Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Frank Zappa


From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Frank Zappa Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar album cover
3.88 | 51 ratings | 2 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Boxset/Compilation, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Beat it with your fist (1:55)
2. Return of the son of shut up 'n play yer guitar (8:17)
3. Pinocchio's furniture (2:02)
4. Why Johnny can't read (4:30)
5. Stucco homes (9:09)
6. Canard du jour (9:55)

Total Time: 35:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Frank Zappa / lead guitar (1 to 5), bouzouki (6)
+ Arthur Barrow / bass (1 to 4)
- Vinnie Colaiuta / drums (1 to 5)
- Warren Cucurullo / guitar (2-4-5)
- Bob Harris / keyboards (1-3)
- Ed Mann / percussion (2-4)
- Tommy Mars / keyboards (1 to 4)
- Jean-Luc Ponty / baritone violin (6)
- Steve Vai / guitar (1-3)
- Denny Walley / guitar (2-4)
- Ray White / guitar (1-3)
- Ike Willis / guitar (1 to 4)
- Peter Wolf / keyboards (2-4)

Releases information

LP Barking Pumpkin 1113

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Bj-1 for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy FRANK ZAPPA Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Music

More places to buy FRANK ZAPPA music online

FRANK ZAPPA Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar ratings distribution

(51 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FRANK ZAPPA Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Man With Hat
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team
3 stars Part III of the original guitar trilogy.

Guitar is once again the name of the game here. This album is pretty bare bones compared to most of Zappa's catalogue. The guitar is in your face throughout, and pretty much relentless. If you are wondering why Zappa is considered a master of the instrument this is a good place to look (although there are many examples throughout his discogrophy, select ones are concentrated here). However, there are other notable features that deserve mention. First off, are the short interludes of various conversations/noises/experimental whatevers thrown in at the end of tracks. I for one am in favor of these as it helps break any monotony that is present. Though, if you not into those types of tracks they could be a little off putting. Secondly, the rest of the band, which could easily get lost in the mix, deserves some credit as well. The rhythm section in particular gets to shine through the most, especially on tracks like Beat It With Your Fist and Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar and Why Johnny Can't Read.

Highlights: The title track. A fine example of Zappa's albility to rework a song or solo. Just like the rest of the Shut Up songs, this is a guitar solo taken from Inca Roads at some point in the road. Not only is the gutiar solo interesting and dynamic, as I've said before the rhythm section is particularly top notch here. I often find myself listening to the drum work at certain times other than the guitar solo. Stucco Homes. Once again, some fantastic percussion/drum work at play here. The guitar work here mainly features light and tasteful playing that shows off the more delicate side of Zappa's playing that perhaps isn't emphasized enough. This really comes off as a beautiful song that is quite blissful, even with some exaggerated percussion moments (which is a different type of bliss IMO). Canard Du Jour. The real odd duck of the album. This one features Zappa on bouzouki (which for those wondering is a long necked balkan folk string instrument) and ol' time pal Capt. Beefheart on baritone violin. The combination of these two instruments works surprising well and make this track quite a unique one in the Zappa repertoire. It also adds some diversity into the album which is never a bad thing to my ears. Mysterious, odd, strangely attractive, and quite good are all adjectives that could be associated with this one.

All in all, this is a solid release from the Zappa camp. However, if you do not like guitar oriented music this is certainly not the album for you. Having said that, there is a good amount of variety thrown in that keeps the album fun and moving smoothly (something which I find lacking in certain guitar releases). It is also a shorter album, which I think helps it feel fresher instead of the potential for boringness. Fans of Zappa would surely find something to like on this album (but is a poor place to start your Zappa journey). This also shows a different side of Zappa, one that perhaps gets lost in the shuffle of the connotation that Zappa's name brings with it. 3.5 stars.

Review by Petrovsk Mizinski
4 stars We have here, the third and final in the Shut Up 'N' Play Yer Guitar trilogy. As per the last two in the series, the main focus is Frank Zappa's guitar playing on instrumental material.

If there is one thing I noticed especially compared to the last two in the series, it's that the whole affair was less monotonous, more flowing and just more interesting musically in many aspects. The rhythm section actually stood out more here, which was one of the reasons why I found this to be a a more exciting and engaging listening experience. Vincent (aka Vinnie) Colaiuta's drumming was very good, always a great sense of dynamics and knowing what to play to give more beef or less whenever the musical context called for it. Very good bass work from Anthony Barrow, and of course great performances from all the other musicians involved. I felt Frank Zappa managed to work in a great sense of bands dynamics into what is really a solo performance and certainly, being able to add real musical band dynamics into a project like this really helps to maintain the listeners interest for much longer, so kudos to that.

Also of note, is the occasion odd bits thrown in, like experimental stuff, noises, conversation, which can only help to make the record a more appealing listen and at times it can even put a real smile on your face or even make you laugh.

I felt that that first two in the trilogy didn't offer anything truly exciting and mind blowing, but this time around, things have improved and there are moments that really captured my attention. One thing I found really cool is Frank includes some re workings of solos from previous records and there are recognizable bits from Inca Roads in there. The album varies a fair bit in feel, starting with the fairly good (although not completely amazing) Beat It With Your Fist, which already had me amused from the title. The seemingly random bass tapping placed throughout the track, whether it was intentionally amusing or not, made me laugh a little, but not for negative reasons, more for the sheer spontaneity of it. The random conversation at the end is amusing too, since I can't even make out most of it and it really adds a nice light hearted feel to the proceedings.

Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer guitar is a fairly lengthy affair, with Frank presenting a good dynamic range on the guitar, from faster and more furious playing, to some quieter, less distorted slower stuff too. There were even points in the song where I ended up focusing a bit more on Vinnie Colaiuta's drum work, which of course serves to highlight the excellent sense of band dynamics I pointed out earlier. Some of the more interesting guitar parts, include the pick tapping technique (which involves tapping a note on the fretboard with the edge of the pick to create short stuttering bursts of notes) which I found to be particularly effective in adding more variety to the sound.

The first time I saw there was a track named Pinocchio's Furniture, it left me scratching my head for a while, and then eventually laughing a bit too. Just seems like a weird name for an instrumental guitar song really. It's fairly brief and to the point, with some cool wah wah pedal licks thrown in for good measure.

Another amusing song title, Why Johnny Can't Read. A lot of the bass guitar licks stood out in this song, a pleasant surprise. Frank mixes things up by throwing in different scales and modes, which help to add more tension to the feel of the song.

Stucco Homes was definitely the stand out piece of Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar. Frank really bares his soul on this song. Delicate playing, with many well executed phrasings add up to a transcendental experience. I was so immersed in the dynamics, the emotions and the guitar playing in this song, I barely realized the track was indeed quite lengthy. Again, a superb performance from Vinnie Colaiuta, knowing to play a bit quieter to suit the mood of the song.

Canard du Jour features Frank Zappa on the bouzouki instead of the guitar. This song featured Jean-Luc Ponty, French violin virtuoso and jazz composer, and that really made this song much more than it would have been if it were purely the bouzouki. This song is sort of, the odd one out if you will, having no guitar and no rhythm section. While not as good as the previous track, it's a very interesting listen especially with the unexpected and slightly unusual instruments used in the context of the rest of the album.

While I was not a big fan of the previous two works in the Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar trilogy, I feel that this particular one in the series was a great improvement over the last two. While I still wouldn't call this an essential album from Frank Zappa, it does display some amazing guitar playing and a side of FZ not easily found on other albums.

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of FRANK ZAPPA "Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.