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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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Apostrophe (')Apostrophe (')
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$5.21
$10.45 (used)
Sheik YerboutiSheik Yerbouti
Double CD
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$5.43
$9.00 (used)
One Size Fits AllOne Size Fits All
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$7.19
$8.35 (used)
Joe's Garage Acts I II & IIIJoe's Garage Acts I II & III
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$8.22
$9.98 (used)
Over-Nite SensationOver-Nite Sensation
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$7.89
$6.99 (used)
Shut Up 'N Play Yer GuitarShut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$8.22
$2.99 (used)
Freak OutFreak Out
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$3.96
$7.98 (used)
Hot RatsHot Rats
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$5.33
$6.35 (used)
We're Only In It For The MoneyWe're Only In It For The Money
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$3.94
$3.86 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
THE MOTHERS live at Fillmore East June 1971; frank zappa VG+ USD $7.05 [1 bids]
48m 55s
Frank Zappa - Cruising With Ruben and the Jets - 1985 UK Release Zappa Records USD $15.67 Buy It Now 1h 9m
Frank Zappa 10cent Rare Meat '83 NM LP delfi rhino orig mothers of invention oop USD $49.00 Buy It Now 1h 13m
Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention - Roxy & Elsewhere 12" 2LP vinyl new USD $23.73 Buy It Now 2h
FRANK ZAPPA NEW YORK EXTRA RARE ORIGINAL EX YUGOSLAVIA 1ST PRESS 1981 EX+/EX/EX USD $49.00 Buy It Now 2h 19m
FRANK ZAPPA SHUT UP'N PLAY YER GUITAR RARE HOLLAND BOX PRESS 1981 EX+/EX/EX/EX USD $86.00 Buy It Now 2h 24m
FRANK ZAPPA TINSEL TOWN REBELLION RARE HOLLAND PRESSING 1981 EX/EX/EX USD $48.00 Buy It Now 2h 24m
FRANK ZAPPA THEM OR US UK CASSETTE TAPE USD $10.58 Buy It Now 2h 32m
FRANK ZAPPA THING FISH SOUNDTRACK UK CASSETTE TAPE USD $10.58 Buy It Now 2h 32m
FRANK ZAPPA THEM OR US CASSETTE #1 ONLY AUSTRALIAN CASSETTE TAPE USD $10.58 Buy It Now 2h 38m
THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION FRANK ZAPPA NEW ZEALAND Unused Inlay Card Only USD $7.04 Buy It Now 2h 42m
THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION FRANK ZAPPA NEW ZEALAND Unused Inlay Card Only #2 USD $7.04 Buy It Now 2h 42m
FRANK ZAPPA CHUNGA'S REVENGE ITALY PRESSING 1978 EX+/EX USD $43.00 Buy It Now 3h 2m
FRANK ZAPPA SHEIK YERBOUTI RARE HOLLAND PRESSING 1979 EX/EX/EX USD $56.00 Buy It Now 3h 2m
FRANK ZAPPA SLEEP DIRT GERMANY PRESSING 1979 EX/EX USD $37.00 Buy It Now 3h 8m
FRANK ZAPPA TINSEL TOWN REBELLION ENGLAND PRESSING 1981 EX/EX/EX USD $40.00 Buy It Now 3h 8m
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frank zappa- zoot allures-fusion , progressive rock 1976 LP-made in israel- WB USD $49.99 Buy It Now 3h 20m
Carnegie Hall Frank Zappa (4) CD Mothers of Invention Live The Persuasions NEW USD $119.99 Buy It Now 4h 21m
Feeding the Monkies at Ma Maison by Frank Zappa (CD, Sep-2011, Zappa Records NEW USD $44.99 Buy It Now 4h 21m
FRANK ZAPPA-SHIP ARRIVING TOO LATE TO SAVE A DROWING WITCH-JAPAN PROMO LABEL iii USD $74.99 Buy It Now 4h 28m
FRATERNITY OF MAN ( Frank Zappa ) SELF TITLED 12"LP 1968 ORIGINAL ABC ABCS-647 USD $11.99 [1 bids]
4h 55m
Frank Zappa Apostrophe/Over-nite Sensation (CD, Ryko Distribution) USD $24.99 Buy It Now 5h 32m
Freak Out ! Japan Lp Sleeve Frank Zappa CD The Mothers of Invention USD $64.99 Buy It Now 6h
Studio Tan - 2 DISC SET - Frank Zappa (2012, CD New) USD $12.65 Buy It Now 6h 54m
Uncle Meat LP Vinyl New Record By Frank Zappa Mother of Invention Free Shipping! USD $36.30 Buy It Now 6h 54m
Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention - Absolutely Free (1988 CD. CDZAP12) USD $14.83 Buy It Now 6h 59m
FRANK ZAPPA BAND FROM LA JAPAN RARE REPLICA EXACT TO ORIGINAL LP IN A OBI CD USD $169.99 Buy It Now 7h 32m
FRANK ZAPPA CRUISIN WITH RUBEN JAPAN REPLICA EXACT TO ORIGINAL LP IN A OBI CD USD $84.99 Buy It Now 7h 35m
FRANK ZAPPA - "STUDIO TAN" LP-DISCREET DSK 2291 - FIRST PRESS - 1978 - USED USD $4.99 [0 bids]
7h 47m
Frank Zappa Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch Lp ORIG Inner Sleeve USD $12.00 Buy It Now 7h 54m
Carnegie Hall Frank Zappa (4) CD NEW Mothers of Invention Live The Persuasions USD $169.99 Buy It Now 7h 58m
FRANK ZAPPA DON'T WANNA GET DRAFTED 7" CBS 8625 RARE 1980 ITALIAN PRESS EX!! USD $9.99 [0 bids]
8h 4m
Frank Zappa Project - Object 1978 -Mud Shark Stereo Hard to Find-Free USA Ship USD $19.99 [0 bids]
USD $25.99 Buy It Now
8h 24m
Frank Zappa Don't Eat the Yellow Snow RSD Record Store Day 2014 LTD USD $11.99 Buy It Now 8h 51m
Frank Zappa - Studio Tan [CD New] USD $14.51 Buy It Now 8h 58m
Frank Zappa Mothers of Invention Live 1968 Ark Boston Bizarre FYDO 768 Psych USD $24.59 Buy It Now 9h
Frank Zappa:Dancin' Fool Promo CDep Only (Japan Mini-LP mothers invention Q USD $85.50 Buy It Now 9h 13m
Frank Zappa Over-Nite Sensation LP 180g Vinyl RI NEW USD $26.99 Buy It Now 9h 21m
Frank Zappa : Brest USD $88.00 Buy It Now 9h 28m
Frank Zappa Ensemble Intercontemporain Barking Pumpkin Digital Gratifi NEW CD USD $7.29 Buy It Now 9h 37m
Frank Zappa // Hot Rats USD $9.50 Buy It Now 9h 37m
Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 2 - The Helsink NEW CD USD $12.81 Buy It Now 9h 38m
Frank Zappa - Zappa In New York NEW CD USD $12.81 Buy It Now 9h 38m
FRANK ZAPPA red flexi LET'S MAKE THE WATER TURN BLACK rare USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 39m
FRANK ZAPPA red flexi YOU'RE PROBABLY WONDERING... rare USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 42m
FRANK ZAPPA "Over-Nite Sensation" ~ CD The ONLY Brand New Factory Sealed USD $22.99 Buy It Now 9h 48m
FRANK ZAPPA clear red flexi UNCLE BERNIE'S FARM rare USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 48m
FRANK ZAPPA clear blue flexi SHE PAINTED UP HER FACE rare USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 50m
Frank Zappa - Tinseltown Rebellion 2x12" LP VINYL UK 1981 CBS S 88516 USD $44.52 Buy It Now 9h 52m
FRANK ZAPPA clear brown flexi IDIOT BASTARD SON rare USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 53m
FRANK ZAPPA red green flexi RONDO HATTOM ON GUITAR rare USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 56m
FRANK ZAPPA Bobby Brown 7" RARE GERMANY PIC SLEEVE 1979 CBS S 8216 USD $14.77 Buy It Now 9h 57m
FRANK ZAPPA clear blue flexi MOTHER PEOPLE rare USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 58m
FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS - UNCLE MEAT 2 LP Original Bizzare Pressing NM USD $83.00 Buy It Now 10h 2m
Frank Zappa Joe's Garage Act 1 LP NM SRZ-1-1603 1979 w/attached insert USD $24.98 Buy It Now 10h 13m
FRANK ZAPPA SHEIK YERBOUTI ORIGINAL DUTCH 2LP 1979 CBS INSERTS RARE STICKER!!!!! USD $19.00 Buy It Now 10h 21m
Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention W Barking Pumpkin Order Form LP NM USD $29.98 Buy It Now 10h 22m
* FRANK ZAPPA - Sheik Yerbouti (RYKO) USD $7.99 Buy It Now 10h 29m
FRANK ZAPPA / MOTHERS Over-Nite Sensation 1973 1st PRESS (1/1) Discreet NM/EX LP USD $15.98 Buy It Now 10h 42m
Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 2 - The Helsink NEW CD USD $13.17 Buy It Now 10h 45m
Frank Zappa - Studio Tan Discreet Records DSK 2291 US LP NM/EX USD $14.98 Buy It Now 10h 48m
JIMMY CARL BLACK & THE MANNISH BOYS A LIL' DAB'L DO YA FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS USD $15.99 Buy It Now 11h
Frank Zappa : Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch CD 1991 Pumpkin USD $5.92 Buy It Now 11h 6m
Ensemble Modern Plays Frank Zappa Greggery Peccary and other Persuasions USD $24.99 Buy It Now 11h 24m
Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar by Frank Zappa (CD, May-1995, 3 Discs, Ryko... USD $74.99 Buy It Now 11h 25m
Frank Zappa - Freaks & Motherfu*#@%! CD Rhino Records Int. P 1991 Castle USD $4.44 [0 bids]
11h 25m
Music by Frank Zappa by Omnibus Wind Ensemble (CD, Mar-2002, Opus 111) USD $24.99 Buy It Now 11h 26m
Frank Zappa Orchestral Favorites 8 Track Tape SEALED USD $20.00 Buy It Now 11h 31m
FRANK ZAPPA-Jazz from Hell-1987-Rykodisc ?-RCD 10030-NO UPC.ORIGINAL GREEN LABEL USD $6.00 Buy It Now 11h 33m
You Are What You Is by Frank Zappa (CD, May-1995, Ryko Distribution) USD $9.00 Buy It Now 11h 33m
LATHER by Frank Zappa (CD, Sep-1996, 3 Discs, Ryko Distribution) with booklet USD $29.99 Buy It Now 11h 36m
Apostrophe (') by Frank Zappa (CD, Jul-1996, Au20/Rykodisc) GOLD DISC limited USD $39.99 Buy It Now 11h 37m
Finer Moments by Frank Zappa (CD, Dec-2012, 2 Discs, Zappa Records SEALED NEW USD $19.99 Buy It Now 11h 39m
FRANK ZAPPA - FREAK JAZZ MOVIE MADNESS & ANOTHER MOTHERS NEW DVD USD $19.38 Buy It Now 11h 40m
Joe's Domage by Frank Zappa (CD, Jan-2007, Vaulternative) USD $24.99 Buy It Now 11h 40m
Frank Zappa - The Best Of Frank Zappa (CD 2004) USD $4.44 Buy It Now 11h 44m
Frank Zappa - MOTHERMANIA - CD - (Universal 2012) USD $16.31 Buy It Now 11h 44m
FRANK ZAPPA 'S 200 MOTELS OST 2x CD REMASTERED ENHANCED EDITION RYKODISK USD $10.00 [1 bids]
11h 46m
Frank Zappa - UNDERSTANDING AMERICA - 2CD - (Universal 2012) USD $20.76 Buy It Now 11h 46m
One Size Fits All by Frank Zappa/The Mothers of Invention (CD, 1975, Rykodisc) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 11h 46m
FRANK ZAPPA - BROADWAY THE HARD WAY CD CDZAPPA 14 USD $10.00 Buy It Now 11h 46m
The Best Of Frank Zappa 1995 Rykodisc Canada CD FCS1689 USD $6.99 Buy It Now 11h 53m
Frank Zappa Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowing Witch Cassette Tape Sealed  USD $9.90 Buy It Now 11h 56m
Frank Zappa Uncle Meat Sealed Cassette Tape NEW Barking Pumpkin  USD $18.99 Buy It Now 11h 56m
FRANK ZAPPA - & MOTHERS OF INVENTION - One Sixe Fits All ~ GATEFOLD VINYL LP USD $31.52 Buy It Now 11h 56m
Frank Zappa Old Masters Box Set Vol. 2 LP Record set RARE USD $225.00 [2 bids]
12h 4m
Frank Zappa The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life 2CD USD $8.90 [0 bids]
12h 7m
L„ther by Frank Zappa (CD, Sep-1996, 3 Discs, Ryko Distribution) USD $25.00 Buy It Now 12h 18m
ORIGINAL SEALED FRANK ZAPPA TINSELTOWN REBELLION 2 LP LIVE VINYL GATEFOLD record USD $49.95 Buy It Now 12h 34m
ORIGINAL SEALED Frank Zappa JOE'S GARAGE ACTS 2 & 3 2 Zappa record SRZ-2-1502 USD $64.95 Buy It Now 12h 36m
RECORD ALBUM - VINTAGE - FRANK ZAPPA - THE MOTHERS USD $29.99 [0 bids]
12h 37m
CD - FRANK ZAPPA - 200 MOTELS SOUNDTRACK - Rykodisc RCD10513/14 USD $14.83 [1 bids]
12h 38m
FRANK ZAPPA "THE UNCONVENTIONAL" - COLOUR CUTTING - 12 x 8 inch USD $2.89 Buy It Now 12h 38m
Cheap Thrills by Frank Zappa MINT CD, Apr-1998, Ryko Distribution) USD $6.98 Buy It Now 12h 39m
FRANK ZAPPA Peaches En Regalia - 3 track Sealed original 1987 US co 3" CD SINGLE USD $14.50 Buy It Now 12h 54m
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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 | 469 ratings
Freak Out!
1966
4.09 | 392 ratings
Absolutely Free
1967
3.27 | 285 ratings
Lumpy Gravy
1968
4.14 | 492 ratings
We're Only In It For The Money
1968
2.70 | 204 ratings
Cruising With Ruben & The Jets
1968
4.14 | 384 ratings
Uncle Meat
1969
4.32 | 1145 ratings
Hot Rats
1969
3.92 | 299 ratings
Burnt Weeny Sandwich
1970
3.77 | 299 ratings
Weasels Ripped My Flesh
1970
3.40 | 245 ratings
Chunga's Revenge
1970
3.03 | 165 ratings
200 Motels
1971
3.92 | 355 ratings
Waka / Jawaka
1972
4.30 | 656 ratings
The Grand Wazoo
1972
4.02 | 447 ratings
Over-Nite Sensation
1973
3.99 | 494 ratings
Apostrophe (')
1974
4.31 | 631 ratings
One Size Fits All
1975
3.72 | 316 ratings
Zoot Allures
1976
3.71 | 205 ratings
Studio Tan
1978
3.60 | 203 ratings
Sleep Dirt
1979
3.85 | 364 ratings
Sheik Yerbouti
1979
3.34 | 134 ratings
Orchestral Favorites
1979
4.11 | 370 ratings
Joe's Garage, Act I
1979
3.91 | 295 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 | 85 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I
1983
3.14 | 169 ratings
The Man From Utopia
1983
3.21 | 141 ratings
Them Or Us
1984
2.39 | 110 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
2.99 | 58 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. II
1987
3.81 | 97 ratings
Civilization Phaze III
1994
3.34 | 62 ratings
The Lost Episodes
1996
3.96 | 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 | 31 ratings
Joe's Corsage
2004
2.16 | 26 ratings
Joe's XMASage
2005
3.48 | 25 ratings
Feeding The Monkeys At Ma Maison
2011
3.94 | 51 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
4.39 | 247 ratings
Roxy & Elsewhere
1974
3.53 | 170 ratings
Bongo Fury
1975
4.22 | 198 ratings
Zappa In New York
1978
3.04 | 129 ratings
Tinsel Town Rebellion
1981
3.39 | 75 ratings
Baby Snakes
1983
3.53 | 69 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
1986
3.61 | 105 ratings
Broadway The Hard Way
1988
3.49 | 94 ratings
Guitar
1988
3.97 | 99 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 1
1988
4.52 | 165 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 2
1988
3.55 | 82 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 3
1989
3.46 | 77 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 4
1991
4.31 | 153 ratings
The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life
1991
4.36 | 119 ratings
Make A Jazz Noise Here
1991
2.25 | 17 ratings
As An Am
1991
3.40 | 20 ratings
The Ark
1991
2.61 | 16 ratings
Freaks & Motherfuckers!
1991
2.39 | 20 ratings
Unmitigated Audacity
1991
2.03 | 20 ratings
Anyway The Wind Blows
1991
2.76 | 18 ratings
'Tis The Season To Be Jelly
1991
2.33 | 17 ratings
Saarbrucken 1978
1991
3.74 | 28 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 | 38 ratings
Playground Psychotics
1992
3.66 | 70 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 5
1992
3.84 | 66 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
4.11 | 43 ratings
FZ:OZ
2002
3.84 | 29 ratings
Halloween (DVD-Audio)
2003
3.52 | 50 ratings
Trance-Fusion
2006
3.84 | 56 ratings
Imaginary Diseases
2006
3.61 | 37 ratings
The Dub Room Special!
2007
4.08 | 43 ratings
Buffalo
2007
4.18 | 55 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
4.06 | 46 ratings
Hammersmith Odeon
2010
3.77 | 25 ratings
Carnegie Hall
2011
3.37 | 28 ratings
Finer Moments
2012
3.29 | 19 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #1
2012
4.69 | 25 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #2
2013
3.64 | 11 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2013
4.54 | 18 ratings
Roxy By Proxy
2014

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

2.84 | 45 ratings
200 Motels (The Movie)
1971
3.50 | 20 ratings
Uncle Meat (Video)
1988
2.65 | 45 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
2003
4.10 | 60 ratings
Baby Snakes
2003
4.22 | 27 ratings
QuAUDIOPHILIAc (DVD-Audio)
2004
3.97 | 35 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)

3.68 | 32 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
3.92 | 81 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 | 93 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
3.23 | 27 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I & II
1995
3.25 | 47 ratings
Strictly Commercial
1995
3.77 | 30 ratings
Frank Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa: A Memorial Tribute
1996
4.32 | 19 ratings
Strictly Genteel
1997
3.31 | 24 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
3.91 | 9 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 | 31 ratings
The Making Of Freak Out! Project/Object
2006
3.49 | 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)

3.71 | 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
4.57 | 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
2.00 | 1 ratings
Penguin in Bondage/The little known story of the Mothers of Invention
2011

FRANK ZAPPA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Freak Out! by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1966
3.90 | 469 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 | 55 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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 Francesco Zappa by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.57 | 102 ratings

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Francesco Zappa
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Yes it is true....Francesco Zappa was a real Baroque composer, not someone that Frank made up. However, he was not related to Frank in any way. Frank discovered some of his music in a Mormon archive library and decided to take it on himself to make Francesco's music available to the public. So, he performed some of his works on the synclavier and released it. It is more of a novelty item than anything else. Unless you are a lover of Baroque music, you will probably find this boring. I do love Classical music, but I find the music made in the baroque period quite boring for the most part, except for the music composed by the genius Bach. He was a genius because he understood that baroque music was for entertainment, but to make it right, it had to rely somewhat on certain rules, usually math based rules. Hence, why so many right-brain thinkers (accountants, mathematicians, logical thinkers) prefer baroque music out of all the classical styles. Creative thinkers (left brain thinkers) prefer the Romantic and Impressionistic eras. Baroque was the math music of the day, but I find it lacking in variety, dynamics, ingenuity, experimentalism (except for Bach), and so on. This album is very painful for me to listen to. Apparently, Francesco wasn't a person that stretched the boundaries of his type of music, because it sounds very typical. But I guess from what I have read, that he was popular in his day. Many baroque musicians were hired by royalty and such to perform and compose music for dances and etc. It is repetitive, but usually made up of short pieces that have a main melody repeated twice, a secondary melody based on the first repeated twice, then a repeat of the main melody sometimes. That was the usual pattern. The geniuses of this type of music expanded on it a lot by adding counter melody, variations on the theme, and many other techniques and they are the ones you usually hear about in the present day. The other issue with Baroque music is that a lot of it was written for the clavichord which was a precursor of the piano, and it was very difficult to change dynamics with that instrument, which is why the music all sounds one dimensional.

So, on this album, Frank uses an instrument that allows him to change some timbre and such, but this was early on in Frank's exploration of the instrument, so the music sounds very unemotional and clinical. Also, he still hadn't tapped into the sounds of the instrument or expanded his talent on it fully. That would come later. I wouldn't really recommend this album to anyone unless they were a completionist or someone that might be interested in baroque music, but only if they weren't too picky. There is better baroque music out there, even though I am not a big fan of it, I do know what it takes to make it better and more interesting. Francesco was not a major composer and Frank hadn't developed his talent for the instrument yet. For those reasons, I can only squeak a 2 star rating for this, leaving for collectors or fans, which I am that more than anything and which is the only reason why I own this on vinyl. Sorry Frank....2 stars.

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 Fillmore East, June 1971 by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 1971
3.17 | 125 ratings

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Fillmore East, June 1971
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The first official completely live album that Zappa released was this one credited to the Mothers at Fillmore East. It's purpose was to spotlight a Mothers show and the concept was to illustrate life on the road, mostly in a humorous way. The album cover was meant to look like a bootleg type recording, but I'm not sure if the sound and production was supposed to intentionally sound like a bootleg, because it does, albeit on the better side of a bootleg. But definitely not up to the sound and production standards of the typical FZ live recording in upcoming years.

This album of course, is a representation of the Flo and Eddie years (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan) who were formerly of The Turtles. This is, in my opinion, one of the most obnoxious times of Zappa history. I am not a big fan of their hijinx and the skits that they were a part of. I find them quite annoying. I can deal with the school-boyish humor, but I don't like their delivery. They always seemed to take the focus off of the music which is exactly the opposite of what FZ wanted, but they served their purpose by attracting certain listeners to the concerts.

This album is definitely not for those with tender ears or closed minds. It is mostly centered on the humor of the band at the time. There are only 3 short instrumentals here and everything else is mostly dialog. It starts out with the fusion number "Little House I Used to Live In" which more or less introduces the band to the stage. It's not a bad rendition of the song, but there are better versions out there. From there it goes right into the storyline of "The Mud Shark" which is FZ and the band narrating the mostly true story of the sexual hijinx of the band Vanilla Fudge as it was told to the band in an airport. Actually, VF was only involved with making a video of the incident. John Bonham from Led Zeppelin was also involved, but apparently only as a witness to the events. Richard Cole who worked with LZ claims he was the one totally responsible for what happened. Apparently, there is a hotel in Seattle where you can fish for sharks from your hotel window. Of course, just for fun, the musicians had to try it out. But there were some groupies in the room at the time, and when one of the sharks was caught, one of the groupies and Cole got involved in some sexual games that involved the mud shark, which is actually a Dogfish. I'm not going into anymore detail than that. Anyway, the 2nd track is FZ's recounting of the incident as it was told to him and then teaching the audience how to do the dance that he had made up. Flo and Eddie of course do their obnoxious brand of humor during the track.

The album goes on with tracks about rock stars and groupies and how the girls would only have sex with bands that had a number 1 hit. That is pretty much what the rest of the album is about, except for a few short instrumentals. Yes, it can get a little explicit, but that's not really the problem because it is Frank Zappa after all. The problem is the silliness of Flo and Eddie. It's just annoying and any semblance of enjoyable music is completely ruined by the duo. But that's my opinion because I know there are people that like their style. The humor is funny in a one-off sort of way, but for me, the delivery of Flo and Eddie is just annoying.

I don't enjoy this album much and only have it because I like collecting Zappa's vinyl. Everyone of the important tracks on here are on better live albums and if you want to hear these skits and humor, then it would be worth it to search them out. At least you get a better dose of FZ's more serious music with other recordings, this one is only for those who don't want to hear the serious side of Zappa. But, the sound quality just isn't that good here, and I'm not saying that this is not an important recording, I'm saying there are better options out there for the "not so serious" Zappa listener. Yes, it's Zappa's first foray into recorded concerts, and I guess I can excuse him for using it as a learning experience. But I don't recommend this album because there are so many better live albums out there that are better at documenting Zappa's live shows.

Just as an aside, during this same show that is recorded on this album, John Lennon and Yoko Ono joined the Mothers on stage for about a half an hour. If you are interested in hearing this strange part of the show, you can hear it on the live album "Playground Psychotics" which is a better documentation of life on the road and much better produced as far as FZ concert recordings go.

A lot of Zappa aficionados would probably disagree with me on this, but I can only consider this as a collector's item, only a little better quality than a bootleg, but not much. There are just so many much better FZ live albums out there for the casual or curious listener.

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 Zoot Allures by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.72 | 316 ratings

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Zoot Allures
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is the Zappa band stripped down mostly to a rock quartet (and a quintet in some cases). There is no jazz or orchestral music here, it's all rock. It's also probably Zappa's darkest album. There are several concert classics that seen their first light of day on this (mostly) studio album.

I remember the first time I heard this album, I bought it looking for something that I though was as good as "Sheik Yerbouti", and bought this as the follow up, even though it was released 3 years earlier. I was disappointed. I've grown to appreciate it a little more now, but I still don't consider it one of my favorite Zappa albums. I think this is some of Zappa's worst vocals and he sings lead vocals on all but 2 of the songs (those songs are instrumentals). His vocals are kept subdued and kind of whisper-y so to me he just sounds like a grumpy pervert. The rest of the music is pretty good, but it is very dark, except for "Wind Up Workin" and "Disco Boy" which are a little more "cheery" I guess. The best tracks on this album are the instrumentals, and it's because of them that this is an excellent recording. If it was a completely vocal album like "You Are What You Is" then it would have been just as bad as that terrible album.

"Wind up Workin at a Gas Station" is one of the few tracks with several vocal styles which you tend to find on some of Zappa's better albums. The vocals are similar to doo wop harmonies, but this is not a doo wop song, so, there you go. Next is one of Zappa's best guitar pieces called "Black Napkins" I love this song and find it always tends to produce the best solos out of all of Zappa's instrumentals. It was named after the color of the napkins at a Thanksgiving dinner that Zappa attended where he describes the turkey as so full of preservatives that you could see them gleaming and some beat up cranberry material. The black napkins where the final stroke to the ridiculous dinner. But at least the song is great.....This song is actually a live performance in Osaka Japan on 2/3/76.

"The Torture Never Stops" is the first studio version recorded of the concert staple that is on an innumerable amount of live recordings out there. This version has the screaming girls on it who are actually Gail (Zappa's wife) and a friend. Zappa gets all the credit for this one except for the drum. This version has the keyboards more to the front than the concert performances tend to have, but still has a guitar solo, though more subdued than most of the concert performances. After that is the funny song about a blow up doll named "Ms. Pinky"

Side 2 starts out with "Find Her Finer" which I find annoying. Then we get another outstanding instrumental. First is "Friendly Little Finger" which involves the best full band line-up in Zappa's career and the only non-rock song on here, more of a jazz fusion with a guitar solo type track. The basic track was recorded in concert at Hofstra University on 10/26/1975 with FZ, Roy Estrada on bass, Terry Bozzio on drums, and the amazing Ruth Underwood on percussion and synthesizer. The brass section was recorded at a different time and place, 2 years before at Bolic Sound in Inglewood with Ian Underwood on Sax, Bruce Fowler on trombone and Sal Marquez on trumpet on 6/1/1973. Frank used his technique of xenochrony where he takes a studio recording and edits in a solo or section from a completely different source or song, usually live in Zappa's case, and combines it all together, usually in songs that have tricky rhythms.

Next is another vocal about an alcoholic which I don't care for either. Then is the title track which is another excellent instrumental in the same vein as the one on side 1 which is also a huge concert staple. This one was recorded completely in studio. It all ends with the slightly brighter "Disco Boy" which is the single from the album and one of Zappa's most popular satirical takes on the disco movement.

This album was originally supposed to be a double album and included other Zappa greats like "Sleep Dirt", "The Ocean is the Ultimate Solution" and several others that appeared on other albums. The addition of those songs would have helped strengthen this album. One other song called "Night of the Iron Sausage" was also supposed to be part of the double album but it was never released. It was reportedly a very long guitar solo. Not sure how that would have added or taken away from the album.

So, the vocal tracks are disappointing here, but the instrumentals are stellar. That leaves me with a split decision on this album. I totally respect FZ's music and enjoy the humor on most of his comedy tracks, but I can't rate this album at 5 stars when I hate the vocal tracks. The instrumentals however are so good that it actually raises this from a 2 star album to 4 stars. That's how good they are.....and are actually essential tracks. So 4 stars here. Get it for the instrumentals.

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 Zappa Picks  - By Jonathan Fishman Of Phish by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2002
3.91 | 9 ratings

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Zappa Picks - By Jonathan Fishman Of Phish
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is a collection of Frank Zappa songs collected by Jon Fishman who is the drummer from Phish. Jon has his own warped sense of humor and belongs to another band that does satirical and humorous sketches and is quite inspired by Zappa's works. He is a pretty amazing drummer in his own right and proves that he knows what he is doing when Phish plays their own long jam songs. He is part of that gel that keeps that band at it's best. In the program notes of this album, Jon tells about the influence of these songs that he has picked and FZ's music in general.

This is a pretty decent collection and a lot of the selections are songs that don't appear on a lot of albums or were rarely heard. The collection starts out with a pair from "Apostrophe (')" which is one of FZ's most popular albums. The first one is a short vocal selection that is the track that leads on to the title track from the original album. It seems to be a strange one to start out with, but you discover early on here how amazing FZ's solos can be. This 2nd track is actually from a jamming session that included Jack Bruce from the band "Cream". Zappa mentioned in an interview that Bruce was hard to work with and that he was always busy.

Next up are 2 selections from the live Mother's album "Just Another Band from L.A." These tracks feature Flo and Eddie, the most obnoxious duo from any of FZ's line ups. "Magdelena" is a strange story involving incest and a Canadian family, but when asked where the story came from, it was said that it is just a song. Not a very good representation of Zappa's music, but I guess it shows the immaturity of the Flo and Eddie years. "Dog Breath" is another one that is rarely seen (just like the previous track), but this time, it's a better song. The rare thing about this version of the track is it contains the original lyrics, where usually this selection is instrumental.

Next you get 3 tracks from the excellent live album "Roxy & Elsewhere". "Cheepnis" is a rare track that only appears on one other live album, but this is the best version of it. It's a song that pays homage or makes fun of B-movie horror films. Good and rare song. "Son of Orange County" is also the version with lyrics, but is mostly a great guitar solo. "More Trouble Every Day" is an updated version of the "Freak Out!" song and is a much better version than the original. The Roxy sessions included two drummers and that is really apparent on this track. This is probably why Fishman was impressed with these tracks from that album. It seems most of the tracks on this collection have some impressive drumming.

"Keep it Greasey" is from "Joe's Garage" and takes on a different meaning when taken out of context as it is here. It spotlights a great guitar solo taken from a live version of "City of Tiny Lights". Then from "The Grand Wazoo" you get the mostly instrumental rarity called "For Calvin" which has a long backstory that I won't get in to right now. This track has a long avant-jazz instrumental passage from one of the best Zappa line-ups.

The next three tracks are from the excellent album "Sheik Yerbouti". The three tracks are actually one long guitar solo bookended by two short field recording tracks. The main track is called "Rat Tomago" and is actually a guitar solo taken from a live recording of "The Torture Never Stops". Again it is easy to hear why Fishman picked this one. Terry Bozzio is playing in what FZ called "a frenzy" which is something FZ always tried to reign in because of his extensive use of cymbals.

Next from "Waka/Jawaka" is the only version of "One Shot Deal" that I have heard. I absolutely love this song. It is one of the most out-of-place songs in Zappa's extensive compositions and sound like almost nothing else in his catalog of music. There is an almost avant-garde country sound to this track and it has an amazing steel guitar solo performed by "Sneaky Pete" Kleinow. Then from "Overnite Sensation" is the popular track "I'm the Slime" that features Tina Turner and the Ike-ettes singing the chorus. Last of all is the great "Sofa #2" track taken from "One Size Fits All". It is an appropriate closer.

Most of these selections are great, but they seem to lose something when taken out of context. All of the different line-ups represented here don't seem to flow together as well as they do when they are listened to on their rightful albums. But, I think the common thread here for the most part is the amazing drum work on most of the tracks and the sense of humor present throughout. Again, some of it changes meaning when taken out of context, but that is the danger you face with a compilation, which in most cases, only really flow well when you know what the compilation is trying to focus on. They mean something to the great Jon Fishman, so in that respect, they are very important. But to the regular listener, there isn't much in common overall. I have to give this a 3 star rating, even though there are some awesome tracks here, they just seem to lose their power when taken out of context.

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 Zappa In New York by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 1978
4.22 | 198 ratings

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Zappa In New York
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Through editing and overdubbing, Frank Zappa managed to put together the best performances from a series of concerts recorded at The Palladium in New York City on December 26-29, 1976 (with a few overdubs recorded around April of 1977). The band at the time was one of the best line- ups in his history with Ray White helping on lead vocals, Eddie Jobson from Roxy Music on Keys, Patrick O'Hearn on bass, Terry Bozzio on drums, and the amazing Ruth Underwood on percussion and 'various humanly impossible overdubs'. Along with that they were joined by a good part of the Saturday Night Live band which included Don Pardo doing 'sophisticated narration'. The result was an amazing and talented back up band with a lot of comedy, jazz fusion and just plain fun. This album captures what it was like to attend a FZ show and is a great representation of his music and his concerts.

It starts out with one of the best examples of the classic FZ routine/tune 'Titties and Beer'. This track is based on one of Frank's favorite composers pieces'Stravinsky's 'L'histoire du Soldat' which is a the classic story of man meets the devil. Frank doesn't satarize it as much as he pays homage to it and updates it so that maybe his listeners will sit up and take notice or maybe investigate some of the classics on their own. It does give the song more meaning when you know the story behind the Stravinsky work. This is more of a routine with music that pushes the story forward quite well. Next comes a long instrumental based one of Zappa's older vocal songs called 'Crusin' for Burgers. In this version, the song is used more for soloing with the instruments playing the main theme at the beginning and the end. Next is a shorter instrumental with Zappa's entire band playing 'I Promise Not to Come in Your Mouth' Where did this title come from? Apparently Zappa felt the jazzy sound of this song was something that could be played on the Muzak system (you know, mall and elevator music), so he figured with this title, that it would never happen. The versions on the vinyl and the CD are not completely the same.

Next is 'Punky's Whips' which is not available on the vinyl copy unless you can get one of the rare copies that were recalled. This is a routine based on Terry Bozzio's comment made about the drummer from a hair-glam band called Angel. Of course, FZ took TB's comment and blew it into comedic proportions and made this 10 minute track out of it. Again this is a routine backed up by a complex instrumental back up. There is a guitar solo in the middle of it too. The reason why the original vinyl was pulled was because Warner Brothers were afraid they would get sued by Angel, but FZ had already got permission from the Angel's drummer to use the song. WB pulled the album without Frank's consent. The song was restored to the CD version which was released later. Next is a not-so-great rendition of the much-used 'Honey, Don't You Want a Man Like Me?' which doesn't have anything spectacular about it. Following that is the song based on actual events that FZ heard about on the radio and probably one of the best versions of the blues based song 'The Legend of the Illinois Enema Bandit' with Ray White putting in a surprising amount of feeling while singing the story. This ends disc 1.

Disc 2 starts off with several shorter tracks. First is 'I'm the Slime' sung by FZ and Don Pardo. Very funny over acting by Pardo on this one. After that we get into some very excellent short instrumentals that are quite impressive considering the fact that most musicians cannot play these without proper instruction. 'Pound for a Brown' is a great fusion rendition of the popular FZ classic. 'Manx Needs Women' is a very short complex composition that flows into the 'Black Page Drum Solo' which is sequed into the full band version of 'Black Page #1'. The story behind 'Black Page' is that FZ wanted to take the original drum solo and turn it into a full band piece, so he made up a melody and replaced the percussion with instrumental notes for a full band. The finished score had so many notes on it that it was like a black page filled with notes. Hence, the name. Apparently, Ruth Underwood, having a music degree, broke down the score and taught the other band members how to play it all broken down into bits before anyone was able to play it at all. I still listen to this and wonder how in the world can anyone do this live. Quite an amazing feat.

After this, the band gets to rest a bit for the rock song 'Big Leg Emma' and then after that, the 'Sofa' theme gets the SNL Band treatment and it sounds good and much like music you would hear on SNL. Now, FZ has the band play another version of 'Black Page' after he explains the difference between the hard version and the easy version. The easy version (this one) slows down the melody and puts a disco vamp underneath it. It's still amazing, and now you get to hear it slowed down and it's still complex, but now you can hear just how complex it is.

After this, comes the classic 'The Torture Never Stops' without all the screamaing and hollering noises on this version, which is over 12 minutes long. The guitar solo (not sure if it's dubbed in or not, but I don't think it is) is really great in this version, doesn't seem as dark as usual, but is a nicer sound. The SNL Band help to liven it up too, especially on some of the hooks that are usually played by guitar in the vocal sections. Then you get two complex pieces meshed together in the 16 minute track 'The Purple Lagoon/Approximate'. The breakdown is like this: the first 17 seconds is an intro, from .17 to .37 is the Purple Lagoon theme, from .37 to 1.17 is the Approximate theme, from 1.17 to 15.23 are several amazing solos based around 'Pound for a Brown' on this version, from 15.23 ' 15.55 is a return to the Purple Lagoon theme with variations, then from 15.55 to 16.40 is the outro with crowd noises. I can't tell you much about The Purple Lagoon theme other than it is another complex theme, but 'Approxiamate' is usually done as the bookends with solos in the middle. The 'Approxiamte' theme is comprised of several scores written for different classes of instruments and instead of specific notes, the players are allowed to pick whatever notes they want in a specified range of notes. The theme is never ever performed the same way. As far as the solo section, you get a lot of brass, some guitar, percussion, keyboard and a trombone solo played through a harmonizer, which was a new gadget at the time. The interesting thing is the harmonizer is programmed in this instance to give a very dissonant interval throughout the solo making for a very unique sound.

So that's FZ in New York in a nutshell, at least the CD version. The vinyl version does not have all of the tracks as the CD version and some of the tracks vary in certain degrees. I have both versions and both are great. I highly recommend this one as a great example of FZ humor and amazing musicianship and composing talents. This also highlights the amazing lineup of the time. I consider this an essential addition to your FZ library as it shows why he is considered an avant garde composer and it proves that you can be entertaining and cultured at the same time. A warning though, this one is not for those with tender ears as it is quite explicit during the comedy routines. But, if you are not offended or 'deafened' because of whatever outside forces that are in your life, then you are really in for an excellent listening experience here and you can listen for yourself why FZ is a man that deserves to be respected in the music community. 5 stars.

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 You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 6 by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 1992
3.84 | 66 ratings

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You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 6
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is the last volume of the "You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore" series that Frank Zappa put together to represent some of his best live performances and to also collect some tracks that were not at that time available anywhere else. Volume 6 focuses on the comedy of his bands throughout the years. The tracks on this collection are collected from live performances through his career.

The first disc consists of humorous and shorter songs focusing on the vocals. The subject is all about sex and the bands on here are not afraid to delve into the most off-color and sexually explicit material and nothing here is sacred, so to speak. This material is not for the easily offended, so make sure you understand that before listening to this collection.

On the first track, FZ introduces the collection from an introductory speech made at a concert in Tallahassee, Florida on 10/9/1970. This was shortly after Jim Morrison was arrested for exposing himself and FZ and the band were confronted before going on stage by what he called "a redneck with a gun" saying that they had better not have any intention on exposing themselves. This is the oath they made up in answer to that performed on stage in front of a very excited crowd. It's a great introduction to the disc. This leads into the next spoken word track, "The Poodle Lecture". This helps explain the whole poodle controversy that is brought up time and time again in Zappa's music and concerts. After that you two songs, the famous "Dirty Love" that usually follows the lecture and then "Magic Fingers" that appeared on the rare album "200 Motels". Next is an audience participation track dealing with panties followed by a very mediocre version of "Honey Don't You Want a Man Like Me" and then an interesting version of "Father O'blivion". More spoken word follows with FZ talking about what was a big hit at the time in the song "I'm in You" by Peter Frampton. It really irked him that anyone would think that it was a romantic song to have someone making love to a woman and whispering this phrase in her ear. He carries on about this for 4 minutes. Next, Ted Nugent gets blasted on the song "I'm So Cute" which he was deserving of, then there is a strange avant garde style vocal styling called "White Person". After this is more spoken word explaining what the song "Ms Pinky" is about and then that particular song is performed.

Another great progressive selection from "200 Motels" follows in the song "Shove it Right In". After this is a version of "Wind Up Workin' at a Gas Station" is performed. This song is special in the fact that it is a rare recording of Bianca Odin performing with the band. There are not very many recordings of her during her short stint with the band. Also, Eddie Jobson from Roxy Music is on keys here. Not the best version of this song, but it is valuable in because of it's rarity. Next is the hilarious audience participation track "Make a Sex Noise" followed by "Tracey is a Snob" which is mostly a jazz fusion instrumental with sex noises behind it which was one of Frank's favorite jokes. The next song is "I Have Been in You" which is Frank's answer to Peter Frampton's "I'm in You" just to show how ridiculous lyrics like this can be. I guess he figured if Framption could do it, so could he. Another song with sex noises follows, then we get four of Zappa's most well known songs about sex in some pretty decent renditions which ends with "Muffin Man". It's actually a great ending for the first disc which leaves you wanting more of the same, but it takes way to long for the disc to become consitently good and unfortunately, the last song doesn't play out, but just fades out which is very annoying.

Disc 2 is much better and has the better performances and a lot more instrumentals, something that was sorely missed on the first disc. There is a great version of "The Illinois Enema Bandit" which is followed by an amazing instrumental called "Thirteen" that has a violin solo by guest artist L. Shankar. This is a wonderful solo that just works so well after the substandard music on disc 1. For some reason, during the last section of the song, Frank edits to another concert that features a guitar solo, but I would have rather heard the rest of Shankar's performance. It's still a great track though. Patrick O'Hearn gets featured on bass on the next instrumental track called "Lobster Girl" and does a great job, then this follows into a slow blusey rendition of "Black Napkins" which has the distinction of the melody and main hooks being played by brass in the beginning. This is another amazing performance and is a nice way to present this instrumental. Frank edits to another venue in the middle of the song and the rhythm suddenly changes from the slow blues to a more reggae sound, but it is still a great performance so it all fits well.

Next, you get a rare performance of "Turning Again" which is a good track, but it pokes some fun at Jimi Hendrix. Right after the bit about Hendrix, Keneally messes up his guitar part which Ike Willis finds very amusing. There is another instrumental called "Alien Orifice" which is interesting enough, which is followed two songs from Joe's Garage; famous "Catholic Girls" and "Crew Slut". Then comes Adrian Belew singing lead on "Tryin' to Grow a Chin" from Shiek Yerbouti followed by the instrumental version of "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance." Next Lisa Pomeil, a soprano operatic singer and sister to the Ronco ad announcer does a strange song about her life, or at least she says it is. The country tinged "Lonesome Cowboy Nando" is great and it includes lyrics about a jellyfish that has something to do with FZ actually have a jellyfish scientifically named after him (hydrozoan P. zappai) by a Zappa-fanatic that just happened to be a scientist (look it up, it's true). The "200 Motels Finale" follows and then the entire series is brought to an amazing close with a non-orchestral version of "Strictly Genteel" which is an appropriate closer.

So, if you are into Zappa's humor, this is the collection for you. But, disc 2 offers plenty of great music for when you are feeling a little more intellectual, yet still has a lot of the same humor in it. The 1st disc suffers because of the lack of cohesiveness and not a lot of progressive music, just silliness, but it's still not completely terrible. The 2nd disc is worth the purchase alone, so the two together make a pretty good compilation. Just be ready for a lot of off-color humor. As far as recommendation, I would get volumes 1 or 2 before this one, but it has plenty to offer for the humorous Zappa fan. 3.5 stars, but we'll round it up to 4.

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