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FRANK ZAPPA

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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Frank Zappa biography
Frank Vincent ZAPPA was born in Baltimore on December 12, 1940. When he was 10 years old, he moved to California with his parents. The first instrument he played was the drums. At that time, Frank ZAPPA really liked rhythm and blues music. But in 1954, ZAPPA found a copy of "The Complete Works Of Edgar Varèse, Vol. One". He was fascinated by the 'weird' avant-garde pieces and it was probably also ZAPPA's first encounter with atonal compositions, something that would later reappear in his own music. During high school, he played in several garage bands, but he didn't write rock and roll music himself until his early twenties. He began writing classical music at 18. Some of his early compositions he wrote for the B-films "The World's Greatest Sinner" and "Run Home Slow" (written by his high school English teacher). You can find the theme from "Run Home Slow" on the "The Lost Episodes" and "The Mystery Disc". From 1962 'til 1964, ZAPPA wrote several songs for different bands (You can find those songs on "Cucamonga" and "For Collectors Only"). In 1964 ZAPPA entered THE SOUL GIANTS. He renamed the band THE MOTHERS (which was a subtle abbreviation of 'motherfuckers') and soon after the band caught the attention of producer Tom Wilson. THE MOTHERS were contracted by the Verve-division of MGM and after they had changed their name into THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION (to satisfy some MGM Records executives, who thought the other name was too provocative), they released 'Freak Out!', the second double-album ever (after Bob DYLAN's "Blonde On Blonde") and also what is said to be the first concept album ever. This milestone contained a strange mix of rhythm and blues, satyrical lyrics and avant-garde dissonance. With this first edition of THE MOTHERS, Frank ZAPPA recorded a number of progressive rock masterpieces. All of his records from the sixties are fantastic, except for "Cruising With Ruben & The Jets", which is a satiric tribute to doo-wop music. Worth mentioning is the fabulous "We're Only In It For The Money", on which ZAPPA ridicules the hippie-culture in general, and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" from THE BEATLES in particular. The entire sleeve of "We're Only In It For The Money" is a parody on that record. On August 20, 1969, ZAPPA disbanded THE MOTHERS. The most important members of the early MOTHERS OF INVENTION had been Frank ZAPPA (guitar, vocals, much more) Ray COLLINS (vocals), Jimmy Carl BLACK (the indian of the group, drums and percussion), Roy ...read more

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We're Only In It For The MoneyWe're Only In It For The Money
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$5.22
$5.84 (used)
Sheik YerboutiSheik Yerbouti
Double CD
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$4.99
$5.72 (used)
Joe's Garage, Acts I, II, & III [2 CD]Joe's Garage, Acts I, II, & III [2 CD]
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$8.53
$7.99 (used)
One Size Fits AllOne Size Fits All
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$7.52
$8.21 (used)
Bongo FuryBongo Fury
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$5.66
$10.11 (used)
Over-nite SensationOver-nite Sensation
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$6.50
$7.50 (used)
Hot RatsHot Rats
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$5.66
$5.99 (used)
Chunga's RevengeChunga's Revenge
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$4.69
$11.98 (used)
Apostrophe (')Apostrophe (')
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$4.99
$8.02 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
FRANK ZAPPA broadway the hard way USA CD 2012 remaster THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION USD $6.00 Buy It Now 35m 27s
Zoot Allures by Frank Zappa (CD, May-1995, Ryko Distribution) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 38m 59s
Does Humor Belong in Music? by Frank Zappa (1986, EMI Records) USD $28.49 Buy It Now 45m 12s
FRANK ZAPPA "I Don't Wanna Get Drafted" / "Ancient Armaments" 45 w/PS 1980 USD $9.98 Buy It Now 49m 23s
FRANK ZAPPA FWT 38066 CASSETTE 1982 INCLUDES VALEY GIRL NEAR MINT CONDITION USD $14.99 Buy It Now 55m 57s
FRANK ZAPPA Over-nite sensations The Mothers RARE URUGUAY LP USD $30.00 Buy It Now 1h 5m
LATHER Frank Zappa (Original 1996 Ryko/FZ issue) 3 CDs FAT BOY CASE USD $38.99 Buy It Now 1h 6m
Frank Zappa Album Cover COASTER Set #1 USD $10.67 Buy It Now 1h 10m
Frank Zappa Album Cover COASTER Set #2 USD $10.67 Buy It Now 1h 10m
FRANK ZAPPA 200 Motels 2LP OST Original US Pressing w/ Booklet USD $39.99 Buy It Now 1h 11m
FRANK ZAPPA Studio Tan LP Original US Pressing USD $21.99 Buy It Now 1h 12m
FRANK ZAPPA "SHEIK YERBOUTI" RARE DIGITALLY REMASTERED IMPORT UK USD $19.00 [0 bids]
1h 13m
FRANK ZAPPA "FIND HER FINER / " RARE 45 WARMER BROS WBS 8296 PROMO COPY USD $19.99 [0 bids]
1h 14m
Frank Zappa UNOFFICIAL RELEASE And The Mothers Of Invention Our Man In Nirvana USD $120.00 [0 bids]
1h 23m
Frank Zappa Zoot Allures original LP EX vinyl mothers beefheart guitar hot rats USD $18.00 Buy It Now 1h 25m
FRANK ZAPPA Mothers Over-nite Sensation DISCREET/Reprise DSK 2288 gatefold LP USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 37m
FRANK ZAPPA Ruben & The Jets For Real MERCURY Gatefold LP USD $12.99 Buy It Now 1h 37m
Frank Zappa (1979 Rondolette 2LPs Playtested Live Paris) Anyway The Wind Blows USD $34.28 Buy It Now 1h 39m
FRANK ZAPPA SHIP ARRIVING TOO LATE VINYL LP 1982 SHRINK PLAYS GREAT! VG+/VG+!! USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 58m
Frank Zappa The Mothers Of Invention - Burnt Weeny Sandwich NEW CD USD $14.89 Buy It Now 2h 2m
Frank Zappa - The Grand Wazoo NEW CD USD $7.49 Buy It Now 2h 3m
FRANK ZAPPA AND THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION "ONE SIZE FITS ALL" - 33RPM USD $6.99 [0 bids]
2h 7m
Frank Zappa ShipArrivingTooLateToSaveADrowningWitch(LP)Barking Pumpkin1982[G+] USD $4.00 [0 bids]
2h 20m
Frank Zappa - FINER MOMENTS - 2LP 180g - (Universal 2013) - MINT USD $35.08 Buy It Now 2h 23m
Frank Zappa - We're Only In It For The Money - CD - (Universal 2012) USD $15.24 Buy It Now 3h
Frank Zappa - The Grand Wazoo - CD - (Universal 2012) USD $15.24 Buy It Now 3h 4m
20 EXTRAORDINARY RENDITIONS (CD 2008) NEW Frank Zappa Tribute Idiot Bastard Son USD $10.67 Buy It Now 3h 5m
Frank Zappa - Zoot Allures - CD - (Universal 2012) USD $15.24 Buy It Now 3h 5m
COVERS OF INVENTION (CD 2013) NEW - Frank Zappa Tribute 1988 Tour Other People USD $13.72 Buy It Now 3h 5m
LEMME TAKE YOU TO THE BEACH - Surf Bands Perform Music of Frank Zappa (CD 2004) USD $13.72 Buy It Now 3h 6m
FRANK ZAPPA 200 MOTELS ORIGINAL 2-RECORD SET STILL FACTORY SEALED! USD $399.00 Buy It Now 3h 9m
Frank Zappa - Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar 2 CD Set 2012 USD $10.67 [0 bids]
3h 10m
Frank Zappa - Hot Rats - CD - (Universal 2012) USD $15.24 Buy It Now 3h 13m
2014 Frank Zappa Apostrophe LP 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl Reissue NEW SEALED USD $29.75 Buy It Now 3h 15m
1973 FRANK ZAPPA OVER NITE SENSATION MOTHERS INVENTION 33LP RECORD PROG ROCK VTG USD $18.74 Buy It Now 3h 23m
Mothers Of Invention, The Freak Out! Mono Frank Zappa USD $29.00 [12 bids]
3h 26m
21 BURNT WEENY SANDWICHES (CD 2008) NEW - Frank Zappa Tribute Idiot Bastard Son USD $13.72 Buy It Now 3h 28m
Frank Zappa - Tinseltown Rebellion - CD - (Universal 2012) USD $15.24 Buy It Now 3h 28m
FRANK ZAPPA Lumpy Gravy NM LP 1968 ORIGINAL 1968 Verve Records 68741 S-543 USD $70.00 Buy It Now 3h 32m
RADIO FREE Cult Cuts CD RYKO/BMG Devo FRANK ZAPPA Residents YOKO ONO USD $12.50 Buy It Now 3h 47m
Frank Zappa LP Trick Or Treat original issue Mothers Of Invention USD $18.00 [4 bids]
3h 56m
Frank Zappa LP The xxxx Of original issue Mothers Of Invention USD $14.95 [1 bids]
3h 59m
FRANK ZAPPA IN NEWYORK MONO COVER & DIFF LABEL 2LP USD $199.99 Buy It Now 4h
FRANK ZAPPA SHIP ARRIVING TOO LATE TO SAVE A DROWNING WITCH MONO BLUE COVER LP USD $79.99 Buy It Now 4h 2m
VINYL 45 Frank Zappa - Dancin' Fool Zappa Records Z-10 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 4h 12m
FRANK ZAPPA Hot Rats RS6356 LP AV7569 USD $8.49 [2 bids]
4h 14m
THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION Ahead Of Their Time Live 1968 CD Frank Zappa USD $8.99 Buy It Now 4h 17m
FRANK ZAPPA Saarbrucken 1978 Live CD RARE USD $21.99 Buy It Now 4h 17m
1st USA Pressing,1968,Frank Zappa,We're Only in it for the Money,With Insert USD $41.00 [2 bids]
4h 29m
FRANK ZAPPA Lumpy Gravy VG+ LP 1968 ORIGINAL MONO YELLOW Verve 8741 S-546 USD $200.00 Buy It Now 4h 33m
FRANK ZAPPA: Sheik Yerbouti - CD Brand New Factory Sealed USD $25.99 Buy It Now 4h 34m
FRANK ZAPPA Mothers RARE 1967 ABSOLUTELY FREE Mono Yellow Label Promo LP USD $499.99 Buy It Now 4h 40m
We'Re Only In It For The Money - Frank Zappa (2012, CD New) USD $12.05 Buy It Now 5h 2m
Chunga's Revenge - Frank Zappa (2012, CD New) USD $11.99 Buy It Now 5h 5m
Frank Zappa 45 "Overture (200 Motels)" b/w "What's the Name of Your Group?" USD $10.00 [0 bids]
5h 6m
rare Frank Zappa & the MOTHERS OF INVENTION Black Friday 45 RSD #0743 why doncha USD $10.95 Buy It Now 5h 16m
FRANK ZAPPA Paul Revere BLACK SABBATH Raiders THAI Thailand 7"45 EP single PS #1 USD $24.99 [0 bids]
5h 24m
FRANK ZAPPA Marc Bolan T.REX Tyrannosaurus THAI Thailand 7" 45 EP single PS #2 USD $24.99 [0 bids]
5h 27m
FRANK ZAPPA Miles Davis ELVIS PRESLEY Pilot THAI Thailand 7"45 EP single PS #3 USD $24.99 [0 bids]
5h 29m
FRANK ZAPPA LIVE! Miles Davis ELVIS PRESLEY Thailand THAI 7"45 EP single PS #4 USD $24.99 [0 bids]
5h 32m
JEAN-LUC PONTY KING KONG & IMAGINARY VOYAGE 2 Albums EXCELLENT LP FRANK ZAPPA USD $18.99 Buy It Now 5h 32m
Frank Zappa True Glove 4 Song EP 1984 Vinyl NM- Original German Press Won Ton LP USD $11.99 Buy It Now 5h 48m
1998 ROSS REBAGLIATI'S PICKS CANADA CD W/ FRANK ZAPPA CYPRESS HILL SNOWBOARDING USD $20.00 Buy It Now 6h 7m
frank Zappa - Away the Wind Blows/Frank in Paris 2 Disc Set CD 1991 Rare G USD $24.99 Buy It Now 6h 13m
FRANK ZAPPA: Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch LP (Netherlands, i USD $25.00 Buy It Now 6h 19m
FRANK ZAPPA'S 200 MOTELS ORIGINAL MGM SOUNDTRACK 2CD BOX SET 1997OUT OF PRINT USD $32.50 Buy It Now 6h 27m
Frank Zappa - Big Leg Emma - 2012 RSD Picture Sleeve 45 rpm PS 7" USD $21.00 Buy It Now 6h 50m
Unmitigated Audacity Frank- Zappa CD George Duke Don Preston USD $34.95 Buy It Now 7h 4m
Apocrypha: Thirty Years of Frank Zappa Audio CD - Box set, 1994 USD $133.00 [0 bids]
USD $175.00 Buy It Now
7h 13m
( FRANK ZAPPA-Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch)-J4-LP USD $26.78 Buy It Now 7h 15m
Trance-Fusion Frank Zappa CD Frank ON FIRE. USD $89.99 Buy It Now 7h 17m
FRANK ZAPPA: Tan LP DISCREET RECORDS DSK2291 US 1978 In Shrink NM USD $26.99 Buy It Now 7h 19m
FRANK ZAPPA Hot Rats Original 200 Gram Classic Records Quiex SV-P 12" Vinyl LP USD $199.99 Buy It Now 7h 22m
Frank Zappa - "Overture" 200 Motel/What's The... - COLORED VINYL RSD 45 rpm 7" USD $18.00 Buy It Now 7h 25m
Frank Zappa - Don't Eat The Yellow Snow - 2014 RSD Picture Sleeve PS 7" USD $11.00 Buy It Now 7h 25m
Frank Zappa Overture From Frank Zappa's "200 Motels" 7" Record Store Day 2015 USD $12.50 [0 bids]
7h 31m
FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS "Over-Nite Sensation" Ist Press DISCREET MS-2149 VG+++ USD $24.50 Buy It Now 7h 33m
FRANK ZAPPA - CHUNGA'S REVENGE NEW CD USD $17.05 Buy It Now 7h 51m
FRANK ZAPPA DANCIN FOOL BABY SNAKES NM 7 in 45rpm INTL SHIP VEK 144 ZZ USD $9.99 Buy It Now 7h 51m
RUBEN and the JETS -- For Real -- 1973 LP release produced by Frank Zappa USD $19.99 [0 bids]
8h 2m
Rock 45 w/PS FRANK ZAPPA I Don't Wanna Get Drafted NM! EB536 USD $15.99 Buy It Now 8h 3m
Mayf Nutter Hey There Johnny Rare Copy 1970 Reprise 45 RPM Frank Zappa USD $8.99 [1 bids]
8h 4m
FRANK ZAPPA "Guitar" JAPAN Limited Mini LP CD obi USD $44.99 [0 bids]
8h 22m
1977 FRANK ZAPPA LIVE IN NEW YORK - OFFICIAL SAUDI ARABIA CASSETTE - NO PUNKY'S USD $24.99 Buy It Now 8h 26m
SEALED PROMO In Search Of Syd CD BARRETT Pink Floyd FLAMING LIPS Frank Zappa 15t USD $9.99 Buy It Now 8h 27m
FRANK ZAPPA - Apostrophe' VG+/NM-1974 DISCREET USD $9.99 [0 bids]
8h 34m
SHEIK YERBOUTI FRANK ZAPPA SHEIK YERBOUTI USD $29.99 Buy It Now 8h 40m
FRANK ZAPPA - Apostrophe T-shirt NEW - SMALL ONLY USD $22.96 Buy It Now 8h 47m
Any Way the Wind Blows by Frank Zappa (CD, Jul-1991, 2 Discs, Foo-Eee Records) USD $45.00 Buy It Now 8h 57m
Frank Zappa:Burnt Weeny Sandwich Empty Promo Box [Japan Mini-LP no cd mothers Q USD $88.00 Buy It Now 9h 4m
Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention European Version VG+/VG+ USD $6.99 [0 bids]
USD $19.99 Buy It Now
9h 4m
Frank Zappa LP Ship Arriving to Late USD $5.00 [0 bids]
9h 10m
FRANK ZAPPA - SHIP ARRIVING TOO LATE TO SAVE A DROWNING WITCH LP EX/EX MOTHERS USD $15.00 Buy It Now 9h 13m
FRANK ZAPPA AND THE MOTHERS OF INTERVENTION - JUST ANOTHER BAND FROM LA LP EX/EX USD $20.00 Buy It Now 9h 18m
Puttin on the Ritz [VINYL], 0803341424227, Frank Zappa USD $70.73 Buy It Now 9h 22m
1981 FRANK ZAPPA STEVE VAI -YOU ARE WHAT YOU IS - OFFICIAL SAUDI ARABIA CASSETTE USD $20.00 Buy It Now 9h 31m
1972 UNDERGROUND 2 LP SET W/ POSTER FRANK ZAPPA VELVET JIMI HENDRX ARTHUR BROWN USD $80.00 Buy It Now 9h 32m
1979 FRANK ZAPPA W/ L SHANKAR VIOLIN DEAD GIRLS OF LONDON / SAME RARE 12" PROMO USD $24.99 Buy It Now 9h 35m
The Band of Utopia: A Tribute to the Music of FRANK ZAPPA MRP Records 199 USD $40.05 Buy It Now 9h 59m
Black & White Picture/Clipping Frank Zappa Mother In Lore Article USD $7.63 Buy It Now 10h 13m
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FRANK ZAPPA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FRANK ZAPPA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.90 | 473 ratings
Freak Out!
1966
4.08 | 394 ratings
Absolutely Free
1967
3.27 | 287 ratings
Lumpy Gravy
1968
4.14 | 498 ratings
We're Only In It For The Money
1968
2.70 | 204 ratings
Cruising With Ruben & The Jets
1968
4.11 | 390 ratings
Uncle Meat
1969
4.33 | 1173 ratings
Hot Rats
1969
3.92 | 301 ratings
Burnt Weeny Sandwich
1970
3.76 | 303 ratings
Weasels Ripped My Flesh
1970
3.40 | 249 ratings
Chunga's Revenge
1970
3.03 | 167 ratings
200 Motels
1971
3.92 | 358 ratings
Waka / Jawaka
1972
4.30 | 669 ratings
The Grand Wazoo
1972
4.02 | 453 ratings
Over-Nite Sensation
1973
3.99 | 499 ratings
Apostrophe (')
1974
4.30 | 652 ratings
One Size Fits All
1975
3.72 | 318 ratings
Zoot Allures
1976
3.71 | 204 ratings
Studio Tan
1978
3.60 | 205 ratings
Sleep Dirt
1979
3.84 | 371 ratings
Sheik Yerbouti
1979
3.34 | 134 ratings
Orchestral Favorites
1979
4.12 | 376 ratings
Joe's Garage, Act I
1979
3.91 | 299 ratings
Joe's Garage, Acts II & III
1979
3.63 | 214 ratings
You Are What You Is
1981
3.55 | 185 ratings
Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch
1982
3.08 | 86 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I
1983
3.14 | 170 ratings
The Man From Utopia
1983
3.21 | 142 ratings
Them Or Us
1984
2.39 | 111 ratings
Thing-Fish
1984
2.57 | 102 ratings
Francesco Zappa
1984
3.57 | 93 ratings
The Perfect Stranger
1984
3.24 | 108 ratings
Meets The Mothers Of Prevention
1985
3.48 | 173 ratings
Jazz From Hell
1986
2.97 | 59 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. II
1987
3.80 | 98 ratings
Civilization Phaze III
1994
3.34 | 62 ratings
The Lost Episodes
1996
3.97 | 144 ratings
Läther
1996
1.98 | 48 ratings
The Mystery Disc
1998
3.28 | 33 ratings
Everything Is Healing Nicely (EIHN)
1999
1.89 | 34 ratings
Joe's Domage
2004
2.97 | 32 ratings
Joe's Corsage
2004
2.16 | 26 ratings
Joe's XMASage
2005
3.49 | 26 ratings
Feeding The Monkeys At Ma Maison
2011
4.14 | 44 ratings
Läther
2012
3.09 | 13 ratings
Joe's Camouflage
2014

FRANK ZAPPA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.17 | 125 ratings
Fillmore East, June 1971
1971
3.13 | 114 ratings
Just Another Band From L.A.
1972
4.40 | 248 ratings
Roxy & Elsewhere
1974
3.53 | 172 ratings
Bongo Fury
1975
4.22 | 200 ratings
Zappa In New York
1978
3.04 | 129 ratings
Tinsel Town Rebellion
1981
3.39 | 76 ratings
Baby Snakes
1983
3.53 | 69 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
1986
3.61 | 106 ratings
Broadway The Hard Way
1988
3.36 | 101 ratings
Guitar
1988
3.98 | 101 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 1
1988
4.51 | 167 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 2
1988
3.56 | 84 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 3
1989
3.47 | 79 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 4
1991
4.31 | 154 ratings
The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life
1991
4.36 | 120 ratings
Make A Jazz Noise Here
1991
2.27 | 18 ratings
As An Am
1991
3.39 | 20 ratings
The Ark
1991
2.61 | 16 ratings
Freaks & Motherfuckers!
1991
2.40 | 21 ratings
Unmitigated Audacity
1991
2.05 | 21 ratings
Anyway The Wind Blows
1991
2.79 | 19 ratings
'Tis The Season To Be Jelly
1991
2.33 | 17 ratings
Saarbrucken 1978
1991
3.74 | 29 ratings
Piquantique - Stockholm 1973
1991
1.59 | 10 ratings
At The Circus
1992
2.07 | 13 ratings
Conceptual Continuity
1992
2.49 | 13 ratings
Disconnected Synapses
1992
3.23 | 15 ratings
Electric Aunt Jemima
1992
3.07 | 10 ratings
Our Man In Nirvana
1992
3.87 | 11 ratings
Swiss Cheese / Fire!
1992
2.53 | 10 ratings
Tengo Na Minchia Tanta
1992
2.88 | 39 ratings
Playground Psychotics
1992
3.67 | 72 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 5
1992
3.84 | 68 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 6
1992
3.86 | 93 ratings
The Yellow Shark
1993
3.25 | 66 ratings
Ahead Of Their Time
1993
3.94 | 44 ratings
FZ:OZ
2002
3.84 | 29 ratings
Halloween (DVD-Audio)
2003
3.52 | 50 ratings
Trance-Fusion
2006
3.85 | 57 ratings
Imaginary Diseases
2006
3.61 | 37 ratings
The Dub Room Special!
2007
4.08 | 43 ratings
Buffalo
2007
4.18 | 56 ratings
Wazoo
2007
3.56 | 35 ratings
One Shot Deal
2008
3.14 | 23 ratings
Joe's Menage
2008
4.13 | 37 ratings
Philly '76
2009
4.28 | 47 ratings
Hammersmith Odeon
2010
3.80 | 26 ratings
Carnegie Hall
2011
3.35 | 30 ratings
Finer Moments
2012
3.28 | 21 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #1
2012
4.69 | 27 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #2
2013
3.73 | 11 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2013
4.53 | 19 ratings
Roxy By Proxy
2014

FRANK ZAPPA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

2.84 | 46 ratings
200 Motels (The Movie)
1971
3.48 | 21 ratings
Uncle Meat (Video)
1988
2.65 | 46 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
2003
4.10 | 61 ratings
Baby Snakes
2003
4.22 | 27 ratings
QuAUDIOPHILIAc (DVD-Audio)
2004
3.97 | 36 ratings
The Dub Room Special!
2005
3.82 | 11 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2005
4.17 | 35 ratings
Apostrophe (') Over-Nite Sensation
2007
4.61 | 29 ratings
Zappa In Barcelona
2007
3.63 | 8 ratings
Tratto dal filmato 'A Token Of His Extreme'
2007
4.36 | 14 ratings
The Torture Never Stops
2008
3.17 | 6 ratings
Live In Paris 1980
2008
3.21 | 10 ratings
Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention: In the 1960's
2009
4.00 | 9 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2013

FRANK ZAPPA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 33 ratings
Mothermania: The Best Of The Mothers
1969
3.61 | 48 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
1981
3.84 | 41 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More
1981
3.77 | 37 ratings
Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
1981
3.93 | 82 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar (The Box Set)
1982
3.57 | 7 ratings
The Old Masters, Box One
1985
2.71 | 16 ratings
We're Only In It For The Money / Lumpy Gravy
1985
3.14 | 7 ratings
The Old Masters, Box Two
1986
3.14 | 7 ratings
The Old Masters, Box Three
1987
3.58 | 94 ratings
Joe's Garage, Acts I, II & III
1987
4.16 | 17 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Sampler
1988
4.00 | 10 ratings
Beat The Boots 1
1991
3.67 | 9 ratings
Beat The Boots 2
1992
3.22 | 30 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I & II
1995
3.25 | 49 ratings
Strictly Commercial
1995
3.77 | 30 ratings
Frank Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa: A Memorial Tribute
1996
4.21 | 20 ratings
Strictly Genteel
1997
3.23 | 26 ratings
Have I Offended Someone?
1997
2.89 | 37 ratings
Cheap Thrills
1998
2.07 | 15 ratings
Cucamonga (1962 - 1964)
1998
2.97 | 24 ratings
Son Of Cheep Thrills
1999
4.08 | 16 ratings
Zappa Picks - By Larry LaLonde Of Primus
2002
3.90 | 10 ratings
Zappa Picks - By Jonathan Fishman Of Phish
2002
4.03 | 18 ratings
Threesome No. 1
2002
4.20 | 18 ratings
Threesome No. 2
2002
3.20 | 10 ratings
For Collectors Only
2003
2.80 | 17 ratings
The Best of Frank Zappa
2004
3.34 | 32 ratings
The Making Of Freak Out! Project/Object
2006
3.46 | 18 ratings
The Lumpy Money Project/Object
2009
3.13 | 17 ratings
Greasy Love Songs
2010
3.63 | 8 ratings
Understanding America
2012

FRANK ZAPPA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 7 ratings
How Could I Be Such a Fool?
1966
4.25 | 8 ratings
Trouble Comin' Every Day
1966
4.00 | 7 ratings
It Can't Happen Here
1966
3.16 | 6 ratings
Big Leg Emma
1967
3.80 | 5 ratings
My Guitar
1969
3.43 | 18 ratings
Peaches en Regalia
1970
3.43 | 7 ratings
Tell Me You Love Me
1970
3.75 | 4 ratings
WPLJ
1970
4.17 | 6 ratings
Cletus Awreetus - Awrightus
1972
3.15 | 9 ratings
Montana
1973
2.69 | 10 ratings
Don't Eat The Yellow Snow
1974
3.20 | 5 ratings
Find Her Finer
1976
4.09 | 11 ratings
Bobby Brown
1979
4.13 | 8 ratings
Joe's Garage
1979
3.29 | 9 ratings
Dancin Fool
1979
3.97 | 10 ratings
I Don't Wanna Get Drafted 12''
1980
3.40 | 5 ratings
Stick It Out
1980
3.75 | 4 ratings
Goblin Girl (picture)
1981
2.82 | 10 ratings
Valley Girl
1981
3.67 | 3 ratings
Harder Than Your Husband
1981
2.50 | 4 ratings
Rare Meat - Early Productions Of Frank Zappa 12''
1983
3.40 | 5 ratings
Baby Take Your Teeth Out
1984
4.50 | 8 ratings
Peaches En Regalia (longpack)
1987
4.25 | 8 ratings
Montana (Whipping Floss)
1988
4.40 | 5 ratings
Zomby Woof
1988
3.14 | 8 ratings
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
1988
2.09 | 3 ratings
You Can't Do That On the Radio Anymore
1990
3.06 | 8 ratings
Stairway To Heaven 12''
1991
3.90 | 2 ratings
Clean American Version
1995
3.86 | 3 ratings
Kill Ugly Radio Some More
1995
3.50 | 2 ratings
Kill Ugly Radio
1995
3.50 | 2 ratings
Return Of The Son Of Kill Ugly Radio
1995
4.40 | 5 ratings
Zomby Woof (longpack)
1998
2.00 | 2 ratings
Penguin in Bondage/The little known story of the Mothers of Invention
2011
2.00 | 1 ratings
200 Motels Overture
2015

FRANK ZAPPA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hot Rats by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.33 | 1173 ratings

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Hot Rats
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Those interested in the jazz fusion side of Frank Zappa need to invest in this album and be familiar with it. Most people know there are many sides to Frank Zappa and his music, some are turned off by his humor and others are turned off by his eclectic jazz or classical works, and yet others love his doo wop music. How does one tell which album has which kind of music on it? You have to explore because his discography is so immense. But let it be known that this album "Hot Rats" is a necessary album, especially for jazz fusion lovers. This was FZ's first official, complete (well almost) jazz record and it is essential.

This is also the first studio recording by Zappa after the breakup of The Mothers (though not necessarily the first solo album because he released solo projects while The Mothers were formed). The album itself is completely jazz fusion and instrumental, that is all except for one track, which is a straightforward rocker, which has vocals by Captain Beefheart. That track is "Willie the Pimp". The vocals are not very long though, and most of the track is devoted to an electrifying guitar solo.

As far as the rest of the album, it starts off with FZ's most recognizable jazz fusion work "Peaches en Regalia", which is a short structured jazz work recorded at a faster than normal speed, but when it is performed live, is performed at this speed. This little gem is a quick study in jazz fusion progressive with tricky rhythms and quite a complex melody which is Zappa's trademark. This track works as a great introduction to the album and prepares you for what is ahead. Following this is the aforementioned "Willie the Pimp". This is one of FZs best straightforward guitar solos which stands out on the album since it isn't really jazz oriented as the other tracks. Next is another long track called "Son of Mr. Green Genes" which returns us back to the great jazz fusion that makes up most of the album. This track is based on the melody from "Mr. Green Genes" from the Uncle Meat album. FZ fans will definitely recognize the melody played as a jazz band and the melody acts as the basis for the mostly improvised piece. Zappa solos again but the feeling is different this time. Also, a rarity in Zappa tracks that feature his guitar, he returns to a clear variation of the melody in the middle of the improvisation. Other instruments are acting not only as support but also do improvisations. These things make this track unique among the many improvised solos in Zappa's repretoire.

The second half of this album starts out with another short structured piece called 'Little Umbrellas' which is similar to the structure of 'Peaches en Regalia'. This is followed by an epic fusion piece called 'The Gumbo Variations' which is over 16 minutes on the CD re-issue which had originally been trimmed down to just under 13 minutes on the vinyl version. The longer version starts with some instructions from FZ to the band for starting the track. This is a perfect improvisation piece which features a brass solo followed by an amazing and quite excellent violin solo and followed by another Zappa guitar solo. There are short interludes between each solo involving different sections of the band, including a short percussion solo. Excellent music. The album ends with the 5 minute track called 'Must Be a Camel' which is mostly structured and involves the entire band. Apparently, the title for this track comes from the large melodic jumps that are in the main melody and how this made the notes on the written manuscript look like camel humps. Again, this is an example of Zappa's 'not-so-apparent' humor in his music.

This album remains a staple in the Zappa catalog and is a great introduction to his fusion music. It should be in every progressive rock library and it sets a lot of standards for this style of music. People can't say they don't usually like Zappa music based on a single facet or style of his music. His style would change from one album to the next. You can be a fan of a style of his music and not so much of a fan of another style. The man, overall, is a musical genius, and anyone with a love or an understanding of music will recognize this. That is why Zappa's music is studied in universities and institutions alongside the music of Bach, Bartok, Gerswin and other music geniuses. Of course, Zappa had some not so great endeavors, but that doesn't take away from the fact that the man understood music and had a desire to make his music known to all people, hence the reason for so many different styles and also for his off-color humor. This album is a great representation of the jazz-fusion style of his music and is an essential album. 5 stars.

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 Have I Offended Someone? by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
3.23 | 26 ratings

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Have I Offended Someone?
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars If you like Frank Zappa's humor but you don't want to sift through his other great music to find it, then this is the collection for you. Yes, for the most part, these are remixes or different versions from what you might have heard previously, but they are not different enough to be disappointed for the lovers of his humor. For me, I would rather hear it in lesser concentrated amounts, because even though I find some of the humor funny, I would rather listen to the challenging music that he produces, so this album is a little too much of the same for me. But it does serve the purpose of gathering most of the funny music all in one place.

For those Zappaphiles that have to have everything, this collection might have some value because of the alternative versions that are one here. In some cases, like "Bobby Brown" and "We're Turning Again" the new versions are better than the originals (especially "we're Turning Again" because that annoying processed vocal has been replaced by a regular live vocal which is much better). In other cases, the changes are not better, but worse as in the case of "Disco Boy" which wasn't that great before but now have even worse vocals. "Goblin Girl" was bad enough before, but is another one that is even worse now with the stupid sound effects now put on reverb making them more annoying. By the way, did you know that song was originally written to sell to the Disney corporation?

There are some surprises here including "Yo Cats" which doesn't change much, and "Tinsel Town Rebellion" which are pleasant additions and lesser known of the tracks. The much better "Dumb all Over" is a much better live version compared to the original and is also extended to include a great guitar solo, but that is the only real guitar solo on the collection. This also contains no fusion or avant garde music, it's pretty much straightforward in order to appeal to those who are just looking for the humorous songs.

That's it, it's pretty much a novelty item with remixes and different versions. But some of the songs really don't sound much different while others are obviously different, some for the better and some for the worse. There is enough variation from the originals though to generate interest for Zappa collectors, including the addition of new lyrics in a few songs, but others are actually edits like "Titties and Beer". So just know that some changes are worth while where others are not or even non-existent. Decent enough with appeal for the masses, but nothing out of the ordinary is on this collection. 3 stars.

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 Hammersmith Odeon by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2010
4.28 | 47 ratings

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Hammersmith Odeon
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars There are some Zappa live albums that are just okay, some that are not so great, and then there are those that are excellent and highly recommended. This one falls in the latter category and should be one that every Zappa fan owns and one that the curious listeners that want to explore Zappa should get if they run across it.

This is a collection of highlights from a four or five night concert at the Hammersmith Odeon recorded during the last days of January 1978. The band line-up was one of the best and included Adrian Belew, Tommy Mars, Terry Bozzio, Patrick O'Hearn, Ed Mann, and Peter Wolf. This was probably one of the best rock band line-ups that toured with Frank. One of the big pluses for these live performances is Bozzio's amazing drum work which give each track so much more new life.

Most of the excellent album "Shiek Yerbouti" was recorded during these live performances, even though that album is considered more of a studio album because of the addition of so many overdubs on top of the live sessions, and for most of the songs on that album, the audience noise is very minimal. This album includes all of the crowd noise and uses different performances than what was used on Shiek Yerbouti, so you get the concert performances pretty much as they happened during this period of time.

This album also contains 3 discs of over 3 hours of music. Even though a lot of the tracks come from the album "Shiek Yerbouti", there are also other great tracks, some of them well known and oft used and others rare and seldom heard. The 1st disc has the usual "The Torture Never Stops" but with Bozzio's drums, the song takes on a life of it's own and it keeps moving quickly. Bozzio enhances Frank's improvisations like no one else and keeps them from dragging like they sometimes do. There is also a 20 minute version of "Pound for a Brown" which turns into a jazz fusion piece with plenty of keyboard soloing between Tommy and Peter.

The 2nd disc is more centered around Frank's lewd humor and there is a lot more audience participation here. The first 13 minutes is devoted to "I Have Been in You" which is lampooning Peter Framptons "I'm in You" and has a long explanation of the purpose of the song. Just like on "Shiek Yerbouti", this track follows into an excellent version of "Flakes" and then "Broken Hearts are for Assholes". We then get away from SY and get the hijinx of "Punky's Whips" and "Titties and Beer" and a lot of audience participation to show you just how crazy FZ's concerts could be. "Black Page #2" in this case is done with synthesizers and drums instead of the slightly better version which previous to this concert had been done with the jazz band lineup. Even though I like the jazz version better, this one is still good and you can hear why it's so difficult for a jazz band to play. "The Little House I Used to Live In" is another great fusion piece that ends this disc.

Finally, the 3rd disc has some great rare material like "Dong Work for Yuda", "Envelopes", and an original drum solo "Terry Firma". "Bobby Brown" comes with another explanation about the inspiration for that hilarious song, "Disco Boy" is an interesting very rock-ish version that gets extended treatment that goes into a very avant-garde percussion solo, "King Kong" turns into a guitar improv piece for FZ (Usually this is an extended jazz fusion piece, but FZ uses it to jam on the guitar this time). After the band blasts quickly through some kind of lame versions of "Dinah Moe Humm" and "Camarillo Brillo" (this is the weakest part of the album because they hurry through them so fast, but then add in some "eyebrows" to keep it interesting) they go directly into one of the best versions of "Muffin Man" ever. If this wasn't enough, the band comes back for a double encore with another amazing version of a classic, this time "Black Napkins" which is also one of the best versions of that, then a very rockabilly version of a fairly rare old track called "San Ber'dino".

This collection ranks up there with some of Frank's best recordings, especially live recordings. It was released posthumously by the Zappa Family Trust in 2010 and is a definite essential album since it is one of the best live albums in Zappa's discography and has some of the best sound on any of his live albums. At times, you swear you are listening to new studio versions, even in some case, improved versions of songs. This album also carries a lot of the excitement from the concert. This one should not be missed and is a great representation of that time in Zappa history. 5 stars.....essential for anyone wanting to explore Zappa or already loves Zappa.

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 Guitar by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 1988
3.36 | 101 ratings

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Guitar
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This album is simply a collection of guitar solos taken out of the context of the concert and the main song and renamed and pasted together so that you get over 2 hours of FZ jamming on the guitar. Each track is melded together and starts when the solo starts and ends before the band returns to the main melody again. The way these solos are presented makes for a somewhat painful listening experience if you are not a lover of FZ's solos. If that is all you want to hear without any context to the song they are being performed in, then you are in luck because this is wall to wall guitar. Or if you are a guitar student and want to hear what amazing things FZ can do on the guitar, then this is for you. Or if you are a completionist, then you must have it I suppose. However, if you want something entertaining or enjoyable to listen to, then there are many other FZ collections and recordings that are much better. To the layman, this will sound like a continuous guitar jam, which is basically what it is, but taken out of context like it is and pasted together as one jam after another, it takes all of the character out of the solo and sounds too much the same all the way through. So, in other words, for me at least, this is very hard to listen to in a single sitting. Little bits at a time, it isn't quite so bad.

The linear notes on this collection tell you the concert venues and dates (but they are not always correct) and it also tells you what performance (or the name of the song) the solo was taken from. If you are familiar with FZ's jamming songs, then these notes will be of some value and will help return some of the character of the jam as long as you can imagine the context that it was taken from. Many of the tracks are taken from performances of "Ride My Face to Chicago", "Black Napkins", "Let's Move to Cleveland", "Black Page", "Zoot Allures", "City of Tiny Lights" and so on. There are a few of the tracks that do stand out a bit, like "Ina-Gadda-Stravinsky" which takes the hook from the Iron Butterfly song as the base for the jam and includes the opening notes from the bassoon line of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" and if you listen close you'll hear "Taps" played by the bass further into the song. This is one of the highlights of the album. There is a great solo taken from a performance of Gregg Allman's "Whipping Post" called "For Duane" in remembrance of Duane Allman who originally played the guitar solo for that song. There are other great solos that stand out in this mish-mash of solos, but you will only catch them if you are a careful listener and most of these get lost as it is hard to make a point of reference unless you are following closely along.

Zappa hardcore fans will be interested to note that the track entitled "Outside Now" is named after the track on Joe's Garage of the same name. However, the jam is not taken from a live performance of that song, the jam comes from a performance of "City of Tiny Lights" which was the original song where the "Outside Now" track was based on in Joe's Garage. There are little secrets like that here that wouldn't mean much to a regular listener. This album just does not hold a lot of appeal for the person that wants to explore FZ's discography, even if they are only interested in his guitar work. You are better off getting "Zappa Plays Zappa" or listening to some of his better albums like "Zoot Allures" or any number of live albums where he was likely to play extended jams.

Personally, I can only recommend this to hardcore fans, especially fans of FZ's guitar work who are more familiar with his repertoire. As such, I can only rate this with 2 stars. It's just not a collection that's easy to sit through, even for a Zappa fan like myself.

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 The Grand Wazoo by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.30 | 669 ratings

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The Grand Wazoo
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars At the time of the recording of this album and it's following concert tours, FZ was recovering from an accident where he was pushed off the stage by a crazed fan. The albums and tours during this time period were mostly jazz fusion, and FZ toured with a variety of personnel which varied in size. For a short time, during what was called The Grand Wazoo tour, he toured with his largest array of musicians ever and performed this amazing style of jazz fusion. Frank was at a compositional peak at this time (he reached many of those peaks during his life btw) and it shows in the excellence of his music and compositions. If you are a lover of jazz fusion and almost completely lyric free (except a few instances) then this is the period in FZ's discography that you need to check out.

There are a few albums that were released during this time and a few released posthumously that represent this period of time quite well. These albums are this one, "Hot Rats", "Waka/Jawaka" and "Burnt Weenie Sandwhich". The posthumous albums are "Wazoo" (which features the Grand Wazoo tour), "Imaginary Diseases" (featuring the Petit Wazoo line up--the smaller "big band") and "Joes' Domage" (this one features rehearsal sessions from the above mentioned studio albums). Those that love this music from FZ should put themselves in contact with these albums.

The album consists of all jazz fusion pieces with very little lyrical content. There is no humor (not much anyway) or guitar soloing in these albums. It is 100% jazz fusion with a very large brass and woodwind ensemble. The music is excellent here and showcases FZ's compositional prowess and his ability to lead a jazz orchestra. There are two track listing orders for this album, the original with "For Calvin" first and "The Grand Wazoo" as the 2nd track. The 1990 reissue reverses the order of the first 2 tracks. All of the other tracks are in the same order. FZ okayed the reissue and the new order of the tracks.

"For Calvin" features some lyrics, not many though, and the song is dedicated to Cal Schenkel who did a lot of album design for FZ over the years. The story behind the song is that Calvin had borrowed a '59 Jaguar from FZ (apparently it was Captain Beefheart's car) and was stopped at a traffic light, when two hippies came along and got into the car, thinking he had stopped to give them a ride. The hippies didn't talk or say where they wanted to go, so Cal took them to his studio and told them that the ride ended there. They stayed in the car while Cal worked in his studio and made themselves some bologna sandwiches, ate them then finally left. The song is dedicated to that incident, just as many of FZ's songs were dedicated to real life incidents. The song itself is more of an avant garde style of jazz with a lot of dissonance and strange off-kilter rhythms. A nice study in modern compositional style, except instead of classical, it's jazz. The centerpiece of the album is "The Grand Wazoo" which is a 13+ minute instrumental full of amazing musicianship and orchestration. There is a main theme that bookends the middle section which features both improvisation and structure in various segments throughout the piece. The end of the main them as it goes into the middle section is punctuated by a great boogie style, rhythmic driven foundation which serves as a great background for the soloing going on. This gives way to more modern stylings from time to time which revert back to straightforward jazz. This is an excellent example of mixing styles and FZ shows that it works very well here. Even with the mixing of styles, the song is solid and concise and is a great example of FZ's genius.

The 2nd half of the album starts with a short mid-tempo piece which continues the same jazz feeling but it also has some wordless vocals. This is a short interlude piece that separates the more up beat songs with some softer midtempo songs. Following this is "Eat that Question" which according to FZ was originally called "Eat that Christian". Why the title changed is anyone's guess. This piece features George Duke and his excellent piano playing. On this song, the production value given to the electric piano is better than what had ever been heard before this time and thus this track stands out not only on this album, but in production also with the improvement of sonic quality for this particular instrument. Without going into detail, this track was instrumental in improving certain recording techniques. The last track is again a more laid back jazz piece called "Blessed Relief"

This is definitely a masterpiece of jazz fusion and progressive jazz. It stands right up there with anything recorded by any jazz fusion great including Miles Davis. I don't understand why this recording doesn't get the respect it deserves, but I am happy to see that at least in the archives, most reviewers revere this album like it should be. It is one of Zappa's best line ups and is the album to have that shows his genius as a composer that was excellent in all of the genres of music that he wrote songs for. This is an essential recording, for collectors and jazz fans alike and should be a part of your progressive collection. 5 stars without a doubt!

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 FZ:OZ by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2002
3.94 | 44 ratings

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FZ:OZ
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is a live recording of most of the show performed at Sydney, Australia in January of 1976. The line up is one that is a rare one when it comes to live documentation, but it consists of one of the smallest live line-ups in FZ's discography. The band was pared down to the bare minimum here and the timing was right between the Bongo Fury album and the Zoot Allures album (which utilized this line up for the most part). The album was released posthumously by the Zappa family trust and was quite an anticipated release because of the rareness of releases of this time in Zappa history, unless you didn't mind having a bootleg.

The line up isn't bad, but it was just before the best line up would be formed. The concert itself has some songs on it that were rarely heard live plus one song that was not recorded anywhere else. This fact heightened the anticipation for the release. The recording isn't too bad as far as quality most of the time, but it isn't as good as some. The tape used had to be changed throughout the concert and this left some spots in the show that were not recorded, so, in order to release this show, the gaps had to be filled in with whatever bootlegs were available, thus resulting in a few spots in the recording that are obviously not as well recorded as others. But, the fact that most of the release was from mostly one show was an exciting prospect and in fact, is the most attractive thing about this recording. Other than that, there are much better recordings of the staple songs on other albums, but there are also a lot of rare performances on this that might make it worth while for Zappa-philes.

This album starts out with an introduction of the small band and a little goofing around before slipping immediately into a decent rendition of "Stinkfoot", moving on to "The Poodle Lecture" and on to "Dirty Love". These first songs fit together because of a common theme and are usually performed together on plenty of other live albums. Next comes a less often heard instrumental called "Filthy Habits" which comes from the "Sleep Dirt" album which wouldn't be released until 1979. This shows that many songs existed before being officially recorded, that FZ would often try out songs in concert to perfect them before officially releasing them. Thus you get an early version of this great instrumental. This is the first reason to find this album. Next comes some very early r&b style music from the debut Mothers album "Freak Out!". Brock at this point takes over the lead vocals from Frank and it brings a new feeling to these songs that were originally sung by members of the original Mothers line-up, so these songs can really sound different from the originals, namely "How Can I Be Such a Fool", "I Ain't Got No Heart" and "I'm Not Satisfied". After this trio of songs, the band plays some tracks from the then future "Zoot Allures" and it is interesting to hear these tracks in their early development. An almost 12 minute version of the classic guitar barn burner "Black Napkins" kicks in and the instrumental is awesome here. The theme is pretty much the same as the official studio version, but the improvised keyboard and later guitar solos are amazing. Then comes an 11 minute version of "Advance Romance" (from Bongo Fury) but without Captain Beefheart singing, this falls once again to Brock. He does a good job and the soloing in the middle is in fine form once again. The famous "Illinois Enema Bandit" comes next, but there are better recordings of this out there. Going back again to the future past, the band picks from unreleased material and plays a mediocre "Wind Up Workin at a Gas Station" and a shortened and quicker version of "The Torture Never Stops" which you can tell is underdeveloped, but enhanced with a harmonica solo instead of what would later be a hallmark for the killer guitar solos in future shows. The harmonica is played by a local Aussie talent who throws in an attempt at humor.

Disc 2 continues where we left off with the rare short instrumental piece "Canard Dujour" followed by an otherwise unavailable live version of the ultra rare song "Kaiser Rolls". Is it worth the search of this album for this track.....not really, but Zappa-philes will have to have it you know. Another track from the future "Zoot Allures" follow in "Find Her Finer" which is just annoying as usual, then the ever popular concert staple "Carolina Hard Core Ecstasy" which is an okay version but has a great guitar solo in it. The rare live version of "Lonely Little Girl", "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance" (with vocals!) and "What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body" all from "We're Only IN it for the Money" follow, but the versions here are again a bit lackluster, so not really worth the trouble. After this, a great version of the rare "Chunga's Revenge comes next with a very long sax solo and finally a drum solo, this after 15 minutes flows into another long instrumental off of Zoot Allures (the title track) and this is also great, but it turns into what will be known as "Ship Ahoy" with the echoing effects of the guitar giving a great ambient sound. The show was supposed to end after the usual "Keep it Greasy" but after a demand for encores, the band comes back and ends with the excellent 1 - 2 -3 punch of the showstoppers "Dinah Moe-Humm" which had been requested numerous times through the show by some demented fan and in this case has a nice doo-wop section, then "Camarillo Brillo" followed by "Muffin Man". This was a favorite encore set for the fans and the band in that it ended the show on an upbeat and exciting way. On this album, we are treated to another version of "Kaiser Rolls (du jour)" which is the rehearsal of the song recorded a few weeks before the actual show, again this song is not available elsewhere.

So is it worth it? To the casual listener, it might be okay, but there are better choices out there with better sound. For the Zappa-phile, there is quite a bit to get excited about though. For me, I have to average it out to 3 stars. It is entertaining enough and there some great bits here, but for the most part, there are better recordings out there.

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 Freak Out! by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1966
3.90 | 473 ratings

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Freak Out!
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Yes it is true that this is the first official Frank Zappa/Mothers of Invention album released. However, FZ was involved in a lot of doo-wop style bands and recorded a few things that involved the presentation of some of his early avant garde classical style music and if you can locate some of those recordings, they are definitely interesting enough if you are a big FZ fan. But, this was the first official major label recording. The Mothers were actually around before this release also, doing r&b covers under the name Soul Giants. When Frank joined the band, he convinced them to do his own original songs and they changed their name to The Mothers.

The band was signed on when Tom Wilson heard the song "Anyway the Wind Blows" which was the first song the band recorded. The record company thought they were signing on a white blues band. When the band next recorded "Who Are the Brain Police?", the execs were a little surprised and worried. They were suddenly getting a mixture of r&b and psychedelia and some really weird music they didn't understand. But Frank pushed on and was actually excited and pleased with what was coming together. Frank's love for doo-wop music and avant garde classical music came together in the songs that were made while the record company scratched their heads and wondered what was going on.

Most of America didn't understand this music at first either. However, in Europe, the album would become a hit and eventually it would become an underground hit in the States when the beatniks thought the album was made to represent an LSD trip of some kind. It was also strange that an album would be released as two discs, even though it had been done by Bob Dylan and a few others, I don't believe it was ever done as a debut album. Somehow, Frank got away with it. In Europe though, it was released as a single disc.

Historically, this is a very important album as far as prog is concerned. It was one of the first concept albums ever made, the concept being Frank's view of pop culture and his satirical take on it. The first disc is mostly made up of short doo-wop inspired songs and 60's inspired psychedelia. There are a few hints of progressive rock, even though it wasn't a genre yet, Frank used his classical training to add an extra dimension to the music. Some of the music is quite straightforward r& b while other songs are completely out in left field.

The 2nd disc includes the longer tracks which were "Trouble Every Day", "Help I'm a Rock (Suite in Three Movements)" and "The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet (Unfinished Ballet in Two Tableaux)". The first of these is a blues influenced rock number with a strong political message at the time, the Mothers own protest song. "Help I'm a Rock" has a great driving rhythm, but quickly becomes an unconventional song as the lyrics are ridiculous and often don't convey any consistent theme. This was all on purpose, making fun of psychedelia and protest music. The music breaks down in the 2nd movement with a bunch of vocal sounds and chaos and is a homage to Edgard Varese who is one of Zappa's favorite musicians, then it suddenly goes to an accapella type craziness for the 3rd movement with some a sudden interruption with a piano interlude that is an avant garde jazz section before returning to more acapella sounds. The last track "...Monster Magnet" is a sound collage made into another avant garde piece that continues on for 12 minutes. At first listen, this all sounds like a chaotic, random composition, but it is actually a brilliant composition that shows it's similarity to other sound collages performed by The Beatles and other psychedelic bands, but this has a structure unlike any of those with a lot more vocal sounds than just random sounds.

This is definitely an essential recording especially when it comes to progressive rock music. It shows the existence of progressive elements were around even before progressive music became an official genre. FZ was one of the innovators and this album is a testament to that. You might think it is a strange recording at first, but as it grows on you and the genius of the album becomes apparent, you will begin to agree. FZ fans must have this and prog fans need to be familiar with it, it's all a part of your history. 5 stars.

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 Wazoo by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2007
4.18 | 56 ratings

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Wazoo
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is a recording of the last day of an 8-day concert in Boston in 1972. This was the first tour that Zappa did after his stage accident where a crazed fan pushed Zappa off the stage. Frank was still in a wheelchair during this tour and the Mothers of Invention were no more. FZ had put together a 20-piece band for the purpose of performing instrumental jazz/classical/rock fusion music which was the type of music Frank wanted to make above all else. That's what this live album consists of...mostly very long fusion tracks featuring him conducting his big band, which in this line up, was short lived. Some of the members of the band would continue in a smaller context, but this particular line-up has not been documented in an official recording before the release of this album, which was done post-humously in 2007. I'm not sure if the audience was expecting this kind of a concert from FZ after his stint with his "Vaudeville" band which included the annoying yet silly antics of Flo and Eddie. In fact, some member of the audience can be heard hounding Frank about Flo and Eddie and where they were. But the audience, when they can be heard, seem to be enjoying themselves anyway.

This is amazing fusion music that ranges from big band jazz to avant garde fusion, meaning some of it is accessible and some of it is quite non-traditional. The first musical track after band introductions is "The Grand Wazoo" which is a straightforward rock/fusion track which is bookended with a structured melody and a long set of improvised solos conducted by Frank. It is very enjoyable with a lot of great solos. The next number is "Approximate" which is basically a drum solo arranged for a full band. Frank claims that the song was written based upon a drum solo and he added in instruments to play on the beats from the percussion (which is still a strict pattern) but the instruments have only been given a range that they play in and not specific notes. That is the "melody" of the song which forms the basis for more improvised instrumentals through the rest of the piece. Of course, this particular composition is never played in the same way and is very avant garde all the way through, even on the improvised sections. This one is not so accessible, but hopefully with some understanding on the structure of the song, it can become more interesting and easier to listen to. I always love hearing what they do with this song, which has also appeared on a few other live recordings. The last song on the first disc is another more straightforward jazz piece called "Big Swifty" and this uses more traditional jazz stylings. You again have the structure of main melody bookending another great session of improvisation.

On the 2nd disc, Frank opens discussing and introducing the half hour long "Adventures of Greggery Peccary" which on this recording is divided up into 4 sections. This is basically the same song as the original recording of the song on the album "Studio Tan", but this version is only the instrumental version with the story line removed. The actual finished song had not been completed for this concert, but what you get is a great combination of structured music that you will recognize as the music that accompanies the story for the most part with some improvisation thrown in. This is more along the lines of a light avant garde ensemble piece which changes styles a lot. Fans of Zappa will recognize parts of the song easily where other parts are completely different.

The band comes back for 2 short encore pieces, the instrumental version of "Penis Dimension" from the Flo and Eddie days (just to keep those fans happy I suppose) and an early version of "Regyptian Strut" called in this recording "Variant I Processional March".

This is one of the best jazz fusion recordings and one of the best band lineups of Frank's and he was quite pleased to have such a big band to work with during this time. It is too bad the line up was short lived, but the more condensed version of the band was still around for a while and thankfully we have a lot of recordings featuring them. Anyway, for FZ fans and fusion fans, this is an essential recording. The music and production and sound is all top notch. For a recording representative of the more complex recordings and concerts of FZ, this is a masterpiece and does an excellent job of giving us insight into Frank's genius. Definitely an essential avant-prog recording.

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 Frank Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa: A Memorial Tribute by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1996
3.77 | 30 ratings

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Frank Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa: A Memorial Tribute
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In 1993, Frank Zappa passed away way too early in his life. His son asked his father what he would consider were his most definitive guitar solos and Frank said "Black Napkins", "Zoot Allures" (both of there from the Zoot Allures album) and "Watermelon in Easter Hay" (from Joe's Garage). Dweezil then put together this collection of guitar music to represent FZ at his best as a guitar virtuoso. The album is arranged by taking each one of these 3 titles and featuring an amazing live performance followed by the original recording of the same song. This may sound redundant, but, if you are familiar with Frank's amazing live performances, you know how that is not true. This album, which is available only by download from the official Zappa website, is an excellent example of how Frank was so versatile and prolific in his live performances and how much his music would vary as Frank would make each performance unique.

This collection starts out with "Black Napkins" performed live in Yugoslavia on November 22, 1975. This is a previously unreleased excerpt of that concert and featured the song before it was completely developed. It is definitely recognizable as the main melody is played, but takes on it's own life as Frank's improvised part commences. This is followed by the version off of the Zoot Allures album so it's easy to compare the two.

Next up is a 15 minute live version of "Zoot Allures" as performed in Tokyo, Japan on February 5, 1976. This long track seems to go by quickly and is an amazing version of the well-known solo. At about the 10 minute mark, Frank slips away into a version of his rare work "Ship Ahoy" which features some very nice and atmospheric guitar work that is quite minimal, especially on the part of the back up band, with a nice echoing melody that those familiar with the "Ship Ahoy" song will recognize. After this track, the pattern is temporarily disrupted by an original previously unreleased song called "Merely a Blues in A", which is not available anywhere else. This is an improvised piece done live at Paris, France in 1974, when the crowd demanded an encore and the band had run out of material to perform, so they improvised this on the spot. Again, another excellent example of Frank's ability. It is a simple blues base with Frank playing his guitar over it all. Following this is the original version of "Zoot Allures" from the album of the same name, as we find ourselves placed back into the pattern.

The next live performance is that of "Watermelon in Easter Hay" which is a favorite of a lot of Zappa fans because it is such a beautiful melody and an excellent starter for great improvisation. The live version is performed in Germany on February 24, 1978. The rhythm on this version is a little faster than the original and has very little backup from the band. To me, it is hard to compare this favorably to the excellent original version which follows. This version is from the "Joe's Garage Vol. 2 & 3" album and it also features a live version of Frank's solo with studio backing from the band. This is, like I said before, the most beautiful and memorable of all of Frank's solos.

This is an excellent collection of Frank's most inspired guitar work, but it's weakness is in the repetition of the songs, even if it is a minimal weakness because of the treatments of the songs here put together for your comparison. I can't fault the album too much for that, but there are a lot of other great guitar collections that are available from FZ. I will say, though, if you don't mind the high price tag of this collection, that this is still a 4 star collection just because it is the master, after all, doing what he does best. There are no vocals except for some announcements from Frank while conversing with his various audiences and a little bit of other minor interaction. The focus is entirely on Frank's guitar work.

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 Meets The Mothers Of Prevention by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.24 | 108 ratings

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Meets The Mothers Of Prevention
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This FZ album is a strange concoction yet also very interesting especially in a historical sense in FZ's history. It is strange in the collection of tracks that are on it. Some of the music sounds like outtakes from other albums, for the most part they are a lot of lesser used songs from FZ's huge library of music that were put together, most of them with questionable themes, yet the lewdness as for as sexual lyrics is not quite as prevalent as some albums, the themes that are questionable, at least to a certain sector of the public, range from several subjects. This was all to prove Zappa's point about the fight for free speech. But, on the surface, it is a little tougher to hear the "continuity" on this album if you are not familiar with the context of the songs and the titles.

The album starts out with something that sounds like it comes from the "You Are What You Is" sessions. "I Don't Even Care" is from a studio session and the only other instance of it in Zappa's discography is from "Understanding America". To me, it sounds too much like a "YAWYI" track for my liking, but it's okay I suppose. It's mostly vocals with no instrumental breaks to speak of, just like all the tracks from that time period. Next, we get 3 instrumentals of FZ on synclavier. You can hear that Zappa's talent has improved with the instrument and he is able now to get the sound that he prefers from his technically difficult and sometimes impossible compositions. These tracks tend to sound quite clinical sounding because there is not a lot of dynamism here, but there is a lot of genius present in the composition itself. These tracks are "One Man, One Vote", "Little Beige Sambo" (of course a take on the destruction of that fairy tale that got labeled as being racist [Little Black Sambo]), and (probably one of my favorite titles at least) "Aerobics in Bondage" (just try to do aerobics to this track). Next is a live track of "We're Turning Again" recorded at Santa Monica in December 1981. Not a bad song that sounds similar to the "Thing Fish" era that has lyrics regarding Jimi Hendrix and is also available at another concert recording on "You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore Vol. 6".

Next up is an instrumental called "Alien Orifice" which this time is performed with an entire band in a concert setting circa Sept 1981 - June 1982. It is interesting in this album arrangement to hear how the band compares to the synclavier sound. The technicality is still there, but it's not as sterile sounding and the dynamics are better. Percussion on this track sound almost as good as Ruth Underwood used to sound, and you might be fooled into thinking it is her playing here, but it is in actuality Ed Mann. Quite impressive. I must say in most instances I prefer the full band anytime over the synclavier, but that's just me. Next is "Yo Cats" which only appears on one other album "Have I Offended Someone". This is probably the best vocal track on the album, is very lounge act/jazzy sounding. This one is somewhat entertaining as it lampoons lounge singers. The best track on the album follows, "What's New in Baltimore". This one is culled from several different concerts, but it all fits together well. It is an instrumental with a full band and an excellent guitar solo by Frank, but if you are looking for any more guitar soloing on this album, you'll be disappointed because this is the only one. But it sounds great here, especially because it is the lone track with a great solo. The rest of the line up shines through here too, but since the track is only over 5 minutes, no one else other than Zappa gets to shine here.

Next is the sound montage "Porn Wars". Contrary to what the title puts you in mind of, this isn't a mishmash of Porn movie sounds. It is really sound bites from senators and FZ talking in court, but arranged in ways that is very reminiscent of the sound collages on the album "Freak Out!". This is set to music and the arrangement of voices both untreated and treated is unbelievably entertaining. There are some very funny comments made, and many of those comments are from people that were arguing against free speech just to demonstrate how ridiculous their arguments were (and still are in many cases). There are also some lyrical bits from track by The Mentors called "Golden Showers". At least we're spared from the most disgusting parts of those lyrics, but there are a few snippets of lyrics from that song that are repeated throughout. The last track is "H.R. 2911" which is the name of the legislation act that FZ referenced in his testimony against censorship. The track itself is all performed by FZ on synclavier and really doesn't do much of anything for me, that is, I can't even remember it right after it plays, that's how small of an impression it leaves on me.

After all is said and done, this is a historical recording, but not really an essential recording in my opinion. There are much better representations of FZ's music out there. There are some good bits there though that save it from being only an album of interest to collectors though, so we can push this rating up to a 3 star album, but not any more than that.

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