Denny Walley / guitar, slide guitar
- Ray White / guitars
- Allan Zavod / keyboards
- Peter Wolf / keyboards

Releases information

Rykodisc #RCD 10550/51

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to cacho for the last updates
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Zappa Records 2012
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$15.35 (used)
GuitarGuitar
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Remastered
Zappa Records 1995
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FRANK ZAPPA Guitar ratings distribution


3.48
(86 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
22%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
42%
Good, but non-essential (27%)
27%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

FRANK ZAPPA Guitar reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Guitar contains some killer live solos deliveredthrough the years by the avant-garde maestro, Frank Zappa. Fans already got the Shut Up 'N Play Your Guitar trilogy to appreciate Zappa's prowess, and it stands as a much better document than this. The problem here is that, naturally, the focus is given to the guitar. Thetrue genius of Zappa was his ability to find and use skilled musicians to craft weird yet amazing tunes where every instrument could shine. Here, however, it's all about Frank. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is when most of the solos are average.

Zappa and guitar afficiandos will want this album, but I suggest sampling his talent in his "real" studio albums. The best solos are Were We Really Safe in San Antonio?, the redone Watermelon in Easter Hay, Sinster #3, and Outside Now. The rest is mostly bland for FZ standards.

Grade: D

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Send comments to 1800iareyay (BETA) | Report this review (#108211) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 21, 2007

Review by Chris H
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Is there any need to compare?

"Guitar" blows the "Shut Up N' Play Yer Guitar" series out of the water! This is one of the few pure solo albums that I can listen to the full way through. (The other being Trace- Fusion, by the way!)This shows Zappa at his rawest and most intense guitar moments, and then it can also show his beautiful progressions. The heaviest hitters are the superb "Which One Is It?" and the classic "In-A-Gadda-Stravinsky", while he breaks out he raw intensity during "Jim & Tammy's Upper Room" and the extremely catchy "For Duane". How can you not clap along? Like I said, he can also play very toned down and make things sound perfect rather than intense. "Once Again, Without The Net" and "Do Not Pass Go" are prime examples of that. The funk that is delivered in "That's Not Really Reggae", and the bluesy "Sexual Harassment In The Workplace" are not to be forgotten either.

After you listen to this album, you will realize that if you have ever even seen somebody play guitar, they should be playing it like this guy. One listen, and trust me, you will regard Frank Zappa as high as I do. Those who don't appreciate his praise as a guitarist need to hear this. As a matter of fact, this would be an excellent compliment to any musician's collection. It can be relaxing and dangerous all in the same CD.

4 stars, not 5 because of the fact that some people could just not be able to appreciate the intense musicianship in this here album.

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Send comments to Chris H (BETA) | Report this review (#114087) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 02, 2007

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The songs on this double album are live and all instrumental. They were taken from many concerts(1979- 1984) and blended into each other giving the impression of one long suite on each disc. Steve Vai is on stunt guitar for many of these tunes. Zappa plays his Custom Strat for the most part, but he also uses his Hendrix Strat, Custom S.G. and Les Paul Custom.This didn't impress me as much as i thought it would, I think that a lot of the guitar solos have a similar style and sound, so with 32 tracks it's a bit much, especially with no vocals present. There are lots of highlights though, and i'll go over what impressed me the most.

"Sexual Harassment In The Workplace" is classic Zappa,and he's faithful to the original. This is such a relaxing tune that really stands out from the others. "Republicans" is dark, angular and raw. Not surprising given the title and Frank's thoughts on politics. Great song. "Do Not Pass Go" has some nice intricate guitar work after 1 1/2 minutes. "In-A-Gadda-Stravinsky" features an amazing rhythm section of bass and drums throughout as Frank makes his guitar cry out overtop. "Once Again, Without The Net" is a difficult but rewarding listen. I love the title of "Jim & Tammy's Upper Room" a reference to those televangelists of that era. Zappa really lets go on this one with some powerful guitar work.

"That Ol' G Minor Thing Again" has a catchy beat with the keyboards standing out for one of the rare moments. The guitar is almost dissonant after 4 minutes. Check out the drumming in "Move It Or Park It" and "But Who Was Fulcanelli ?". "For Duane" is really a long instrumental section lifted from a cover Zappa did of the ALLMAN BROTHERS "Whipping Post". Some passionate blistering guitar in this one. The guitar and drumming are outstanding in "GOA". "Winos Do Not March" is a brighter more melodic track that stands out. One of my favs. "Swans ? What Swans ?" is a reflective song with some prominant bass. Some ripping guitar in "Systems Of The Edges". "Watermelon In Easter Hay" is probably the closest Frank gets to soaring guitar melodies, and they are beautiful.

3.5 stars. Well worth getting for guitar and Zappa fans alike.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#163663) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 10, 2008

Review by The Quiet One
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 120 minutes of Zappa's delightful Guitar

In the 80s Frank Zappa was making two very different kinds of music; on one hand he was making a weird mix of commercial music tinged with his excessive humor, as he had shown previously with Sheik Yerbouti, while on the other hand he was making instrumental music led by guitar solos in which the musicians on board, while very capable, there role was really just settle the rhythm and mood . Frank with 'Guitar', already obvious by the name of the album, is headed to the later of the mentioned previously, just like the trilogy of Shut Up N' Play Yer Guitar which was released earlier.

However, despite at how mediocre you think that this album may sound which is purely based on endless guitar solos and below Zappa's standards on the composition side, this album truly makes a place of it's own in Zappa's wide and diverse discography.

Obviously while having simple, yet effective, compositions, you won't find obvious standouts in which either complexity or top-notch musicianship is found, but still tunes like 'Sexual Harassment In The Workplace', 'Which One Is It?', 'Chalk Pie', 'Variations On Sinister #3', 'GOA', 'Winos Do Not March', 'Do Not Try This At Home' and 'Things That Look Like Meat' all present some grabbing and emotional guitar playing. However, I must recommend you to listen this album as a whole piece, not detracting from each track, if not all like one single long piece in which flows smoothly that'll chill you completely.

No, it doesn't match Roxy & Elsewhere and Zappa in New York in terms of complex composition and exceptional musicianship, but none of those two give such a chilling performance of Zappa's guitar for around 120 minutes. If you already have listened to the Shut Up N' Play Yer Guitar trilogy, either you liked it or not, this shouldn't be much of a worthy addition, but if you haven't listened to that yet, I would definitely recommend this as a damn great chilling experience, as well as to get another point of view from Zappa's versatility.

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Send comments to The Quiet One (BETA) | Report this review (#213083) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 30, 2009

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars Frank Zappa was so many things. First and foremost, he was possibly the greatest composer of the late twentieth century. He was also a funny and entertaining performer. But also, he was one hell of a guitar player. Unique and exciting, his solos were one of the highlights of every live show. This is the second collection of guitar solos that Zappa released (the first being "Shut Up And Play Your Guitar" - if you don't count the separate LP releases of that set). Both sets spotlight Frank's unusual and amazing guitar style.

I have heard complaints about how Zappa always played over fairly simplistic chord progressions. My thought was that he did that to contrast the complexity of his playing. In fact, his solos usually consisted of many of the odd timing and melodies that made his written pieces so interesting.

While I love this whole set, two pieces always stand out to me. On In-A Gadda- Stravinsky, Zappa dares to play "The Rite Of Spring" over the famous Iron Butterfly riff, until the piece breaks down into "Taps". And It Ain't Necessarily The Saint James Infirmary Frank, along with keyboardist Tommy Mars, play a great bluesy version of the Gershwin classic.

I highly recommend this for the serious guitar freak.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#377779) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 10, 2011

Review by tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I kinda get the feeling that any edition of this kind of album from Frank, unless something made it exceptionally good or exceptionally bad, would almost automatically get a high *** from me. This is a 2-CD successor to the Shut Up 'N' Play Yer Guitar set from several years earlier, and here as there it's just one guitar solo after another. Here, as there, no context is given for the solos (though the title of one betrays that it comes from a performance of "Whipping Post"), and just as with the previous set, I absolutely cannot get through this in one setting. Once again, though, this absolutely works as a collection of individual performances.

The biggest difference between this and the previous set comes from the obvious: that set featured performances done with Frank's 70's bands, while this set features performances done with Frank's 80's bands. The 80's version of Zappa live was generally louder, more abrasive and more technophilian than the 70's version of Zappa live, and this set reflects that amply. Frank's playing style is essentially the same here as there, but there's more emphasis on noises and effects that weren't demonstrated on Shut Up. I would tend to say that a lot of the solos on here could easily pass for heavy metal solos, only more experimental on the whole. For that reason and others, I could actually see the possibility of somebody enjoying Shut Up and disliking this, but I can't really buy that. The relative weaknesses of Zappa's 80's live shows came from plenty of factors that had nothing to do with his guitar playing; if anything, his guitar playing was often what saved the day.

Some particularly memorable performances come from three tracks: "In-a-Gadda- Stravinsky" (where Frank starts off with the opening theme of "The Rite of Spring" before going in other directions, while the bass player plays the "In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida" riff), "Watermelon in Easter Hay" (not identical to the gloriously beautiful original, but a good listen regardless), and "For Duane" (taken from "Whipping Post," as mentioned before). Oh, and the opening Sexual Harrassment in the Workplace could actually pass for a regular 'song' on a regular Zappa live album. Other than that, none of the performances really stand out as either especially good or especially bad. They just kind of feed on one other, creating a good overall effect.

And thus they make a good overall album. Again, very few people will have any chance of suriving a listen to this from start to finish, but as music to randomly interspere with other tracks from your collection, it's totally worthy. I definitely recommend it.

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Send comments to tarkus1980 (BETA) | Report this review (#419058) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 21, 2011

Latest members reviews

3 stars Unashamedly, I admit to be a Zappa admirer, well at least for the bulk of his works with a few exceptions. Often he plays fantastic solos that lift and fit the compositions well. The solos alone here without the framework feel somewhat sterile, requiring much attention with little entertainm ... (read more)

Report this review (#110334) | Posted by S Lang | Thursday, February 01, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Awsome, another Double CD (31 songs!) full of excellent 79-84 guitar goods. I just love all of Zappa's 80's guitar, has anyone else felt that little soft spot from track 5 disc 2 GOA? It actually gives me the chills, its cool like track 18 off Sheik Yerbouti "Yo Mama" earlier versions of Watermel ... (read more)

Report this review (#85437) | Posted by BaboonSweat | Tuesday, August 01, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I find this too self-indulgent in comparison to "Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar". Too much "showy" guitar strangling for my taste, but it has some unmissable pieces in there too. My favourite is "Were We Ever Really Safe In San Antonio?" which has such an increadibly beautifull moment of resolution in ... (read more)

Report this review (#29687) | Posted by | Tuesday, April 20, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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