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FRANK ZAPPA

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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Frank Zappa picture
Frank Zappa biography
Frank Vincent ZAPPA - December 12, 1940 (Baltimore, USA) / December 4, 1993 (Los Angeles, USA)

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 ind...
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Zappa In New York [40th Anniversary][5 CD]Zappa In New York [40th Anniversary][5 CD]
Zappa Records 2019
$84.99
One Size Fits AllOne Size Fits All
Zappa Records 2015
$14.19
$19.99 (used)
The Roxy Performances [7 CD][Box Set]The Roxy Performances [7 CD][Box Set]
Box set
Zappa Records 2018
$45.14
$37.54 (used)
Hot Rats [LP]Hot Rats [LP]
Zappa Records 2016
$15.08
$24.03 (used)
Apostrophe (')Apostrophe (')
Zappa Records 2012
$5.54
$5.30 (used)
Joe's Garage, Acts I, II, & III [2 CD]Joe's Garage, Acts I, II, & III [2 CD]
Zappa Records 2012
$9.93
$8.99 (used)
Goblins, Witches & Kings (2Cd)Goblins, Witches & Kings (2Cd)
LEFT FIELD MEDIA 2019
$13.96
The Grand WazooThe Grand Wazoo
Zappa Records 2012
$5.64
$8.67 (used)
Over-nite Sensation [LP]Over-nite Sensation [LP]
Zappa Records 2013
$16.14
$9.88 (used)
Greasy Love SongsGreasy Love Songs
Zappa Records 2017
$5.49
$16.26 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
FRANK ZAPPA/SHIP ARRIVING LATE TO SAVE DROWNING WITCH/1982/L NEW/VALLEY GIRL USD $3.99 [0 bids]
USD $9.99 Buy It Now
Transmission Impossible (3cd Box) Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention Audio C USD $27.33 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa Moon 7" 45 RPM Valley Girl / You Are What You Is FREE US SHIPPING USD $11.24 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar 3 CD Set USD $23.00 [0 bids]
The **** of the Mothers - Mothers of Invention (Vinyl LP Best Frank Zappa Verve) USD $12.95 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa/Captain Beefhea...-Bongo Fury (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $8.80 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa And The Mothers Uncle Meat Vinyl 2 Lp USD $30.00 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - You Are What You Is :P (2X) (PW2 37537) Promo USD $75.00 Buy It Now
Son of Cheap Thrills - Frank Zappa CD Scratch free! USD $3.50 [0 bids]
FRANK ZAPPA APOSTROPHE... AU20 24KT GOLD RYKODISC... RCD 80519... BRAND NEW! USD $64.99 [0 bids]
FRANK ZAPPA - Joe's Xmasage (CD, Mar-2017, Vaulter Native) NEW USD $17.99 Buy It Now
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"GROWL" Self Titled LP ORIGINAL DISCREET DS 2209 "FRANK ZAPPA" USD $5.99 [0 bids]
FRANK ZAPPA - Lemme Take You To The Beach Mega Rare 12" Picture Disc Single LP USD $279.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Imaginary Diseases (CD Used Very Good) USD $11.51 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Lumpy Money Project/Object (CD Used Very Good) USD $28.06 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Joe's Camouflage (CD Used Very Good) USD $12.87 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa Mothers Of Invention Absolutely Free 50th anny 180gm vinyl 2 LP g/f USD $30.49 Buy It Now
The Mothers Of Invention (Frank Zappa) Absolutely Free LP 1967 gatefold VG+ USD $39.79 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA - MAGAZINE CUTTING (FULL PAGE PHOTO) (REF JA) USD $5.95 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa Shut Up'n Play Yer Guitar Japan Triple Vinyl LP with OBI in 1982 USD $149.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa Hot Rats CD 1987 Rykodisc 10066 RCD 10066 Japan Ver.Very Rare USD $34.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Have I Offended Someone? (1997) USD $15.86 [0 bids]
FRANK ZAPPA - Orchestral Favorites - CD - **Excellent Condition** USD $23.75 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA - LIVE IN EUROPA ELECTRECORD ROMANIAN PRESS BLACK PANTHER LICENSED USD $34.74 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa 2 Lp Vinile Them Or Us Apribile EMI ?2-62 2402343 Gatefold Sigillato USD $51.13 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Meat Light: The Uncle Meat Project/Object (NEW 3CD) USD $15.85 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Road Tapes, Venue #1 (NEW 2CD) USD $15.52 Buy It Now
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Frank Zappa - The Lumpy Money Project/Object (NEW 3CD) USD $26.43 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Road Tapes, Venue #2 (NEW 2CD) USD $15.52 Buy It Now
Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar Frank Zappa Audio CD USD $15.63 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Halloween 77 [CD] USD $32.77 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa The Mothers Of Invention - One Size Fits All (NEW 12" VINYL LP) USD $26.43 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA - Son Of Cheep Thrills - CD - Enhanced - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $36.75 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa 200 Motels 2 LP Set with Booklet USD $10.58 [1 bids]
Frank Zappa - Chunga's Revenge *NEW* VINYL USD $29.75 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa(circa 1988)-Original picture framed USD $26.43 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA 200 MOTELS ORIGINAL VERY RARE INDIA PRESSING DBL LP VG /VG USD $137.49 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA - Ahead Of Their Time - CD - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $33.95 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa ?- Stream Flash Conservative Clinton Records ?- CL 7918 V RARE CD USD $99.14 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Live Montreal 1971 VINYL LP WLVR018 USD $25.10 Buy It Now
Apostrophe/Over-nite Sensation by Frank Zappa (CD, 1986, Ryko Distribution) USD $19.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Fillmore East - June 1971 [New CD] USD $13.33 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA ROCK ICONS STRIP OF 10 MINT VIGNETTE STAMPS 3 USD $5.67 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa-Live In Sweden 1967 (UK IMPORT) VINYL NEW USD $19.45 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA ROCK ICONS STRIP OF 10 MINT VIGNETTE STAMPS 1 USD $5.67 Buy It Now 3m 9s
Frank Zappa: Uncle Meat (2-LPs) USD $33.93 Buy It Now 4m 7s
Frank Zappa: Roxy & Elsewhere (2-LPs: 180GV) USD $33.93 Buy It Now 4m 8s
FRANK ZAPPA STRICTLY COMMERICAL CD * EXCELLENT CONDITION* 1995 * RYKO USD $25.00 Buy It Now 8m 59s
FRANK ZAPPA ROCK ICONS STRIP OF 10 MINT VIGNETTE STAMPS 2 USD $5.67 Buy It Now 18m 37s
FRANK ZAPPA~THE MAN FROM UTOPIA/1st press CBS 25251/83' HOLLAND~STICKERED EX+EX+ USD $44.95 Buy It Now 19m 31s
FRANK ZAPPA ROCK ICONS STRIP OF 10 MINT VIGNETTE STAMPS 4 USD $5.67 Buy It Now 19m 38s
TIM BUCKLEY Blue Afternoon LP/1969 Folk Psych/Frank Zappa/Straight Records/4MWB USD $32.98 Buy It Now 29m 56s
Frank Zappa LATHER - Rare 4LP Box EDISON RECORDS USD $249.99 [0 bids]
38m 39s
Frank Zappa THE GODFATHER MEETS THE UNTOUCHABLES - Rare 4LP Box USD $129.99 [0 bids]
40m 57s
FRANK ZAPPA Goblin Girl / Pink Napkins PROMO 7" Vinyl Single 45 VERY RARE USD $59.99 Buy It Now 43m 51s
Frank Zappa - Sheik Yerbouti [CD] USD $8.78 Buy It Now 49m 2s
FRANK ZAPPA Cruising With Ruben & The Jets Vinyl LP Gatefold Sleeve NEW SEALED USD $23.78 Buy It Now 50m
PULP SURFIN' (CD 1995) Surf Music Rock FRANK ZAPPA LIVELY ONES BOBBY FULLER+ USD $13.52 Buy It Now 1h 9m
Frank Zappa - We're Only in it for the Money - Frank Zappa CD RXVG The Fast Free USD $6.49 Buy It Now 1h 43m
Frank Zappa - Bongo Fury (Parental Advisory/Live Recording, 1999) CD USD $5.29 Buy It Now 2h 6m
Frank Zappa Tinseltown Rebellion - DAMAGED Cassette Tape with artwork USD $3.96 Buy It Now 2h 11m
MOTHERS OF INVENTION LP -- Fillmore East, June 1971 -- FRANK ZAPPA USD $5.55 [0 bids]
2h 18m
Roots Of Frank Zappa - Various Artists (NEW CD) USD $8.58 Buy It Now 2h 28m
You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 1 by Frank Zappa (CD, Oct-2012, 2 Discs USD $12.99 Buy It Now 2h 30m
Frank Zappa - Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life (Live Recording, 2012) USD $6.27 [0 bids]
2h 32m
Frank Zappa - Hot Rats 1969 Bizarre/Reprise RS 6356 Jacket VG+ Vinyl NM- USD $60.00 Buy It Now 2h 34m
FRANK ZAPPA - Sheik Yerbouti - 2 x Vinyl LP 2015 Reissue - NEW USD $25.78 Buy It Now 2h 45m
Frank Zappa - Guitar [New CD] USD $18.34 Buy It Now 2h 49m
Frank Zappa Mothers Lumpy Money 3 Vinyl LP Book 2 Posters Box NM USD $199.00 Buy It Now 2h 49m
FRANK ZAPPA - ABSOLUTELY FREE CD 1988 RYKODISC RCD 10093 USD $11.04 Buy It Now 2h 57m
Frank Zappa/The Mothers of Invention - Just Another Band from L.A. CD 1990 USD $9.34 Buy It Now 3h
FRANK ZAPPA WORKS & BURNT WEENIE Replica JAPAN OBI CD BOX SETS + BONUS OBI CD'S USD $989.99 Buy It Now 3h 7m
Frank Zappa ?- 200 Motels 1971 Rykodisc ?RCD 10513/14 Club 2CD Sealed Mint USD $75.00 Buy It Now 3h 28m
Frank Zappa THE GRAND WAZOO CD USA 824302384923 Zappa Records new USD $15.97 [0 bids]
3h 40m
Frank Zappa ?- Apostrophe' - LP 1993 - Russian press USD $23.00 Buy It Now 3h 45m
Frank Zappa Broadway The Hard Way Vinyl Original Release VG+/VG+ USA Pressing USD $11.90 [0 bids]
3h 52m
Frank Zappa-Original picture framed USD $33.04 Buy It Now 4h 4m
Original Mothers of Invention Frank Zappa Stereo V6-5013X Verve Records 1967 2LP USD $10.49 [2 bids]
4h 5m
RARE Original The Mothers Fillmore East Frank Zappa June 1971 Reprise Records LP USD $9.99 [0 bids]
4h 15m
Frank Zappa - You Are What You Is Album - Original Gatefold USD $11.90 Buy It Now 4h 27m
Frank Zappa / One Size Fits All / Japan Import / RCD-10095 USD $52.47 Buy It Now 4h 31m
FRANK ZAPPA / The Man From Utopia / Japan Import / VACK-1244 USD $31.96 Buy It Now 4h 31m
Frank Zappa 33 LP Record Album " Jazz From Hell " 1986 Barking Pumpkin Label USD $5.24 [2 bids]
4h 38m
FRANK ZAPPA-WAKA/JAWAKA // HOT RATS 1972 BIZARRE/REPRISE RECORDS 8-TRACK MINT!! USD $24.99 Buy It Now 4h 42m
Frank Zappa Studio Tan Misprint Vinyl LP Reprise Records LP-S-68-16 USD $15.86 [0 bids]
4h 42m
Frank Zappa London Symphony Orchestra Vol.2 Vinyl LP Zappa Records ?Zappa 5 USD $15.86 [0 bids]
4h 42m
Frank Zappa Tinsel Town Rebellion Double Vinyl LP EMI ?EN 5002 USD $10.58 [0 bids]
4h 42m
Frank Zappa(circa 1976)-Original picture framed USD $26.43 Buy It Now 4h 42m
Frank Zappa Broadway The Hard Way CD Zappa Records ?CDZAPPA 14 USD $5.29 [0 bids]
4h 43m
Captain Beefheart - The Spotlight Kid ( Lp Frank Zappa - Italy Rare Cover ) USD $44.99 Buy It Now 4h 45m
Frank Zappa Tinseltown Rebellion Lp 1981 Near Mint Vinyl,double Lp Gatefold USD $14.61 [9 bids]
4h 46m
FRANK ZAPPA - Masked Turnip Cyclophony CD *NEW & SEALED USD $12.59 Buy It Now 4h 55m
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FRANK ZAPPA Why don'cha Do MONO 3000Made NUMBERED 7 INCH VINYL Black Friday RSD USD $44.99 Buy It Now 5h 9m
Frank Zappa in New York 1988 Single Page Poster from Music Magazine 30x22cm USD $7.27 Buy It Now 5h 18m
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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)

3.92 | 616 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Freak Out!
1966
4.06 | 511 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Absolutely Free
1967
3.20 | 369 ratings
Lumpy Gravy
1968
4.11 | 638 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: We're Only In It For The Money
1968
2.79 | 270 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Cruising With Ruben & The Jets
1968
4.07 | 500 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Uncle Meat
1969
4.33 | 1535 ratings
Hot Rats
1969
3.91 | 408 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Burnt Weeny Sandwich
1970
3.78 | 404 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Weasels Ripped My Flesh
1970
3.40 | 330 ratings
Chunga's Revenge
1970
3.06 | 216 ratings
200 Motels
1971
3.93 | 479 ratings
Waka / Jawaka
1972
4.33 | 906 ratings
The Grand Wazoo
1972
4.02 | 589 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Over-Nite Sensation
1973
4.03 | 647 ratings
Apostrophe (')
1974
4.32 | 899 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: One Size Fits All
1975
3.73 | 406 ratings
Zoot Allures
1976
3.71 | 268 ratings
Studio Tan
1978
3.63 | 272 ratings
Sleep Dirt
1979
3.87 | 474 ratings
Sheik Yerbouti
1979
4.14 | 499 ratings
Joe's Garage, Act I
1979
3.97 | 397 ratings
Joe's Garage, Acts II & III
1979
3.65 | 270 ratings
You Are What You Is
1981
3.54 | 240 ratings
Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch
1982
3.15 | 223 ratings
The Man From Utopia
1983
3.09 | 113 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I
1983
3.24 | 182 ratings
Them Or Us
1984
2.40 | 147 ratings
Thing-Fish
1984
2.59 | 131 ratings
Francesco Zappa
1984
3.49 | 119 ratings
Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger
1984
3.25 | 139 ratings
Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention
1985
3.43 | 221 ratings
Jazz From Hell
1986
2.93 | 87 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. II
1987
3.78 | 128 ratings
Civilization Phaze III
1994
3.33 | 88 ratings
The Lost Episodes
1996
3.98 | 189 ratings
Läther
1996
3.16 | 52 ratings
Everything Is Healing Nicely [aka: EIHN]
1999
2.96 | 50 ratings
Joe's Corsage
2004
1.80 | 52 ratings
Joe's Domage
2004
2.31 | 40 ratings
Joe's XMasage
2005
3.33 | 44 ratings
Feeding The Monkies At Ma Maison
2011
2.96 | 33 ratings
Joe's Camouflage
2014
4.01 | 62 ratings
Dance Me This
2015

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

3.23 | 157 ratings
Fillmore East, June 1971
1971
3.13 | 145 ratings
Just Another Band From L.A.
1972
4.39 | 319 ratings
Roxy & Elsewhere
1974
3.55 | 213 ratings
Bongo Fury
1975
4.25 | 248 ratings
Zappa In New York
1978
3.34 | 154 ratings
Orchestral Favorites
1979
3.08 | 155 ratings
Tinsel Town Rebellion
1981
3.27 | 96 ratings
Baby Snakes
1983
3.58 | 83 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
1986
3.62 | 127 ratings
Broadway The Hard Way
1988
3.42 | 119 ratings
Guitar
1988
4.03 | 125 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 1
1988
4.55 | 204 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 2
1988
3.63 | 104 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 3
1989
3.55 | 96 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 4
1991
4.36 | 188 ratings
The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life
1991
4.42 | 145 ratings
Make A Jazz Noise Here
1991
3.78 | 38 ratings
Piquantique - Stockholm 1973
1991
2.38 | 25 ratings
As An Am
1991
3.40 | 26 ratings
The Ark
1991
2.68 | 22 ratings
Freaks & Motherfuckers!
1991
2.44 | 25 ratings
Unmitigated Audacity
1991
2.14 | 26 ratings
Anyway The Wind Blows
1991
2.82 | 25 ratings
'Tis The Season To Be Jelly
1991
2.39 | 23 ratings
Saarbrucken 1978
1991
1.50 | 16 ratings
At The Circus
1992
1.98 | 16 ratings
Conceptual Continuity
1992
2.82 | 48 ratings
Playground Psychotics
1992
3.67 | 84 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 5
1992
3.85 | 83 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 6
1992
2.29 | 17 ratings
Disconnected Synapses
1992
3.04 | 19 ratings
Electric Aunt Jemima
1992
3.15 | 14 ratings
Our Man In Nirvana
1992
3.97 | 15 ratings
Swiss Cheese / Fire!
1992
2.31 | 13 ratings
Tengo Na Minchia Tanta
1992
3.88 | 122 ratings
The Yellow Shark
1993
3.24 | 77 ratings
Ahead Of Their Time
1993
3.94 | 58 ratings
FZ:OZ
2002
3.87 | 36 ratings
Halloween (DVD-Audio)
2003
3.99 | 72 ratings
Imaginary Diseases
2006
3.51 | 67 ratings
Trance-Fusion
2006
4.12 | 63 ratings
Buffalo
2007
4.17 | 73 ratings
Wazoo
2007
3.65 | 47 ratings
The Dub Room Special!
2007
3.63 | 44 ratings
One Shot Deal
2008
3.17 | 30 ratings
Joe's Menage
2008
4.21 | 53 ratings
Philly '76
2009
4.31 | 64 ratings
Hammersmith Odeon
2010
3.80 | 35 ratings
Carnegie Hall
2011
3.17 | 41 ratings
Finer Moments
2012
3.35 | 35 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #1
2012
4.59 | 50 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #2
2013
4.54 | 30 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2013
4.59 | 40 ratings
Roxy By Proxy
2014
3.43 | 7 ratings
200 Motels The Suites
2015
4.17 | 6 ratings
Roxy: The Sountrack
2015
3.13 | 5 ratings
Little Dots
2016
3.50 | 8 ratings
Chicago '78
2016
2.25 | 13 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #3
2016
4.07 | 8 ratings
Halloween 77
2017
4.83 | 6 ratings
The Roxy Performances
2018

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

2.86 | 55 ratings
200 Motels (The Movie)
1971
3.40 | 25 ratings
Uncle Meat (Video)
1988
2.76 | 58 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
2003
4.10 | 76 ratings
Baby Snakes
2003
4.20 | 32 ratings
QuAUDIOPHILIAc (DVD-Audio)
2004
4.00 | 43 ratings
The Dub Room Special!
2005
3.95 | 19 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2005
4.16 | 42 ratings
Apostrophe (') Over-Nite Sensation
2007
4.56 | 42 ratings
Zappa In Barcelona
2007
3.33 | 9 ratings
Tratto dal filmato 'A Token Of His Extreme'
2007
4.13 | 19 ratings
The Torture Never Stops
2008
3.14 | 7 ratings
Live In Paris 1980
2008
3.21 | 10 ratings
Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention: In the 1960's
2009
4.05 | 18 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2013
4.39 | 18 ratings
Roxy: The Movie
2015

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

3.69 | 37 ratings
Mothermania: The Best Of The Mothers
1969
1.95 | 2 ratings
Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention
1975
3.68 | 58 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
1981
3.94 | 52 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More
1981
3.87 | 46 ratings
Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
1981
3.94 | 102 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar (The Box Set)
1982
3.88 | 8 ratings
The Old Masters, Box One
1985
2.84 | 18 ratings
We're Only In It For The Money / Lumpy Gravy
1985
3.67 | 6 ratings
The Old Masters, Box Two
1986
3.50 | 7 ratings
The Old Masters, Box Three
1987
3.62 | 118 ratings
Joe's Garage, Acts I, II & III
1987
4.10 | 21 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Sampler
1988
4.09 | 11 ratings
Beat The Boots 1
1991
4.00 | 9 ratings
Beat The Boots 2
1992
3.27 | 41 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I & II
1995
3.27 | 55 ratings
Strictly Commercial
1995
3.74 | 31 ratings
Frank Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa: A Memorial Tribute
1996
4.15 | 25 ratings
Strictly Genteel
1997
3.26 | 30 ratings
Have I Offended Someone?
1997
2.91 | 44 ratings
Cheap Thrills
1998
2.02 | 53 ratings
The Mystery Disc
1998
2.06 | 17 ratings
Cucamonga (1962 - 1964)
1998
2.95 | 28 ratings
Son Of Cheep Thrills
1999
4.54 | 11 ratings
Zappa Picks - By Larry LaLonde Of Primus
2002
3.92 | 10 ratings
Zappa Picks - By Jonathan Fishman Of Phish
2002
4.73 | 18 ratings
Threesome No. 1
2002
4.53 | 18 ratings
Threesome No. 2
2002
2.38 | 8 ratings
For Collectors Only
2003
2.83 | 20 ratings
The Best of Frank Zappa
2004
3.40 | 36 ratings
The Making Of Freak Out! Project/Object
2006
3.59 | 22 ratings
The Lumpy Money Project/Object
2009
3.14 | 20 ratings
Greasy Love Songs
2010
3.93 | 14 ratings
Understanding America
2012
3.83 | 10 ratings
The Crux Of The Biscuit
2016
3.75 | 9 ratings
Frank Zappa For President
2016
4.00 | 1 ratings
Meat Light: The Uncle Meat Project/Object Audio Documentary
2016

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

3.88 | 8 ratings
How Could I Be Such a Fool?
1966
4.30 | 10 ratings
Trouble Comin' Every Day
1966
3.89 | 9 ratings
It Can't Happen Here
1966
3.72 | 11 ratings
Big Leg Emma
1967
3.83 | 6 ratings
My Guitar
1969
3.52 | 22 ratings
Peaches en Regalia
1970
3.43 | 7 ratings
Tell Me You Love Me
1970
3.75 | 4 ratings
WPLJ
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
Tears Began To Fall
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
Magic Fingers
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
What Will This Evening Bring Me This Morning?
1972
4.14 | 7 ratings
Cletus Awreetus - Awrightus
1972
3.15 | 10 ratings
Montana
1973
2.73 | 11 ratings
Don't Eat The Yellow Snow
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cosmik Debris
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Du Bist Mein Sofa
1975
3.20 | 5 ratings
Find Her Finer
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Disco Boy
1976
3.92 | 13 ratings
Bobby Brown
1979
4.00 | 10 ratings
Joe's Garage
1979
3.33 | 11 ratings
Dancin Fool
1979
3.97 | 12 ratings
I Don't Wanna Get Drafted 12''
1980
3.40 | 5 ratings
Stick It Out
1980
3.75 | 4 ratings
Goblin Girl (picture)
1981
2.87 | 11 ratings
Valley Girl
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Love Of My Life
1981
3.67 | 3 ratings
Harder Than Your Husband
1981
5.00 | 1 ratings
Cocaine Decisions
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Man From Utopia Meets Mary Lou
1983
2.60 | 5 ratings
Rare Meat - Early Productions Of Frank Zappa 12''
1983
3.40 | 5 ratings
Baby Take Your Teeth Out
1984
4.00 | 1 ratings
True Glove
1984
4.64 | 14 ratings
Peaches En Regalia (longpack)
1987
4.45 | 11 ratings
Montana (Whipping Floss)
1988
4.63 | 8 ratings
Zomby Woof
1988
3.21 | 10 ratings
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
1988
2.09 | 3 ratings
You Can't Do That On the Radio Anymore
1990
3.06 | 8 ratings
Stairway To Heaven 12''
1991
3.91 | 3 ratings
Clean American Version
1995
3.87 | 4 ratings
Kill Ugly Radio Some More
1995
3.67 | 3 ratings
Kill Ugly Radio
1995
3.33 | 3 ratings
Return Of The Son Of Kill Ugly Radio
1995
4.40 | 5 ratings
Zomby Woof (longpack)
1998
2.33 | 3 ratings
Penguin in Bondage/The little known story of the Mothers of Invention
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
I'm The Slime
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Don't Eat The Yellow Snow / Down In De Dew
2014
2.00 | 2 ratings
200 Motels Overture
2015

FRANK ZAPPA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cheap Thrills by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1998
2.91 | 44 ratings

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Cheap Thrills
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Cheap Thrills' was released by the Ryko label in 1998 in order to celebrate the lowering of the price point on a number of Frank Zappa's back catalogue to make it more accessible to the general public. All of the tracks on here are selected off of different albums to generate interest in his recordings. As a result, it was a big seller for the label resulting in another collection released later called 'Son of Cheap Thrills' but that is a review for another day. So, how representative was this collection to Frank's music? It has several tracks taken from the 'You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore' series, some post-'Joe's Garage' studio albums and so on.

It starts with 'I Could Be a Star Now' taken from the 'behind the scenes' style album 'Playground Psychotics', the last track on the 2nd CD to be exact. It is one of Zappa's secret recordings of Martin Lickert, Don Preston and Jeff Simmons talking about how working with Zappa ruins their career and that they would be better off working for John Mayall. It is tongue-in-cheek humor reflective of Frank's own humor and stuck on this CD to introduce the questionable nature of FZs reputation among critics and the like. It is just a short 35 second conversation.

Next is a live version of 'Catholic Girls' taken from 'You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore Vol. 6' (from now on abbreviated to YCDTOSA), recorded in two different venues in February and March of 1988. It's a funny rendition with a kooky instrumental break led by a sax with whacky meters and FZ calls out 'Everybody Dance'. It's a good representation of Frank's humor on a funny song done live, but the humor might be lost on a first-timer listening to this collection. This then segues to 'Bobby Brown Goes Down' taken from YCDTOSA, Vol. 3 recorded in 1984, so the flow on the collection doesn't make a lot of sense. But first timers are going to be listening for the basic song anyway and not necessarily the 'eyebrows' from the show. This rendition is based on a reggae riff, and of course, you get the humorous lyrics, but since the secret word had to do with The Lone Ranger, so the references made in this performance won't make a lot of sense. However, it might get a first timer to explore the meaning of these references. Besides, Frank and the band keep cracking up so some of the lyrics get missed.

A studio version of 'You Are What You Is' follows, unfortunately, it's the awful version from 'Thing-Fish' and since the track is taken out of context, it won't make any sense to a first listener with the annoying Thing-Fish character inserting his stupid comments between each line. Bad choice. 'We Are Not Alone' from the studio album 'The Man from Utopia' comes next. It's an okay instrumental jazz fusion track that can give you an idea of FZ's instrumental music, at least his more accessible style. This is followed by one of the better doo-wop tracks from 'Ruben and the Jets'.

'The Mudshark Interview' is another track from Playground Psychotics which was an interview FZ did with the front office manager from The Edgewater Inn in Seattle, Washington. Frank tries to get the manager to talk about how they let guests catch fish from their hotel windows. Those familiar with the mudshark story in Zappa's mythology will get what's going on here, otherwise it seems like a useless track for a lay person beginning their foray into Zappa music. 'Hot Plate Heaven at the Green Hotel' follows and it is a live version done in 1988 taken from 'Broadway the Hard Way'. It is a good example of how Zappa used to edit long guitar solos into the middle of recorded live tracks, so the first timer will get to hear a good Zappa solo, though it is not necessarily one of his best. 'Zombie Woof' is a live version taken from YCDTOSA, Vol. 1, recorded in 1982, with the verses done at Milan, Italy and the guitar solo recorded at London, UK, and this one is actually a good solo. The show in Milan, however, got a guitar tech fired because Steve Vai was supposed to start the song but there were no guitars ready to start off the number and it just went on without the guitar introduction. If nothing else, it's a testament to how the band and Frank were almost always ready to let the show go on at a moment's notice.

'The Torture Never Stops' comes next. It is the original version of the song performed live and sung by Captain Beefheart with the repeating guitar riff stolen from 'Mannish Boy' and the harmonica and guitar solos, all recorded live from the album YCDTOSA, Vol. 4 in a show at Austin, Texas in 1975. It's interesting they would put this version on the compilation, unless it was to try to get Zappaphiles to buy the collection, but there are no program notes, so how would they know? The performance is pretty great though. After this 9 minute version, the next track is 'Joe's Garage' performed live at Chicago in 1984 and taken from the YCDTOSA Vol. 3 album. It's a good example of the band singing and playing tightly together live and still leaving room for playing around. The live version of 'My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama' is from Universal City in California in 1984 from YCDTOSA Vol. 4. is a pretty standard recording of the track. Everything finishes up with the short field track 'Going for the Money' from Playground Psychotics which is a pretty useless track, but just finishes everything up.

I'm not sure if the collection helped sell the back catalogue albums or not, at least from the newbies checking out his music, but it probably helped the collectors decide what they were wanting to look for. I remember an employee that I worked with, that actually knew a lot about bands, but hadn't really listened to much Zappa before, bought the collection because he thought he would get a good example of his music, only came away from the ordeal even more confused than before. Whether it influenced him to buy more Zappa material or not, I'm not certain, but I know he had no idea what was going on in most of these tracks. I think most newbies would be better off getting 'Shiek Yerbouti', 'Hot Rats' or 'Waka/Jawaka' depending on what style of FZ's music they were interested in. The moral of the story is, don't go exploring FZ without someone along that knows what they are doing.

By the way, this is just a so-so collection. I don't think it accomplishes what it sets out to do and a lot of this stuff is out there in better formats or collections. At least it's cheap.

 Apostrophe (') by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.03 | 647 ratings

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Apostrophe (')
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by patrickq

4 stars Apostrophe starts off strong, with three great tunes. "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" and "Nanook Rubs It" are really one hilarious song, after which the listener has to ask whether Zappa can keep this up for another twenty-five minutes. With a lead-filled snowshoe, and rightly so, "Nanook Rubs It" segues into "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast," which is only a nonsequitur because Zappa offers a ridiculous (and funny) claim that all three songs (and maybe the fourth, "Father O'Blivion") form a continuous story.

But even if the story is continuous, the songwriting quality isn't. Lacking the catchy melodies and amusing lyrics we've gotten used to in the album's first eight or nine minutes, "Father O'Blivion" is a bit of a letdown.

Luckily, side one closes with another strong song.Zappa's anti-drug moralizing on "Cosmic Debris" sounds a bit blaxploitation-y to me (yes, I understand that Zappa is absolved of political incorrectness as long as George Duke and Don "Sugarcane" Harris are on the record), although the song is still impressive.

"Excentrifugal Forz" and "Apostrophe" are, to me, the weakest songs on the album, but without them, Apostrophe wouldn't even fill one side of a twelve-inch vinyl album - - which is probably why I suspect that they're here more for filler than anything else. The overlong "Apostrophe" is notable for its distorted Jack Bruce bass part. I guess you could say that this album lends some insight into how Zappa could turn out so many good albums so quickly.

Anyway, get your shoes and socks on, people; things improve a bit after "Apostrophe." Each of the last two songs on Apostrophe seems to take one aspect of "Cosmic Debris." The black characterization is retained on "Uncle Remus," a comment on the US civil-rights movement, which Zappa co-wrote with Duke. Meanwhile, the self-assured, no-jive DJ voice from "Cosmic Debris" returns for "Stink-foot."

I'm sure that Zappa could have produced a five-star album every year and a half during the seventies; instead he churned out about two good albums per year. Apostrophe seems to be a perfect example of this strategy, reminding us that Zappa was an astute businessman as well as a musical genius.

 Them Or Us by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.24 | 182 ratings

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Them Or Us
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by javajeff

4 stars This is an excellent 80s album from Frank Zappa and one that I revisit often. Frogs With Dirty Little Lips is one of the coolest and funniest tracks in his catalog. The Closer You Are is a fantastic start while it continues with In France, another stellar track. This 70 minute album is underrated, and features fan favorites like Whipping Post among others. Start to finish, it loaded with lots of good tunes making it an essential album from the 80s output. Frank Zappa fans should find familiar territory here, and new listeners can find a tremendous amount of variety. Whilte the 70s output is classic, this should be a first stop immediately after that. Fantastic album.
 Tinsel Town Rebellion by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 1981
3.08 | 155 ratings

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Tinsel Town Rebellion
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Tinsel Town Rebellion' is technically a live album from Frank Zappa, but also contains some studio recorded material. It is actually a culmination of some unreleased albums and ideas that FZ had. The names of the unreleased projects were 'Crush all Boxes' which was supposed to be a 3 disc live album, and 'Warts and All' which became too unwieldy to release as it contained music that was later released on 'You Are What You Is', 'Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar' series and 'You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore' series. TTR was released in 1981 after 'Joe's Garage' and before the first 'Shut Up . . .' album.

The line up on this album includes such greats as Peter Wolf, Ed Mann, Tommy Mars, Patrick O'Hearn, Steve Vai, Ray White and Ike Willis among others. The album cover is a conglomeration of several images all mashed together in a collage.

The album starts with the original studio recording of 'Fine Girl' which the record company promoted by running a contest. People sent in pictures of girls that they thought would be considered a fine girl by FZ. The winning entry was an electric guitar in the shape of a naked lady. The winner of the prize was to meet FZ in between shows on Halloween 1981 in New York. FZ posed with the winner. The song itself is a reggae style track with comedic tongue-in-cheek lyrics.

'Easy Meat' is a track that is edited from various sources as was a typical recording method for Frank. The 'Crush All Boxes' version recorded in concert with overdubs at Upper Darby, PA on April 29, 1980. It goes to UCLA for some improvisations done on Sept 8, 1975, moves to a snippet from the 'Lather' album and then goes to the early show in Santa Monica on December 11, 1980 from the 3:20 mark to the ending after 9 minutes. The last edit consists mostly of one of Frank's amazing guitar solos with the out chorus at the end.

'For the Young Sophisticate' is recorded entirely in London at the late show on Feb. 18, 1979. It's a simple boogie rhythm with the usual FZ lyrical hijinx. 'Love of My Life is a short doo-wop song from 'Cruising with Ruben and the Jets' this time recorded at Berkeley on Dec 5, 1980. 'I Ain't Got No Heart' from 'Freak Out!' follows also recorded at the same venue.

Some silly FZ humor follows with interaction with the audience in 'Panty Rap', which most of you already know what that is about. 'Tell Me You Love Me' is a harder rocker from 'Chunga's Revenge' originally and continues the string of tracks from Berkeley. Finally, we move out of Berkeley for 'Now You See It, Now You Don't'. This guitar solo with a reggae vibe was recorded live at Southern Illinois University on Nov 15, 1980. Then we go to the Palladium in NYC on Oct 27, 1978 for another audience interaction track called 'Dance Contest' where FZ invites people on stage to dance to a non-danceable complex tune.

'The Blue Light' is a track that showed up in studio later on 'Thing-Fish', and is edited and jumps back and forth between 3 shows, both the early and late shows at Berkeley on Dec 5, 1980 and the Santa Monica show on Dec 11, 1980. This track has snippets of 'My Sharona' from The Knack and the 'Jaws' theme. It is also not as annoying as the studio version from that awful 'Thing Fish' album. But it has a long lounge style of singing in the middle that FZ loved to use during that era. 'Tinsel Tow Rebellion' was original to this album even though it is done live at Berkeley again. It is one of the funnier tracks that FZ used to lampoon Hollywood. 'Pick Me I'm Clean' is also original to this album and was recorded live in Berkeley, but switches to Dallas on Oct 17, 1980 just before the guitar solo.

Next up is 'Bamboozled By Love' which many have said is a satirical take on 'Owner of a Lonely Heart' by Yes, but that isn't correct as this was recorded in London on Feb 19, 1979 and '90125' wasn't released until 1982. However, FZ did use the 'Owner of a Lonely Heart' riff on this song after the Yes song was released. This song does have a heavy riff and a great guitar solo on this version too. After this, we stay in London for 'Brown Shoes Don't Make It' from the 'Absolutely Free' album. Even though it was all recorded in London, this track is actually edited between 4 shows during a multiple day stint for the band. The song, of course, is about old male politicians and the way they cover up their perverted habits. The last track is 'Peaches III' which is just the 3rd version of 'Peaches en Regalia', the excellent Zappa instrumental, though this one uses too much of the 80's synthesizer, so it's not exactly the best version, but it's okay.

So, this is a pretty good live album, especially seeing that it was recorded just as a string of not so great studio albums were starting to come out. There is a good amount of humor, both obvious and not so obvious, there are a few good guitar solos, but not much in the way of the band itself, only with Zappa himself. It wouldn't be the first live FZ album I would recommend, but it wouldn't be a complete loss either.

 Buffalo by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2007
4.12 | 63 ratings

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Buffalo
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by javajeff

4 stars This is another excellent concert in the Zappa universe. The first thing to notice is the stellar sound quality. It it an outstanding sounding recording, so kudos to the folks that made that happen. As far as the performance goes, it has its share of mistakes, goof ups, and improvisation that make it an entertaining listen. The playlist adds some new(ish) material like Chunga's Revenge, Joe's Garage and I Don't Wanna Get Drafted. What amazes me is how Frank is able to interact with the audience while the band continues to play and stay tight. Imagine the rehearsing needed to perform like that, and his love of people and audience participation really shows. Buffalo features all the personality of Frank, a fantastic performance, and superb sound quality to make it a top quality live recording with less overlap from other top shows.
 Lumpy Gravy by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.20 | 369 ratings

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Lumpy Gravy
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

2 stars Throughout his career, Frank Zappa made many high quality albums, this is not one of those albums. Structurally, it is quite an interesting effort, essentially being 2 collages of various musical textures and ideas, the issue being that these range from really fun, interesting surf rock type pieces and interesting, experimental soundscapes, to extended conversations talking about basically nothing, providing a major case of inconsistency. Credit where credit is due, I definitely find some of the concepts here to be really interesting and good, particularly the first 5 or 6 minutes of 'Part 1', which gave me high hopes for the rest, being some fun avant garde goodness, with the strange conversation being quite funny as well. The issue is that the subsequent conversations throughout the album don't have this same kind of charm, and instead stop what little momentum was being built, all before going into another section, often sounding awful and full of random noises, such as some really unappealing snorting.

I feel that despite the impressive feat of editing this is, the music has such little coherence and such little musicality in many parts, that it just becomes incredibly boring by the second half, since you basically know what you're going to get, more random noises, with the occasional moment of inspiration, before disappearing quickly to move onto another ill conceived idea. And this lack of cohesion and surprising predictability in something so labyrinthine in nature is a large part of the reason why this album just doesn't work, as it definitely needed to be edited, cut and fixed up in multiple places in order to have this work. This is definitely an extremely poor choice for anyone who wants to get into Zappa's discography, and that they should definitely pick basically any other album from this general era of Zappa.

Verdict: An absolute mess with some really great, fun moments spread throughout, but overall don't save the album from ending up being really boring in parts. I'd only recommend this to those who are big fans of the kind of experimentation that takes place here, or for those who are very interested in Zappa's music, otherwise, just don't bother with this.

 Trance-Fusion by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2006
3.51 | 67 ratings

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Trance-Fusion
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Trance-Fusion' is another album of guitar solos that Frank Zappa worked on prior to his death. It was released posthumously in 2006, but had been announced several times before that without it happening (except in bootlegs). Just like his other guitar solo albums like the 'Shut Up n Play Yer Guitar' series, this album only contains several guitar solo sections from mostly live performances of standard FZ songs.

Instead of describing each track, which would be rather monotonous since they are all guitar solos played against a sparse or repetitive background, I will note where each solo was taken from as far as the venue and the original song and the date it was performed. Yeah, I know it sounds boring, but FZ fans will appreciate it and, who knows, I'll throw in some interesting Zappa trivia about the tracks and you might learn something you didn't know.

The album starts off with 'Chunga's Revenge' at the Wembley Arena in London on April 19, 1988. On this solo, Frank is joined by his son Dweezil. After the concert ended, Mike Keneally was backstage talking to Dweezil when Frank came into the room and gave his son a big hug and proudly said that he was a real musician now. Apparently, it was a difficult backing to play a solo over and they both pulled it off quite well. For FZ solo lovers, this is definitely one that should not be missed as it is quite impressive.

After this, the solos are named differently from the tracks they are taken from. 'Bowling on Cheren' is the solo taken from 'Wild Love' played at The Palladium in NYC at the early show on Oct 28, 1977. FYI, Cheron is one of Pluto's moons named after the boatman that takes souls over the river Styx. 'Good Lobna' is taken from 'Let's Move to Cleveland' performed at Orpheum Theater in Memphis, Tennesee on Dec 4, 1984. The title is taken from a Simpson's episode of the same name.

'A Cold Dark Matter' is the solo from 'Inca Roads' performed at Memorial Hall in Allentown, PA on March 19, 1988. The track is named after the Cold Dark Matter Theory. 'Butter or Canons' is from the performance of 'Let's Move to Cleveland' this time at The Pier in NYC on August 25, 1984. The solos after Chunga's Revenge have been more 'mellow-ish' and this one is more of a blistering solo.

'Ask Dr. Stupid' comes from 'Easy Meat' performed at Rhein-Neckarhalle in Eppelheim, Germany on March 21, 1979. This solo relies more on the beat driving it (you can easily detect the Easy Meat bass line) keeping the solo quite solid. This was also a title of a Ren and Stimpy episode and the title was taken from that. FZ actually provided voice overs for the cartoon on a separate episode called 'The Powdered Toast Man' 'Scratch n Sniff' comes from the performance of 'City of Tiny Lights' from Brighton Centre in Brighton, UK on April 16, 1988. There are some really cool tone-bending effects on this solo.

'Trance-Fusion' is from the performance of 'Marque-son's Chicken' from Liederhalle, Germany on May 24, 1988. The background is a funky almost reggae-style riff which FZ loved to go wildly off-the-rails on. 'Gorgo' is pulled from the solo for 'The Torture Never Stops' as performed in Stockholm on May 1, 1988. Gorgo was the name of a movie monster on an American rip-off of Godzilla. It was also the name of FZ's cat. After the wildness of the previous track, this one is a nice slowed down and mellow solo.

'Diplodocus' comes from the 'King Kong' performance at the Civic Center in Providence, Rhode Island on October 26, 1984. This one revisits the reggae vibe again. 'Soul Polka' is from the performance of 'Oh No' at the Memorial Hall in Allentown, PA on March 19, 1988. As the title suggests, the background is a quick polka with FZ doing a non-polka sounding solo (but that doesn't mean you can't drink beer to it). It is quite a rapid-fire solo though. 'For Giuseppe Franco' is from the 'Hot Plate Heaven at the Green Hotel' performance at the Paramount Theater in Seattle, WA at the late show on December 17, 1984. Giuseppe Franco was FZ's hairdresser. This one has a nice jazz background where FZ shreds quite crazily along especially towards the end.

'After Dinner Smoker' came from the performance of 'The Torture Never Stops' at the Palasport in Genoa, Italy on June 9, 1988. This was a slow performance of the track, so the background and the resulting solo is very blues-y. 'Light is All that Matters' is the solo from 'Let's Move to Cleveland' performed at the Paramount Theater in Seattle, WA during the late show on Dec. 17, 1984.

'Finding Higgs' Boson' is the solo from 'Hot Plate Heaven at the Green Motel' performed in Stadthale, Vienna, Austria on May 8, 1988. 'Bavarian Sunset' is a jam based off of 'I Am the Walrus' which was performed in Munich, Germany on May 9, 1988. This one also features Dweezil.

All of the solos flow into each other almost like a very long track or solo. The solos are all great, no doubt about it, but it can be rather difficult to sit through an album like this that almost seems like one 60 minute guitar solo. But there are fans that demand recordings like this since FZ was one of the best guitarists of all time. As for myself, I find it very difficult to sit through, and by the end, everything starts to melt together making it hard to distinguish one track from another. Yes there are great solos here, but I find the solos much more entertaining when they are kept in the context of the full song. Since the production and sound is great on this, it is still deserving of 3 stars. Every Progressive fan and guitar-God lover should have at least one of the guitar solo albums, but it really doesn't matter which one because they all have some excellent examples of FZ guitar work.

 The Mothers Of Invention: Freak Out! by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1966
3.92 | 616 ratings

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The Mothers Of Invention: Freak Out!
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by The Anders

5 stars Along with the compilation The Lost Episodes which consists of mostly previously unreleased recordings, Freak Out was my introduction to the world of Frank Zappa (I copied it from CD to a cassette tape and bought The Lost Episodes on CD in 1997 when I was 13 years old).

Since I have a soft spot for the sort of weirdness and bizarre content that you'll get to hear in some parts of both albums, I tend to favour the 1960's Mothers of Invention over Zappa's later work. Well, there is really great stuff on albums like Apostrophe, but the early albums, though musically elaborate, have an anarchistic mood that is somehow missing in his later, more jazzy and more technically perfect productions with cream-of-the-cream musicians. His early creations sound more causal and spontanous to me, almost a bit punky, not to mention that they almost have it all: pop, rock, elaborate compositions with advanced harmonics and elements of both jazz and contemporary classical music, doo wop, avant-garde, musique concrete, weird sonic freak shows and witty satire. And they are funny as hell.

The good thing is, it is not just weird and funny for the sake of cheap laughs. There is a lot of seriousness behind it all: rebelliousness, criticism of society, and especially great compositional craftsmanship. You can be humorous and dead serious at the same time, and Frank Zappa is an obvious example of that.

The tone of Freak Out is set already in the first number, 'Hungry Freaks Daddy'. The verse is based on a groove which perhaps resembles the Rolling Stones' 'Satisfaction' a bit too much, but it is quickly clear that it has much more to offer. Apart from unusual instruments such as marimba and kazoo there's a surprising change of harmonic mode with the title phrase: From a mostly bluesy verse (ambiguity between higher and lower third), the title phrase surprises with the non-functional III-II-V-II progression, and a melody line paralleling the bass note at a fifth. Not exactly a usual pattern for the average pop listener. Similar patterns can be found in songs such as 'Ain't Got No Heart', 'I'm Not Satisfied' and 'You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here' (the latter contains an especially hilarious use of the kazoo).

Above that there is the harsh society criticism in songs like 'Hungry Freaks Daddy': 'Mister America walk on by / the schools that do not teach / Mister Amercia walk on by / the minds that won't be reached'. The tone is equally direct in 'Trouble Every Day' which ' on a musical level ' is more traditionally bluesy. I don't really know why that had to be the lead single from the album. The most radical song is perhaps 'Who Are the Brain Police' with its sinister, unstable harmonic structure and especially the instrumental middle section after the second verse.

At other times the album is using pop banality but deconstructing it. 'Wowie Zowie' could have been a simple love song, but then there are lines such as 'I don't even care if you brush your teeth'. 'Go Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder' is a break up song to a traditional vamp progression (I-VI-IV-V), but with a grotesque doo-wop choir in the background and a remarkably unsentimental lyric. 'Motherly Love' turns out to be about groupies whereas 'Amyway the Wind Blows' is perhaps the most conventional song on the album. Zappa sarcastically writes in the cover notes: 'If I hadn't got divorced, this trivial piece of nonsense would never have been recorded. It is included in this collection because, in a nutshell, kids, it is... how shall I say it?... it is intellectually and emotionally accessible for you'.

The tracks where Freak Out lives up to its name the most are the last two, 'Help I'm a Rock' (the last part is sometimes listed as a separate track, 'It Can't Happen Here') and 'The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet'. While I really enjoy these tracks for their complete craziness, it is harder to describe them from a musical point of view. In any case, the 'It can't happen here' section is extremely funny ('Whoooo... could imagine... that they would freak out in Minnesota.... Mi-mi-mi-mi-minesota' etc.).

The best part of the album is however the... if I may say so... 'real songs' which make up the first two sides and the beginning of side three. The compositional qualities are astonishing. It is never just weird, there is a lot of beauty in even the most elaborate chords and melody lines, and there is often a pop sensibility to it. Also the production deserves praise. It clearly goes further than most pop/rock had done up to this point with orchestral arrangements and unusual instruments. This high level of professionalism is however counterpointed by the anarchistic and sometimes purposely off-key singing, mostly by lead singer Ray Collins and with Zappa often singing backing vocals (perhaps most striking in the intro of 'Who Are the Brain Police'). But once again the balance between humour and seriousness is a big attraction of the album.

 The Mothers Of Invention: Absolutely Free by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.06 | 511 ratings

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The Mothers Of Invention: Absolutely Free
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by javajeff

5 stars My absolute favorite album from Frank Zappa. Start to finish, it is the perfect combination of craziness and sing along tunes with many memorable moments. Absolutely Free is so far ahead of it's time, and it is still relevant 51 years later. From 1967, it blends a little 50s rock, 60s rock, and 70s rock that has not even been established yet. If I had to choose favorite tracks, it would be Plastic People, Call any vegetable, Why Don'tcha Do Me Right?, and Brown Shoes Don't Make It. BUT it is an injustice not to listen to this adventure from start to finish as it touches on reoccurring themes. When it finishes, I am disappointed that it is over. Every song has memorable moments, and the flow of the album keeps it moving at a brisk pace. Absolutely Free is not an entry point to the world of Zappa, but is a masterpiece that stands the test of time.
 Joe's Garage, Act I by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.14 | 499 ratings

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Joe's Garage, Act I
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by javajeff

5 stars Joe's Garage is the album that made me "get it" and move beyond the jazz offerings like the stellar Hot Rats. I have always been on the fence about comedy in music, and have remained serious about my music for a long time. Devin Townsend warmed me up to humor with Ziltoid, and it is easy to see how Frank could have influenced him in hindsight. I think what makes Frank Zappa an amazing artist is that everything is fair game. Any topic, any genre, any thing. Making music is an art form and medium for expression, as it should be. Music today has become too predictable, processed, and systematic, so I am really blown away exploring the entire Frank Zappa collection. I feel like I should have digged deeper sooner. Back to Joe's garage. I just love a good concept album, and Acts 1,2 & 3 make an incredible experience. The Central Scrutinizer opens the album, but is such a funny personality as a play by play type of announcer that provides interludes throughout the album. Catholic GIrls is a funny track, and you get the feeling any topic is fair game. Yep, wet t-shirt is coming soon. Crew Slut is a blues type of number, and On The Bus has some excellent guitar solos until it fades out so The Central Scrutinizer can provide some information about Joe. Why Does It Hurt When I Pee is about the male anatomy, and then Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up is a track about love with a reggae vibe and sparse musical arrangement. Ending Act 1 is Scrutinizer Postlude, and The Central Scrutinizer sums it up about Joe. Act 1 on it's own is a stellar album, and 2&3 just continue with the same theme and excellent imagination from a musical genius. The timing and mood is right for me to dig deeper, and I am loving it.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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