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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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Joe's Garage Acts I II & IIIJoe's Garage Acts I II & III
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$9.14
$9.13 (used)
Apostrophe (')Apostrophe (')
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$5.73
$7.99 (used)
Hot RatsHot Rats
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$5.85
$8.00 (used)
Freak OutFreak Out
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$3.53
$6.15 (used)
Over-Nite SensationOver-Nite Sensation
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$7.99
$5.99 (used)
Waka/JawakaWaka/Jawaka
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$4.83
$5.14 (used)
One Size Fits AllOne Size Fits All
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$8.18
$5.97 (used)
ZAPPA, FRANK - PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ : 2CD SETZAPPA, FRANK - PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ : 2CD SET
unknown
Audio CD$10.49
$12.99 (used)
Uncle MeatUncle Meat
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$5.94
$9.95 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Frank Zappa Lp Absoultely Free Mono USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1h 52m
FRANK ZAPPA - HAVE I OFFENDED SOMEONE NEW CD USD $17.70 Buy It Now 1h 52m
Frank Zappa - Hot Rats LP UK K 44078 RSLP 6356 USD $37.56 Buy It Now 1h 53m
The DOORS, FRANK ZAPPA, AZYMUTH, 1978 JAPAN PROMO ONLY LP WARNER PIONEER PS-124 USD $29.99 [1 bids]
1h 54m
FRANK ZAPPA: Letter from Jeepers 7" Black Vinyl Test Press UNCUT USD $73.00 [3 bids]
2h 17m
frank zappa - peaches en regalia 3" cd single USD $17.00 Buy It Now 2h 18m
FRANK ZAPPA - APOSTROPHE (') * 1974 Original Pressing USD $2.45 [1 bids]
2h 27m
FRANK ZAPPA LATHER / BOX WITH OBI NM MINT- CLEAN COPY USD $499.99 [0 bids]
2h 30m
The Mothers Fillmore East June 1971 In Shrink Frank Zappa MS-2042 USD $39.95 Buy It Now 2h 35m
The Mothers Of Invention We're Only In It For The Money Frank Zappa V6-5045X USD $79.95 Buy It Now 2h 35m
Frank Zappa - Zappa USD $3.99 [0 bids]
USD $6.00 Buy It Now
2h 35m
Frank Zappa - Lather (3 CD Box Set) 1996 - Japanese import USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2h 50m
Frank Zappa - Chungas Revenge CD (Rykodisc Canada 1995) USD $10.00 [0 bids]
USD $13.00 Buy It Now
2h 51m
Frank Zappa - 20 Extraordinary Renditions CD USD $4.51 [0 bids]
3h 6m
21 Burnt Weeny Sandwiches (Frank Zappa) CD USD $4.51 [0 bids]
3h 6m
BOBBY JAMESON/FRANK ZAPPA-RECONSIDER BABY-ORIGINAL USA PENTHOUSE RECORDS USD $10.94 [4 bids]
3h 15m
FRANK ZAPPA "SHEIK YERBOUTI" RARE DIGITALLY REMASTERED IMPORT UK USD $33.66 [0 bids]
3h 19m
FRANK ZAPPA FREAK OUT SEALED CD NEW USD $8.90 Buy It Now 3h 30m
FRANK ZAPPA WE`RE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY SEALED CD NEW USD $5.34 Buy It Now 3h 32m
FRANK ZAPPA UNCLE MEAT SEALED 2 CD SET NEW USD $12.20 Buy It Now 3h 35m
FRANK ZAPPA - Lather - 3 CDs and a booklet USD $9.99 [2 bids]
3h 36m
Frank Zappa 'Lumpy Gravy' 1968 Verve VLP 9223 A1/B1 Wide Spine Sleeve Mono 1G 1G USD $76.63 [5 bids]
3h 39m
Frank Zappa - Uncle Meat NEW CD USD $12.97 Buy It Now 3h 40m
Frank Zappa - The Yellow Shark NEW CD USD $7.38 Buy It Now 3h 40m
Frank Zappa Sheik Yerbouti Double LP SRZ 2-1501 Vinyl Record LP Rare USD $20.00 [0 bids]
3h 42m
FRANK ZAPPA 'THE MOFO PROJECT/OBJECT' (2006) 4CD DELUXE EDITION USD $108.18 [15 bids]
3h 48m
FRANK ZAPPA / MOON UNIT ZAPPA "VALLY GIRL" CD SINGLE USD $9.00 [0 bids]
3h 49m
Frank Zappa 2 CD Swiss Cheese From Beat the Boots Live Mark Volman Don Preston USD $149.99 Buy It Now 3h 50m
Frank Zappa - Joe's Garage Acts I, Ii & Iii NEW CD USD $12.97 Buy It Now 3h 54m
Have I Offended Someone? by Frank Zappa (CD, Nov-2012, Universal) USD $9.50 Buy It Now 3h 54m
FRANK ZAPPA YOU ARE WHAT YOU IS PICTURE DISC 12" EP USD $9.99 [0 bids]
3h 55m
FRANK ZAPPA "FIND HER FINER / " RARE 45 WARMER BROS WBS 8296 PROMO COPY USD $20.00 [0 bids]
4h 8m
FRANK ZAPPA Chunga's Revenge 1970 Bizarre 2030 FREE SHIPPING VG+ VINYL USD $16.99 Buy It Now 4h 10m
Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers of Prevention 12" vinyl LP '85 rock USD $12.99 Buy It Now 4h 10m
FRANK ZAPPA - THE MAN FROM UTOPIA - ORIGINAL PRESSING! - VG+ - ROCK USD $9.99 [0 bids]
4h 10m
FRANK ZAPPA - GUITAR - 2 LPs - BARKING PUMPKIN PRESSING! - NM- - ROCK USD $19.99 [0 bids]
4h 10m
FRANK ZAPPA - FREAK OUT! - 2 LPs - MOTHERS OF INVENTION - VERVE - EX - ROCK USD $24.99 [0 bids]
4h 10m
FRANK ZAPPA - SHUT UP 'N PLAY YER GUITAR - 3 LP SET! - VG+ - ROCK USD $24.99 [0 bids]
4h 10m
FRANK ZAPPA - JOE'S GARAGE - ACT II & III - 2 LPs - ORIGINAL PRESSING! - ROCK USD $12.99 [0 bids]
4h 10m
FRANK ZAPPA - YOU ARE WHAT YOU IS - 2 LPs - ORIGINAL PRESSING! - VG+ - ROCK USD $14.99 [0 bids]
4h 10m
FRANK ZAPPA - TINSELTOWN REBELLION - 2 LPs - ORIGINAL PRESSING! - VG+ - ROCK USD $13.99 [0 bids]
4h 10m
FRANK ZAPPA - ABSOLUTELY FREE - MOTHERS OF INVENTION - VERVE / MGM - VG+ - ROCK USD $15.49 [2 bids]
4h 10m
FRANK ZAPPA - THING-FISH - 3 LP BOX SET! - EMI HOLLAND - NM- - ROCK USD $24.99 [1 bids]
4h 10m
FRANK ZAPPA-POP HISTORY. USA 1970/1973/1978-4 GOLD CD BOXSET-NEW USD $39.99 [0 bids]
4h 11m
Frank Zappa - Zappa In New York LP Double Disc Vinyl Discreet Label USD $2.66 [4 bids]
4h 20m
FRANK ZAPPA THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION uncle meat BIZARRE US ORIGINAL 2LP LP TOP USD $89.99 Buy It Now 4h 24m
Frank Zappa Joe's Garage Act 2 & 3 Zappa Records USD $10.99 [0 bids]
4h 27m
FRANK ZAPPA - APOSTROPHE ON TOUR 1974 - 6 GOLD CD BOXSET-NEW USD $69.99 [0 bids]
4h 33m
ROCK PROG PYSCH LP - FRANK ZAPPA "APOSTROPHE" DISCREET DS 2175 (WHITE LBL PROMO) USD $24.95 [0 bids]
4h 38m
FRANK ZAPPA: ORIGINAL 2 PAGE INTERVIEW. SOUNDS MAGAZINE JANUARY 29th,1983 USD $1.49 [0 bids]
4h 55m
The Beatles John Lennon Paul McCartney Frank Zappa Mothers Lot of 8 Tracks USD $11.00 [0 bids]
USD $15.00 Buy It Now
4h 56m
FRANK ZAPPA 'HALLOWEEN' (2003) DVD-AUDIO DISC USD $8.26 [2 bids]
5h
Frank Zappa Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch Record LP Psych NM USD $19.00 Buy It Now 5h 2m
FRANK ZAPPA !! = STUDIO TAN.,,, 1978 USD $2.99 [1 bids]
5h 28m
1976 FRANK ZAPPA INNERVIEW W/ JIM LADD - 12" RADIO SHOW LP + CUE ZOOT ALLURES USD $195.00 Buy It Now 5h 34m
Ike Willis - Should'a Gone Before I Left, 1987 CD, Frank Zappa USD $9.99 [1 bids]
5h 38m
FRANK ZAPPA - ONE STAGE VOL 7 - 2CD RARE JAPAN IMPORT USD $50.00 [4 bids]
5h 42m
Over-Nite Sensation by The Mothers Frank Zappa vinyl LP USD $26.95 Buy It Now 5h 59m
Frank Zappa Puttin' On The Ritz(Ltd 4 x Coloured Vinyl Hardcover Box) USD $90.14 Buy It Now 6h 4m
FRANK ZAPPA-Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch-Barking Pumpkin- VG+ USD $9.00 Buy It Now 6h 7m
Frank Zappa BEAT THE BOOTS Complete 7-CD Collection BOX SET #2 GEM MINT BERET USD $107.50 [4 bids]
6h 16m
FRANK ZAPPA Bongo Fury w/Mini Sticker Limited Edition Mini LP CD Japan USD $22.49 [0 bids]
6h 20m
FRANK ZAPPA Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch CD MOON UNIT USD $24.99 Buy It Now 6h 24m
FRANK ZAPPA Bongo Fury w/Mini Sticker Limited Edition Mini LP CD Japan USD $22.49 [0 bids]
6h 25m
Frank Zappa Mothers Of Invention Ltd Edition 3 Song 12" Vinyl From Freak Out USD $29.00 [0 bids]
6h 30m
FRANK ZAPPA Sheik Yerbouti Limited Edition Mini LP CD Japan USD $22.49 [0 bids]
6h 30m
Frank Zappa - 200 motels double lp near mint french press USD $8.26 [6 bids]
6h 30m
FRANK ZAPPA Guitar Limited Edition Mini LP 2CD Japan USD $28.11 [1 bids]
6h 35m
FRANK ZAPPA - THEM OR US - TWO 2 LP BARKING PUMKIN RECORS 1984 USD $22.00 Buy It Now 6h 35m
FRANK ZAPPA THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION - THE WORST OF THE MOTHERS - MGM LABEL USD $18.00 Buy It Now 6h 37m
FRANK ZAPPA STUDIO TAN DISCREET LABELS DSK 2291 USD $16.00 Buy It Now 6h 38m
FRANK ZAPPA Strictly Commercial w/Obi Limited Edition Mini LP 2CD Japan USD $28.11 [0 bids]
6h 40m
FRANK ZAPPA Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Limited Edition Mini LP 3CD Japan USD $44.99 [0 bids]
6h 50m
Frank Zappa - Chunga's Revenge on Reprise Records MS 2030 Gate Fold USD $34.99 Buy It Now 6h 50m
Frank Zappa, Sleep Dirt, Discreet DSK 2292 Org. Cdn. Release 1979, NM-, VG++ USD $15.95 Buy It Now 6h 51m
Frank Zappa, Studio Tan, Discreet DSK 2291, Original Canadian release 1978, NM- USD $15.95 Buy It Now 6h 51m
Frank Zappa - Sleep Dirt on Discreet Records DSK 2292 1979 Issue USD $34.99 Buy It Now 6h 52m
FRANK ZAPPA You Are What You Is Limited Edition Mini LP CD Japan New USD $28.11 [0 bids]
6h 55m
FRANK ZAPPA Hot Rats Limited Edition Mini LP CD Japan USD $22.49 [0 bids]
7h
FRANK ZAPPA Them Or Us CD Early Japan-made Release NO BAR CODE Heavy Case *MINT* USD $9.99 Buy It Now 7h 3m
FRANK ZAPPA The MOTHERS OF INVENTION We're Only In It For The Money 1968 USA LP USD $55.23 Buy It Now 7h 3m
FRANK ZAPPA & Mothers Over Nite Sensation Limited Edition Mini LP CD Japan USD $22.49 [0 bids]
7h 5m
TOMMY FLANDERS FRIDAY NIGHT CITY '68 VERVE FORECAST PSYCH ROCK DJ 7? FRANK ZAPPA USD $75.00 [0 bids]
7h 8m
FRANK ZAPPA You Are What You Is Limited Edition Mini LP CD Japan USD $22.49 [0 bids]
7h 10m
FRANK ZAPPA Strictly Genteel: A Classical Introduction CD 1997 18 tracks RYKO USD $24.00 Buy It Now 7h 13m
FRANK ZAPPA One Size Fits All Limited Edition Mini LP CD Japan USD $22.49 [0 bids]
7h 15m
JAPAN Frank Zappa YOU ARE WHAT YOU IS ~ 2 LPs ORIGINAL 1981 Japanese press MINT- USD $69.99 Buy It Now 7h 20m
FRANK ZAPPA NEW YORK EXTRA RARE ORIGINAL EX YUGOSLAVIA 1ST PRESS 1981 EX+/EX/EX USD $49.00 Buy It Now 7h 23m
FRANK ZAPPA CHUNGA'S REVENGE ITALY PRESSING 1978 EX+/EX USD $43.00 Buy It Now 7h 23m
FRANK ZAPPA SHEIK YERBOUTI RARE HOLLAND PRESSING 1979 EX/EX/EX USD $56.00 Buy It Now 7h 25m
FRANK ZAPPA SHUT UP'N PLAY YER GUITAR RARE HOLLAND BOX PRESS 1981 EX+/EX/EX/EX USD $86.00 Buy It Now 7h 26m
FRANK ZAPPA TINSEL TOWN REBELLION RARE HOLLAND PRESSING 1981 EX/EX/EX USD $48.00 Buy It Now 7h 26m
FRANK ZAPPA SLEEP DIRT GERMANY PRESSING 1979 EX/EX USD $37.00 Buy It Now 7h 26m
FRANK ZAPPA TINSEL TOWN REBELLION ENGLAND PRESSING 1981 EX/EX/EX USD $40.00 Buy It Now 7h 27m
Frank Zappa - I Don't Wanna Get Drafted 7" promo single (CBS - 1980) USD $9.75 [0 bids]
7h 36m
FRANK ZAPPA THEM OR US CASSETTE #1 ONLY AUSTRALIAN CASSETTE TAPE USD $10.73 Buy It Now 7h 41m
FRANK ZAPPA THEM OR US UK CASSETTE TAPE USD $10.73 Buy It Now 7h 41m
Frank Zappa & The Mothers Fillmore East - June 1971 SEALED 1990 UK CD Odd Spine USD $23.95 Buy It Now 7h 45m
Frank Zappa Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar 1st USA Press 1986 2 CD Set USD $23.95 Buy It Now 7h 45m
Captain Beefheart Doc at the Radar Station SEALED 1999 UK Virgin CD Frank Zappa USD $23.95 Buy It Now 7h 45m
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FRANK ZAPPA shows & tickets


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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)

3.89 | 454 ratings
Freak Out!
1966
4.08 | 379 ratings
Absolutely Free
1967
3.28 | 274 ratings
Lumpy Gravy
1968
4.14 | 477 ratings
We're Only In It For The Money
1968
2.69 | 195 ratings
Cruising With Ruben & The Jets
1968
4.14 | 372 ratings
Uncle Meat
1969
4.33 | 1100 ratings
Hot Rats
1969
3.90 | 290 ratings
Burnt Weeny Sandwich
1970
3.77 | 288 ratings
Weasels Ripped My Flesh
1970
3.39 | 237 ratings
Chunga's Revenge
1970
3.03 | 159 ratings
200 Motels
1971
3.92 | 343 ratings
Waka / Jawaka
1972
4.30 | 626 ratings
The Grand Wazoo
1972
4.02 | 435 ratings
Over-Nite Sensation
1973
3.98 | 476 ratings
Apostrophe (')
1974
4.32 | 597 ratings
One Size Fits All
1975
3.70 | 301 ratings
Zoot Allures
1976
3.70 | 196 ratings
Studio Tan
1978
3.60 | 197 ratings
Sleep Dirt
1979
3.84 | 352 ratings
Sheik Yerbouti
1979
3.34 | 130 ratings
Orchestral Favorites
1979
4.11 | 359 ratings
Joe's Garage, Act I
1979
3.90 | 284 ratings
Joe's Garage, Acts II & III
1979
3.65 | 203 ratings
You Are What You Is
1981
3.54 | 179 ratings
Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch
1982
3.08 | 81 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I
1983
3.13 | 164 ratings
The Man From Utopia
1983
3.21 | 137 ratings
Them Or Us
1984
2.38 | 104 ratings
Thing-Fish
1984
2.62 | 96 ratings
Francesco Zappa
1984
3.60 | 90 ratings
The Perfect Stranger
1984
3.26 | 103 ratings
Meets The Mothers Of Prevention
1985
3.48 | 168 ratings
Jazz From Hell
1986
3.03 | 56 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. II
1987
3.77 | 95 ratings
Civilization Phaze III
1994
3.31 | 59 ratings
The Lost Episodes
1996
3.96 | 140 ratings
Läther
1996
1.97 | 46 ratings
The Mystery Disc
1998
3.34 | 31 ratings
Everything Is Healing Nicely (EIHN)
1999
1.89 | 32 ratings
Joe's Domage
2004
2.96 | 29 ratings
Joe's Corsage
2004
2.14 | 25 ratings
Joe's XMASage
2005
3.49 | 24 ratings
Feeding The Monkeys At Ma Maison
2011
4.08 | 42 ratings
Läther
2012
3.10 | 11 ratings
Joe's Camouflage
2014

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

3.22 | 119 ratings
Fillmore East, June 1971
1971
3.12 | 110 ratings
Just Another Band From L.A.
1972
4.39 | 242 ratings
Roxy & Elsewhere
1974
3.51 | 163 ratings
Bongo Fury
1975
4.19 | 191 ratings
Zappa In New York
1978
3.03 | 126 ratings
Tinsel Town Rebellion
1981
3.39 | 73 ratings
Baby Snakes
1983
3.52 | 68 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
1986
3.59 | 102 ratings
Broadway The Hard Way
1988
3.48 | 90 ratings
Guitar
1988
3.97 | 95 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 1
1988
4.49 | 159 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 2
1988
3.48 | 78 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 3
1989
3.53 | 73 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 4
1991
4.31 | 150 ratings
The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life
1991
4.36 | 115 ratings
Make A Jazz Noise Here
1991
2.25 | 16 ratings
As An Am
1991
3.26 | 23 ratings
The Ark
1991
2.69 | 14 ratings
Freaks & Motherfuckers!
1991
2.51 | 19 ratings
Unmitigated Audacity
1991
2.19 | 19 ratings
Anyway The Wind Blows
1991
2.88 | 17 ratings
'Tis The Season To Be Jelly
1991
2.05 | 15 ratings
Saarbrucken 1978
1991
3.71 | 27 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
2.89 | 37 ratings
Playground Psychotics
1992
3.60 | 65 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 5
1992
3.81 | 63 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 6
1992
3.76 | 90 ratings
The Yellow Shark
1993
3.25 | 64 ratings
Ahead Of Their Time
1993
4.12 | 42 ratings
FZ:OZ
2002
3.86 | 28 ratings
Halloween (DVD-Audio)
2003
3.52 | 49 ratings
Trance-Fusion
2006
3.85 | 55 ratings
Imaginary Diseases
2006
3.64 | 36 ratings
The Dub Room Special!
2007
4.09 | 42 ratings
Buffalo
2007
4.07 | 53 ratings
Wazoo
2007
3.57 | 34 ratings
One Shot Deal
2008
3.18 | 22 ratings
Joe's Menage
2008
4.15 | 36 ratings
Philly '76
2009
4.06 | 45 ratings
Hammersmith Odeon
2010
3.76 | 23 ratings
Carnegie Hall
2011
3.39 | 27 ratings
Finer Moments
2012
3.21 | 20 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #1
2012
4.71 | 23 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #2
2013
3.44 | 9 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2013
4.52 | 17 ratings
Roxy By Proxy
2014

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

2.85 | 44 ratings
200 Motels (The Movie)
1971
3.50 | 20 ratings
Uncle Meat (Video)
1988
2.64 | 44 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
2003
4.10 | 59 ratings
Baby Snakes
2003
4.29 | 26 ratings
QuAUDIOPHILIAc (DVD-Audio)
2004
3.99 | 34 ratings
The Dub Room Special!
2005
4.10 | 10 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2005
4.17 | 33 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
4.46 | 13 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 | 8 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2013

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

3.70 | 31 ratings
Mothermania: The Best Of The Mothers
1969
3.59 | 46 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
1981
3.82 | 39 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More
1981
3.75 | 35 ratings
Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
1981
3.93 | 79 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar (The Box Set)
1982
3.57 | 7 ratings
The Old Masters, Box One
1985
2.68 | 15 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
3.57 | 90 ratings
Joe's Garage, Acts I, II & III
1987
4.14 | 16 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Sampler
1988
3.60 | 10 ratings
Beat The Boots 1
1991
3.67 | 9 ratings
Beat The Boots 2
1992
3.25 | 26 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I & II
1995
3.24 | 46 ratings
Strictly Commercial
1995
3.67 | 27 ratings
Frank Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa: A Memorial Tribute
1996
3.73 | 24 ratings
Strictly Genteel
1997
3.30 | 23 ratings
Have I Offended Someone?
1997
2.89 | 36 ratings
Cheap Thrills
1998
2.08 | 14 ratings
Cucamonga (1962 - 1964)
1998
2.93 | 22 ratings
Son Of Cheep Thrills
1999
4.08 | 16 ratings
Zappa Picks - By Larry LaLonde Of Primus
2002
3.82 | 14 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
2.79 | 16 ratings
The Best of Frank Zappa
2004
3.33 | 30 ratings
The Making Of Freak Out! Project/Object
2006
3.36 | 17 ratings
The Lumpy Money Project/Object
2009
3.11 | 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)

3.71 | 7 ratings
How Could I Be Such a Fool?
1966
3.78 | 9 ratings
Trouble Comin' Every Day
1966
3.86 | 7 ratings
It Can't Happen Here
1966
3.21 | 5 ratings
Big Leg Emma
1967
3.60 | 5 ratings
My Guitar
1969
3.45 | 17 ratings
Peaches en Regalia
1970
3.29 | 7 ratings
Tell Me You Love Me
1970
3.50 | 4 ratings
WPLJ
1970
4.00 | 6 ratings
Cletus Awreetus - Awrightus
1972
3.17 | 8 ratings
Montana
1973
2.70 | 9 ratings
Don't Eat The Yellow Snow
1974
3.00 | 5 ratings
Find Her Finer
1976
4.30 | 10 ratings
Bobby Brown
1979
4.00 | 8 ratings
Joe's Garage
1979
3.33 | 8 ratings
Dancin Fool
1979
3.83 | 11 ratings
I Don't Wanna Get Drafted 12''
1980
3.20 | 5 ratings
Stick It Out
1980
4.33 | 3 ratings
Goblin Girl (picture)
1981
2.84 | 9 ratings
Valley Girl
1981
4.50 | 2 ratings
Harder Than Your Husband
1981
2.67 | 3 ratings
Rare Meat - Early Productions Of Frank Zappa 12''
1983
3.75 | 4 ratings
Baby Take Your Teeth Out
1984
4.38 | 8 ratings
Peaches En Regalia (longpack)
1987
4.00 | 7 ratings
Montana (Whipping Floss)
1988
5.00 | 4 ratings
Zomby Woof
1988
3.17 | 7 ratings
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
1988
2.46 | 5 ratings
You Can't Do That On the Radio Anymore
1990
3.09 | 7 ratings
Stairway To Heaven 12''
1991
4.17 | 5 ratings
Clean American Version
1995
4.12 | 6 ratings
Kill Ugly Radio Some More
1995
5.00 | 1 ratings
Kill Ugly Radio
1995
5.00 | 1 ratings
Return Of The Son Of Kill Ugly Radio
1995
5.00 | 4 ratings
Zomby Woof (longpack)
1998

FRANK ZAPPA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Everything Is Healing Nicely (EIHN) by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.34 | 31 ratings

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Everything Is Healing Nicely (EIHN)
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat

3 stars This album was released posthumously by the Zappa Family Trust. Basically, it is a collection of outtakes and rehearsals that were recorded during the recording of the "Yellow Shark" album. Being that "YS" was a highly respected work of FZ, this album was released to give people an insight as to what goes into the recording of one of FZ orchestral/serious works.

The good side of this album is that it contains some run-throughs that are very well recorded and these tracks are a good supplement to "YS". Tracks like "Roland's Big Event/Strat Vindaloo", "T'Mershi Duween" and "9/8 Objects" are excellent recordings that could have been included in the final product. However, there are others that tend to drag on too long and are difficult to remain attentive to like "Nap Time" (a fitting title) and "Wonderful Tattoo". For titles like these, it would be good to have accompanying video to watch how Zappa lead the orchestra/band with his hand signals and cues.

The bad thing about this collection is the times when the record button was left on during certain "readings" that ramble on for too long and take up too much time on this album. The novelty of these tracks just wears off way too quickly. I don't know if this was an attempt by the family to make the album more listenable and light weight, but to me it distracts from the best parts of the album and also lessens the chance that it could ever be taken seriously. This album could have been utilized as a study tool in music education to aid into the insight of FZ's serious music, but there is no chance of that happening because of the ramblings.

Anyway, with the unevenness of the album, the best that I can do is give this a 3 star rating. I suppose this album would make the most sense to the lovers of the "Yellow Shark" album that would like to hear more, Anyone else would probably scratch their head wondering what all of this is about.

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 Electric Aunt Jemima by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 1992
3.23 | 15 ratings

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Electric Aunt Jemima
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat

2 stars Here is another one of the official bootlegs from the Beat the Boots II box set. The box set is made up of bootlegged recordings that FZ released officially in order to prevent the bootleggers from making money off of his concerts. Nothing has been refined or fixed on these bootlegs, they are original and in their full bootlegged glory, meaning, most of them are not very good recordings.

The concerts themselves however were a lot better. FZ's standards for his own recordings were very high. There is a lot of argument over where these recordings were done. Zappa.com says it was done at the Fillmore East in 1970. Other sources, including ProgArchives say it was done in several venues. Then there are differences in opinion which venues and what tracks were done where and when. So, it's best to say that they were probably recorded between 1968 and 1970.

This entire album is all mostly instrumental with the emphasis on Jazz improvisation, with a little experimental noodling going on. If the recordings were done in this time frame, they were done when the emphasis was going from vocal humor to an improvised sound, probably because of FZ's throat injury from being pushed off the stage by a crazed fan. The performances themselves sound like they would have been stellar. But the sound itself is bad, not as bad as some of the other bootlegs, but not as good as others. There is no real mixing here, so some sounds are loud when they shouldn't be, nothing is balanced very well. So even the best performances are hard to listen to when they sound like this.

This would normally be one for completionists, but there are a lot of new arrangements and fragments of songs that haven't been available elsewhere, so there is a bit of value in that. Because of that, this one squeaks by with 2 stars, for collectors and fans only.

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 The Dub Room Special! by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2007
3.64 | 36 ratings

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The Dub Room Special!
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat

3 stars This is another live album from FZ and two different lineups. It is also a soundtrack from the video of the same name. The order of the songs is different from the video and not all of the selections are on the CD, but other than that, it's the same music as the video. It kind of makes this soundtrack obsolete, that is, unless you want to listen to it in your vehicle or where ever you don't have video access. Honestly, it's well produced with great sound. But on the other hand, there are so many other live CDs out there from Frank, so it's probably collectors mostly that will be interested. The nice thing about the video is that you get to see the interplay between Frank and the band members, so that is one reason to get the video over the CD.

Tracks 2 (Stevie's Spanking) and 6 (Easy Meat) are both recorded live in New York City on October 31, 1981. The remainder of the album is recorded for a TV performance on August 24, 1974 and it features one of the best band line-ups that FZ had. Either way, all performances are excellent, so if you find it and you have no other live albums with this line up, then it's worth having.

The songs are all FZ staples. It starts off on track 1 with "Token of My Extreme" which is more or less a introduction to FZ appearing on stage, so not much there. Then we go right into "Stevie's Spanking" which features FZ humor and a killer guitar solo from Steve Vai and FZ which will put you into guitar hero heaven. Then you get two short doses of early FZ jazz in "The Dog Breath Variations" and "Uncle Meat", both very familiar songs for early FZ fans, but nothing out of the ordinary other than great group interplay. Next comes the immensely popular "Stinkfoot" with Frank's voice heavily processed to give him a static-y deep sound. Unfortunately Frank gets tired of the song before the guitar solo usually starts, so it is cut short but flows directly into "Easy Meat" which is one of the better live versions of the song with some more great group interplay.

"Montana" is a very ho-hum version of the song. "Inca Roads" however is excellent. Even if it is one of my favorite FZ songs, it is made even better with the +9 minute version and a great FZ guitar jam plus the vocals on the song are very good, as good sounding as if it were done in a studio and not for a TV show. Of course, Ruth Underwood is amazing on this as would be expected. If you haven't seen her live, then you definitely need to find this video. An amazingly underrated percussionist, underrated except for FZ fans that know just how great she is. Then, on a second instrumental break, there is a surprise keyboard solo which again is nothing short of amazing. Not to be outdone, Ruth comes back on the xylophone and friggin' blows everything away. Outstanding performances on this one.

"Room Service" is actually works better on the video as it is comedy interplay between FZ and singer George Duke while the band plays accompaniment in the background. But you do at least get the hear the audio portion, it's just better live. Just listening to the audio of this though gets old after the first time you hear it, so where "Inca Roads" adds so much to the album, "Room Service" takes it away, and it goes on for 10 minutes.

"Cosmik Debris" comes next and the verses are pretty much standard fare, but when you expect the guitar solo, you get a nice sax solo instead before the wah-wah guitar comes in, then a great bluesy keyboard solo, then FZ finally gives us another killer guitar solo. I'm not a big fan of this song usually, but I love the way everyone gets a chance to shine in the band during the longer than usual (at least for this song) instrumental break.

Finally, the ending track is "Florentine Pogen" is a pretty good version but the vocal part again works better on video. A little more than halfway through you get yet another excellent guitar solo from Frank that lasts the rest of the track and closes out the album.

Again, not a bad album, but the video works better for this show. With the CD you do at least get 4 excellent tracks while the others are only sub standard compared to other live versions out there. If you run into this one and need a live CD album from Frank, then get it. Otherwise, find the video. Besides it has a lot more on it. Good stuff, but not essential. 3 stars.

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 Does Humor Belong In Music? by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 1986
3.52 | 68 ratings

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Does Humor Belong In Music?
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat

4 stars This is a pretty decent live recording of various FZ shows performed between October - December of 1984. It was originally released in 1986, but not in the U.S. Apparently, this original recording did not have a quality sound, so it was re-released in 1995 in a remixed form and the sound quality improved tremendously. The track "Let's Move to Cleveland" also got another minute added to it's playtime. The reissue is the one to own if you are looking into purchasing a copy. There was also a video of the same name which also has some of the tracks on the CD, but they are all different versions, so these particular recordings are all exclusive to the CD only (and a bootlegged copy in vinyl).

As I said, the reissue is an excellent recording. The album has a lot of "eyebrows" or special unique moments not available on other studio or live recordings of the same tracks. The tracks are all substantially different also, especially the many many guitar solos evident here. The solos are all very well done and worth the purchase alone. One of the bad points, at least in my opinion, is that all of the vocal tracks except for "Whippin' Post" is sung by FZ as the lead. If it weren't for the great guitar solos, the first half of the disc would be lacking a lot.

However, the last two tracks, which are over 16 minutes and 8 minutes respectively are excellent and really make this a great recording. "Let's Move to Cleveland" demonstrates how wonderfully the band at this time played off of one another. The 16 minute track flows along without hardly a boring minute and seems like it's a lot shorter than what it is because it is so good. You get solos from most all of the musicians here and they are all top rate. Even the percussion solo is entertaining with some really great moments verging on avant gard, but not quite. "Whippin' Post" is also an excellent cover that is a worthy conclusion to the album. The amazing guitar solo is done by Frank's son Dweezil and he proves to be a great understudy.

So, this being a mostly guitar/rock oriented concert (nothing really difficult to listen to) with a lot of humor mixed in the first half with original material scattered throughout that make this recording unique makes this a very accessible FZ album and a good way to introduce someone to his music. I wouldn't call it the best live collection, but there are plenty of things about this album that make it an excellent addition to your collection. 4 stars.

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 Disconnected Synapses by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 1992
2.49 | 13 ratings

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Disconnected Synapses
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat

1 stars Here is another bootleg recording of an early Zappa concert that was made official by FZ in order to discourage people from buying the bootleg copy. The album is available as part of the "Beat the Boots, Vol. 2" but was also later made available on it's own. FZ did not enhance these recordings much if at all, so they retain their questionable bootleg quality. The concert featured on this disc is entirely from Palais Gaumont, Paris, France, on December 15 1970.

This particular recording is not very good, though the show itself is not bad if you are a fan of the Flo and Eddie years, which I am not. I find their vocals and hijinx annoying. To me it's because of their delivery, not because of the material, that doesn't bother me. However, for those who are fans of that period of time in FZ's chronology, there might be some special things on this recording that you would be interested in. As a FZ fan, I can find other recordings that have a much better quality of recording, so I don't recommend this except for completionists. I am one of those, but I don't listen to this recording much because there are better ones, I just like the idea that it's in my collection, if you know what I mean.

Now the version of King Kong on this one is very good, but again the quality of the sound is not so good. And again, there are other great live recordings of this song. King Kong is a jazz piece with a lot of improvisation and solos, and this version as with all versions of the piece is unique. The biggest and most attractive feature of this version is it is one of the few recordings of Jean Luc Ponty (who is one of the most outstanding jazz violinists in the world) performing with the Flo and Eddie team and his solo, as usual, is amazing. But I just can't get over the poor sound on this album, so I have to stick with a 1 star on this one. There are better live versions of all of these songs on other live albums.

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 Chunga's Revenge by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.39 | 237 ratings

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Chunga's Revenge
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by HoldsworthIsGod

4 stars The third FZ solo album (Lumpy Gravy and Hot Rats preceded it), Chunga's Revenge, plays out like a more blues-oriented Hot Rats, with jokey lyrics courtesy of Flo and Eddie, formerly of the Turtles. Imagine going from "Happy Together" to "Rudy Wants To Buy Yez A Drink"! The album opens with "Transylvania Boogie", a guitar jam with exotic gypsy scales. It segues into the next song, "Road Ladies", before it gets too boring. "Road Ladies", however, is a blues song verging on parody, not too dissimilar to "Andy" off of One Size Fits All. The obligatory guitar pyrotechnics are subdued, yet still manage to satisfy. "Twenty Small Cigars" sounds like a straightforward jazz tune, yet Zappa manages to convolute it by playing the harpsichord on it. The following side-ender, "The Nancy And Mary Music" is a three-part suite accented by Aynsley Dunbar's drums (who would later join Journey, for some reason unbeknownst to me). Side 2 opens with "Tell Me You Love Me", which presages the cock rock of Aerosmith, Foreigner and post-Physical Graffiti Led Zeppelin. The following "Would You Go All The Way?" follows the same subject matter. In my opinion, it's the weakest song on the album. However, the title track is a barrage of guitar and wah-wahed sax, with soft Soft Machine-esque interludes interrupting the gargantuan riff. The last two songs, "Rudy Wants To Buy Yez A Drink" and "Sharleena" are jokey style parodies of Country and Western and 50s Doo-Wop, respectively. All in all, the album isn't a classic like Apostrophe or Hot Rats, but it's still an enjoyable listen.

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 Roxy By Proxy by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2014
4.52 | 17 ratings

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Roxy By Proxy
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I've got eleven live Zappa albums so far and this is without question my favourite. More on why that is later. The songs here are taken from the Roxy shows in LA on December 9th and 10th and unlike the "Roxy And Elsewhere" live record there is no "elsewhere" on this one. These shows happened after a year long World tour by Zappa and his mates. Jean-Luc Ponty left in the summer of 1973 while Ian Underwood left in November. Enter Chester Thompson and Napoleon Murphy Brock to help fill out the lineup. I should mention that these particular live versions haven't been released until here on this recording. What is the appeal for me here? Well for one it's the jovial mood of the concerts. Frank is so into this and in great humour. He seems to be having so much fun along with the rest of the band. The audience is also very much into this as we can here them react many times throughout this recording to what is going on. Also the music itself for my tastes is perfect. I kept thinking how uplifting the music is, and how I just feel so good everytime I put this album on. It takes me back to a much different time in my life even though I wasn't there(I was 12).

"Carved In The Rock" opens with Zappa saying "Hello folks!" Then he introduces the band before telling the story behind the song "Inca Roads". He mentions Chariots Of Fire and Extraterrestrials as these high pitched spacey synths sounding like theremin play in the background. This is what consists of track one, no music yet. "Inca Roads" wasn't officially released until the 1975's "One Size Fits All" album so here we get an early look at it and it is quite different from the studio version as it is slowed down here, especially early on. George Duke is on vocals and it's pretty funny when he laughs in the middle of singing. These guys were having too much fun. The pace does pick up 2 minutes in and we get lots of percussion as well. It's freaking amazing 3 1/2 minutes in with the keyboards as the the vocals have stopped. Check out the bass as well. A horn solo after 5 minutes then the fast paced vocals return 6 1/2 minutes in. When the song ends Frank talks about how great it is living in Hollywood because of all the perverts. He says perverts make ordinary people look good. This is an intro of course for "Penguins In Bondage". Man this is good with those funny lyrics and "lights out" playing while Frank almost speaks the lyrics. Nice guitar solo 2 minutes in that is the start of a killer instrumental section. Man! The vocals are back 4 minutes in.

"T'Mershi Duween" is a "bongo number" as Zappa describes it. Other instruments join in around 30 seconds. A cool but short tune. "Dog Breath Variations/Uncle Meat" has such a feel-good vibe to it throughout. Lots of percussion and the crowd roars it's approval before 2 minutes. "RDNZL" has so much going on and the horns remind me of CHICAGO. The guitar arrives just before a minute and solos. Nice. Listen to the avant horns 3 minutes in and i'd call the vocals avant as well(haha). Some crazy keyboards too. "Village Of The Sun" is dedicated to John and Nelly Wilson and it's another feel good song. "Echidna's Arf(Of You)" features honking horns, percussion and so much more as the guitar comes and goes. "Don't You Ever Wash That Thing" is incredible with the turn on a dime instrumental work on display here. A trombone solo after 1 1/2 minutes and it ends with Frank saying "Watch Ruth all during our program". And he goes on about it for a while. Check out the electric piano 4 1/2 minutes in then the drum solo a minute later as this song blends into "Cheepnis-Percussion" with the talents of Thompson, Humphrey and Underwood. Huge applause when it ends then Zappa explains that that was actually "Cheepnis" then they play the full band version next with vocals. It gets pretty crazy late.

"Dupree's Paradise" is fantastic and the band is having so much fun. It kicks into a solid groove before 5 1/2 minutes. Nice flute solo after 7 minutes then a bass solo follows. Awesome stuff. Check out the drum fills here as well. Frank solo 10 1/2 minutes in and i'm feeling really good. Horns are back 14 minutes in. After the song ends Frank introduces the band once more as they leave the stage. They come back out and Zappa says "Alright we're going to play "King Kong" for ya, it's also hooked up to "Chunga's Revenge" and the ending of "Mr. Green Genes". He then tells Ruth to hurry up and she says "no" as they banter. Man this is such an impressive instrumental. Some excellent guitar starting before 5 minutes and I love the prominant bass as well.

So while many will call this inferior to "Roxy And Eleswhere" I will have to strongly disagree. But then there's no accounting for taste is there?

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 Over-Nite Sensation by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.02 | 435 ratings

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Over-Nite Sensation
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by HoldsworthIsGod

5 stars On this album, Zappa ditches Jazz fusion (even though elements of the genre are still there) for dirty funk. Also, he uses much more sexual innuendo to great effect, songs like "Dinah Moe-Humm" being the most obvious example. All of this makes Over-Nite Sensation the best "gateway drug" to Zappa. The opener, "Camarillo Brillo" sounds awfully like a west coast folk rock song, but with lyrics about aliens, dwarf breeding and authentic ponchos, the song couldn't be any further from its source. "I'm The Slime", a song denouncing the news as brainwashers, uses a riff that wouldn't be out of place in a Grand Funk song, yet advances the level of creativity with an interlude that sounds like an outtake from Sesame Street. Zappa doesn't sing the song, but he uses a pseudo-rap technique that pops up on the album even more. "Dirty Love" follows, with a funky clavinet/guitar interplay reminiscent of Stevie Wonder. The lyrics implore the listener to give your dirty love to Frank, and not caring about "your sweet devotion". The song "Fifty-Fifty", sung by Zappa acolyte Ricky Lancelotti, is a tale of the common man who is incredibly self-loathing. But Jean-Luc Ponty and Zappa are absolutely ripping on their respective solos, with Frank's "tweezed" guitar tone jumping out of the speakers. "Dinah Moe- Humm", as mentioned earlier, is the most pornographic song on the album. The plotline goes like this: boy meets girl, girl bets boy he can't make her orgasm, boy tries to make girl orgasm, boy has sex with her sister, girl gets aroused by that. Frank Zappa didn't do drugs, but he did do tons of groupies ;). The next track, "Zomby Woof", once again sung by Lancelotti, talks about a zombie who has a taste for college girls. Zappa's solo, also using the "tweezed" tone, would be a solo vehicle for Steve Vai in the future. Finally, "Montana". The story line is even more convoluted than DMH, with a man moving to Montana to farm dental floss. How weird is that? And even weirder, the Ikettes (as in Tina Turner) provided backing vocals on every song! Try telling Tina Turner to sing quintuplets while talking about dental floss. Even though this album has its idiosyncrasies (it is Zappa, after all), it's still a refreshing listen

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 We're Only In It For The Money by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1968
4.14 | 477 ratings

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We're Only In It For The Money
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Thai Divone

5 stars A full blown attack on our ears and minds. I don't think that there is any other way to describe this work of genius. From the moment it starts, till it's end less than 40 minutes later, this album doesn't slow its pace, downplay its satire or let us stray away from it. It was shocking in the 60s, when it was first released, and it is still shocking today.

Some SFX lead us to the voice of Eric Clapton, asking a girl if she's hung up. Then we hear the technician talking about erasing all the masters, before we get Jimmy Carl Black talking about being the Indian of the group. It's hard to call this track a song, but? It does lay the ground for the things to come.

Who Needs the Peace Corps is where our journey really begins. We follow a hippie, or should we say a generic hippie. He drops out, goes to San Francisco, and buys a wig. The song is quick-paced, and has a great rhythm. The guitar part is great. The style of the song, though, is classic, is normal. But the words are so satirical and brilliant. On third listen and onwards, one starts to identify even more layers in this "simple" song, showing yet again the genius of Zappa. "I will love the police as they kick the [&*!#] out of me on the street".

Then we cut to the Concentration Moon, a slow paced song, lamenting about the freedom lost when one is in the jail. 37 seconds and the pace pick up, and it's a different beast. A hippie dies. The technician and JCB again, and we're back to the slow pace of the beginning. The US is afraid of us, the hippie says before dying.

Then Zappa sings for the parents, who stay for themselves, busy with their jobs, straying away from their children, letting them roam free and kill themselves. Then we get a short phone call, showing us the fear from one's dad, before getting to the next song- Bow Tie Daddy- a happy song about a beating dad.

Then a nice piano leads us to an almost Kinks's like song, or maybe just a Who's song, about the phony-ness of the hippie movement, and then some famous Zappa's SFX, still kept to a minimum.

What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body is another masterpiece, combining three complete songs into a single minute. Some short keyboard riff, then two lines said by Suzy and then Franki Zappa before the song begins, letting us experience the feeling of being on drugs. Or at least, letting us feel like seeing it from the side. It always reminds me a bit of Hendrix combined with the Beatles, but I think that it's just me. The song is yet again a quick travel between so many different musical styles, like a trip around the music industry in 3 minutes and a half.

Anyways, then comes Flower Punk which is a parody of Hendrix's Hey Joe, attacking the music industry and the hippies alike. It's quick and sounds almost like a kid's show taken to the extreme, only with some dirty lyrics and strange musical style. Around the 1:30 mark Zappa breaks loose, and the attack renounces. Screams, voices, SFX, high voices moving way to fast, and Zappa saying completely different things from each side of the sound- system. It's a cacophony, but a way too funny one to be taken seriously, much like the psychedelic music of the time.

Hot Poop is like the opening track, moving in 3 times speed. The second side was opened, and what a side it is. It sounds like all those things that Zappa kept at bay? Well, now they've got their opportunity to go out, enjoy themselves, be free for the first time in forever.

Let's Make the Water Turn Black sounds like a combination of the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, on steroids, with lyrics devoid of any inherent beauty. Zappa screams of their phony-ness. The Idiot Bastard Son continues the line the earlier song started, telling us yet another story before being cut short by the people listening.

Lonely Little Girl is a lament about a deserted girl, for whom her parents don't really care. It goes from being sad to being happy, and then all the way back, traveling through earlier songs, and going KABOOM in the middle. It even gets middle-eastern for a few seconds. And all this attack on the hippies? It all culminates in Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance. Then a reprise for What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body, taken on even greater steroids, before getting to Mother People which is a peculiar and very strange little gem. Here Zappa asks us questions, and throws some nasty words on us, in an almost way too naïve presentation. And after that? We're closing with The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny which sounds something like an avant-garde piece from 1940's Paris, combined with some nasty horror-soundtrack elements and then taken to the extreme. I can't really describe it, but I don't think that I should. It is a track one has to listen to for herself/himself.

And then we're left with a void, alone in the dark, staring at the record, and starting this musical journey all over again. Because the album doesn't end on first listen, nor does it end in the 30th. It just needs more and more time, growing better with each listen, amazing us again and again. So yeah, I don't think that I can give this album any less than 5 stars. It is essential not only for the Prog Fun, or for the historian` it's not essential only for the music lover or for the literature-student. It is one of those records that one just needs to have, to hold dear and true. This record? This one is one of those unique experiences. It just needs a listen. And then a bit more?

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 Cucamonga (1962 - 1964) by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1998
2.08 | 14 ratings

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Cucamonga (1962 - 1964)
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat

2 stars This is simply a collection of recordings that Frank Zappa either performed in or produced. On the songs he performed on, he usually played guitar and provided low bass harmony. The songs are from various groups he had some kind of relationship with way before he produced his debut Mothers of Invention album named "Freak Out!". FZ loved these doo wop and novelty songs and this is the type of music he released with these band that included The Penguins, Baby Ray & the Ferns, Mr. Clean, The Hollywood Persuaders and many others.

This compilation album was released twice, once in 1998 and reissued with additional tracks and a different track order in 2004. I believe both issues are hard to find now. There were other compilations out there that featured the doo wop era and it's hard to find any of them. As FZ started recording his Mothers and his solo albums, he would revisit doo wop and r&b several times and you can hear that influence in many of the "Freak Out!" songs as many of them are in the doo wop style and some of them were revised and released on the "Cruisin' with Ruben and the Jets" album which was performed and released while the original Mothers were together. If you are interested in FZ's doo wop style, that would be the album I would recommend, but if you want a taste of the original doo wop songs released before FZ's rise to fame, then this would be the best collection. Approach it with an open mind as you would any FZ release.

So there some hit and misses here. The collection starts off and end with the worst of the bunch: "Dear Jeepers" and "Letters from Jeepers". These tracks are plain awful and stupid. But there are some excellent doo wop songs here too like "Memories of El Monte", "Everytime I See You", the instrumental surf rock tracks "Tiajanna Surf" and "Grunion Run" and several others. I believe there is overall more good than bad tracks, but the music will only appeal to 2 groups of people: doo wop and novelty music lovers and Frank Zappa collectors/completionists, so for that reason this album gets 2 stars. No prog, no guitar solos, a little comedy, and a lot of 50s-60s style music. Also good for music history buffs.

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