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Frank Zappa You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 4 album cover
3.65 | 121 ratings | 3 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc one
1. Little Rubber Girl (2:57)
2. Stick Together (2:04)
3. My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama (3:20)
4. Willie the Pimp (2:07)
5. Montana (5:47)
6. Brown Moses (2:38)
7. The Evil Prince (7:13)
8. Approximate (1:49)
9. Love of My Life (1:58)
10. Let's Move to Cleveland (7:11)
11. You Call That Music? (4:07)
12. Pound for a Brown [Solos 1978] (6:30)
13. The Black Page [1984] (5:15)
14. Take Me Out to the Ball Game (3:02)
15. Filthy Habits (5:40)
16. The Torture Never Stops [Original Version] (9:15)

Disc two:
17. Church Chat (2:00)
18. Stevie's Spanking (10:51)
19. Outside Now (6:10)
20. Disco Boy (3:00)
21. Teen-Age Wind (1:54)
22. Truck Driver Divorce (4:47)
23. Florentine Pogen (5:10)
24. Tiny Sick Tears (4:30)
25. Smell My Beard (4:30)
26. The Booger Man (2:47)
27. Carolina Hard Core Ecstasy (6:28)
28. Are You Upset? (1:29)
29. Little Girl of Mine (1:41)
30. The Closer You Are (2:05)
31. Johnny Darling (0:52)
32. No, No Cherry (1:26)
33. The Man from Utopia Meets Mary Lou (1:16)
34. Mary Lou (2:14)

Total Time: 134:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Frank Zappa / guitar, vocals
- Steve Vai / guitar, vocals
- George Duke / keyboards, vocals
- Bruce Fowler / trombone
- Archie Shepp / sax (Tenor)
- Bobby Martin / keyboards, saxophone, vocals
- Don Preston / keyboards, electronics
- Ed Mann / percussion
- Chester Thompson / drums
- Chad Wackerman / drums
- Jimmy Carl Black / drums
- Lowell George / guitar
- Ike Willis / guitar, vocals
- Tom Fowler / bass
- Arthur Barrow / bass, keyboards
- Captain Beefheart / harmonica, vocals
- Terry Bozzio / drums
- Napoleon Murphy Brock / saxophone, vocals
- Paul Carman / sax (Alto)
- Vinnie Colaiuta / drums
- Roy Estrada / bass, vocals
- Walt Fowler / trumpet, vocals
- Bunk Gardner / trumpet, sax (Tenor)
- Ralph Humphrey / drums
- David Logerman / drums
- Tommy Mars / keyboards, vocals
- Kurt McGettrick / sax (Baritone)
- Patrick O'Hearn / bass
- Dave Samuels / guitar, vocals (background)
- Motorhead Sherwood / sax (Baritone)
- Scott Thunes / bass
- Art Tripp / drums
- Ian Underwood / clarinet
- Ruth Underwood / percussion
- Denny Walley / vocals, slide guitar
- Ray White / guitar, vocals
- Albert Wing / sax (Tenor)
- Allan Zavod / keyboards
- Peter Wolf / keyboards, moog synthesizer, mini moog

Releases information

Rykodisc #RCD 10567/68

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Joren for the last updates
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Buy FRANK ZAPPA You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 4 Music

FRANK ZAPPA You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 4 ratings distribution

(121 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FRANK ZAPPA You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 4 reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tarkus1980
3 stars A rather hodge-podge collection, but the high points make this worthwhile. While it doesn't work as well as Volume 1 in terms of surveying Zappa's whole live career, it comes pretty close, and it never feels like just another 80's live album like Volume 3 sometimes did. There are some weird skits, some exercises in era-splicing, and some eye-opening surprises, and all of these good aspects make me overlook the less interesting moments.

One thing that this album also has in spades is a lot of extended instrumental workouts, and these don't always thrill me. "Let's Move to Cleveland-Solos (1984)" and "Pound for a Brown-Solos (1978)" just seem completely redundant to me, and I wasn't really clamoring for another version of "The Black Page," either. I do get some jollies out of the great guitar playing in "Stevie's Spanking" and "Truck Driver Divorce," though; I don't remember how similar the solos here are to the ones in the studio versions, but even if they're identical (which I highly doubt), the energy and power shown in them make them pretty breathtaking. There's also a nice rendition of "Filthy Habits" from 1988, and it's nowhere near as tedious as the original sometimes was.

The skits, as is usual for Zappa, are of mixed quality. "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" features Ike Willis and Walt Fowler doing a disturbingly good imitation of the announcers for an Atlanta Braves baseball game, and capturing all of the hopeless ennui that came with rooting for the Braves in the late 80's. "Church Chat" is a fairly dumb anti-Church rant, and while I do admit that I crack up more than a bit at the line, "There is no hell, there's only France," it's not one of Frank's better bits. "Tiny Sick Tears" is a hilarious parody of Jim Morrison's Oedipal ramblings during performances of "The End," and "Smell my Beard/The Booger Man" is a leftover from the Roxy era where the whole joke just seems to be that it mentions boogers.

The rest of the music is of mixed quality, but good on the whole. The highlights come from unexpected places, and they give the album the "revelatory" aspect that's really the key to making albums like this worth it. The first disc features two tracks from Thing Fish, and I love both of the performances here. I always basically liked "Brown Moses," so it's not shocking to me that I find enjoyment here, but I sure wasn't expecting such a great rendition of "The Evil Prince," which I'd almost forgotten even existed. The singing on this track is great, full of what actually sounds like something resembling real emotional power. Who knows, maybe all I needed to appreciate this fully was to have it broken out of its original horrid context.

My other favorite of the album comes from the Bongo Fury era: the original version of "The Torture Never Stops," with Captain Beefheart on vocals. Originally, the track was far bluesier than it later ended up (and it had almost none of the denseness in the sound that the studio version later would), and while I hated Beefheart's singing on BF as anybody, I really think he sounds perfect in this context. Plus, he gets in a lot of fantastic harmonica soloing, and the whole product just reinforces the notion that Zappa should have been involved in more blues performances in his life.

The first disc doesn't really have many other standouts, though people who like the song more than I do will be glad to have a performance of "Montana" that comes from both 1973 and 1984. Most notably, the disc has abbreviated versions of several tracks from Zappa's past, and none are really helped by the shortening. I like the version of "My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama," and the modified lyrics to "Willie the Pimp" amuse me (I can't help it, the line "Trying to buy some pussy with a third-party check" kills me every time), but I'd rather hear the originals. The second disc features nice versions of "Outside Now," "Disco Boy," "Florentine Pogen" and especially "Caroline Hard-core Ecstasy," as well as a version of "Teen-Age Wind" that's nowhere near as good as the original one. And finally, the album ends with a series of 50's/60's covers, some of which had appeared on previous albums ("The Closer You Are," "The Man from Utopia," "Mary Lou"), and some of which hadn't. They're fun and goofy and all, and they give an extra sense of diversity to the album, but they're not really necessary.

Overall, then, it's not spectacular, but it's another solid entry in the series. A Zappa fan who hasn't heard the best stuff from this album is a sad Zappa fan indeed. Don't get it before Vol 1 or Vol 5, but definitely get it.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Volume 4 of Frank Zappa's massive live collection seems to have quite a bit of filler. That doesn't make it not worth owning, however.

There seems to be a lot of throwaway song on this collection. Little Rubber Girl starts out the album in that vein. A doo-wop song, with Frank and Denny Walley appaently making up lyrics as they go along. Later on, there's Ike Willis doing a very funny parody of a baseball announcer on Take Me Out To The Ball Game. Church Chat starts the second disk with a Zappa rant. Tiny Sick Tears, a parody of 96 Tears mostly misses the mark. And the string of old rock & roll songs that closes the album are fun, but unnecessary.

But the good parts are excellent. there's a completely different version of My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama, an excellent Willie The Pimp that segues into Montana. Archie Shepp plays a hot sax solo in an excerpt from Let's Move To Cleveland. I believe the version of Filthy Habits on this album is the best Frank released, and the original version of The Torture Never Stops, sung by Don Van Vliet is worth the price alone. The only true gem on the second disk is the version of Truck Driver Divorce that far outshines the original.

Still, a three star Frank Zappa album is better than most other band's best.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Volume 4 of the "You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore" is another mish mash of concert recordings and venues, sort of like what volume 1 was. However, this one seems to concentrate more on unique and novelty sessions. There are a lot of "not available anywhere else, at least not in this kind of sound quality" songs on this one, and that factor may entice a lot of hardcore FZ fans. But, the album is not very cohesive like volume 1 turned out to be. It is all over the place, though the sound quality throughout remains steady, the songs are enjoyable at best and boring at worst. The venues are also all over the place as well as the dates. Not much makes sense here, but there is a lot of strange performances that don't have a lot of explanation as to why they happened or what the circumstances are, and there isn't a lot of information about the performances either.

Disc 1 starts out with "Little Rubber Girl" which is a song similar to most tracks off of the first Mothers album "Freak Out!" It is also made up on the spot. It was recorded at the Palladium in NYC on 10/31/1978 and offers nothing new other than the only official recording of the song. We then go to Vancouver and jump ahead in time to 12/18/84, a whole different band line up, but a similar sounding song from "The Man from Utopia" called "Stick Together". This one is straightforward pop for the most part. Then we travel to California a few days later....12/23/84 for a performance of "My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama" and "Willie the Pimp", again fairly straightforward but more of a hard rock sound. "Pimp" is a very shortened version of the song without Captain Beefheart singing and it actually loses it's original charm without him. It's basically just another track now. Except for a short edit in "Montana" we remain in California through "Brown Moses" which is a boring track from "Thing-Fish" and not much is added to it live either. The next track is also from the same studio album and called "The Evil Prince" but it is recorded this time partly in Vancouver (same date as the previous Vancouver recording) and partly in London on 9/24- 25/84. Again, this is not a great track, however, there is a bit more drama and life to it than there is on the studio recording. It sounds just like a Broadway tune with lots of drama in it and the singing is actually very well done.

For the rest of this disc, the venues are constantly changing and the excitement of the live shows suffers for it. It is interesting that the excitement generated from hearing a concert in one venue can be lost when the venue constantly changes, but that is what happens here. We get a very short version of "Approximate" which was so well represented on Volume 2, but consider this another example of how that song can work. You get another short song in "Love of My Life" but then you get the excitement of some instrumentals, but they are solos taken from various places and mashed together in sequence. There are two solos on the track "Let's Move to Cleveland" and these are fairly decent with a tenor sax solo from Archie Shepp and an amazing piano solo from Allan Zavod (and I mean this guy is amazing). The excitement from these solos is soon brought down by the track "You Call That Music?" which is a bizarre sort of avant garde minimalist improvisation that just doesn't fit here, stuck between these solo tracks. Next comes "Pound for a Brown Solos" which doesn't live up to the previous solos, so the excitement is short lived. "The Black Page" is decent and has a great guitar solo that was edited in between the thematic passages that bookend the track. It is an impressive track, but it is available in many other varieties on other albums. "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" is a vocal routine that has lost it's meaning over time, at least that's what I assume here. It is simply two band members imitating some sports announcers and not very funny. "Filthy Habits" has another FZ solo and the disc is finished off with a version of "The Torture Never Stops". This version is unique from the many other versions in that it came from the "Bongo Fury" live sessions and is sung by Captain Beefheart. But it was left off of the "Bongo Fury" album, so it was not previously available, and I can understand why. His singing freshens up the song which is done as a blues number with some of CB's killer harmonica solos, but the background is a repeat of a Howlin' Wolf blues riff that gets repeated ad nauseum for almost 10 minutes.

Disc 2 starts out with "church Chat" which is simply FZ doing a vocal routine as a preacher asking for money. Next comes "Stevie's Spanking" which is a staple from that era featuring a naughty story of one of Steve Vai's sexcapades and a very long guitar solo by him first, followed by Zappa, followed by the both of them together. That's pretty awesome, but the solo is from a different show than the lyrical part of the song, and it's a show that is otherwise available elsewhere performed in Rome, Italy. After that you get several tracks performed in various places of some standard and straightforward songs, these are recording available on other live collections and really offer nothing unique. You do get a decent rendition of "Florentine Pogen" which is a rather challenging progressive rock song with changing meters and rhythms throughout. However, it is still a straightforward performance, but it is a marvel that it can be performed so well in a live setting. Now you get into some original material here with "Tiny Sick Tears", the funny "Smell My Beard" and the childish humor of "The Booger Man", but other than being performances you can't find elsewhere, there is nothing special about them except the humor. Another standard comes next with "Carolina Hard Core Ecstasy" and it is also quite straightforward. The remainder of the album though is actually the highlight in my opinion. There are a series of previously unavailable performances that, even though they are all short, are very fun songs that are well done. There is some funny audience interaction in "Are You Upset?" and then the rest of the album slips into the doo wop style from the 50s and 60s that Frank loved so much. This section makes up 6 songs under 3 minutes each that are played in this style and you can hear how much fun Frank and the band had making these. Just this section alone raises the bar from a collections only album to a good, but non-essential album.

The main reasoning behind the lower rating here is in the inconsistency of the music, the level of excitement that does not remain throughout the album and stays on the low side of that level more than anything. Most of the tracks don't have a lot of new material or "eyebrows" to offer like what we have seen from volumes 1, 2, and 3. Get one of those, and if you become a hardcore fan or collector, then you might want to wait until then to get volume 4. 3 stars.

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