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FRANK ZAPPA

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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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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The Roxy Performances [7 CD][Box Set]The Roxy Performances [7 CD][Box Set]
Box set
Zappa Records 2018
$45.01
$57.68 (used)
Hot Rats [LP]Hot Rats [LP]
Zappa Records 2016
$18.88
$19.60 (used)
Apostrophe [LP]Apostrophe [LP]
Zappa Records 2014
$20.19
$12.88 (used)
Apostrophe (')Apostrophe (')
Zappa Records 2012
$6.44
$9.69 (used)
Over-nite SensationOver-nite Sensation
Zappa Records 2012
$9.06
$6.44 (used)
Joe's Garage [3 LP]Joe's Garage [3 LP]
Zappa Records 2016
$34.39
$38.94 (used)
Halloween 77 [3 CD]Halloween 77 [3 CD]
UMe 2017
$28.15
$27.42 (used)
One Size Fits AllOne Size Fits All
Zappa Records 2015
$18.81
$19.99 (used)
Frank Zappa - Zoot Alors!: The Legendary Broadcasts 4 CD SetFrank Zappa - Zoot Alors!: The Legendary Broadcasts 4 CD Set
Coda Records Ltd
$13.28
$22.57 (used)
The Grand WazooThe Grand Wazoo
Zappa Records 2012
$6.44
$4.85 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Frank Zappa- Goblin Girl- Ltd. Edition 12" EP -Mail Order Only Pic Disc pressing USD $27.00 Buy It Now 44m 28s
JON LARSEN THE JIMMY CARL BLACK STORY 2/CD ex-Frank Zappa Mothers of Invention USD $16.36 Buy It Now 44m 52s
FRANK ZAPPA LP LOT - ABSOLUTELY FREE/APOSTROPHE/SHEIK YERBOUTI original verve USD $40.00 Buy It Now 1h 36m
FRANK ZAPPA Sheik Yerbouti JAPAN 1st Press CD 1988 CP32-5661 3200yen USD $29.00 Buy It Now 1h 37m
FRANK ZAPPA Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar JAPAN 1st Press 1988 CD CP25-5664/5 USD $49.00 Buy It Now 1h 39m
Frank Zappa Sheik Yerbouti dbl LP SRZ-2-1501 1979 Masterdisk RL USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1h 42m
BARRY GOLDBERG~RARE GARAGE PSYCH DJ Promo 45 MIKE BLOOMFIELD/FRANK ZAPPA Guitar USD $150.00 Buy It Now 1h 45m
FRANK ZAPPA: The Godfather Meets The Untouchables, 4 LP/RECORDS BOX SET, RARE USD $162.00 Buy It Now 2h 3m
Frank Zappa Joe's Garage Act 1, Cassette Tape USD $6.99 Buy It Now 2h 42m
Frank Zappa Tinsel Town Rebellion Cd pre-owned USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2h 47m
Frank Zappa Lumpy Money Project/Object 3 CD NEW sealed USD $45.95 Buy It Now 3h 36m
Frank Zappa Studio Tan Vinyl LP Discreet DSK 2291 Orig Record VG++ USD $6.99 Buy It Now 4h 11m
FRANK ZAPPA / MOTHERS 3 CASSETTE LOT RYCO BARKING PUMPKIN FREE SHIPPING !! USD $49.99 Buy It Now 4h 23m
Frank Zappa ??MC7 200 Motels (2) / Liberty ?- 3C 254 92855 New USD $39.38 Buy It Now 4h 39m
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Frank Zappa - ZAPPAtite - Frank Zappa's Tastiest Tracks (NEW CD) USD $8.50 Buy It Now 5h 22m
NORWEGIAN WIND ENSEMBLE-The Brass from Utopia - A Frank Zappa Tribute CD NEW USD $16.48 Buy It Now 5h 53m
Frank Zappa Joe's garage 1979 press advert mini poster USD $7.55 Buy It Now 6h 58m
Frank Zappa Joe's Garage Acts I II and III CD New (2 Discs) Joes 1 2 3 USD $16.48 Buy It Now 7h 4m
Omnibus Wind Ensemble / Fra...-Music By Frank Zappa CD NEW USD $29.36 Buy It Now 7h 4m
Frank Zappa-1987 magazine article USD $6.29 Buy It Now 7h 18m
FRANK ZAPPA Sheik Yerbouti UK 2 x LP g/f slv + inners 1979 mint promo USD $50.43 Buy It Now 7h 20m
FRANK ZAPPA Studio Tan UK LP 1978 near mint USD $37.82 Buy It Now 7h 29m
Frank Zappa Sheik Yerbouti CBS 88339 UK 2LP 1979 bobby brown USD $37.82 Buy It Now 7h 35m
Frank Zappa Hot Rats willie pimp peaches regalia Captain Beefheart UK LP K44708 USD $20.16 Buy It Now 7h 37m
Frank Zappa ?Francesco Zappa EMI ?EJ2702561 DMM 1984 vinyl LP synclavier tracks USD $20.16 Buy It Now 7h 37m
Frank Zappa ?Ship Arriving Too Late To Save Drowning Witch UK CBS 88560 LP USD $37.82 Buy It Now 7h 38m
Frank Zappa Joe's Garage Acts II & III 1979 UK CBS 84020 watermelon USD $30.25 Buy It Now 7h 41m
Frank Zappa - As An Am (1991) - GENUINE CD ALBUM - Beat The Boots - DISC MINT USD $11.34 Buy It Now 7h 41m
Frank Zappa Mothers of Invention - Transparency best of UK 1975 LP 2352 057 USD $20.16 Buy It Now 7h 42m
Frank Zappa Baby Take Your Teeth Out / Stevie's Spanking 1984 Steve Vai EMI 5499 USD $20.16 Buy It Now 7h 43m
Frank Zappa Cosmik Debris Uncle Remus 1974 UK promo Discreet K19201 K 19201 USD $30.25 Buy It Now 7h 43m
Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention European Version synclavier EMC3507 USD $20.16 Buy It Now 7h 43m
Frank Zappa - Saarbrucken 1978 - GENUINE CD ALBUM - Beat The Boots -EXCEL CONDIT USD $15.12 Buy It Now 7h 45m
Frank Zappa - Little Dots (CD Used Like New) USD $11.39 Buy It Now 7h 57m
FRANK ZAPPA Weasels Ripped My Flesh LP Germany 1970 ex+/ex withdrawn cover USD $94.58 Buy It Now 8h 6m
Frank Zappa ?- Hot Rats Vinyl LP Album 1970 UK press USD $69.36 Buy It Now 8h 42m
Frank Zappa - We're Only in It for the Money [New CD] USD $12.63 Buy It Now 8h 45m
FRANK ZAPPA - Man From Utopia - CD - Original Recording Remastered - **Mint** USD $33.95 Buy It Now 8h 53m
Frank Zappa & The Mothers-Roxy & Elsewhere (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $9.36 Buy It Now 9h 7m
Frank Zappa - We're Only in It for the Money [New CD] USD $12.73 Buy It Now 9h 11m
ALL SINGING ALL TALKING ALL ROCKING 2 lp USA promo FRANK ZAPPA ALLMAN BROTHERS USD $8.98 Buy It Now 9h 17m
Frank Zappa - The Rare Tapes Broadcast [CD] USD $8.74 Buy It Now 9h 26m
FRANK ZAPPA Joe's Garage Acts 2 & 3 - 2 x LP gatefold sleeve+insert UK 1979 ex+ USD $31.51 Buy It Now 9h 27m
FRANK ZAPPA 'HOT RATS' BRAND NEW SEALED RE-ISSUE LP ON 180 GRAM VINYL USD $32.73 Buy It Now 9h 27m
FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS Filmore East June 1971* LP Germany ex+/vg USD $18.90 Buy It Now 9h 34m
*JOHN LENNON & YOKO/PLASTIC ONO BAND + FRANK ZAPPA/THE MOTHERS LIVE JAM CASSETTE USD $29.98 Buy It Now 9h 48m
FRANK ZAPPA Pop History LP Germany 1971 promo ex+ USD $94.58 Buy It Now 9h 49m
Flo & Eddie Turtles The History of 3 LP '83 w/16p book! frank zappa rare set USD $44.00 Buy It Now 9h 54m
FRANK ZAPPA/TUBES Saturday 9Th September CONCERT PROGRAMME UK 1978 Official A4 USD $25.78 Buy It Now 9h 54m
Frank Zappa - The Crux Of The Biscuit [New CD] USD $12.73 Buy It Now 10h 3m
Frank Zappa Saarbrucken 1978 cd USD $24.99 Buy It Now 10h 8m
Frank Zappa New York City Halloween 77 Box set Mask Costume + USB Sealed #3258 USD $129.99 Buy It Now 10h 8m
Frank Zappa "Berlin 1978;The Classic German Broadcast" 2 X CD USD $15.99 Buy It Now 10h 19m
Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 1 - Rmst 2xCD MINT LISTEN USD $26.24 Buy It Now 10h 26m
MAYF NUTTER~I DON'T CARE~NEAR MINT~FRANK ZAPPA~PROMO~GNP ~COUNTRY~ NOVELTY USD $24.99 Buy It Now 10h 28m
Frank Zappa - The Crux Of The Biscuit [New CD] USD $12.76 Buy It Now 10h 49m
FRANK ZAPPA AND THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION Cruising With Ruben And The Jets LP USD $30.88 Buy It Now 10h 50m
FRANK ZAPPA Lumpy Gravy LP VINYL Europe Zappa 2016 2 Track Vinyl LP (238361) USD $29.37 Buy It Now 10h 50m
FRANK ZAPPA AND THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION Absolutely Free DOUBLE LP VINYL Europe USD $42.99 Buy It Now 10h 51m
FRANK ZAPPA Chunga's Revenge LP VINYL Europe Zappa 2018 10 Track LP Reissue In USD $29.37 Buy It Now 10h 51m
FRANK ZAPPA True Glove 12" VINYL Germany Emi 1984 4 Track Featuring In USD $12.54 Buy It Now 10h 54m
The Band From Utopia - A Tribute To Frank Zappa - UK Dispatch - CD Album USD $25.21 Buy It Now 11h 21m
Frank Zappa 'Live at the Palladium New York Halloween 77' (New CD) USD $17.64 Buy It Now 11h 32m
FRANK ZAPPA / MOTHERS OF INVENTION - RUBEN & THE JETS 1st UK CD RELEASE CD ZAP 4 USD $6.24 Buy It Now 11h 43m
Frank Zappa / Mothers Roxy & Elsewhere, DS-2202 - Double LP Record, 1974 USD $12.75 Buy It Now 11h 47m
FRANK ZAPPA 200 MOTELS SOUNDTRACK Liberty French 2xLP nr MINT VINYLS USD $27.73 Buy It Now 11h 48m
Orchestral Favorites : Frank Zappa USD $13.87 Buy It Now 12h 3m
FRANK ZAPPA Waka / Jawaka CD Europe Zappa 2012 4 Track (0236482) USD $9.89 Buy It Now 12h 8m
FRANK ZAPPA Grand Wazoo CD Europe Zappa 2012 5 Track (O236492) USD $8.56 Buy It Now 12h 8m
FRANK ZAPPA Lumpy Gravy CD Europe Zappa 2012 (0238362) USD $8.56 Buy It Now 12h 8m
FRANK ZAPPA Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch CD Canada Zappa USD $8.56 Buy It Now 12h 8m
FRANK ZAPPA Cheap Thrills CD USA Ryko 1998 13 Track (Rcd10579) USD $9.89 Buy It Now 12h 8m
FRANK ZAPPA Joe's Garage Act 1 CD Japan Video Arts 2008 9 Track Limited USD $46.96 Buy It Now 12h 9m
FRANK ZAPPA Joe's Garage Acts Ii & Iii CD Japan Video Arts 2008 10 Track USD $33.72 Buy It Now 12h 9m
VANCOUVER WORKOUT (CANADA 1975) VOL. 2 [12 inch Analog] FRANK ZAPPA USD $24.16 Buy It Now 12h 9m
FRANK ZAPPA Sheik Yerbouti CD Europe Zappa 2012 18 Track (0238592) USD $8.56 Buy It Now 12h 9m
FRANK ZAPPA Joe's Garage Acts 1,2 And 3 DOUBLE CD Europe Zappa 2012 18 Track USD $13.86 Buy It Now 12h 9m
The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life by Frank Zappa. USD $17.84 Buy It Now 12h 9m
FRANK ZAPPA AND THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION We're Only In It For The Money CD USD $8.56 Buy It Now 12h 11m
FRANK ZAPPA Valley Girl 7" VINYL UK Cbs 1982 Paper Label Design B/W Teenage USD $9.89 Buy It Now 12h 12m
FRANK ZAPPA Dancin' Fool 7" VINYL UK Cbs 1979 B/W Baby Snakes (Scbs7261) USD $6.29 Buy It Now 12h 12m
Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar Frank Zappa Audio CD USD $14.91 Buy It Now 12h 17m
FRANK ZAPPA - The Old Masters, Box One Sampler Vinyl LP (In Shrink) PROMO USD $28.99 Buy It Now 12h 20m
FRANK ZAPPA - You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore - 1988 Vinyl 12'' PLAYED ONCE USD $34.00 Buy It Now 12h 27m
FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION Uncle Meat ZAPPA RECORDS Sealed 180g 2xLP USD $28.80 Buy It Now 12h 32m
Frank Zappa Broadway The Hard Way CD Zappa Records ?CDZAPPA 14 USD $6.31 [0 bids]
12h 35m
FRANK ZAPPA ?- YOU ARE WHAT YOU IS (LP) (VG/VG-) USD $20.16 Buy It Now 12h 41m
Frank Zappa Tinsel Town Rebellion Double Vinyl LP EMI ?EN 5002 USD $12.61 [0 bids]
12h 42m
FRANK ZAPPA/CAPTAIN BEEFHEART/MOTHERS ?- BONGO FURY (LP) (VG-/G+) USD $27.73 Buy It Now 12h 43m
THE ANIMALS w/FRANK ZAPPA ANIMALISM LP RARE ORIG 1966 US ONLY MGM STEREO VG++ USD $34.99 Buy It Now 12h 53m
FRANK ZAPPA~THE MAN FROM UTOPIA ~RARE PROMO~~ ROCK LP USD $39.99 Buy It Now 12h 53m
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Music Collector Mag March 91 The Doors Wet Wet Wet Cliff Richard Frank Zappa USD $3.15 [0 bids]
13h 39m
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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 | 608 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Freak Out!
1966
4.05 | 504 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Absolutely Free
1967
3.22 | 366 ratings
Lumpy Gravy
1968
4.11 | 631 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: We're Only In It For The Money
1968
2.78 | 267 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Cruising With Ruben & The Jets
1968
4.07 | 493 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Uncle Meat
1969
4.33 | 1509 ratings
Hot Rats
1969
3.91 | 402 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Burnt Weeny Sandwich
1970
3.77 | 399 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Weasels Ripped My Flesh
1970
3.40 | 329 ratings
Chunga's Revenge
1970
3.07 | 215 ratings
200 Motels
1971
3.93 | 472 ratings
Waka / Jawaka
1972
4.33 | 890 ratings
The Grand Wazoo
1972
4.02 | 579 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Over-Nite Sensation
1973
4.03 | 639 ratings
Apostrophe (')
1974
4.32 | 874 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: One Size Fits All
1975
3.72 | 400 ratings
Zoot Allures
1976
3.70 | 263 ratings
Studio Tan
1978
3.62 | 268 ratings
Sleep Dirt
1979
3.86 | 469 ratings
Sheik Yerbouti
1979
4.14 | 489 ratings
Joe's Garage, Act I
1979
3.96 | 392 ratings
Joe's Garage, Acts II & III
1979
3.65 | 266 ratings
You Are What You Is
1981
3.54 | 237 ratings
Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch
1982
3.15 | 222 ratings
The Man From Utopia
1983
3.07 | 111 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I
1983
3.22 | 180 ratings
Them Or Us
1984
2.39 | 146 ratings
Thing-Fish
1984
2.58 | 129 ratings
Francesco Zappa
1984
3.49 | 118 ratings
Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger
1984
3.24 | 138 ratings
Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention
1985
3.43 | 218 ratings
Jazz From Hell
1986
2.90 | 85 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. II
1987
3.78 | 126 ratings
Civilization Phaze III
1994
3.32 | 87 ratings
The Lost Episodes
1996
3.98 | 188 ratings
Läther
1996
3.16 | 52 ratings
Everything Is Healing Nicely [aka: EIHN]
1999
2.94 | 49 ratings
Joe's Corsage
2004
1.77 | 51 ratings
Joe's Domage
2004
2.26 | 39 ratings
Joe's XMasage
2005
3.33 | 44 ratings
Feeding The Monkies At Ma Maison
2011
2.93 | 32 ratings
Joe's Camouflage
2014
4.02 | 60 ratings
Dance Me This
2015

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

3.22 | 155 ratings
Fillmore East, June 1971
1971
3.12 | 143 ratings
Just Another Band From L.A.
1972
4.39 | 316 ratings
Roxy & Elsewhere
1974
3.55 | 211 ratings
Bongo Fury
1975
4.25 | 245 ratings
Zappa In New York
1978
3.33 | 152 ratings
Orchestral Favorites
1979
3.08 | 152 ratings
Tinsel Town Rebellion
1981
3.26 | 95 ratings
Baby Snakes
1983
3.58 | 83 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
1986
3.62 | 126 ratings
Broadway The Hard Way
1988
3.42 | 119 ratings
Guitar
1988
4.02 | 124 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 1
1988
4.53 | 202 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 2
1988
3.63 | 103 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 | 187 ratings
The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life
1991
4.42 | 144 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
2.81 | 24 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
2.84 | 47 ratings
Playground Psychotics
1992
3.67 | 84 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 5
1992
3.85 | 82 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 | 121 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
3.57 | 66 ratings
Trance-Fusion
2006
4.13 | 62 ratings
Buffalo
2007
4.17 | 73 ratings
Wazoo
2007
3.65 | 46 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
3.79 | 34 ratings
Carnegie Hall
2011
3.16 | 40 ratings
Finer Moments
2012
3.35 | 35 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #1
2012
4.58 | 49 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

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
2.74 | 57 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
4.55 | 41 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
4.38 | 17 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 | 101 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
3.61 | 115 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
3.25 | 39 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
2.90 | 43 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
3.85 | 13 ratings
Understanding America
2012
3.83 | 10 ratings
The Crux Of The Biscuit
2016
3.75 | 9 ratings
Frank Zappa For President
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
3.68 | 10 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
0.00 | 0 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
 Joe's Garage, Act I by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.14 | 489 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.
 The Mothers Of Invention: Uncle Meat by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.07 | 493 ratings

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The Mothers Of Invention: Uncle Meat
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Uncle Meat' was part of a project by Frank Zappa and the Mothers called 'No Commercial Potential'. The other albums in this project were 'We're Only In It For the Money', 'Cruisin' with Ruben and the Jets', and 'Lumpy Gravy'. These 4 albums share a conceptual connection. Uncle Meat was also supposed to be a movie about the exploits of the band, but it never really got finished and the unfinished film finally got released in 1987. This album has a lot of the material and music that was going to be used in the final film, so this is why it is so varied in its style. Most of the album centers not so much on the lyrics, but on the instrumentals. There are also a lot of conversations amongst the band and etc that were going to be used in the movie.

One of the things that the critics were raving about on the album was the way it was edited and mixed. FZ used many interesting techniques to splice and edit the flow of the album together and these techniques and the equipment used was quite state-of-the-art. FZ wanted a cinematic sound on this album to match a movie soundtrack, which is partly what he was trying to achieve here, so he used his current group of musicians and hired some new ones, including Ruth Underwood, the amazing percussionist, who he hired on a whim. He utilized the equipment they had, including instruments, to mix the sound to make it sound like a full orchestra. There are even times when you can swear you are listening to a brass section, and it turns out it is just a few reed instruments processed through a mixer with adjusted speed. These things produce a much fuller sounding music.

The tracks are made up of quite a variety of Frank's styles including jazz, classical, r&b, doo wop, and rock, plus some field recordings of the band. All of these elements are melded together in an almost continual running bunch of tracks that run and segue into each other almost seamlessly. There are studio recordings and live recordings, sometimes it is very hard to tell which is which, and, like many of FZ's albums, sometimes switching back and forth from studio to live in the same track. This album is an excellent example of Frank's ability to manipulate sound and music in order to get the kind of end product that he felt was perfect.

So, there are so many tracks on this album to really do a track by track analysis. But the highlights here are mostly the instrumentals. There are vocal tracks here, but many of them are just snippets of songs, or they have been taken out of context, so they don't have the same effect as they would in their original form. But, that really doesn't take away from this album as much as it does in other instances, because, going into this knowing that it is supposed to be sort of a document of the band's history makes it all make more sense. Plus the fact that it runs so seamlessly makes it seem like these tracks were meant to be together. Frank said that if he took a knife to the tapes and spliced them together in a different order, that the finished result would still be the same, and he was meaning that by all of the albums in the 'No Commercial Potential' project.

So, if you have the vinyl copy, then the first 3 sides are a bunch of tracks that run the gamut of the band's style, from avant- garde jazz to classical to humorous novelty songs. Most of these tracks are all melded together with short snippets of audience participation and recorded conversations. It's left up to the listener to translate these tracks however they want. There are studio recordings and live recordings, some of these taken from long instrumental jams based off of the familiar themes that fans of the band know and love, like 'Dog Breath', 'King Kong', 'A Pound For a Brown' and the 'Uncle Meat Themes'. You also get a look into the band satirizing 'Louie Louie' as they often did, where an audience member jumped up onto the stage and wanted to play trumpet with the band. The fan thought it would be easy just to play anything avant-garde, but when Zappa had Don Preston climb up to the organ in the Royal Albert Hall (the organ was supposed to be off limits to the band, so Don had to literally climb up to it) and start playing Louie Louie, the fan couldn't keep up. You also hear FZ speeding up many recordings and manipulating sound through his favorite toy that he called the Apostolic Blurch Injector. This is pretty much what the album is made up of.

So what I just described is on the first 3 sides of the record, or the first disc of the CD release. The fourth side of the vinyl has several versions and solos taken from different recordings of 'King Kong' which is a popular theme used by Zappa on which he lets his band do improvisation and solos off of. The CD version, in contrast, starts off with an over 30 minute excerpt from the 'Uncle Meat' movie, followed by the track 'Tengo Na Minchia Tanta', and Italian song which literally means 'I Got A Big Bunch of Dick' sung by Italian rock journalist Massimo Bassoli and place here for some humorous reason, followed by another 3 minute excerpt from the movie. Those three tracks are not something that you would want to listen to too many times, so I actually prefer the vinyl version simply for the fact that those tracks are not on there. After that, the King Kong variations follow as on the vinyl.

So this album can be a good introduction to Frank Zappa in that you get a little taste of everything here. Listening to it without knowing what it is about can be confusing and frustrating, but if you understand a little better what is going on here, then it makes everything more enjoyable. There is probably a bit more avant-prog music on here than a lot of people would like, but that doesn't bother me, and a lot of the humor is in the music itself here more than in the lyrics. But, if nothing else, the album should be recognized for the editing and mixing techniques that were used during a time when this type of recording was very difficult to make. In that respect, it is an innovative recording, at least for the time that it was made. It's not a perfect album, but it is entertaining and has a lot of great performances on it.

 The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 1991
4.36 | 187 ratings

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The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars "The Best Band You've Never Heard in Your Life" is one of three live albums that was released documenting the band during the 1988 world tour. Each of the 3 live albums emphasized different musical aspects. The other two were "Make a Jazz Noise Here" which emphasized classic Zappa tunes, "Broadway the Hard Way" emphasized new tunes. But this album emphasized covers and also had some old Mothers of Invention songs. There are also several songs mostly on the 2nd disc that made fun of Jimmy Swaggart as this was during the time when he made his confession on the air and some of Zappa's classics had their lyrics changed to reflect that incident.

The album starts out with "Heavy Duty Judy" which is a guitar solo from "Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar". At the end of the track, FZ gives an example of how he would arrive at a secret word for each concert that was given at the time. That secret word would pop up several times throughout a specific concert. For this particular concert, the word is "Ring of Fire" which appears after this track and FZ tells a story of him meeting Johnny Cash that same day. It starts out with the full band playing the melody in a big band style. Most of this is recorded at Wurzberg, Germany (April 22) with a small section (from :50 ? 1:43) recorded at Rotterdam, Netherlands (May 3). The solo itself appears after 1:43 and is quite a rousing performance to open the album.

After FZ's story about JC, the band plays a reggae inspired version of "Ring of Fire". I'm not sure who is singing this, but it's a hilarious impression of Johnny Cash, but they only knew one verse which they sing over again. This goes directly into a performance of "Cosmik Debris" where they once again bring in the ring of fire theme again in an interesting way. Apparently Anusol, which is a hemmeroid medicine planned on using the song Ring of Fire for a commercial, but of course Cash's family wouldn't allow it. But FZ uses it to his advantage to get some laughs. Another nice guitar solo comes along during the instrumental break.

From Wurzberg, we move to Munich, Germany for a performance of "Find Her Finer" from "Zoot Allures" performed on May 9 where they incorporate their classic bit about the mud shark into the performance. After that, and a short introduction to "Who Needs the Peace Corps?" we go back to Wurzberg for the rest of that early Mothers track. In the "Cowboy Burt" accent, they somehow start making fun of San Francisco, which leads them into their next cover "I Left My Heart in San Francisco", or at least 36 seconds of it in a real lounge style fiasco.

We segue into "Zombie Woof" where we switch from Munich to Allentown Pennsylvania somewhere in the first section for a performance on March 19. This is quite a complex and jazzy version of the track and actually better than the original that was on "Over-nite Sensation". Another great guitar solo is embedded in this performance. Then we go back to Rotterdam for an amazing reggae-infused-jazz performance of Ravel's "Bolero". This cover is extremely excellent and even has a little snippet of "My Sharona" by "The Knack" hidden in there. After this cover, the remainder of disc 1 is all classic Zappa material.

The next track is the classic Zappa instrumental "Zoot Allures" as performed in Brighton, UK on April 16. This is a fine performance of the classic with another great guitar solo by Zappa set against another reggae inspired foundation. FZ seemed to be obsessed with reggae beats during this concert tour. Next we go to Strasbourg, France for another Mothers classic "Mr. Green Genes" performed by this updated (at the time) line up. It does actually modernize the song to a jazzier orchestra. Staying in France, we do another classic "Florentine Pogen". We only leave France for the guitar solo during this track which was recorded in Florence, Italy on June 6. "Andy" done in a slow blues style continues with the FZ classics with another ripping guitar solo from Stadthalle, Germany on May 26 and then this follows into one of my all time favs "Inca Roads" where we stay until the blistering sax solo which we finally go back to Wurzburg. The first CD ends with the short instrumental "Sofa #1" also recorded in Germany on May 24.

It is amazing, that with all this jumping around to different concert venues to put together the best bits of this concert tour, that things are as clean as they are and that things flow so seamlessly on this album. But it is very difficult on this well produced album to tell where the splices are. This is the most amazing thing about the album and is the reason why this is one of the best live documents of a FZ tour out there.

The 2nd CD starts out with two covers recorded in Sporthalle, Austria on May 28. The two covers are Jimi Hendirx's "Purple Haze" and Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love". Both of these covers take a sarcastical jazz fusion/psychedelic twist on the originals. The lyrics are spoken in a rhythmic poetic manner like they are being read, but the guitar solo is over the top on "Purple Haze". The vocals are also similar to the "Thing-fish" album vocals and the Cowboy Burt accent on the latter cover. These two covers are quite silly and, they definitely show no respect to either of them, the band is just goofing around, but the crazy thing is how the entire ensemble stays cohesive throughout the covers. This flows into a FZ classic ensemble instrumental "Let's Move to Cleveland" The first few minutes are recorded in Modena, Italy on June 5 and the second half where the guitar solo starts in Montpelier, France on May 18. After this, there are two very quick instrumental covers recorded in Binghamton, NY on March 17, the appropriate "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" and "The Theme from Godfather Part II".

At this point, we enter the Jimmy Swaggart section of the album. We go to Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, for a spoken word comedy section called "A Few Minutes with Brother A West" lampooning a religious leader. "The Torture Never Stops Part One" is recorded in both London, England on April 19 and back in Wurzburg. This part contains the first few verses done as usual, but then suddenly it changes to "Chatanooga Choo-Choo" and the bridge is sung to "My Three Sons", and this craziness works. Then we get a harmonica and a bad Bob Dylan impression with snatches of "The Addams Family" theme and so on before it returns to the chorus, and then moves to the next track "Theme from Bonanza" recorded in London. Then we move to Pittsburgh for the Swaggart version of "Lonesome Cowboy Burt" where they change the lyrics to tell the hilarious story of Jimmy Swaggart. Then we finish off the last 10 minutes of "The Torture Never Stops Part 2" in Teaneck, New Jersey, with the amazing guitar solo before the last verse.

In this version, Scott Thunes (bassist) explains that in the past, FZ always wanted the background for his guitar solo section of "Torture?" to only play the note "A" without changing except for octaves and that's it was always played. In this instance and throughout this tour, Thunes forgot and changed notes, but FZ never complained or said anything about it, he just played right along. It actually gives some variation to the track that we almost always hear on any of FZ's live albums.

Next we head to Poughkeepsie, New York for more Swaggart fun and a new arrangement of "More Trouble Every Day". Then we remain in place for more Swaggart hijinks with a changed up version of "Penguin in Bondage", each of these with great ensemble playing and guitar soloing. A nine minute version of "Eric Dolphy's Barbeque" comes next, recorded in 3 venues. The first minute is in Royal Oak, Michigan on Feb 28, then from 1 minute to just over 7 minutes is recorded in Syracuse, New York on March 21, and then the remainder is in Vienna, Autsria on May 8. This is a great avant-prog showcase piece for the ensemble and also has some strange processed vocal sounds throughout. It features a trumpet solo, then a sax solo. The band also inserts a part of "The Blue Danube Waltz" at the end.

The last track is the bands cover of "Stairway to Heaven", the song that was considered "sacred", and FZ knew this as he did with his Bob Dylan stints. He said that he has respect for those songs and those artists, and he even claimed that The Beatles were able to laugh at his antics involving them, but he couldn't figure out why the fans were always so serious about it and considered it "holy ground". FZ said that fans would consider parodies of these things as blasphemous, but wanted people to know that nothing is too sacred for satire. Again, for this performance, he returns to the reggae rhythm and uses not just the regular rock instruments, but involves the entire ensemble. Besides, the crowd goes wild anyway. The first 2 minutes of this track was recorded in Vienna, Austria on May 8, from 2 to 8 minutes was recorded in Florence, Italy on June 6 and the last section in London on April 18. The vocals seem respectful enough, as do the regular instruments, but there are plenty of strange processed sounds throughout that lets us know that it isn't taken that seriously. Mike Kennealy (rhythm guitar and keyboards) and Paul Carman (saxophones) surprised Frank in this performance by playing the familiar guitar solo done by Jimmy Page in the original. Usually Frank would play an improvised guitar solo here, but he was so pleased to hear this version, that he let them do it. I find this cover very fun and carefree, yet still well done and a great variation. I don't consider it disrespectful at all, just a lot of fun.

This is one of the best live recordings out there of Frank Zappa and his line-up at the time. The album is well done, and with all the editing of the venues, it flows rather seamlessly and smoothly. I highly recommend this one to those interested in FZ's live performances. There are a lot of great guitar solos, some jazz ensemble playing and plenty of humor, so it is a good mix. The songs featured may have a lot of strange and funny covers, but there are also plenty of FZ classics here too, even a taste of some of his avant-garde music.

 Waka / Jawaka by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.93 | 472 ratings

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Waka / Jawaka
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 'Waka/Jawaka', otherwise known as 'Another Hot Rats' album, is FZ's 4th solo album. It is comprised of 4 tracks, 2 are instrumental and 2 have vocals. It is a good example of FZ's jazz leanings and is one of my favorite FZ albums. Being that it was released along with other FZ jazz albums, it is considered the prelude to The Grand Wazoo line-up. Don't expect a lot of humor in this album, it is jazz oriented.

It starts out with the 17 minute jazz instrumental 'Big Swifty', which has it's distinctive theme bookending several improvised solos. On this studio version, it starts off with the theme that has alternates between several different time signatures, 7 / 8 then 6 / 8, with a 4 / 4 melody. It's not a very long theme, before we get into a keyboard solo, then a muted trumpet and guitar begin fighting it out with the keyboard, while the tricky meters continue in the background. The band featured here was by all means an improvisation band including Aynsley Dunbar on the drums who played with many greats like Jeff Beck, David Bowie, John Mayall and others (and who later left the band because Zappa had gotten to where he was writing every part and not allowing for enough improv, or at least that's what he claimed), Tony Duran on slide guitar who had played in Zappa's bands like the Mothers and Ruben and the Jets previously, George Duke on keys who everyone knows is a Funk Master and also played with Cannonball Adderly, Sal Marquez on trumpet who went on to play for Joe Sample and both Don and Dave Grusin, Alex Dmochowski (Erroneous) on Bass who was with Zappa on The Mothers albums and also played with John Mayall and FZ on guitar and percussion. If you are not into jazz improvisation, then you probably won't understand what is going on here, which is why so many people didn't understand what FZ was doing at the time. This takes up an entire side of the album.

Side two starts out with what is a satirical song titled 'Your Mouth'. It features Kris Petersen's only appearance with Zappa on vocals except for a passage in 'Waka/Jawaka' where she sings along with the horns, and it is very difficult to hear, in addition to the previous line up and also Joel Peskin on tenor sax and Mike Altschul on baritone sax and piccolo. Quite a line up for a song that only lasts a little over 3 minutes. It is, however, a straightforward, yet loaded blues/jazz number with several uncredited background singers on the choruses.

'It Just Might Be a One-Shot Deal' is supposedly a song about hallucinations. It is one of the most surprising and interesting FZ songs out there in that it guests Jeff Simmons playing a Hawaiian guitar and doing vocals and 'Sneaky Pete' Kleinow, who has in bands for Jackson Browne and many others doing a crazy-awesome pedal steel guitar solo. It also features Janet Ferguson on vocals who worked with Frank on 'Burnt Weeny Sandwich'. This song has a country-lilt to it which makes it unique in FZ's repertoire. But just before it goes into that amazing pedal steel guitar solo, there is a very strange passage that sounds like it was spliced into the song, but it was in actuality recorded in real time, and it is a very strange meter that was very difficult for the musicians to finally get right. Many complained that it was impossible to play, but Frank insisted that if he could play it, then it was possible. They finally got it right and kept the result as the final product. Then, there's another strange passage again after the solo. This is a FZ song that has to be heard to be believed because of its uniqueness more than anything. This song always reminds me why I love FZ's music so much.

The last track, at over 11 minutes is the title track 'Waka/Jawaka'. This is another mostly improvised jazz instrumental. This one features a more melodic theme that is a lot easier to pick out, and is a more standard meter. Where 'Big Swifty' featured combined soloing and improvisation, this one is more soloing of one instrument at a time. This features Don Preston on the keyboards and mini Moog. The few vocals in this track are wordless and follow the trumpet in its solo starting at 6:32. This section must have been written out since the vocalists could sing right along with the trumpet. You get a horn solo, keyboard, then guitar, then trumpet, a short return to the theme, a drum solo and back to the theme again. After that, there is a variation to the theme, which is a very tricky passage where horns and flute play together.

This is an amazing album that serves as a testament to FZs skill as musician and band leader. It sits up there with some of the best jazz albums of its kind and signals what would be coming up in FZ's discography. This is an essential FZ album and all serious fans of Zappa should have and be familiar with it. It is also one of the true tests of who FZ's fans really are. Highly recommended, especially for progressive jazz lovers.

 Roxy: The Movie by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover DVD/Video, 2015
4.38 | 17 ratings

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Roxy: The Movie
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by fuxi
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The more I watch this blu-ray, the more I get the impression this has to be the best 1970s prog film of all. I can think of only a few rival films of classic prog bands at the top of their game. There's YESSONGS, which has terrible sound and far too many silly graphics. There's that live recording of PG-era Genesis you will find on YouTube, but the sound doesn't really match the images, so properly speaking it doesn't count. There's JETHRO TULL LIVE AT MSG 1978 but it's not very long and the editing is terrible: we hardly see Martin Barre, even when he is soloing his heart out. No, if you long to see an eclectic, avant-garde, jazzy and at times highly symphonic prog ensemble in full flight, ROXY THE MOVIE is the real deal! And let's not beat around the bush. Frank Zappa on lead guitar, vocals and occasional percussion; George Duke on keyboards and vocals; Napoleon Murphy Brock on sax and vocals; Ruth Underwood on vibraphone, marimba and other percussion; Tom Fowler on bass and Bruce Fowler on trombone; with both Ralph Humphrey and Chester Thompson on drums - well, together they give most of the classic British prog bands a run for their money. (And I say this as someone who grew up on Yes, Genesis & tutti quanti and who dearly loves them still.) Zappa's band are simply more accomplished, more virtuosic, more spontaneous AND more ecstatic than any other 1970s rock act. (Purely as multi-instrumentalists, perhaps only Gentle Giant come close, as the GENTLE GIANT ON THE BOX DVD will demonstrate, but the Giant never had the crazy audience interaction that Frank Zappa so clearly encourages.) Let's just face it. In spite of its technical deficiencies (e.g. why is the entire programme performed against a background of cheap silver paper?) this has to be the best possible recording of some of FZ's best music by (most likely) his most accomplished and most likeable band. Lovers of Zappa's classic ROXY AND ELSEWHERE album waited for decades to be able to watch this. A progressive rock masterpiece, no doubt about it.
 Road Tapes - Venue #2 by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2013
4.58 | 49 ratings

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Road Tapes - Venue #2
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The mid-1970s lineup of the Mothers which existed (with a few tweaks here and there) from around 1973 (inaugurated on Overnite Sensation) to about 1975 (exiting on One Size Fits All) is already well-regarded in terms of its live releases. The Helsinki Concert of 1974 - released as volume 2 of the You Can't Do That On Stage Any More series - displayed the straight fusion fire they could conjure up, whilst Roxy & Elsewhere is a beloved mashup of wacky comedy and weird music.

Does this make Road Tapes #2 redundant? Not in the slightest. Recorded in Helsinki in 1973 - a couple of months after the Overnite Sensation sessions, but before the Roxy concerts or the more famous 1974 return engagement - it captures this incarnation of the band in perhaps their most musically progressive and arcane mood. Some of the more sedate, jazzy passages here sound positively like Hatfield & the North or National Health - a connection which sounds much less unlikely when you recall that Zappa once jammed with Caravan at a European festival, as a result of the rest of his band being caught up in work visa problems.

Weaving their way through a range of extended medleys and compositions, the band come as close to Zappa's ideal of fusing classical music, rock and jazz in a seamless blend as they ever did, and as such despite occasional little discontinuities and sound quality issues this volume of the Road Tapes nonetheless sheds new light on an incarnation of the Mothers which we'd thought we'd already plumbed the depths of - and as such, more than justifies its inclusion in the flood of archival releases which continue to issue from the family vault.

 Zoot Allures by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.72 | 400 ratings

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Zoot Allures
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Frank Zappa's 1976 album is one of the more perplexing items in his mammoth (and, 25-years after his death, still expanding) discography, presenting yet another composite of studio and live tracks, condensed from an aborted two-disc project and with a grab-bag of backup musicians enlisted to fill the various gaps. Even the cover portrait is misleading, showing the touring band assembled after the album was completed (so don't expect to hear Eddie Jobson anywhere on the record).

It must have been difficult for Zappa to maintain his habit of Conceptual Continuity with such a mix-and-match, scattershot production. But the end results are surprisingly coherent, evenly spread across a collection of (mostly) shorter songs: if not for the nearly 10-minute slow burn of "The Torture Never Stops", the album would have fallen well below the 50-minute margin.

The economical, entirely instrumental title track is an obvious highlight, despite the long, unresolved fade-out. According to the official Frank Zappa website, he considered it one of his three signature tunes...so what were the other two? Not "Disco Boy", closing the album on a sour note of now-dated social misanthropy. And certainly not "The Torture Never Stops", a concert favorite better suited to the stage, with plenty of room allowed for live instrumental vamping. In a studio environment it sounds a bit inhibited, and the eerie background wailing (by Zappa's wife, Gail) is more suggestive of the fake sex tape that led to Zappa's arrest in a 1965 Cucamonga vice-squad sting.

Here and elsewhere Zappa's lead vocals are curiously and very closely miked, delivered at just above a whisper. It was probably unintended, but the result is very effective alongside the atypically basic and often quite aggressive rock 'n' roll heard throughout the album. Clearly more effort was spent on the words than on the musical arrangements: one reason perhaps why the instrumental tracks stand out.

Expect to be entertained, not challenged. At his best, Frank Zappa will usually do both.

 Baby Snakes by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 1983
3.26 | 95 ratings

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Baby Snakes
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This 'Baby Snakes' album is really a partial soundtrack of the DVD recording of the concert that this music comes from. Even though the concert is great, full of energy and great and hilarious music and other antics, and the music on this CD reflects that, the CD is not even 40 minutes long. Yeah, it's a good reflection of the concert, but you would be better off either getting the DVD, which is excellent, by the way, or getting the 2012 CD release which contains the music from the entire DVD. So, this CD is now pretty much obsolete, but collectors will still be interested in it.

So anyway, the CD is well produced and recorded, the music is great, but it is now pretty much obsolete. Also, the CD version has an Intro Rap which is not available on the LP version. The Intro Rap relives the story of how Warren Cuccurillo got to be introduced to FZ and eventually be part of the band. It segues right into 'Baby Snakes', which happens to be the exact same version as the one on the 'Shiek Yerbouti' album, just in an edited version. However, the 'Intro Rap' is not on the 'Shiek Yerbouti' album, so there you go. Confused yet?

Anyway, the antics and music continue on after this, reflecting a very enthusiastic and well done show, which is much better reflected in the DVD version. The CD does include the part of the devil played by Terry Bozzio in the hilarious adaptation of 'T*tties and Beer', the outstanding and nearly impossible to perform performance of 'Black Page #2' which is a song that was originally a drum solo that FZ rearranged for the full band, resulting in a manuscript page that was nearly black from all of the notes on it, hence the name, you also get to hear Adrian Belew (later from King Crimson) in action along with Patrick O'Hearn, Terry Bozzio, Peter Wolf and all of the other excellent band members. This is one of FZ's tightest band line-ups, which makes this performance that much more enjoyable and exciting to watch.

So, yes it's a good performance, but you would be better off getting the DVD or the newly reissued full performance on audio. This particular CD is obsolete and short, let alone the fact that it is only partial. So unfortunately, I can only give this one a rating for collectors only, but you should get yourself hooked up with one of the other available releases because this is an excellent performance, essential for any Zappa fan or anyone curious about his performances as it is a great example of Zappa in a live setting.

 The Mothers Of Invention: Weasels Ripped My Flesh by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.77 | 399 ratings

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The Mothers Of Invention: Weasels Ripped My Flesh
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Weasels Ripped My Flesh' is a potpourri of sounds and styles from Frank Zappa and the Mothers, and was the 2nd album from The Mothers released after the band broke up (it is their 7th overall and FZ's 10th overall). The first album released after The Mothers break up was 'Burnt Weiny Sandwich' which consisted of outtakes and other songs that didn't make any album cuts, and was made up of rather structured songs. This one was also made up of outtakes and etc., but this one consists of more free form or improvised tracks, most of which are recorded live. But there are a couple of straightforward tracks too. Because of this, you get quite a sampling of different styles of FZ's music on this album.

FZ said that he wanted to put together a 12 record set of leftover music, but then decided it would cost a quarter of a million dollars, so trashed that idea. He said that 80% of this album is made up of group improvisations where he conducted spontaneous music and that some of those songs that were intended for that huge project. The interesting cover and title of the album was inspired by a magazine cover of 'Man's Life' with the tag line 'Weasels Ripped My Flesh'. FZ saw the magazine and decided it doesn't get any worse than that. The studio didn't want to use the cover illustration which was based on a shaving ad, but released it anyway.

The opening track 'Didja Get Any Onya?' has a reading from Lowell George (who would go on to form 'Little Feat'). This is a person recounting his time as a German boy in Baltimore who's father made poison gas for the government for WWII. The name of the track comes from a Lenny Bruce routine. The track was recorded live at the Philadelphia Arena. The original CD was 3 minutes longer than the LP. The track starts right off with an improvised trumpet and sax with funny vocal sounds. You can hear how tight the band was to the changes that FZ was directing throughout the track. This is what makes it all amazing in the way the band reacts to FZ's direction. Remember, this is all pretty much spontaneous. The Lowell George part comes in quite early and is hard to hear with another band member doing operatic sounds. After some more goofing around, the band breaks into another sax improvisation with a repeating riff in the background. Then it goes into a start/stop style, again as directed by FZ. Since it is improvised, you get a lot of dissonance, but that is what FZ was looking for. It is all based on 20th Century classical styles.

'Directly From My Heart to Yours' is a studio outtake from the 'Hot Rats' session and is a cover of a Little Richard song. It is a straightforward blues/rock track sung by Don Harris who also plays the electric violin in the song. It is a surprising contrast from the previous track, but that is what give the album it's charm. 'Prelude to the Afternoon of a Sexually Aroused Gas Mask' is a sarcastical take on a title from a Debussy composition. Frank based it on a space helmet that he made out of a gas mask and mustard gas container that his father had brought home from work. He opened it with a can opener and rendered it useless, which his father was upset about. But FZ used it as a space helmet. The track is again a group improvisation based on FZ's direction. It has an avant garde feel and also some strange improvised vocals from the band, including laughter and so on. It was recorded live in London and partially in Miami Beach Florida.

'Toads of the Short Forest' was also recorded live in 2 different places, the first half in Glendale, California and the second half in Miami Beach, Florida. It starts out rather straightforward with a nice melody and then suddenly switches to improvisation where nothing is straightforward. In the recording FZ announces all of the different meters the band members are playing in at the same time. Improv continues.

'Get a Little' comes next. This is a short improve featuring FZ's guitar recorded when they were opening for 'Vanilla Fudge'. This was recorded in The Bronx, and apparently the audience wasn't very receptive because FZ said in an interview that a member of the audience said 'You guys stink! Bring on the Fudge!'

Next is another group improvisation called 'The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbeque' recorded in studio. This was titled as homage to Eric Dolphy who was a jazz instrumentalist that died in 1964. The song itself is not anything like Dolphy's music, though it does include a sax improvisation throughout the song, along with improv from the band. FZ admired Dolphy, however and there are credits as to his inspiration on the 'Freak Out!' album. This track changes meter and style several times through it's nearly 7 minute time frame and is very much a free form jazz composition.

'Dwarf Nebula' is based on a piano exercise done by FZ with other instruments added in. This doesn't last long though and soon we get a processed sound collage with FZ using his famous gadget 'The Apostolic Blurch Injector'. After this is a straightforward blues/rock track called 'My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama'. This one is composed, as Frank says, for stupid teenagers and record company executives. This track is used many times in Frank's concerts. Both of the previous tracks were recorded in studio, with the latter one being quite polished, contrasted from the previous track which is improvisation.

'Oh No' is another vocal track which acts as a satirical response to The Beatles 'All You Need is Love'. The track isn't as straightforward as the previous track and has some tricky meters. The vocals follow the instrumentals which is quite difficult. This track was actually written as an instrumental during the 'Freak Out!' sessions and the lyrics were added later. It has an extended instrumental section at the end, and even though is is not your average rock song, it is a more structured track. The melody is one of FZ's more familiar melodies as it is used as a basis for individual improvisational numbers. This track goes directly into 'Orange County Lumber Truck' which is the improvised jazz track featuring FZ's guitar . This is cut short all of a sudden with a laugh, and then the title track, which is the last track. All this is, is the band all playing at the same time any random note they wanted at full volume'.2 minutes of straight noise improvisation, which FZ said sounds like your average vacuum cleaner improvisation.

That's all of the tracks on this conglomeration of an album. Yet, with all of this editing and pasting of songs from unreleased Mothers tracks, it is still surprisingly good. The variety of the album only adds to the enjoyment, because you not only get a good sampling of the different types of Zappa music, but you get a fun album too. It's not one of the 5 star Zappa albums, but it is one I enjoy nonetheless. It is full of progressive styles throughout, there is still plenty of humor and plenty of 'serious' music. Hopefully, some of the short explanations of the tracks will help with the understanding as to why it is so varied in it's style, because usually Frank wouldn't mix styles like this so much on a single album. Anyway, each track has it's own story and not only Zappa-philes should appreciate this one, but also your average art rock listener too.

 The Mothers Of Invention: We're Only In It For The Money by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1968
4.11 | 631 ratings

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

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'We're Only In It For the Money' is definitely an interesting album, to say the least. The cover and title is a direct slam to The Beatles and their album 'Sgt. Pepper', who Zappa claimed was all done for the money, not the music. The album, however, is a statement to the condition of society at the time, police violence, the hippy movement (how everyone thought they could be a hippy because it was cool) and the music business. The album is full of music, noise collages and field recordings, sometimes a song is interrupted by whatever FZ wanted to put there. It is one of the most censored albums in rock history. It was also Zappa's way of saying that classical music was being held hostage by the old ladies that tell the concert halls and radio stations what classical music to play. So much to pack in 33 minutes and 19 tracks.

FZ always felt that the Mothers filled the gap between serious music and the mass public who were being denied access to good serious music. This is why his music was never 'normal' in the radio friendly sense. When someone listens to FZ (and especially this album) for the first time, they have certain expectations, that while it is known that FZ's music is complicated, that with his crazy and crass humor, they still expect it to be normal music, not Avant-prog or RIO. When the music doesn't reach that expectation, most people turn away from it. While it is true that there is a lot of humor in this album, it isn't always apparent laugh out loud humor as much as it is sarcasm and satire, with large doses of art rock mixed in. It is a rough album, not clean and polished. It is also pretty much a continuous suite more than it is a bunch of individual tracks. Keeping this in mind, it may make more sense when a person hears it for the first time.

The frustrating thing to Zappa, was that the music and it's purpose was misunderstood. People automatically thought that the Mothers were the ones that were only in it for the money, and they missed that it was all making fun of The Beatles, even though Frank wanted to make it obvious by copying the Sgt. Pepper cover. He was upset that people could not make the connection, that they never even looked at the similarities of the album covers, and that people just thought The Beatles were sent from heaven. He felt that they were plastic and commercial, but he knew that was an unpopular view among the public.

The album starts off with a field recording that Zappa was famous for making without telling anyone and then putting it on a record. The music starts on the 2nd track with 'Who Needs the Peace Corps?' which was meant to make fun of the hippy movement and not necessarily the Peace Corps. Why work for a government run organization built to help young adults make a difference in the world when you can just be lazy, join the Dead Heads and 'be a hippy'? Then comes another musical number (mostly) called 'Concentration Moon' about how San Francisco and it's citizens were being used for a government LSD experiment and also about police brutality and they feared the hippies. 'Mom & Dad' is one of the Mothers most heartfelt lyrical songs about how parents would ignore what was going on in their world with violence until they have to be told that their own child has died. 'Telephone Conversation' is an actual taped phone conversation which is tied into the song 'Bow Tie Daddy'

'Harry You're a Beast' is about the plastic society again, women specifically. This is one of the songs that got censored quite heavily, and there is a part that sounds like it is being played backwards. That is one of the censored sections of the song. 'What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body?' is a satirical take on a Steve Allen song written for children called from an album called 'How to Think'. 'Absolutely Free' starts off with a short routine involving Suzy Creamcheese (one of the Mother's recurring characters) and is another one of the songs that didn't get completely past the censors. 'Flower Punk' is a parody on the song 'Hey Joe' made popular by Jimi Hendrix, but the version they were basing it on was the version recorded by 'The Leaves'. It makes fun of the flower child movement. It turns into a sound collage during the last half with FZ saying different things through each speaker at a high speed, along with other people talking. 'Hot Poop' continues this collage with another backwards section that was censored. 'Nasal Retentive Calliope Music' continues with the sound collage, but this time with processed sounds and noises. The gizmo they used to make this collage was called an 'Apostolic Blurch Injector' (named by Zappa) that would take any source material put into it and mash it up into things that pretty much could not be understood. Some of the things put into this gizmo were police busts, censored sections, interviews with dope pushers trying to get FZ to use drugs and so on. Yes it's hard to listen to, but it's Zappa's way of experimenting.

This is followed by a song that was the creation of a theme that would be used by Zappa's band a lot and would become a very popular theme for Zappa fans. 'Let's Make the Water Turn Black' is that song, and this time you get the lyrics, which is based on actual events from Zappa's childhood, specifically certain disgusting habits by certain children he didn't care for much. I won't go into detail, but it's funny in a sick way. Quite a catchy melody though and one that's easy to recognize when Zappa's bands would be playing long improvisations. 'The Idiot Bastard's Son' is a continuation of this song and again, it didn't make it past the censors, so once again, we get it backwards. 'Lonely Little Girl' comes next followed by another familiar Zappa theme 'Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance' which was probably a parody possibly based on an old song. After that there is a reprise for 'What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body?' followed by 'Mother People', which would later become a sort of theme for The Mothers. Again, more censored nonsense here. 'The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny' wraps up the album with a 6+ minute sound collage featuring that strange gizmo again.

So, yes this album really has no commercial appeal whatsoever, so go into it knowing that, and you won't be disappointed by your preconceived notions of what Frank would call Teen Age Music. This is Avant-prog music, and like I said previously, it is rough. Zappa's music would become more polished as time went on, of course. But this was the style of music he was making at the time.

There is a lot going on in this album, and the things I have pointed out in this review only brushes the surface. You literally need some kind of listener's guide to read while listening to this, it would be impossible to cover it all in this review. However, it is an important album, made before Prog music was a thing, but it would help open doors to musical exploration and was also an important movement against commercialism of music. Personally, I don't like it as much as 'Freak Out!', but I do understand it's importance and hopefully this will help shed some light on the album. And there are plenty of internet sites that explore this album quite thoroughly, and I suggest finding one that will help you listen to this crazy album. Things will make a lot more sense, believe me.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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