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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 Varčse, 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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Buy FRANK ZAPPA Music


The Roxy Performances [7 CD][Box Set]The Roxy Performances [7 CD][Box Set]
Box set
Zappa Records 2018
$43.59
$40.54 (used)
Halloween 77 [3 CD]Halloween 77 [3 CD]
UMe 2017
$22.39
$24.12 (used)
Burnt Weeny Sandwich [LP]Burnt Weeny Sandwich [LP]
UMe 2018
$22.99
Apostrophe (')Apostrophe (')
Zappa Records 2012
$5.91
$4.91 (used)
Hot Rats [LP]Hot Rats [LP]
Zappa Records 2016
$18.96
$23.18 (used)
Joe's Garage, Acts I, II, & III [2 CD]Joe's Garage, Acts I, II, & III [2 CD]
Zappa Records 2012
$9.98
$8.98 (used)
Over-nite SensationOver-nite Sensation
Zappa Records 2012
$6.71
$11.59 (used)
Chicago '78 [2 CD]Chicago '78 [2 CD]
Zappa Records 2016
$15.97
$12.29 (used)
Sheik YerboutiSheik Yerbouti
Double CD
Zappa Records 2012
$5.41
$4.42 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN soundtrack CD frank ZAPPA brian ENO molotov FLACO JIMENEZ ost USD $11.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Hot Rats GER LP FOC /3* USD $24.48 Buy It Now
3 x LP BOX SET FRANK ZAPPA THING FISH 1984 UK & EUROPE RELEASE CAT#2402943 USD $37.30 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa Ship Arriving Too Late to Save Japan Vinyl LP OBI Bad Condition Copy USD $49.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Bongo Fury (NEW CD) USD $8.62 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa Studio tan 1978 press advert poster USD $13.27 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Orchestral Favorites (1998) - CD Very Good Condition USD $13.27 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa & The Mothers - Fillmore East ,June 1971 ( CD - 1990 - RYKO - Mint ) USD $11.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Absolutely Free ( CD - 1988 - France - Zappa Rec. - Mint ) USD $14.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Apostrophe Overnite Sensation ( CD - 1990 - France - Mint ) USD $14.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Baby Snakes ( Cd - 1988 - France - Near Mint ) USD $13.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Boot The Beats ( CD - 1991 - Italy - Near Mint - Very Rare CD ) USD $59.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Broadway The Hard Way ( Cd - 1989 - USA - Mint ) USD $12.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Burnt Weeny Sandwich ( CD - 1991 - France - Mint ) USD $15.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Civilization Phaze 3 ( 2 CDs - 1996 - Mint - Complete W.Booklet ) USD $49.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Francesco Zappa ( CD - Zappa Rec. CDZAP 48 - Mint ) USD $14.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Freak Out ( CD - 1987 - France - Mint - MPO Pressing ) USD $12.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Hot Rats ( CD - Zappa Rec. - 1987 - France ) USD $14.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Joes Garage ( 2 CD - 1987 - USA Import ) USD $19.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Unmitigated Audacity CD USD $10.62 [1 bids]
Country Joe McDonald - "Paris Sessions" - Big Brother - Frank Zappa USD $22.34 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Just Another Band From L.A ( CD - 1990 - Mint - France ) USD $13.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Lost Episodes ( CD - 1996 - Complete W. Book - Mint ) USD $13.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - One Size Fits All ( CD - 1988 - France ) USD $11.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Orchestral Favorites ( CD - Mint - 1991 - France ) USD $17.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Playground Psychotics ( 2 Cds - 1992 - Mint- Complete W .Booklet ) USD $19.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Ruben & The Jets ( CD - 1985 - France - Mint - MPO Pressing ) USD $12.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Sleep Dirt ( CD - 1991 - Mint - Zappa Rec. ) USD $14.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Strictly Commercial Best Of ( CD - 1995 - US ) USD $13.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Studio Tan ( CD - 1991 - Mint - Zappa Rec. ) USD $14.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - The Man From Utopia ( CD - 1993 - UK - Excellent - Psych ) USD $14.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - The Yellow Shark ( CD - 1993 - UK - Complete W. Book ) USD $14.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Tinsel Town Rebellion ( CD - 1991 - France - Mint ) USD $14.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Waka / Jawaka ( Cd - Zappa Rec. - 1988 - France ) USD $19.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - We Are Only In It For The Money / Lumpy ( CD - Ryko 1985 - USA ) USD $14.00 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA 'WHERE THE SHARK BUBBLES BLOW' (Broadcasts 1968-75) 5 CD Set (2018) USD $31.88 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Weasels Ripped My Flesh ( CD - 1990 - US - Mint ) USD $14.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - You Are What You Is ( CD - 1990 - France - Mint ) USD $12.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Zoot Allures ( Cd - 1990 - Mint - Psych - US ) USD $9.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa Beefheart - Bongo Fury ( CD - 1989 - France - Mint ) USD $13.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa Ensemble Ambrosius - The Zappa Album ( CD - 2000 - Mint ) USD $15.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa Mothers Of Invention - Ahead Of Their Time ( CD - Zappa Rec.-Mint ) USD $13.99 Buy It Now
Knebworth park Frank Zappa Tubes Peter Gabriel boomtown 1978 press advert poster USD $7.96 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA: FILLMORE EAST-LP-1978-REPRISE-GERMANY USD $17.00 Buy It Now
MUSIC BY FRANK ZAPPA OMNIBUS WIND ENSEMBLE OPUS 3 CD MADE IN SWEDEN 1st PRESS USD $49.99 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA Titties And Beer Zoot Allures live in Paris 1977 SEALED Smilin' Ears USD $40.00 [0 bids]
USD $65.00 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA: Son Of Serious Music-U.S. LP ICA Masterworks JUN 161984, Live PCV USD $134.98 Buy It Now
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Mothers of Invention 2 LP Freak Out! verve v6/5005-2 frank zappa gate '66 stereo USD $75.00 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa ?- Orchestral Favorites ULTRA RARE COLLECTOR'S CD! FREE SHIPPING! USD $20.00 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar 3-CD Collection 1972-1980 Steve Vai USD $9.99 [0 bids]
USD $12.99 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA STUNNING RARE 1978 KNEBWORTH FESTIVAL PROGRAMME USD $34.55 [0 bids]
Frank Zappa/Mothers 200 Motels '71 1st UAS 9956 VG+ w/ Book Ultrasonic CLEAN USD $27.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Buckingham Palace Retro Poster Size 84.1cm x 59.4cm - 34''x 24'' USD $9.29 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA Joe's Garage Act 1 RARE!! Different Cover/Sleeve ASIA Cassette TAPE USD $49.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Sheik Yerbouti Europe 2LP 1979 FOC + Innerbag /3* USD $22.81 Buy It Now
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30TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION ALBUM SACD DSD CD OPUS 3 FRANK ZAPPA BENNY WATERS USD $54.91 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa / Mothers Of Invention : Ahead Of Their Time CD Rykodisc Green Tint USD $13.22 Buy It Now
RARE ROCK PROMO LP FRANK ZAPPA "HOT RATS" BIZARRE WHITE LABEL PROMO ORIGINAL USD $75.00 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - The Crux of the Biscuit (2016) CD NEW/SEALED SPEEDYPOST USD $10.70 Buy It Now
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Guitar - Frank Zappa Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $21.62 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA & MOTHERS - Uncle Meat ( 2 LP s - Canada - Reprise ) USD $24.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Broadway The Hard Way GER LP 1989 FOC + Innerbag /3* USD $22.81 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA True Glove 12" VINYL German Emi 1984 4 Track Featuring In France,be USD $14.13 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Sheik Yerbouti NL 2LP 1979 FOC + Innerbag /3* USD $22.81 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA Joe's Garage Acts I Ii And Iii DOUBLE CD European Ryko 1987 19 USD $9.88 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol 4 DOUBLE CD Canadian Ryko USD $11.30 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA 200 MOTELS 7" SINGLE RSD 2015 RARE PURPLE COLORED VINYL RECORD USD $13.99 Buy It Now
Zappa's Universe (CD, Sep-1993, Verve) Rare Out Of Print, Frank Zappa USD $8.00 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA New Sealed 2018 UNRELEASED LIVE 1980 MUNICH CONCERT CD USD $18.99 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA w CAPTAIN BEEFHEART New 2018 UNRELEASED 1975 LIVE CONCERT 2 CD SET USD $22.99 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA'S 200 MOTELS ORIGINAL VINTAGE 1971 POSTER 33" X 22" USD $39.86 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Freak Out [New Vinyl] USD $28.93 Buy It Now
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Frank Zappa The Man From Utopia Mini Lp CD (2002, Rykodisc, Japan) VACK-1244 USD $31.49 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - Sleep Dirt GER LP 1979 /3* USD $19.01 Buy It Now
Rare Frank Zappa You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore FULL SET Vol 1 - 6 WITH BOX USD $325.00 Buy It Now
Chunga's Revenge by Frank Zappa (CD, May-1995, Rykodisc) USD $10.99 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa ?- Apostrophe Discreet ?- DS 2175 12"Vinyl LP USD $14.60 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA: ORCHESTRAL FAVORITES ~ SEALED/ NEW/ORIGINAL VINTAGE VINYL LP '79 USD $59.00 Buy It Now
The Mothers Of Invention : Freak Out! (Verve 72' issue) Frank Zappa USD $25.00 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA 2 LP Waka/Jawaka + Hot Rats Both 1st Press Bizarre USD $35.00 [0 bids]
USD $50.00 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA Lumpy Gravy UK LP gatefold sleeve new mint sealed vinyl USD $33.20 Buy It Now
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FRANK ZAPPA Hot Rats UK LP g/f slv new mint sealed vinyl USD $33.20 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa - You Are What You Is NL 2LP 1981 FOC /3* USD $19.00 Buy It Now
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Frank Zappa Them or Us dbl LP NM SVBO-74200 1984 USD $49.99 Buy It Now
FRANK ZAPPA: THE BEST BAND YOU NEVER HEARD IN YOUR LIFE-2CD-VACK 9001-SEALED USD $57.50 Buy It Now
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Frank Zappa - Them or Us CD (1986, Rykodisc RCD 40027) Original Japan USD $16.99 Buy It Now
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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)

3.91 | 591 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Freak Out!
1966
4.05 | 491 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Absolutely Free
1967
3.22 | 361 ratings
Lumpy Gravy
1968
4.12 | 620 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: We're Only In It For The Money
1968
2.78 | 258 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Cruising With Ruben & The Jets
1968
4.07 | 482 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Uncle Meat
1969
4.33 | 1465 ratings
Hot Rats
1969
3.91 | 395 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Burnt Weeny Sandwich
1970
3.77 | 390 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Weasels Ripped My Flesh
1970
3.40 | 322 ratings
Chunga's Revenge
1970
3.06 | 209 ratings
200 Motels
1971
3.92 | 459 ratings
Waka / Jawaka
1972
4.31 | 865 ratings
The Grand Wazoo
1972
4.02 | 566 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Over-Nite Sensation
1973
4.03 | 622 ratings
Apostrophe (')
1974
4.32 | 850 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: One Size Fits All
1975
3.74 | 385 ratings
Zoot Allures
1976
3.70 | 258 ratings
Studio Tan
1978
3.62 | 262 ratings
Sleep Dirt
1979
3.86 | 459 ratings
Sheik Yerbouti
1979
4.13 | 476 ratings
Joe's Garage, Act I
1979
3.96 | 383 ratings
Joe's Garage, Acts II & III
1979
3.66 | 260 ratings
You Are What You Is
1981
3.53 | 231 ratings
Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch
1982
3.14 | 219 ratings
The Man From Utopia
1983
3.05 | 110 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I
1983
3.22 | 176 ratings
Them Or Us
1984
2.38 | 144 ratings
Thing-Fish
1984
2.58 | 128 ratings
Francesco Zappa
1984
3.49 | 116 ratings
Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger
1984
3.24 | 135 ratings
Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention
1985
3.42 | 211 ratings
Jazz From Hell
1986
2.88 | 84 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. II
1987
3.78 | 123 ratings
Civilization Phaze III
1994
3.32 | 85 ratings
The Lost Episodes
1996
3.97 | 184 ratings
Läther
1996
3.17 | 49 ratings
Everything Is Healing Nicely [aka: EIHN]
1999
2.92 | 48 ratings
Joe's Corsage
2004
1.73 | 49 ratings
Joe's Domage
2004
2.18 | 37 ratings
Joe's XMasage
2005
3.32 | 40 ratings
Feeding The Monkies At Ma Maison
2011
2.90 | 30 ratings
Joe's Camouflage
2014
4.02 | 55 ratings
Dance Me This
2015

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

3.21 | 151 ratings
Fillmore East, June 1971
1971
3.11 | 140 ratings
Just Another Band From L.A.
1972
4.39 | 309 ratings
Roxy & Elsewhere
1974
3.55 | 209 ratings
Bongo Fury
1975
4.25 | 241 ratings
Zappa In New York
1978
3.32 | 150 ratings
Orchestral Favorites
1979
3.08 | 151 ratings
Tinsel Town Rebellion
1981
3.40 | 92 ratings
Baby Snakes
1983
3.58 | 82 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
1986
3.62 | 125 ratings
Broadway The Hard Way
1988
3.42 | 118 ratings
Guitar
1988
4.01 | 122 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 1
1988
4.53 | 200 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 2
1988
3.61 | 101 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 3
1989
3.53 | 94 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 4
1991
4.32 | 185 ratings
The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life
1991
4.41 | 142 ratings
Make A Jazz Noise Here
1991
3.77 | 36 ratings
Piquantique - Stockholm 1973
1991
2.34 | 24 ratings
As An Am
1991
3.38 | 25 ratings
The Ark
1991
2.64 | 21 ratings
Freaks & Motherfuckers!
1991
2.41 | 24 ratings
Unmitigated Audacity
1991
2.10 | 25 ratings
Anyway The Wind Blows
1991
2.79 | 23 ratings
'Tis The Season To Be Jelly
1991
2.35 | 22 ratings
Saarbrucken 1978
1991
1.72 | 13 ratings
At The Circus
1992
1.92 | 15 ratings
Conceptual Continuity
1992
2.81 | 46 ratings
Playground Psychotics
1992
3.65 | 81 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 5
1992
3.83 | 79 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 6
1992
2.24 | 16 ratings
Disconnected Synapses
1992
3.02 | 17 ratings
Electric Aunt Jemima
1992
3.09 | 13 ratings
Our Man In Nirvana
1992
3.97 | 13 ratings
Swiss Cheese / Fire!
1992
2.26 | 12 ratings
Tengo Na Minchia Tanta
1992
3.87 | 120 ratings
The Yellow Shark
1993
3.23 | 76 ratings
Ahead Of Their Time
1993
3.94 | 55 ratings
FZ:OZ
2002
3.84 | 35 ratings
Halloween (DVD-Audio)
2003
3.98 | 71 ratings
Imaginary Diseases
2006
3.56 | 65 ratings
Trance-Fusion
2006
4.12 | 60 ratings
Buffalo
2007
4.18 | 71 ratings
Wazoo
2007
3.63 | 45 ratings
The Dub Room Special!
2007
3.62 | 43 ratings
One Shot Deal
2008
3.14 | 29 ratings
Joe's Menage
2008
4.20 | 52 ratings
Philly '76
2009
4.31 | 63 ratings
Hammersmith Odeon
2010
3.77 | 33 ratings
Carnegie Hall
2011
3.15 | 39 ratings
Finer Moments
2012
3.31 | 33 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #1
2012
4.70 | 47 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #2
2013
4.53 | 27 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2013
4.58 | 38 ratings
Roxy By Proxy
2014
3.17 | 6 ratings
200 Motels The Suites
2015
4.00 | 5 ratings
Roxy: The Sountrack
2015
3.04 | 4 ratings
Little Dots
2016
3.29 | 7 ratings
Chicago '78
2016
2.16 | 12 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #3
2016
4.00 | 6 ratings
Halloween 77
2017

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

2.84 | 54 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 | 74 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
4.15 | 41 ratings
Apostrophe (') Over-Nite Sensation
2007
4.60 | 40 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 | 17 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2013
4.03 | 16 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 | 99 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 | 114 ratings
Joe's Garage, Acts I, II & III
1987
4.10 | 20 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
3.26 | 38 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
3.21 | 9 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
 Ahead Of Their Time by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 1993
3.23 | 76 ratings

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Ahead Of Their Time
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Frank Zappa said that this was to be the last "Mothers" album. It was released in 1993 before his death, but the recording is from a much earlier concert, performed in 1968 at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Frank said that the band was their own opening act and that all the band members put on a play written by Frank with music performed mostly by 14 members of the BBC symphony. This recording of the play was previously available on the "Mystery Disc", but the rock portion of the concert was not previously available. Frank thought it was an important concert to have on record, so he put the entire show back together for consumer purchase, but he himself said it was only a "fair - not outstanding - Mothers of Invention rock concert performance".

So, this is the album that resulted from that decision. The first part of the album is the play which was entitled "Progress?" and, from what I can gather, it was pretty much a comedy, or satire, of life in a rock n roll band called the "Mothers". Knowing Frank, this was all based on events in the band, made into a funny skit, with a lot of dialogue (spoken parts) and music thrown in as needed. As mentioned earlier, Frank said the music was done by part of the BBC symphony, but I believe that a lot of it was also done by the band. What ever the case, the music itself is quite Avant-Garde, as you would expect from Frank's classical music. A lot of the music coincides with what is going on in the play itself, dramatizing things further. The "Prologue" to the play has many classical themes and sections from Mozart among others. This is track 1. Tracks 2 - 10 are the different parts of the play, some are only spoken parts, others are a mix of spoken parts and music. The recording is quite excellent, so there are no worries there. The problem is that we only have the audio portion of the play, and, judging from the audience's reactions, we miss quite a bit of the point of the play not being able to see it. You do catch part of the humor, and if you have the lyrics in front of you, it makes a little more sense, but it would have been better to actually see what was going on. Because of this, the first part of the album seems confusing and disjointed, and, if you didn't know that it was a play they were doing, you would start wondering what kind of ridiculousness is this anyway.

The good news about the album, is that the rest of the album is the "rock portion" of the concert. Things do get better at this point. Tracks 11 - 20 contain some decent examples of classic Mothers and Zappa recordings in this live setting. The "Epilogue" of the play flows right into the first track of this section, which is a rendition of the Zappa improvisational classic "King Kong". it is a decent version, but there are better ones out there, as on the "Uncle Meat" album. Next is a very short and very different version of "Help! I'm a Rock" mostly consisting of percussion with an even shorter vocal compared to the original version on the "Freak Out!" album. This is the last of the vocals on the album, as the rest of the album is instrumental. You will recognize a lot of the classic Mothers tunes, some of them will be improvised on and others are short and straight forward. Seasoned Zappa listeners will recognize pieces of this part of the performance from various other recordings and that is because Frank spliced them into other albums, like, for instance "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" and so on. Each track flows right into the other. The best tracks are the longer ones where the band does more improvisation as in "Pound for a Brown" and "Orange County Lumber Truck", but being interspersed with shorter snippets of Zappa melodies, it does break up the density of the improvisational sections.

Overall, it's an okay representation of the Mothers in concert, but there are better examples out there. The best part of the album is the musical performances, but the first half of the album definitely takes away from the rock/jazz fusion of the 2nd half. There are also many recordings that are a lot worse than this, so we can throw this one in the middle with 3 stars.

 The Mothers Of Invention: Absolutely Free by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.05 | 491 ratings

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

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Absolutely Free is the 2nd official Frank Zappa and the Mothers album after their debut "Freak Out!" This one pretty much takes off where the previous album left off. "Freak Out" was a double disc and started out quite structured, leaning heavily on doo wop and R&B structures of the time and Frank loved these kinds of songs. However, they are a little wacked out compared to the standard fare that was out there because FZ put his own stamp on them. The 2nd disc however, was more experimental featuring improv and collage style music with even more wackiness. "Absolutely Free" continues with more the weird and wacky, but this time, FZ adds many snippets of classical music in among the songs. The music has many surprises in it, especially to the listener who is really paying attention, and this is the main reason this album demands to be listened to more than once. The problem here however, is with the line up that FZ had with the Mothers, who appreciated the humor and the satire, but didn't really appreciate the culture that Frank was adding to the mix.

Absolutely Free originally was divided up into 2 "parts" (or in Frank's vision; "underground oratorios") The first side of the record (tracks 1 - 7)was called Absolutely Free. The 2nd side was called "The M.O.I. American Pageant". The overall feel of the album is Frank's use of the Oratorio style from many Opera works, which he composes into the music very successfully. When this album was issued on CD, 2 tracks were inserted between these 2 parts. These tracks consisted of the 2 songs from the single that was released about the same time, but was not part of this album; "Big Leg Emma" and "Why Don'cha Do Me Right?". The feeling of both of these added tracks does not fit in with the other tracks since they do not follow the oratorio style. Instead, they are more of a blues-rock sound, but they are still a welcome addition anyway.

The first Oratorio mixes political, musical and just plain outrageous vegetable satirical themes. Franks compositional skills start to really make themselves apparent here as he mixes up doo wop, classical and rock music. However, the weakness of most of the performers in the performance of such a mash up also shows through. They got the comedy part down great though. "Plastic People" acts as a Intro of what's to come up and features a motif similar to the rock classic "Louie Louie". The next 3 tracks are linked together with a theme and variation style of composition with the middle track being mostly a short instrumental break and a return to theme on the last part. This is the Duke of Prunes theme. The next 3 tracks also follow this same pattern but with a different theme; the Vegetable theme. This time, the middle section is a long 7 minute jazz instrumental with guitar and woodwinds featured at the front of the mix. The last section closes both the theme and the 1st oratorio.

On the CD version, we are now treated to 2 tracks that were not on the original release. As stated before, these 2 songs were released together as a single around the same time period. They seem to be mixed a lot better than the rest of the album and are more typical blues-rock songs with FZ vocals sung in lower registers, but still with different timbres. Pleasant enough and they are a welcome change to the oratorio style of the rest of the album.

The second Oratorio again mixes political satire with musical surprises, but no prunes or vegetables are involved this time. The main subject here is the importance of status in American society and how silly it all is when you consider it. Each section of this Oratorio stands pretty much on it's own and each represents different areas of life where status affects people in mostly negative ways. The entire oratorio is bookended by status of bar bands and represent a typical night in a bar or lounge. There is a lot of background voices signifying a busy bunch of patrons drinking. "Status Back Baby" is probably the most straight forward doo-wop song in the original line up of the album, and it hilariously deals with status at the typical high school of the 60s and 70s. "Uncle Bernie's Farm" deals with the latest fads and toys and you really notice the improv that goes on in Frank's music when Ray says something that cracks Frank up in the middle of the song. More status satire continues with "Son of Suzy Creamcheese" where Frank shifts time signatures faster than a speeding eggplant (oops where did that vegetable reference come from) in a very short song. "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" is a political story sung in drama form and is the longest track on this side, in fact it is the only long track on this side, at over 7 minutes. It is a story of status clash between Lyndon Johnson who was president at the time, and a young teen girl, and, if you know Frank's sense of humor, you know what that story will consist of. Nowadays, because of a certain orange president, this behavior seems to be more acceptable, especially among the religious zealots, so it loses it's humor and impact. This track features the best performances of the Mothers on this album. The last track closes out the oratorio and the album and features some vocalizations from Terry Gilliam (Monty Python and etc.) and his girlfriend.

That's it in a nutshell. This album is more interesting as a historical and musical item then it is as an album that you would want to listen to over and over again. I find it somewhat annoying because I don't like the line up of the Mothers so much especially because they were not as advanced musically as Frank was. However, it does pull off the satire quite well. Trouble is, Frank wanted to also get listeners interested in serious music, not just from past composers, but also his own. That is where this albums fails. There are just too many people that only listen for the humor but don't want to take the time to really listen to everything going on here. Don't worry though, because Frank will do better as time goes on with the serious part. Historically, this is an important progressive album, but there are so many more albums in Zappa's repertoire that are better than this, especially when he gets better musicians to back him up. I have to give this one 3 stars, but it was a good attempt and gives a good idea of what was to come later.

 Roxy & Elsewhere by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 1974
4.39 | 309 ratings

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Roxy & Elsewhere
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by SonomaComa1999

4 stars REVIEW #3 - "Roxy & Elsewhere" by Frank Zappa (1973). 5/20/2018

Continuing on the theme of the music of Frank Zappa, I felt it was necessary to review one of his live albums. Following my reviews of his 1974 album "Apostrophe" and his keyboardist George Duke's "The Aura Will Prevail", I decided to choose an album where both musicians were present. While Zappa has a myriad of live albums, and a never-ending sea of live bootlegs, his 1973 offering at the Roxy in Hollywood is considered to be his best. A compilation of songs played at the club over three concerts, fans consider this album to be an absolute masterpiece, containing the feel of Zappa's concerts at the time. It is important to realize that prior to the internet, live performances could only be heard two ways - by going to a performance or purchasing a live album. It was not as easy to hear a musician playing live material as it is today, so therefore it is always crucial that the atmosphere of a musician's live show can transition and be contained into a live album.

The lineup that plays behind Zappa is quite possibly the best of his career. Several names, including the saxophonist/vocalist Napoleon Murphy Brock, trombonist Bruce Fowler, the aforementioned Duke on keyboards, and Zappa himself, appear on this double LP. Perhaps one of the best traits that this album has to offer is its intercalary monologues by Zappa, where he interacts with the crowd, introducing and explaining the songs to the crowd. Most of the music on "Roxy" is new material with the exception of one song. We begin with the humorously titled "Penguin in Bondage", which while having a sexually suggestive title, does not contain the crude sexual humor which Zappa is best-known for; we are not yet to the period where it is going to be right in our faces. While the opener is a rather average piece, we get our first taste of the jazz-fusion/prog tendencies of this lineup. As I mentioned, this is considered to be one of the best lineups backing Zappa in his discography, and you can see how tight this band is as a unit. We get everything from a guitar solo, to some cheeky humor all contained in a rather mellow and sometimes slow song. Things begin to get groovy as we segue into "Pygmy Twylyte", which is a shorter yet much more active piece where Jeff Simmons takes over on lead vocals. At just above two minutes long, I consider it almost as an interlude, but I am totally digging the rhythm on this one; it makes great use of harmonics and captures a very electric musical atmosphere. I tend to prefer the more conventional songs on this album as opposed to the longer improvised and more proggy instrumentals, but there is still value in those, especially for the hardcore prog listener. Side one is wrapped up quite poorly with the skit "Dummy Up", which is a humorous improv piece where Zappa can take jabs at higher education. It is well-known that Zappa had a strong dislike for college; he attended a two-year school in Rancho Cucamonga but left after only one semester, and refused to pay for his kids' college education. In this song, a seedy "dope pushing" Simmons tries to convince Murphy Brock to smoke his high school diploma with a dirty gym sock on the inside. Afterwards, Simmons has him smoke a college diploma "with nothing at all", referring to the perceived uselessness of a college degree. While this sentiment may be more true today thanks to degree inflation, Zappa obviously had very strong feelings about higher education. Unfortunately for the song, it really does not offer much beyond a humorous skit, and in many ways it breaks the barreling flow that "Pygmy" had built up.

On the flip side, we pick up with another introductory monologue by Zappa. This time, Zappa sets up the song "Village of the Sun", an infectiously good tune about the small town of Sun Village in Northern Los Angeles County, near Lancaster, where Zappa went to high school. This is much more of a tongue-in-cheek tune, poking fun at the desert climate's tendency to peel paint off cars and "wreck their windshields too." I absolutely love this tune; it is conventional and catchy, boosted by the strong vocals by Murphy Brock. I still prefer Ike Willis over him, but he is a very good vocalist in his own regard. While there is not much of a strong prog influence on this piece, we get an instrumental showcase in "Echidna's Arf (Of You)", which directly segues out of "Sun Village." While it is a rather short piece, the listener will almost certainly be blown away by the musical abilities of this band as they play at a breakneck and heavily choreographed pace that only the most talented groups can accomplish It is not catchy, but it makes up for that by being a very musically challenging piece. I came across a cover of this tune on Duke's "The Aura Will Prevail" but it omitted much of what made this version great - opting rather to be a synth showcase. Fortunately this rendition is much better, and culminates in an absolutely insane climax which leaves the listener's head spinning. Next up is the near ten-minute instrumental "Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?" which brings us towards a strictly jazz fusion perspective. It cruising along very succinctly, and covers a lot of bases in terms of musical themes and the use of a strong brass section which this lineup expresses. There are a little bit of vocals by Zappa somewhere in the middle of the song, but this piece still qualifies as an instrumental altogether. Every member of the lineup gets their opportunity to shine, from the brass to a dual drum solo near the tail end of the piece - a very strong statement by the band regarding musical virtuosity. Overall I am pretty exhausted by the time all is said and done with this one, and we are only halfway through the album! There is still one LP to go, and so far this is a very solid showing by Zappa.

As per the album, the second LP opens up with another humorous monologue by Zappa. This time the theme is monster movies, preferably cheap and poorly written ones. He makes a reference to the corny 50's horror film "It Conquered the World" and its theme as inspiration to the upcoming piece "Cheepnis." This is another one of the more catchy tunes off the album, with frequent references to B-movies which precedes the main story, which concerns a giant poodle named Frunobulax that is wreaking havoc across the countryside. The military shows up to bring up the recurring "Here Fido!" theme which is found on numerous Zappa tunes, including the song "Stink-Foot" which I reviewed on the Apostrophe album. I would not say that this tune is particularly impressive, but I do enjoy the humor and the unique theme of the music. Next up is the slow and bluesy "Son of Orange County" which returns to a mellow tempo. There really is not much more to be said about this one except that there is a strong brass section and a nice chorus. At this point in the album it is a bit of a push-over, but fortunately we get a reprieve with a fiery reprisal of Zappa's "More Trouble Every Day", which was featured on the Mothers of Invention debut album "Freak Out" in 1966. This is one of more serious songs in Zappa's canon, dealing with the Watts Riots and segregation - however the political references have been castrated in this version, leaving a much more ambiguous theme. We know that Zappa looked back upon the sexual revolution which he supported at the time with disdain, but could his emotions regarding the civil rights struggles of the late-60's have tapered down over half a decade? Likely not, considering the subject matter of 1974's "Uncle Remus" on the Apostrophe album, but maybe there was some sort of retrospective decision which caused Zappa to alter the lyrics on this rendition. Nevertheless, this is one of the highlights of the album; it is an extremely brutal variant of this piece, and it comes off very good to wrap up the third side. Interestingly enough this is the ONLY song on the album that is old material, with the rest of the songs being newly released at the time, which is something you do not normally see with live concerts. Zappa never refrained from being a prolific songwriter, with it being the guitarist's personal hobby while on tour.

At this point I am more than exhausted, and we still have the fourth side, which is made up of just one sixteen- minute extended improv piece titled "Be-Bop Tango (Of the Old Jazzmen's Church)". Going back to the concept of capturing a live atmosphere in an album, this tune captures just that, as Zappa personally invites some of the audience on stage to dance to the scat vocals of George Duke. The entire concept of this piece revolves around dance, and Zappa is not hesitant to allow some ladies and gentlemen to enhance the live experience as the concert comes to a close. Musically there is a lot going here, and there is not necessarily a structure which the band goes along except when Zappa wants to have the guests dance their hearts out to some real abstract passages. Bruce Fowler improvises a trombone solo which mimics the rhythm of a tempo. While the music will not blow your socks off, this song definitely shines a light into the atmosphere and electricity of a Zappa live show, something which a live album should most certainly do.

I have not listened to enough of Zappa's live albums to truly and definitively name "Roxy" as his best, but I was impressed by the musicianship on this album. The Mothers tow a fine line between conventional catchy music and expanded improvisational and jazzy journeys, giving the listener the best of both worlds. I am extremely hesitant to hand out a 5-star rating, and unfortunately this album just has a little bit too many uninspiring tunes such as "Dummy Up" or "Son of Orange County" which will cause it to barely miss that rating. Nevertheless, it made it very close - my biggest takeaways from the album are "More Trouble", "Village", and "Pygmy", all of which are great tunes that have received multiple listens from myself. I recommend that you at least give this album a try - maybe you'll like it more than I do! I give it 4-stars (88% - B+), which makes it my highest rated album to date! Great for Zappa and jazz fans!

"Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny..." -Frank Zappa

 Apostrophe (') by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.03 | 622 ratings

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Apostrophe (')
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by SonomaComa1999

4 stars REVIEW #1 - "Apostrophe" by Frank Zappa (1974). 5/4/2018

To preface my first review, I thought that covering a Zappa album would be a good way to begin. Given that this work is arguably his most commercially successful and accessible work, it seemed like a good starting point. Frank Zappa was one of the first artists that introduced me to progressive rock, even if at the time I was not aware of the genre's existence. A friend of mine suggested Zappa's work one night in 2015 as we were driving down Washington Boulevard in Petaluma, California - about 400 miles from where Zappa grew up in Lancaster. It would not be until 2016 that I got my hands on a copy of his 1979 album "Joe's Garage" that I got hooked onto his music. For those who have hardly listened to Zappa or not at all, his music is extremely abstract even by today's standards. An eccentric character, Zappa is surprisingly one of the few resonant prog acts to ever emerge from the United States, with a prolific catalog that includes his 1974 album "Apostrophe".

That brings me to "Apostrophe" the album, which is arguably Zappa's most accessible work from his leviathan of a discography. Running for only just over half an hour, this is a great album to test the waters for Zappa's extremely abstract and humorous style. The first side of the album is dominated by the "Yellow Snow Suite", which is a collection of four tracks that are loosely based on the same concept. The premier piece, "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" was a commercial success, cracking the US Billboard Hot 100 and peaking at #86. While the single version of the song, which contains excerpts from all four songs of the suite, is radically different than the album version, a DJ in Pittsburgh edited his own version, which was popular unto itself and inspired Zappa to release the official single. While "Yellow Snow" is hardly a feat in Zappa's own musicianship, its relaxed tempo and abstract lyricism make for a good introduction to the album. In this piece we are introduced to the protagonist, an Eskimo named Nanook, which is likely a reference to the 1922 film "Nanook of the North." As Nanook's mama lets him off into the tundra, it breaks into the next song "Nanook Rubs It". The longest piece of the Suite, coming in at 4:38, we are now introduced to what I suppose is the story's primary conflict, where a "strictly commercial" fur trapper begins to whack one of Nanook's favorite baby seals with a lead-filled snow shoe. Offended by the egregious act of animal cruelty, Nanook begins throwing the "Yellow Snow" at the man, blinding him. Ultimately, the story shifts over to that of the fur trapper, who in order to heal his eyes, must travel to the parish of St. Alphonzo. This brings us into the next song of the suite, the aptly titled "St. Alphonzo's Pancake Breakfast." A very short piece, it is a intercalary between the fourth and final piece, "Father O'Blivion" - both these songs feature sexually ambiguous lyricism, a staple of Zappa's lyricism. By the end of the Suite, any semblance of the concept has been lost oddly enough, and there is a fade out to conclude it; altogether the "Yellow Snow Suite" comes in at 10:53.

"Cosmik Debris" concludes the first side of the original LP. A popular Zappa work that was played prolifically in his live shows, it completely abandons the themes of the first four songs, now concerning the story of a particular snake-oil salesman. This one was also quite popular on the Dr. Demento radio show in the 1970's, which only further spurred Zappa's success in the States. This is the first song on the album where we get some real high energy, largely in part to both a Zappa guitar solo and a fast-paced bridge.

The second side lacks a concept, but it does start off with another short piece that serves as an introduction. "Excentrifugal Forz" comes off as the primary throwaway track of the album, and is forgettable even though it isn't necessarily bad. It is tight, fast-paced, and contains all of Zappa's musical quirks of the time period. However, it is followed by the instrumental title track, which is an absolute masterpiece. Featuring Cream bassist Jack Bruce on bass guitar, this track is pure musical nastiness. A farty bass-line drives the music at a cool pace, reminiscent of a jam session. While this collaboration proves to have spawned a wonderful piece of music, it also seems to have spawned tension between both Zappa and Bruce. Zappa, who later in 1977 was asked about the collab in an interview with Guitar Player Magazine, remarked that he met Bruce through drummer Jim Gordon, and found him "difficult" to play with. Bruce had even harsher words for Zappa in 1992 in an interview for Tylko Rock, claiming that Zappa had invited him to appear on his album, and after listening to his "awful" music, had "made a sound" for Zappa's "most popular record". Bruce even denied that he played bass on the album, with him saying that he recorded cello parts for the album. However, given the audible similarities between the bass-line on "Apostrophe" and his work with Cream, it is obvious that Bruce was lying. Whatever tensions the two artists had, at least they were able to put together a very strong work - a take-away from this album.

Next up, we get a much more light-hearted collaboration between Zappa and jazz pianist George Duke for the brief but powerful "Uncle Remus". A song which has a pretty clear-cut theme about race relations in the 1970's, the title is inspired by the controversial African-American cartoon character of the same name. This is another one of my personal favorites off the album, opening up in a balladic fashion with Duke's piano and Zappa's happy-go-lucky vocals backed by the uncredited Tina Turner and the Ikettes, who elevate this song to another level. Midway through the song, Zappa brings in the guitar, and we're in a jamming mood as the song hits a bridge and careens towards the coda, which is a wonderful Zappa solo - unequivocally the best on this album. Duke would record his own version of the song for his own 1975 solo album "The Aura Will Prevail" which is much more mellow and is also deserving of a listen. Closing out the album is the six-minute "Stink-Foot" which was inspired by a foot-spray commercial. The longest piece on the album if you don't consider the Yellow Snow Suite a full song, it is a continuation of the avant-garde jazz style featured on the album, and contains many allusions to previous Zappa lyrical themes, including the talking poodle Fido, "conceptual continuity", and even the boots from "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" earlier in the album. This style cannot be considered musique concrete, but is more a rather unique concept that is exclusive to Zappa's music. Overall, while "Stink-Foot" is geared to close the album out with an extended guitar solo, it is a step down from the previous two pieces which arguably dominate the album.

"Apostrophe" is Zappa's most easily accessible albums. It features a roster of musicians, including not just Bruce, Duke, and Gordon, but also violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, Ian Underwood, and Napoleon Murphy Brock. The album gets its fair share of exposure in the prog rock community - while it is by no means one of Zappa's greatest works on a musical level, it has a role given its affinity to introduce a listener to his music. The greatest takeaways from "Apostrophe" are the title track and "Uncle Remus" - the former being an excellent bass showcase and the latter being one of Zappa's more emotional and serious works. There are no terrible pieces on the album, although I was not particularly struck by half of the Yellow Snow Suite, and I felt "Stink-Foot" fell flat following up the album highlights. I give this album four stars (83% B-); it is a succinct album with some takeaways that are worth being in your personal collection.

 The Mothers Of Invention: Cruising With Ruben & The Jets by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1968
2.78 | 258 ratings

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The Mothers Of Invention: Cruising With Ruben & The Jets
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by MATT1980

5 stars Very few love for this album, which is a little bit sad. I rate this one a 10/10. Frank Zappa has worked in all areas of music and so it only comes natural that he also would record his "Pop"-album. And in this case "Pop" means "Doo Woop", a musical genre established in the 50s and nearly forgotten today. One thing you must note is that there are at least two different mixes of the album. The original one and the one where bass and drums were re-recorded (along with "We're only in it for the Money"). I think both mixes work incredibly fine, but the latter is considered inferior by some part of the fan base. In fact, I think the 80's mix sounds more fun. Starting with the real catchy "Cheap Thrills" this album moves straight forward and at the end we also have a nice guitar solo with "Stuff Up the Cracks". If you are looking for a real fun album, dig this. It's full of beautiful melodies.
 Halloween 77 by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2017
4.00 | 6 ratings

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Halloween 77
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars As the title suggests, this album was recorded at the 1977 NYC Palladium Halloween Zappa show. Some of this show is familiar to the long-time Zappa fans, as it was used for an hour long (including commercials) recording used for a radio broadcast. Since I was a rabid Zappa fan in those days (some things don't change), I taped the broadcast (I still have the cassette, and somewhere a digitized version of that tape). But the tape contains only about a quarter of what is on this set.

If you are a fan of the "Sheik Yerbouti" album, it is noted in the liner notes that the band recorded many of that album's basic tracks during the pre-show rehearsals for the series of shows that this one was a part of.

To me, the best parts of this set belong to Tommy Mars (keyboards) and Patrick O'Hearn (bass), two of the most talented musicians Zappa ever brought into his band (that is saying alot, considering the number of of amazing musicians that played for Frank). The fact that Zappa gave them both plenty of solo spots during their tours indicates that the master appreciated their abilities as well.

I won't go too much into the set list, as there are no rarities performed at this concert, but I will pick out a few notable selections.

The rendition of "Conehead" barely resembles the well known version of the song. Here it is barely developed, has no lyrics, and is used as just a riff for an extended guitar solo. The riff sounds a bit like the later versios, so I suppose it could be called the same song.

The real highlight is "Wild Love", extended to just over thirty minutes, including many solos, and some hijinks. Which brings me to the one drawback of this album. A lot of the improvised bits Zappa and his band performed on stage don't translate well to an audio-only release. This can be heard on other albums as well. Throughout this concert, Zappa repeatedly leads the band and the audience through a strange bit of dialogue, that may or may not have made sense at the time. He also brings out Roy Estrada to do his odd sort of conducted vocals, that to me doesn't stand up to repeated listenings.

However, the performances of all of the songs, and there are about thirty of them, are all outrageously good, and make this a great album.

 Jazz From Hell by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.42 | 211 ratings

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Jazz From Hell
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Luqueasaur

2 stars Frank, honey, what's got into ya?: 4/10

JAZZ FROM HELL is an oddball even for Frank Zappa. I'm not saying it sounds objectively strange - heck, that's Zappa's biggest quality -, but instead improper to the man's discography. You see, even Zappa's most maddened, insane compositions and releases were inspired and meaningful. Even his experimental rehearsals and templates or his most apparently nonsensical works (like the excerpts of the Uncle Meat movie). Sure, they're hard to digest, but it's clear they have a soul and a purpose. That's where JAZZ FROM HELL differs. Honestly, the album feels like it exists... because it does.

Of course, the concept behind creating music solemnly with that proto-computer is newsworthy, but when I say his Synclavier sounds mechanic and soulless, I'm referring to the apparent indifference Zappa demonstrates with this record, through his forgettable and uninspired tracks. Musically, JAZZ FROM HELL gets weary quickly. There's a shock value & hype of discovering this is a Synclavier album, but it rapidly exhausts. The unvaried Synclavier focus again and again eventually ends up feeling absolutely insipid. There's a cool, refreshing guitar solo, St. Etienne, but that's about it. Also, something regarding the aforementioned track bugs me. It's not like Zappa has ever cared for releasing albums with some sort of connection between the songs, but placing a live guitar solo within a sea of Synclavier tracks just depicts that blatant disregard with the album.

Honestly, I don't think Zappa cared about JAZZ FROM HELL. It was released four years after he began working with the Synclavier and so his abilities with it are pretty ripe (he even got a Grammy), but for as much time it is useful to develop your skills, it is also efficient on killing your creativity. That must have been it: after so long, Zappa had no creative mojo left. So, uninspired, he came with this.

Well, I'd be really disappointed if I had spent my money on this. If this is Zappa's state-of-art Synclavier music, that's just underwhelming. One could easily put on YouTube "G-Spot Tornado" and with brevity understand what Zappa took 34 minutes to express. In fact, I think that's what you should do.

 A Token Of His Extreme by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover DVD/Video, 2013
4.05 | 17 ratings

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A Token Of His Extreme
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Metal / Heavy / RPI / Symph Prog Team

4 stars Frank was proud to say that he made this TV performance with his own money and added that it's the best DVD that has been made! You can't be more humble than this! This is a 1974 performance with the Mothers of Invention that was refused by American TV for obvious reason but was accepted by the more open French and Switzerland TV. It's only 73 minutes of great music and funny stuff with some strange animations that can only come from the mind of Frank or maybe a band like Tool... The song "Room Suite" is an improvisation between Frank and his partner Napoleon Murphy Brock about someone who orders something to eat in his hotel. It's just cool to see Frank laugh many times during this. As usual with Frank's music, the percussion side is always amazing with Ruth Underwood. Being filmed in the 70's this video is not comparable to today's standards but who watch this for the picture? Don't miss the great interview and performance on the Mike Douglas Show who Frank talk about the music artists he listens.
 The Torture Never Stops by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover DVD/Video, 2008
4.13 | 19 ratings

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The Torture Never Stops
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Metal / Heavy / RPI / Symph Prog Team

4 stars There's only one Frank Zappa and only one that can do this kind of music! This concert made in Halloween presents the late 70's and early 80's music of Frank with many songs that could have been even shorter if they did not include the usual Frank guitar solo. My mind is drifting away when I hear his guitar solo. I prefer to see him conduct his musicians and hear the funny lyrics and music when it's going in his unpredictable direction. The songs are flowing smoothly into each other so that you can see the show as one long song. It is impossible to enjoy everything the man has done in his career because he has played too many styles with the Mothers of Invention or with his synclavier albums, but everyone can see how original was his music and the man who have always stick with his views on many subjects with satire and cynism. This DVD is a great place to start for someone who can be disturbed by the experimental nature of some others videos he has done. This one shows you how the musicians are perfectly synchronized to play this complex music the Zappa way. I just imagine how much more albums he would have done if he was still alive...
 The Mothers Of Invention: Over-Nite Sensation by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.02 | 566 ratings

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The Mothers Of Invention: Over-Nite Sensation
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Are you ready to whip up some dragon lotion? Are you feeling just about as evil as a boogey-man can be?

If the answer to either is "yes", then you're ready to enjoy this immediately enjoyable and accessible Frank Zappa release. Over-Nite Sensation is deservedly one of Frank's most radio-friendly works, and one of his few albums you could play in the background at a party and not have people leave the room. These songs are light-hearted, fun, and have a great blend of fusion grooves and hard rockin' jams. What they are not, is impeccably composed or varied as most other Zappa music. Over-Nite Sensation will make you smile throughout, but you may not reach for it when the mood for Zappa strikes you.

That being said, anytime one of its songs comes on, you won't regret it. "Camarillo Brillo" bounces along playfully as tongue-in-cheek opener, while "I'm the Slime" drips with thick, greasy blues and monster guitar licks. Great stuff. Meanwhile, "Fifty-Fifty" and "Montana" sort of just become noise (for the former), or shoulder shrugging (for the latter). One thing that must be acknowledged though, is Over-Nite's Sensation outstanding guitar work. Frank is on his "A" game here, cranking out soloing that is frenetic, complex, and captivating. This is proverbial "mic drop" for guitar posers.

Great stuff overall, and perfect for some skewed, toe-tapping, sarcastic jamming. A worthy purchase for Zappa newcomers and fans alike, but there are even better gems of his out there to enjoy.

Songwriting: 2 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

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

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