Frank Zappa


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Frank Zappa You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 2 album cover
4.46 | 150 ratings | 14 reviews | 66% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
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Live, released in 1988

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tush Tush Tush (A Token of My Extreme) (2:47)
2. Stinkfoot (4:20)
3. Inca Roads (10:54)
4. RDNZL (8:43)
5. Village of the Sun (4:33)
6. Echidna's Arf (Of You) (3:30)
7. Don't You Ever Wash That Thing? (4:56)
8. Pygmy Twylyte (8:22)
9. Room Service (6:22)
10. The Idiot Bastard Son (2:39)
11. Cheepnis (4:28)

Disc two
12. Approximate [#] (8:12)
13. Dupree's Paradise (23:59)
14. Satumaa [#] (3:51)
15. T'Mershi Duween [#] (1:31)
16. The Dog Breath Variations (1:38)
17. Uncle Meat (2:28)
18. Building a Girl [#] (1:00)
19. Montana (Whipping Floss) (10:15)
20. Big Swifty (2:16)

Total Time: 116:42


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Frank Zappa / guitar, keyboards, vocals
- George Duke / keyboards, vocals
- Chester Thompson / drums
- Tom Fowler / bass
- Napoleon Murphy Brock / saxophone, vocals
- Ruth Underwood / percussion, keyboards

Releases information

Rykodisc #10563/64)

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FRANK ZAPPA You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 2 ratings distribution

(150 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(66%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(21%)
Good, but non-essential (7%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

FRANK ZAPPA You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 2 reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars While the first installation of the You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore series was a mixture of various songs from different eras of Zappas career, volume 2 comes up in the form of an entire concert, recorded in Helsinki, Finland in 1974. All of the musicians on here were present for Roxy & Elsewhere, which was actually released a few weeks prior to this concert. The group at this time, consisting of George Duke on keyboards, Napoleon Murphy Brock on sax/flute and vocals, Ruth Underwood on percussion, Tom Fowler on bass, Chester Thompson on drums, and FZ on guitar and vocals, is among the most tight and cohesive groups that Zappa ever had, as they could essentially anything at any given moment, for example rapid fire flourishes of every instrument into a call and response game with Zappa, they were one of the most talented incarnations of Zappa's career to say the least. You'll find on this album a wide variety of pieces ranging from A Token of My Extreme (titled Tush Tush Tush), which would end up on Joe's Garage, to Dupree's Paradise (which would eventually be played on The Perfect Stranger) and it's all played magnificently by the band.

The first disc opens with the electric keyboard flourishes of Tush Tush Tush, which is essentially the opening warm up of the group where the members get on the stage. The first song played is Stinkfoot, which while not living up to its studio counterpart, is a very trying effort with some great solo guitar from Zappa. After a rousing version of Inca Roads, the instrumental RDNZL (which would end up on Studio Tan 4 years later) is played in a slightly stripped down form in comparison to the bombast studio version. You'll find many songs that were on Roxy & Elsewhere towards the end of the first disc, in fact 5 of the last 7 songs were on Roxy & Elsewhere. I'm fonder of the fuller sound that R&E had with these pieces, but despite that these are great renditions with some superb work from every member throughout. A nice inclusion for the set was The Idiot Bastard Son, which gets a stellar vocal rendition from Murphy Brock, who in the song prior to this one, Room Service, has fantastic vocal interplay with Zappa and a great beat to it compliments of Chester Thompson.

The second disc opens with a piece from the Grand Wazoo days titled Approximate, which is essentially a tightly constructed free for all piece that has some rampant runs from all instruments. When they perform it vocally in the beginning, as well as stomp their feet to it, you can hear the audience have a good laugh at it. Towards the middle Chester Thompson belts out a great drum solo that really rounds out the rest of the piece. Dupree's Paradise follows, which is essentially a 24 minute instrumental that has a spoken section towards the middle. All the stops are pulled out here musically, with low register synthesizer and moog fills from Duke, droning marimba and percussion from Underwood, a majestic flute solo from Murphy Brock, Zappa's guitar insanity, and some top notch rhythmic work from Fowler (who performs a killer bass solo) and Thomspson. The rest of the show consists of several shorter pieces, ranging from the majestic Uncle Meat/Dog Breath Variations, to a rousing and hilarious working of Montana, and it comes to a close with the opening flourishes of Big Swifty. I'll mention that many unreleased songs are played between these pieces, but they are nothing I would call spectacular (although the Finnish Tango is pretty killer).

In the end, You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore Volume 2 is the perfect summation of this era in Zappa's productive career. If you're just getting into the series I think I would recommend this one first as it is the most cohesive of the entire collection (being that it is just one concert and not a wild combination of many). The setlist is great, as well, and nothing really lets me down about this piece. You can't go wrong with this one. 4.5/5


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Send comments to Cygnus X-2 (BETA) | Report this review (#88866) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, September 03, 2006

Review by 1800iareyay
5 stars A few years before his death, Frank Zappa went into the vaults and examined the massive stockpile of live recordings to find the best ones and started putting out compilation live albums entitled You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore. A total of six two-disc volumes were released. Of these six albums, five were made up of songs from various concerts with various lineups, with the exception of this album. For Vol. 2, Frank chose two or three concerts in Helsinki, Finland that took place over two days in September of 1974. The fact that he would devote two whole CDs to a single event should be an indicator as to the value Frank attributes to these shows.

Now, many reviews say that the lineup here is one of Zappa's best and most cohesive. While that's certainly true, this line of praise always seems unnecessary when talking about Frank Zappa. I mean, he meticulously auditioned musicians and those who passed rehearsed for months before they ever shared a stage with the man. Thus, pretty much every lineup that Zappa has played with is immensely talented and feeds of one another rather well. However, the truly impressive thing about this lineup is how few people are playing, especially when you listen to the sounds they get. In addition to Frank, we get George Duke on keyboards, Napoleon Murphy Brock on sax/flute and vocals, Ruth Underwood on percussion, Tom Fowler on bass, and Chester Thompson on drums. At times, this sextet sounds like a big band considering how many rhythms they can squeeze into one section.

The show opens with Tush, Tush, Tush, a prototype of A Token of My Extreme with vastly different lyrics. This leads into Stinkfoot, an admirable rendition of one of Frank's more well-known tunes complete with a good solo. I can't determine whether I like the studio version or this one more, but which one is superior really isn't important. However, there is no question that the next song, Inca Roads, is vastly superior to the studio version that is actually derived from a cut of this recording. Here, in its uncut glory, it's a sprawling guitar showcase that is as tasteful as it is mindblowing. RDNZL is another then-unreleased tune, this one much rawer than its eventual studio counterpart. The rest of disc one is fairly straightforward, with some rousing R&B in Village of the Sun and a mini-showcase for the band in Echidna's Arf (On You). Brock is the star of the last bit of disc one, with some great vocals on Room Service and The Idiot Bastard Son; the latter in particular gets a great boost from his input.

Disc Two is where the magic really is. Approximate is a great rendition of Frank's Grand Wazoo-era material, but nothing can compare to the monolith that follows it. Dupree's Paradise is a sprawling epic that goes off in all sorts of directions, but is so taut that I'm not sure if I could call it a jam. Echinda's Arf hinted to the prowess of these players, but over the course of the 24 minutes of Dupree we are indeed shown paradise. Fowler not only keeps the rhythm while Ruth and Chester create dizzyingly complex percussion, he also has a hell of a bass solo. Brock has been showing off his saxophone skills throughout, but his flute solo blows it away. Duke's keyboard fills and Moog flashes and Frank's masterful guitar are the icing on the cake. After this intense display, the band plays some Finnish tunes and some shorter stuff like Dog Breath Variations and Uncle Meat. These are performed perfectly as well, but the second best treat (behind Dupree's Paradise) is the strange rendition of Montana. After an audience member requests Frank to do his cover of the Allman Brothers Band's classic Whipping Post, Frank launches into Montana before suddenly mixing it with the aforementioned Whipping Post, while poor backing singers George and Murphy have to scramble to keep up with Frank's spontaneous re-writing of the lyrics. Not only that, but Frank starts playing so fast that Ruth and George stumble with the percussion. As funny as all that is, the band astonishingly adapts quickly and gives us a killer performance complete with a killer guitar solo and a funk jam at the end, which leads into Big Swifty. Big Swifty is fairly straightforward and brings the show to a close.

Overall, I prefer Zappa in New York because I've listened to it more, but this is the superior live album. There really isn't a dull moment on the album, and it is often transcendent. Despite its dense songs, this is one of the better places for newcomers to start, as it does a superb job of showing what Zappa was capable of, with its liberal dash of humor and its amazing musicianship. You really can't be a Zappa fan and not own this album.

Grade: A


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Send comments to 1800iareyay (BETA) | Report this review (#168388) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Review by tarkus1980
3 stars This is one of the best examples of a live album where the historical importance outstrips my actual enjoyment of it. This is a recording of two concerts Zappa did in Helsinki on the same day in 1974 (the best parts of each concert were used in compiling the album), and it's gone down as an absolute legend in Zappa's history. Its two most prominent historical aspects are (a) that the guitar solo in this album's version of "Inca Roads" is the one that got used on One Size Fits All, and (b) the call from a member of the audience for the band to do "Whipping Post," which ended up leading to the band making that a regular part of its live shows in the 1980's. I guess the latter has kinda gone down in history as Zappa's equivalent of a fan yelling out "Judas!" at Bob Dylan's famous 1966 concert, and as such it's lead to people attaching a lot of importance to this show on the whole.

I definitely don't like it as much as I do Roxy, though. First of all: I don't at all get the point of the TWENTY FOUR MINUTES of "Dupree's Paradise" that sits near the beginning of disc 2. It's got some bits of a skit buried inside it at some point, and there are some decent jazzy bits here and there, but mostly it just sits there as a giant lump of boredom that keeps going and going and going. It's one of the least entertaining lengthy pieces I've ever heard in my life, and definitely one of my least favorite Zappa tracks, even if it has a few moments (especially near the beginning) where it almost threatens to get interesting.

There's other material here, loved by others I'm sure, that doesn't thrill me a lot. I've never been a huge fan of "Montana," which turns into a very long guitar solo that only sorta entertains me, and even this version, with the band changing the lyrics to reflect the "Whipping Post" request, doesn't make me jump up and down. I'm also a little disappointed with how "Village of the Sun" is done on this album; doing it at a rushed tempo makes it lose a lot of its charm, and it almost sounds like the band is just trying to get it over with. Oh, and "RDNZL" (which would later show up on Studio Tan) continues to strike me as somewhat dull, even if it has some good aspects.

The rest of the album is quite nice, though. "Echidna's Arf (Of You)" and "Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?," even without the overdubs of Roxy, still sound totally awesome, confirming their positions as among Zappa's best tracks. "Cheepnis" suffers a little bit more from lack of overdubs (and without the great spoken introduction), but the fun melodies and rhythmic shifts remain as awesome as ever. And the other Roxy track in the lot, "Pygmy Twylyte," actually improves from before, as it's graced with some of Frank's best soloing on the album.

Aside from a really nice performance of "Inca Roads" (which has some power and roughness to it that I would have liked to have heard in the One Size version), and a mid-length jazzy jam called "Approximate" (which I like quite a bit), the rest of the album consists of various shorter songs, and they're mostly a hoot. Apostrophe is represented by "Stinkfoot," which preserves most of the charms of the original, and the rest is either from much earlier albums or is new material. There's one new skit ("Room Service") that's quite amusing, a new song they'd never played before ("Satumaa (Finnish Tango)") and a couple of new short interludes ("T'Mershi Duween," "Building a Girl"). And finally, there are older surprises like "The Idiot Bastard Son," "The Dog Breath Variations," "Uncle Meat" and, as the finale, a two-minute teaser of "Big Swifty." It's from these shorter tracks, by the way, that a large chunk of the overal favorable rating comes.

So basically, I'm not incredibly thrilled with the album, but I think it has a lot of charm, and it works as a nice complement to Roxy. It'll never be one of my very favorite live albums, largely because of the lengthy agony of "Dupree's Paradise," but it's nice enough.


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Send comments to tarkus1980 (BETA) | Report this review (#299809) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 20, 2010

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
5 stars This album is a strong contender to steal the title of "Best Frank Zappa Live Album" away from "Roxy & Elsewhere". Recorded by the same lineup, and containing many of the same songs, this album shows just how great that group was, even without all the overdubs.

The band blazes through Echidna's Arf (Of You), and does wild things to Pygmy Twilight, and blends a bunch of Allman Brothers references into Montana (Whipping Floss). It's also great to hear Cheepnis the way it really sounded in concert (the Roxy version is amassed with overdubs).

And there's plenty of great music that, in 1988 when this was released, had not been available on any legitimate Zappa releases. The highlight is a long version of Dupree's Paradise, where, except for a short spoken bit, the song far outshines the orchestral recording.

This is the only complete concert Frank included in the "You Can't Do This On Stage Anymore" series, and I can see why. If you want to know why many of us Zappa fans feel this was his greatest line up, get this album.


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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#471131) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, June 27, 2011

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars.I would have to say that this is the best live Zappa album i've heard so far. Everyone mentions how tight they were at this point and for good reason. Basically this is the same lineup that did "Roxy & Elesewhere" mostly in December of 1973. So here we are in Finland in September of 1974. All those live gigs in between have made these guys tighter than a duck's ass. Sorry that Zappa humour is rubbing off. As usual we get lots of talking and verbal skits during the show along with some absolutely amazing instrumental work.

"Tush Tush Tush" makes me laugh with two of the guys talking almost over each other.The crowd cheers when Frank comes out on the stage 2 minutes in and introduces the band. "Stinkfoot" has Frank on vocals and we get some raw guitar after a minute. We get some dissonance after 2 1/2 minutes then more guitar.

"Inca Roads" has George Duke on vocals. Lots of vibes. Guitar 2 1/2 minutes in and the piano joins in.The guitar goes on and on.The piano leads after 8 minutes and we get some prominant bass too.Vibes 10 minutes in then the vocals return. "RDNZL" has lots of vibes from Underwood early then it kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes. Piano and sax later. What a great sounding instrumental.

"Village Of The Sun" is an uptempo rocker early then it calms down with vocals. It picks back up and the vocals come and go.We get a sax solo too and organ later. "Echidna's Arf (Of You)" opens with some guitar as vibes and sax come in. It blends into "Don't You Ever Wash That Thing".Guitar after 1 1/2 minutes.Zappa starts speaking before 2 1/2 minutes then check out the drums and vibes that follow.

"Pygmy Twylyte" has some raw guitar as vocals arrive a minute in. I like this one a lot.The relaxed guitar after 4 1/2 minutes goes on and on. So good. "Room Service" has lots of spoken dialogue. "Idiot Bastard Son" causes the audience to cheer when they realize what song it is. And this is a good one. "Cheepnis" has some fast paced vocals.

Disc two begins with "Approximate" a song that is all over the place really.Gotta love the drum show from Chester before 5 minutes then Frank responds in kind with the guitar. "Dupree's Paradise" opens with conversations then we get music before 8 minutes. Maybe the highlight of the whole album is the instrumental section from before 8 minutes to the end. Especially until around 15 minutes. Incredible !

"Satumaa" is a crowd pleaser as they do a Finnish Tango. "T'Mershi Duween" reminds me of AREA belive it or not, especially the keyboards.

"The Dog breath Variations" is fantastic of course. Lots of vibes in "Uncle Meat" while "Building A Girl" is somewhat experimental. "Montana" is maybe the funniest part of the show because a fan yells out "Whipping Post" and that starts Frank off and he includes the words "Whipping Post" in the song "Montana" much to the delight of the crowd.They also like when Frank starts the song by singing "I might be moving to Helsinki soon..." Love the guitar 6 minutes in. "Big Swifty" ends it with this short instrumental then Frank introduces the performers once more than leave the stage.

This is a must if your a Zappa fan.


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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#506255) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, August 20, 2011

Review by Warthur
5 stars The crown jewel of Zappa's You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore series. Whilst the other double-disc sets were grab-bags of recordings from a range of performances, for this release Zappa chose to focus on the tapes from a small set of performances over a couple of days in Helsinki. The album does not present a recording of any one concert in particular, but is compiled in such a way as to provide a cohesive concert experience for the listener and to cram as many of the different tracks into the set as possible.

As far as editing goes, it's absolutely seamless - then again, Zappa had decades of tape manipulation under his belt at this point. The particular care and attention given to these performances suggest that Zappa considered them a particular high point of his concert career, to the point where he felt they deserved a complete YCDTOSA set devoted to them. On balance, I really can't disagree with him: the performances here are superb, easily the equal of Roxy and Elsewhere, but this album goes one better than Roxy by providing more material (including the amazing instrumental workout that takes up most of the second disc, from Dupree's Paradise to Building a Girl), as well as ensuring that the material captured is always entertaining to listen to. (I always thought the Bebop Tango from Roxy and Elsewhere was the sort of thing that was more fun to watch than to listen to.)

In short, this - and not Roxy and Elsewhere - is the definitive live document of the mid-1970s incarnation of the Mothers of Invention, and the care and attention with which Zappa has produced this comprehensive overview of the Helsinki performances is time well spent.


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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#529128) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, September 22, 2011

Latest members reviews

4 stars After having read so many superb reviews on this album and, being a Zappa fan, I paid good money for my cd and set about getting blown away by according to common knowledge one of the very best Zappa line ups. Truly this is a great album but......I find a lot of the tracks are played too fast. ... (read more)

Report this review (#464694) | Posted by Norman Kiddie | Sunday, June 19, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is very special cd set for me. I attended the exact show that was recorded and used for these cd's. So, as you can imagine it's obviously a 5 star cd set for me . Maybe you'll understand my excitement when the record was published and that it got so great reviews after all those years that I ha ... (read more)

Report this review (#272524) | Posted by EzyRyder | Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Its impossible to review this album and do it justice, as it is with all Zappa live albums. His concerts were more like comedy shows, much like Tenacious D or Flight of the Conchords: plenty of audience participation and lots of improv stuff. The main difference is that Zappa and Co. would do muc ... (read more)

Report this review (#160506) | Posted by The Ace Face | Friday, February 01, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Quite possibly one of the best live albums ever, YCDTOSA vol. 2 captures the one and only virtuosic Frank Zappa band at the height of it's powers; a supernatural band technically with the likes of Zappa, Duke and Ruth Underwood, and Frank Zappa also hit his creative peak around this time, with ... (read more)

Report this review (#55947) | Posted by | Friday, November 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the best live band I have ever heard. It's my favourite Zappa Live album and maybe even my favourite Zappa album in general. The live performances are brilliant, the solo's are brilliant, the singing is brilliant, the humour is really funny and they play most of my favourite Zappa compos ... (read more)

Report this review (#52939) | Posted by UncleMeat | Sunday, October 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars An impressive picture of Zappa´s band tour in 1974, with his most skilled group of musicians ever recruited. The line-up that recorded Overnite, Apostrophe, Roxy and One Size, is here represented in its highest complexity envolvment, including some memorable solos and quite impossible rhythm ... (read more)

Report this review (#48400) | Posted by rguabiraba | Sunday, September 25, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The best of the YCDTOSA series. A complete(?) concert by the (IMHO) best Mothers line-up of the 1970's. These are some of the very best musicians in the world playing some of the best music by one of the most important composers of the 20th century; what more do you want? If you don't already ha ... (read more)

Report this review (#30067) | Posted by | Thursday, March 03, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Frank Zappa's band in 1974 consisted of a selection of highly educated and skillfull musicias... The band had the talents of Chester Thompson on drums (later Genesis), George Duke (Keyboard and vocals) Ruth Underwood (Marimba and percursions) Nappy (lead vocals, sax and flute) and Tom Fowler ... (read more)

Report this review (#30066) | Posted by | Sunday, May 09, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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