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FRANK ZAPPA

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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Frank Zappa biography
Frank Vincent ZAPPA was born in Baltimore on December 12, 1940. When he was 10 years old, he moved to California with his parents. The first instrument he played was the drums. At that time, Frank ZAPPA really liked rhythm and blues music. But in 1954, ZAPPA found a copy of "The Complete Works Of Edgar Varèse, Vol. One". He was fascinated by the 'weird' avant-garde pieces and it was probably also ZAPPA's first encounter with atonal compositions, something that would later reappear in his own music. During high school, he played in several garage bands, but he didn't write rock and roll music himself until his early twenties. He began writing classical music at 18. Some of his early compositions he wrote for the B-films "The World's Greatest Sinner" and "Run Home Slow" (written by his high school English teacher). You can find the theme from "Run Home Slow" on the "The Lost Episodes" and "The Mystery Disc". From 1962 'til 1964, ZAPPA wrote several songs for different bands (You can find those songs on "Cucamonga" and "For Collectors Only"). In 1964 ZAPPA entered THE SOUL GIANTS. He renamed the band THE MOTHERS (which was a subtle abbreviation of 'motherfuckers') and soon after the band caught the attention of producer Tom Wilson. THE MOTHERS were contracted by the Verve-division of MGM and after they had changed their name into THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION (to satisfy some MGM Records executives, who thought the other name was too provocative), they released 'Freak Out!', the second double-album ever (after Bob DYLAN's "Blonde On Blonde") and also what is said to be the first concept album ever. This milestone contained a strange mix of rhythm and blues, satyrical lyrics and avant-garde dissonance. With this first edition of THE MOTHERS, Frank ZAPPA recorded a number of progressive rock masterpieces. All of his records from the sixties are fantastic, except for "Cruising With Ruben & The Jets", which is a satiric tribute to doo-wop music. Worth mentioning is the fabulous "We're Only In It For The Money", on which ZAPPA ridicules the hippie-culture in general, and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" from THE BEATLES in particular. The entire sleeve of "We're Only In It For The Money" is a parody on that record. On August 20, 1969, ZAPPA disbanded THE MOTHERS. The most important members of the early MOTHERS OF INVENTION had been Frank ZAPPA (guitar, vocals, much more) Ray COLLINS (vocals), Jimmy Carl BLACK (the indian of the group, drums and percussion), Roy ...read more

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Over-Nite SensationOver-Nite Sensation
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$8.04
$7.99 (used)
Joe's Garage Acts I II & IIIJoe's Garage Acts I II & III
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$11.45
$9.98 (used)
Sheik YerboutiSheik Yerbouti
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$8.03
$6.50 (used)
Apostrophe (')Apostrophe (')
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$7.86
$10.99 (used)
We're Only In It For The MoneyWe're Only In It For The Money
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$4.12
$4.97 (used)
Freak OutFreak Out
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$3.93
$6.49 (used)
Hot RatsHot Rats
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$7.19
$8.46 (used)
One Size Fits AllOne Size Fits All
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$7.69
$6.46 (used)
The Grand WazooThe Grand Wazoo
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$9.50
$7.98 (used)
Roxy & ElsewhereRoxy & Elsewhere
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$7.87
$9.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
FRANK ZAPPA*AHOY, EIGHTIES!*2-CD SET*RARE OOP LIMITED EDITION*NOT TARANTURA US $24.99 [0 bids]
1h 6m
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2h 3m
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GRAND FUNK RAILROAD & Frank Zappa 7" Can you do it American Hard Blues SPAIN US $25.00 Buy It Now 2h 14m
FRANK ZAPPA Them Or Us 1984 Australian EMI 2LPs ~ Steve Vai US $37.02 Buy It Now 2h 19m
Open All Night VARIOUS DEAD CAN DANCE FRANK ZAPPA PREFAB SPROUT MORPHINE IVY ETC US $12.12 Buy It Now 3h 4m
Cheap Thrills by Frank Zappa (CD, Apr-1998, Ryko Distribution) US $4.99 Buy It Now 3h 15m
Sheik Yerbouti by Frank Zappa (CD, May-1995, Ryko Distribution) US $5.99 Buy It Now 3h 18m
Jazz from Hell by Frank Zappa (CD, May-1995, Ryko Distribution) US $4.99 Buy It Now 3h 19m
Frank Zappa,Over-Nite Sensation,1973 Reprise Press.EX To NM Cond. US $18.14 Buy It Now 3h 36m
Frank Zappa You Are What You Is CD Rock Album 2012 New US $22.17 Buy It Now 3h 41m
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Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention LP great condition US $19.99 [0 bids]
3h 43m
FRANK ZAPPA SHUT UP'N PLAY YER GUITAR CBS/SONY 60AP 2268/69/70 JAPAN OBI 3LP US $47.01 [25 bids]
4h 2m
Frank Zappa Studio Tan Portugese vinyl LP album record LP-S-68-16 REPRISE 1978 US $57.93 Buy It Now 4h 3m
FRANK ZAPPA WAKA / JAWAKA-HOT RATS REPRISE P-8277R Japanese Pressing Vinyl LP US $15.50 [11 bids]
4h 3m
FRANK ZAPPA ZAPPA IN NEW YORK DISCREET P-6339,40W JAPAN PROMO OBI Vinyl 2LP US $62.01 [19 bids]
4h 4m
FRANK ZAPPA,CAPTAIN BEEFHEART,MOTHERS BONGO FURY DISCREET P-10093D JAPAN LP US $51.01 [33 bids]
4h 5m
RARE!! The Guitar World According To Frank Zappa RARE CASSETTE!! US $7.99 [1 bids]
4h 31m
Knebworth 1978 Frank Zappa tour programme UK TOUR PROGRAMME 1978 US $55.03 Buy It Now 4h 45m
FRANK ZAPPA Roxy LP cover framed for wall mounting black or silver GIFT US $23.87 Buy It Now 4h 46m
Strictly Genteel: A Classical Introduction to Frank Zappa by Frank Zappa (CD,... US $2.49 Buy It Now 4h 47m
FRANK ZAPPA 2 CASSETTE LOT BABY SNAKES & UNCLE MEAT US $9.99 [0 bids]
4h 53m
Frank Zappa in New York - Discreet 2D 2290 2 LP Gatefold - 1977 VG/VG US $9.99 [0 bids]
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4h 56m
Frank Zappa - Bobby Brown 7" Holland Pic Sleeve Psych Rock Outsider CBS Captain US $9.99 Buy It Now 5h 14m
Frank Zappa The Negative Dialects Of Poodle Play UK book QUARTET 1994 US $102.98 Buy It Now 5h 32m
Electric Don Quixote Frank Zappa book UK 0-7119-5983-8 OMNIBUS PRESS 1996 US $66.12 Buy It Now 5h 32m
The Frank Zappa Companion Frank Zappa UK book 0-7119-6523-4 OMNIBUS PRESS 1997 US $87.88 Buy It Now 5h 32m
Frank Zappa vinyl LP album record Weasels Ripped My Flesh - 2300 yen obi JPN US $409.46 Buy It Now 5h 34m
FRANK ZAPPA - 1984 - "Them Or Us" US $9.89 [0 bids]
5h 42m
FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS 1971 - Fillmore East - June 1971 US $9.09 [0 bids]
5h 49m
FRANK ZAPPA - 1969 - Uncle Meat" RE US $17.17 [0 bids]
5h 49m
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART the early years 1959 - 1969 GERMANY CD like new FRANK ZAPPA US $22.00 Buy It Now 5h 56m
12 ROCK & ROLL RECORD ALBUMS FRANK ZAPPA MOTHERS ALICE COOPER STONES TRAFFIC US $9.99 [1 bids]
6h
Frank Zappa - Sexual Harassment In The Workplace 3" Ryko CD SEALED!!! US $10.00 [0 bids]
6h
You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 1 by Frank Zappa (2 CD Set) Ryko New US $9.99 [0 bids]
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6h 3m
FRANK ZAPPA--Ship Ariving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch--Import LP w/EP US $29.99 Buy It Now 6h 5m
Playground Psychotics by Frank Zappa and the Mothers (2 CD Set) Ryko New US $9.99 [0 bids]
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Fillmore East: June 1971 by Frank Zappa and the Mothers (CD) Live Ryko New US $9.99 [0 bids]
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6h 12m
MOTHERS OF INVENTION - Absolutely Free - CD ZAP 12 - 1988 (Frank) Zappa Records US $22.51 Buy It Now 6h 14m
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART if you got ears EUROPEAN CD like new FRANK ZAPPA US $20.00 Buy It Now 6h 24m
Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar by Frank Zappa (CD, May-1995, 3 Discs, Ryko, REDUCED! US $20.00 [0 bids]
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6h 25m
FRANK ZAPPA - WHY DON'CHA DO ME RIGHT / BIG LEG EMMA NEW VINYL US $13.97 Buy It Now 6h 26m
FRANK ZAPPA - TORTURE NEVER STOPS / NEW DVD US $16.67 Buy It Now 6h 35m
FRANK ZAPPA MOTHERS 200 MOTELS SUPERB UK UA ORIGINAL FIRST WITH POSTER US $76.79 [1 bids]
6h 36m
FRANK ZAPPA PICTURE DISC UK IMPORT US $28.00 Buy It Now 6h 48m
FRANK ZAPPA/Mothers Of Invention-Freak Out!-'67 CLASSIC PSYCH-NEW LP US $37.99 Buy It Now 6h 56m
Mothers of Invention "Just Another Band From LA" LP VG MS 2075 Frank Zappa US $24.99 Buy It Now 7h 10m
FRANK ZAPPA apostrophe(') Au20 RYKO 24K GOLD AUDIOPHILE MASTER CD Limited US $79.99 Buy It Now 7h 13m
FRANK ZAPPA one size fits all Au20 RYKO 24K GOLD AUDIOPHILE MASTER CD Limited US $79.99 Buy It Now 7h 13m
Frank Zappa - Chunga's Revenge - CD - (Universal 2012) US $18.75 Buy It Now 7h 18m
Frank Zappa - Sleep Dirt - CD - (Universal 2012) US $18.75 Buy It Now 7h 23m
FRANK ZAPPA**UNCLE MEAT**2 CD SET US $9.98 Buy It Now 7h 24m
Frank Zappa - London Symphony Orcestra - 2CD - (Universal 2012) US $23.87 Buy It Now 7h 25m
Frank Zappa LSO II USA Cassette Tape London Symphony Orchestra Volume 2 Vol. US $9.99 Buy It Now 7h 31m
Frank Zappa One Size Fits All PROMO Discreet 2216 US Vinyl LP US $39.75 Buy It Now 7h 33m
FRANK ZAPPA 2LP, Tinseltown Rebellion (BARKING-PUMPKIN US Issue EX/EX) US $27.13 Buy It Now 7h 33m
FRANK ZAPPA LP, Ship Arriving Too Late (BARKING-PUMPKIN US Issue EX/EX) US $25.43 Buy It Now 7h 33m
Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers of Prevention 12" vinyl LP '85 rock US $12.99 Buy It Now 7h 40m
Jean-Luc Ponty - KING KONG: MUSIC OF FRANK ZAPPA - US Idiot Bastard Son LP US $39.99 Buy It Now 7h 56m
FRANK ZAPPA: Joes Garage Act I LP ZAPPA RECORDS SRZ11603 US 1979 Gatefold VG++ US $19.79 Buy It Now 7h 57m
Frank Zappa: Son of Cheap Thrills ~ Very Good CD (Apr-1999, Ryko (USA)) Cheep US $8.93 Buy It Now 7h 59m
SEALED FRANK ZAPPA: Rare Meat Feb 62 LP DEL FI RECORDS RNEP 604 US 1983 MONO US $80.99 Buy It Now 8h 10m
Frank Zappa The Ark (CD, Jul-1991, Foo-Eee Records) US $32.50 [0 bids]
8h 18m
FRANK ZAPPA "Time Sandwich" by The Mothers of Invention PROMO CD RARE US $15.00 [0 bids]
US $60.00 Buy It Now
8h 20m
Strictly Commercial: The Best Of Frank Zappa US $6.99 Buy It Now 8h 20m
Frank Zappa Zoot Allures LP 1976 bs2970 WOW orig mothers of invention vinyl rare US $22.00 Buy It Now 8h 23m
Frank Zappa - Thanks to Frank by Warren Cuccurullo (CD, Mar-1996, Imago) US $25.00 [0 bids]
8h 24m
FRANK ZAPPA: Waka Jawaka HOT RATS LP BIZARRA REPRISE MC2094 US 1972 VG++ US $53.99 Buy It Now 8h 24m
FRANK ZAPPA: Them Or Us LP BARKING PUMPKINS SVBO 74200 W/INSERT 2xLP US 1984 NM US $44.99 Buy It Now 8h 32m
Don Preston - Vile Foamy Ectoplasm CD Frank Zappa US $11.40 Buy It Now 8h 33m
Don Preston - Retrospective CD Frank Zappa US $11.40 Buy It Now 8h 34m
Don Preston - Works CD Frank Zappa US $11.40 Buy It Now 8h 34m
FRANK ZAPPA: Jazz From Hell LP BARKING PUMPKINS ST 74205 US 1986 VG++ US $25.19 Buy It Now 8h 37m
Frank Zappa-The Grand Wazoo WLP Promo LP..Super Nice Copy US $69.98 [0 bids]
8h 38m
Napoleon Murphy Brock - Gregarious Movement After Frank CD Frank Zappa US $11.40 Buy It Now 8h 39m
JAPAN Frank Zappa YOU ARE WHAT YOU IS ~ 2 LPs ORIGINAL 1981 Japanese press MINT- US $69.99 Buy It Now 8h 43m
LATHER - Frank Zappa - LÄTHER - JAPAN 1996 Ryko - BOX booklet OBI - 5 LPs MINT US $399.99 Buy It Now 8h 43m
FRANK ZAPPA - THE BEST BAND YOU NEVER HEARD IN YOUR LIFE - CD - ryko US $9.99 [0 bids]
8h 52m
Frank Zappa Hot Rats Remixed cd US $14.00 Buy It Now 8h 54m
Frank Zappa Thing Fish US $20.00 [0 bids]
US $30.00 Buy It Now
8h 58m
"Zoot Allures" by Frank Zappa vinyl record US $7.99 [0 bids]
8h 59m
Frank Zappa "Orchestral Favorites" 1979 Rock LP, Nice VG++!, Original US $13.95 Buy It Now 9h 5m
Frank Zappa - Zappa's Universe (CD, Sep-1993, Verve) US $39.75 [0 bids]
9h 7m
FRANK ZAPPA - MOTHERMANIA NEW CD US $20.88 Buy It Now 9h 15m
Frank Zappa and Mothers-Uncle Meat 2LP Set Early 80's Pressing Near Mint US $24.98 [0 bids]
9h 16m
FRANK ZAPPA i don't wanna get drafted 7" b/w ancient armaments (zr1001) pic slee US $10.41 Buy It Now 9h 21m
CD RYKO 83-03 PROMO FRANK ZAPPA FLAMING LIPS+ RARE/NM!! US $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 29m
Frank Zappa Jazz From Hell vinyl LP 1986 Barking Pumpkin Records EX IN Shrink US $28.00 Buy It Now 9h 32m
Frank Zappa : One Size Fits All Vinyl VG+ LP Record D2216 US $9.99 [0 bids]
9h 43m
FRANK ZAPPA Golbin Girl ORG 12" PICTURE DISC Mail Order US $42.50 Buy It Now 9h 46m
FRANK ZAPPA & MOTHERS OF INVENTION~Freak Out~ 1966 Verve Blue Label 2 LP RARE! US $74.99 Buy It Now 9h 47m
FRANK ZAPPA 4 Track Maxi Single TRUE GLOVE nm GERMAN 12" EP US $9.99 [2 bids]
9h 50m
FRANK ZAPPA - PLAYGROUND PSYCHOTICS - NEW CD BOXSET US $11.45 Buy It Now 10h 12m
NEW & SEALED 2 LP set ~ FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS ~ Roxy & Elsewhere US $33.99 Buy It Now 10h 12m
FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS JUST ANOTHER BAND FROM L.A. REPRISE ORIGINAL EX COND US $7.99 [0 bids]
10h 16m
Apostrophe/Over-nite Sensation - Frank Zappa 1986 Ryko CD Made In Japan NRMT US $24.95 Buy It Now 10h 19m
SEALED 2 180 gram audiophile LPs The Mothers of Invention FREAK OUT! Frank Zappa US $33.99 Buy It Now 10h 23m

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FRANK ZAPPA shows & tickets


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FRANK ZAPPA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FRANK ZAPPA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.89 | 423 ratings
Freak Out!
1966
4.09 | 352 ratings
Absolutely Free
1967
3.30 | 255 ratings
Lumpy Gravy
1968
4.17 | 443 ratings
We're Only In It For The Money
1968
2.68 | 176 ratings
Cruising With Ruben & The Jets
1968
4.15 | 343 ratings
Uncle Meat
1969
4.33 | 1022 ratings
Hot Rats
1969
3.88 | 264 ratings
Burnt Weeny Sandwich
1970
3.76 | 263 ratings
Weasels Ripped My Flesh
1970
3.37 | 212 ratings
Chunga's Revenge
1970
3.03 | 143 ratings
200 Motels
1971
3.90 | 317 ratings
Waka / Jawaka
1972
4.31 | 572 ratings
The Grand Wazoo
1972
3.98 | 400 ratings
Over-Nite Sensation
1973
3.98 | 445 ratings
Apostrophe (')
1974
4.33 | 542 ratings
One Size Fits All
1975
3.69 | 280 ratings
Zoot Allures
1976
3.70 | 183 ratings
Studio Tan
1978
3.59 | 180 ratings
Sleep Dirt
1979
3.83 | 328 ratings
Sheik Yerbouti
1979
3.32 | 118 ratings
Orchestral Favorites
1979
4.12 | 332 ratings
Joe's Garage, Act I
1979
3.89 | 258 ratings
Joe's Garage, Acts II & III
1979
3.66 | 188 ratings
You Are What You Is
1981
3.56 | 166 ratings
Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch
1982
3.07 | 74 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I
1983
3.13 | 153 ratings
The Man From Utopia
1983
3.22 | 127 ratings
Them Or Us
1984
2.39 | 97 ratings
Thing-Fish
1984
2.59 | 88 ratings
Francesco Zappa
1984
3.59 | 83 ratings
The Perfect Stranger
1984
3.26 | 93 ratings
Meets The Mothers Of Prevention
1985
3.47 | 156 ratings
Jazz From Hell
1986
2.99 | 48 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. II
1987
3.68 | 88 ratings
Civilization Phaze III
1994
3.30 | 56 ratings
The Lost Episodes
1996
3.92 | 134 ratings
Läther
1996
1.92 | 42 ratings
The Mystery Disc
1998
3.40 | 27 ratings
Everything Is Healing Nicely (EIHN)
1999
1.86 | 29 ratings
Joe's Domage
2004
2.95 | 26 ratings
Joe's Corsage
2004
2.10 | 22 ratings
Joe's XMASage
2005
3.50 | 23 ratings
Feeding The Monkeys At Ma Maison
2011
3.89 | 42 ratings
Läther
2012
3.03 | 13 ratings
Joe's Camouflage
2014

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

3.24 | 105 ratings
Fillmore East, June 1971
1971
3.14 | 98 ratings
Just Another Band From L.A.
1972
4.39 | 226 ratings
Roxy & Elsewhere
1974
3.49 | 153 ratings
Bongo Fury
1975
4.18 | 178 ratings
Zappa In New York
1978
3.04 | 117 ratings
Tinsel Town Rebellion
1981
3.37 | 66 ratings
Baby Snakes
1983
3.46 | 60 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
1986
3.55 | 90 ratings
Broadway The Hard Way
1988
3.46 | 83 ratings
Guitar
1988
3.91 | 88 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 1
1988
4.47 | 147 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 2
1988
3.49 | 67 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 3
1989
3.43 | 65 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 4
1991
4.29 | 138 ratings
The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life
1991
4.34 | 109 ratings
Make A Jazz Noise Here
1991
2.23 | 15 ratings
As An Am
1991
3.28 | 21 ratings
The Ark
1991
2.69 | 14 ratings
Freaks & Motherfuckers!
1991
2.51 | 19 ratings
Unmitigated Audacity
1991
2.17 | 18 ratings
Anyway The Wind Blows
1991
2.88 | 17 ratings
'Tis The Season To Be Jelly
1991
2.05 | 15 ratings
Saarbrucken 1978
1991
3.62 | 28 ratings
Piquantique - Stockholm 1973
1991
1.59 | 10 ratings
At The Circus
1992
2.42 | 12 ratings
Conceptual Continuity
1992
2.97 | 12 ratings
Disconnected Synapses
1992
3.63 | 13 ratings
Electric Aunt Jemima
1992
3.07 | 10 ratings
Our Man In Nirvana
1992
3.87 | 11 ratings
Swiss Cheese / Fire!
1992
2.53 | 10 ratings
Tengo Na Minchia Tanta
1992
2.90 | 33 ratings
Playground Psychotics
1992
3.50 | 59 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 5
1992
3.71 | 60 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 6
1992
3.72 | 88 ratings
The Yellow Shark
1993
3.22 | 61 ratings
Ahead Of Their Time
1993
3.99 | 43 ratings
FZ:OZ
2002
3.56 | 32 ratings
Halloween (DVD-Audio)
2003
3.53 | 47 ratings
Trance-Fusion
2006
3.78 | 57 ratings
Imaginary Diseases
2006
3.75 | 32 ratings
The Dub Room Special!
2007
3.98 | 39 ratings
Buffalo
2007
3.99 | 49 ratings
Wazoo
2007
3.58 | 32 ratings
One Shot Deal
2008
3.25 | 20 ratings
Joe's Menage
2008
3.95 | 37 ratings
Philly '76
2009
3.83 | 46 ratings
Hammersmith Odeon
2010
3.71 | 19 ratings
Carnegie Hall
2011
3.43 | 21 ratings
Finer Moments
2012
3.35 | 15 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #1
2012
4.70 | 19 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #2
2013
3.57 | 7 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2013
4.20 | 12 ratings
Roxy By Proxy
2014

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

2.84 | 42 ratings
200 Motels (The Movie)
1971
3.29 | 21 ratings
Uncle Meat (Video)
1988
2.62 | 43 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
2003
4.01 | 62 ratings
Baby Snakes
2003
4.14 | 26 ratings
QuAUDIOPHILIAc (DVD-Audio)
2004
3.78 | 37 ratings
The Dub Room Special!
2005
4.00 | 9 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2005
3.89 | 36 ratings
Apostrophe (') Over-Nite Sensation
2007
4.34 | 33 ratings
Zappa In Barcelona
2007
4.00 | 7 ratings
Tratto dal filmato 'A Token Of His Extreme'
2007
4.46 | 13 ratings
The Torture Never Stops
2008
3.00 | 6 ratings
Live In Paris 1980
2008
3.29 | 9 ratings
Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention: In the 1960's
2009
4.08 | 7 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2013

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

3.65 | 31 ratings
Mothermania: The Best Of The Mothers
1969
3.55 | 46 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
1981
3.69 | 40 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More
1981
3.68 | 35 ratings
Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
1981
3.98 | 79 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar (The Box Set)
1982
3.57 | 7 ratings
The Old Masters, Box One
1985
2.58 | 12 ratings
We're Only In It For The Money / Lumpy Gravy
1985
3.14 | 7 ratings
The Old Masters, Box Two
1986
3.14 | 7 ratings
The Old Masters, Box Three
1987
3.51 | 89 ratings
Joe's Garage, Acts I, II & III
1987
3.89 | 17 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Sampler
1988
3.60 | 10 ratings
Beat The Boots 1
1991
3.67 | 9 ratings
Beat The Boots 2
1992
3.24 | 25 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I & II
1995
3.23 | 45 ratings
Strictly Commercial
1995
3.56 | 29 ratings
Frank Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa: A Memorial Tribute
1996
3.90 | 22 ratings
Strictly Genteel
1997
3.27 | 22 ratings
Have I Offended Someone?
1997
2.89 | 36 ratings
Cheap Thrills
1998
2.10 | 13 ratings
Cucamonga (1962 - 1964)
1998
2.93 | 22 ratings
Son Of Cheep Thrills
1999
4.20 | 14 ratings
Zappa Picks - By Larry LaLonde Of Primus
2002
4.00 | 12 ratings
Zappa Picks - By Jonathan Fishman Of Phish
2002
4.20 | 16 ratings
Threesome No. 1
2002
4.31 | 16 ratings
Threesome No. 2
2002
3.20 | 10 ratings
For Collectors Only
2003
2.76 | 15 ratings
The Best of Frank Zappa
2004
3.34 | 28 ratings
The Making Of Freak Out! Project/Object
2006
3.38 | 15 ratings
The Lumpy Money Project/Object
2009
3.13 | 14 ratings
Greasy Love Songs
2010
3.29 | 7 ratings
Understanding America
2012

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

3.71 | 7 ratings
How Could I Be Such a Fool?
1966
4.13 | 8 ratings
Trouble Comin' Every Day
1966
3.86 | 7 ratings
It Can't Happen Here
1966
3.21 | 5 ratings
Big Leg Emma
1967
3.60 | 5 ratings
My Guitar
1969
3.43 | 16 ratings
Peaches en Regalia
1970
3.17 | 6 ratings
Tell Me You Love Me
1970
3.50 | 4 ratings
WPLJ
1970
4.00 | 5 ratings
Cletus Awreetus - Awrightus
1972
3.16 | 7 ratings
Montana
1973
2.67 | 8 ratings
Don't Eat The Yellow Snow
1974
2.75 | 4 ratings
Find Her Finer
1976
4.25 | 8 ratings
Bobby Brown
1979
4.00 | 7 ratings
Joe's Garage
1979
3.31 | 7 ratings
Dancin Fool
1979
3.90 | 10 ratings
I Don't Wanna Get Drafted 12''
1980
3.25 | 4 ratings
Stick It Out
1980
4.60 | 5 ratings
Goblin Girl (picture)
1981
2.81 | 8 ratings
Valley Girl
1981
4.80 | 5 ratings
Harder Than Your Husband
1981
4.00 | 5 ratings
Rare Meat - Early Productions Of Frank Zappa 12''
1983
4.50 | 6 ratings
Baby Take Your Teeth Out
1984
4.29 | 7 ratings
Peaches En Regalia (longpack)
1987
3.83 | 6 ratings
Montana (Whipping Floss)
1988
5.00 | 6 ratings
Zomby Woof
1988
3.27 | 9 ratings
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
1988
2.46 | 5 ratings
You Can't Do That On the Radio Anymore
1990
3.09 | 6 ratings
Stairway To Heaven 12''
1991
4.17 | 5 ratings
Clean American Version
1995
4.12 | 6 ratings
Kill Ugly Radio Some More
1995
5.00 | 4 ratings
Kill Ugly Radio
1995
5.00 | 4 ratings
Return Of The Son Of Kill Ugly Radio
1995
5.00 | 6 ratings
Zomby Woof (longpack)
1998

FRANK ZAPPA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Absolutely Free by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.09 | 352 ratings

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Absolutely Free
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Dobermensch

2 stars An infantile album that sounds as though it's been recorded by a bunch of drunk American 15 year olds in their dads garage.

I've actually got a lot of time for Zappa. He was a very good speaker and seemed like a nice guy.

This recording really irritates me though. The most ridiculous double entendres run rampant throughout this daft album that means and says nothing whatsoever which is incredible considering how vocal heavy it is. To my ears it sounds really straight down the line with very little creativity. I'm sure back in '68 things were viewed very differently - but today this just sounds hopelessly dated and outmoded.

I wish he'd stop rolling those 'Rrrr' letters and singing about goddamn vegetables. I've got better things to do with my life than to listen to this. Even the wonderfully titled 'Invocation & Ritual Dance Of The Young Pumpkin' fails to impress with a highly disagreeable jam that can be found on a multitude of recordings from this era.

'Big Leg Emma' is the kind of track Beefheart could have made a proper stab at rather than this half hearted limp effort. I don't know what it is with me and Zappa - something just doesn't click. I guess I just dislike that American late 60's sound full stop. The Doo-wop singing simply bursts my head and the less said about the horns the better. This just sounds alien to me. One step from the Beach Boys.

And I have to say I get very uneasy listening to 'Brown Shoes Don't Make It' - in particular that part with the young girl. - 'If she were my daughter I'd...' 'What would you do daddy?'

Not good.

Give me Wild Man Fischer any day.

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 FZ:OZ by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2002
3.99 | 43 ratings

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FZ:OZ
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Suedevanshoe

5 stars The sound quality may not be pristine, but this 1976 recording in Sydney pulls out all of Frank's tricks. In addition, this small five piece band is not properly documented live until this particular 2 CD set. Many of the old favorites are here, but the real highlights are the as yet unreleased tunes like "Canard du Jour" and "The Torture Never Stops". Lengthy versions of "Black Napkins" "Chunga's Revenge" and "Zoot Allures" stop the show. This is the definitive live version I've heard of Chunga's Revenge. Roy Estrada shows up on bass, and several early Mothers songs make an appearance. Tight playing and extreme audience energy ramps up the voltage. It's great to hear Roy on bass, and Napoleon Murphy Brock is always a treat. A fine entry into the Zappa catalog.

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 Freak Out! by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1966
3.89 | 423 ratings

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Freak Out!
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars With this I will begin to explore the musical world of the American musicians Frank Zappa and his Mothers of Invention. Frank Zappa made a lot of interesting stuff and back in 1966 his band "The Mothers of Invention" made their first record "Freak out!". Fourty-eight years have passed since they recorded this and you understand quite fast how innovative these pioneers were. 1966 was some years before progressive rock was a known phenomenon. Though is this too intelligent and too weird to be a hippie record.

Frank Zappa plays guitar, harmonica, cymbals, tambourine, sings and orchestrates, Plas Johnson plays saxophone, Jimmy Carl Black percussion and drums, Ray Collins plays guitar, harmonica, cymbals, sound effects, tambourine, sings and plays finger cymbals, Gene Estes plays percussion, Roy Estrada plays bass, guitarron and sings, Elliot Ingber plays guitar, Carol Kaye plays bass and Ruth Komanoff and John Rotella plays percussion. Those were the musicians present on the record and probably they were satisfied with what they did.

The Mothers of Invention here plays music of many forms. One big input is a typical rock'n'roll form which is an ingredient here. Many songs are simple rock songs with a rich and stupid clothing. "Hungry Freaks, Daddy" sounds a little like "The Rolling Stones" but they joke a lot too(7/10). "I ain't got no heart" starts in a typical sixties sound, a powerful feeling too (7/10). "Who are the brain Police?" then is a dark and experimental spaced track(6/10) and "Go cry on somebody else's shoulder" is like a fifties pop song, with parodic sound effects(6/10). "Motherly love" is a rough rock song(6/10) and "How could I be such a fool" is a fine little poetic song(7/10). "Wowie Zowie" has a funny touch a funny little text but the song as whole is a little weird(6/10) and You didn't try to call me" has quite beautiful passages and inspirations from different locations(7/10) and "Anyway the wind blows" is catchy and perhaps the finest track on this record, I like it(8/10). "I'm not satisfied" continues quite average(6/10) and "You're probably wondering why I'm here" is a funny song with a glad abnd weird melody that I like(7/10). "Trouble every day" then is a bit boring but tough(5/10) and then come the experimental parts without bit interest for me. "Help, I'm a rock" feels quite improvised(3/10) just as "It can't happen here" with a lot of sound effects which I'm not very interested in(3/10) and the same is easy to hear in the last track "The Return of the son of monster Magnet" which is very experimental and kind of contains too much to be enjoyable. The sounds do not make me feel comfortable at at(2/10).

Over all is the record an interesting statement in a historical time and many songs are enjoyable even if I had heard to pick personal favourites. But it's a good debut album by Frank Zappa where you at least will find parts interesting. Three stars!

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 Roxy By Proxy by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2014
4.20 | 12 ratings

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Roxy By Proxy
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

4 stars "Roxy & Elsewhere" remains my fave Zappa live release of all times. The line-up represents perhaps the most skilled crew of hired hands with great abilities Zappa has ever assembled. This follow up release contains elements of the original album with a markedly different song selection. Tunes that are not generally easy to absorb played quite well here, but in reality, wouldn't be missed. It's more of curiosity value than a long lost masterpiece.

When Frank plays his distorted electric guitar, it's as good as on the original work, yet this appears to be dominated by George Duke's delightfully jazzy synths contributions.

Most of the previously unreleased numbers are pretty much "structured" jamming that leave me between hot and cold. Even Tom Fowler is permitted to play a mediocre solo on his Fender bass. Altogether, pretty good work, but hardly equal to the original piece.

If you are after a great rendition of tunes from Roxy and the best bits Frank has ever recorded, do check out Dweezil Zappa's "Zappa Plays Zappa" instead. That will blow your mind in place of light entertainment presented here. Some parts of this piece would serve selectively well as additional material to the original "Roxy", but altogether remain a poor cousin to that work.

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 Chunga's Revenge by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.37 | 212 ratings

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Chunga's Revenge
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars To say that you don't like Frank Zappa is like saying you don't like food. There are thousands, millions of dishes to eat (or try) world wide and there are a plethora of musical styles to discover when it comes to Zappa. Never standing still too long on the same spot, ever moving, ever progressing. With that said, I need to point out that not all Zappa, as with food, is to your taste or personal preference. However, I am of the most certain mind when saying that anyone into prog is able to find at least one album to love and enjoy. That is the case for me. I cannot claim to love all of Zappas enormous production. I cannot even claim to love half of it. I care for only a fragment of all these albums on the market.The best of these fragments is the underrated (in my opinion) Chunga's revenge.

Funnily enough, this album was the first I bought. When I decided to explore Zappa back in the 1990's I decided upon this one. I knew there were other albums proclaimed to be his masterworks but I chanced on this one, giggling at the cover and that odd title. I could not have picked a better album to start off with at that particular time and Chunga's revenge is still my favorite, both by musical standards aswell as nostalgic reasons.

It must be said, that Chunga's revenge probably is one of Zappas most accessible albums. There are very few hard nuts to crack. It is, basically, a collection of great semi-progressive tunes leaning towards an array of styles. Anything from jazz and eastern moods to ballads and hard rock. Though being a highly varied album it never looses the focus and the result is a very tight and cohesive record. It has some loose and laidback grooves, reminding me of the late 1960's jamming found on many an album. It is inspired and groovy, played with a lot of joy and love of music.

I think that the best songs are the eastern flavored "Transylvania boogie", the hard rock of "Tell me you love me" and the concluding "Sharleena". The tracks in between are very enjoyable as well and provides a wonderful template of moods and styles. This album proves that Zappa really could take a bite off of anything and create the most extraordinary music.

One often reads about the guitar of Frank Zappa and on Chunga's revenge it is ever so wonderful. He manages to be both masterful and raucious, a combination not always found in guitar wizards.

All in all, Chunga's revenge is a wonderful rock album with progressive leanings. It is not overly complex. Instead it is a collection of quite easily digestable and enjoyable songs with great variation. It is still my favorite and if you want to find a starting point where the humour, irony and craziness is a bit subdued in favor of musical seriousness (without being boring, naturally) this might be a good place to start.

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 Roxy By Proxy by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2014
4.20 | 12 ratings

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Roxy By Proxy
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams

5 stars The splendor of this album was almost obsured by the clumsy handling of this release by the Zappa Family Trust.

For years , the ZFT has been teasing us with hints and rumors of the eventual unveiling of the legendary Roxy video footage. With more and more statements that the video was near, this album was marketed as a hint of things to come. So just put it out there already.

First, in order to fund the Roxy video project, licenses were sold to investors, who were to receive master copies of the album and packaging, with the rights to sell their own copies. At the end of last summer, fans who could not afford the high cost of the investment could pre-order the album from the Zappa.com web site (sort of a slap to those who wanted to recover their investment).

Then came a comedy of missed release dates, where a week or so after every announced shipping date, a new schedule was announced. Investors and pre-order customers vented their frustration at Zappa.com and other fan sites.

Finally, in March, the disk shipped. Luckily for the ZFT, ratings are for the actual product, not the circumstances around the realease.

To many of us, Roxy & Elsewhere is one of the pinnacles of Frank Zappa's career. The band he assembled, featuring Ruth Underwood, Chester Thompson, Ralph Humphrey, Tom and Bruce Fowler, George Duke and Napoleon Murphy Brock was possibly the most impressive of FZ storied touring groups. And the original Roxy album, although heavily overdubbed, is a stellar work of genius.

This album, taken from the two Roxy shows in December 1973 has some of the same titles as the classic album, but the overlapping tracks are mostly from alternate shows. At most, there may be a few edited sections that FZ spliced in the Elsewhere album.

Of interest to Zappaphiles: "Inca Roads" is somewhere between the loose, light version as heard on "A Token Of His Extreme" and the "One Size Fits All" fusion wonder. A percussion-only "Cheepnis" gives a view of the inner workings of that song. And a rollicking medley of "King Kong", "Chunga's Revenge" and "Mr. Green Genes" closes the set.

The above tracks, and the overall amazing performance, tempered by the oh so slightly deteriorated tone of the tapes, and the flurry of other recent releases of this lineup would have been cause for a four star rating.

But this album is boosted by possibly the best liner notes ever written. Ruth Underwood has resurfaced and supplied twenty pages of in depth analysis of each song and performance. Her detailed descriptions of what it was like playing these almost impossible works, the interplay between FZ and the band, and between band members themselves, gives a rare, but highly emotional glimpse of the experience of this incredible group.

Reading along as the music is playing is as close as you can get to being on stage at those historic shows.

So 5 stars it is.

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 Hot Rats by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.33 | 1022 ratings

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Hot Rats
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Prog 74

4 stars I'm not typically a Frank Zappa fan, but I love this album. Perhaps it's because on this album Zappa gets down to business. No satire. No juvenile songs. Just music. And on this album Zappa really plays his ass off. Absolutely phenomenal! He shreds like a madman! I really think Zappa could have given Jimi Hendrix a run for his money if he choose to play guitar like this all the time. Sure, this is a jazz-rock album. One of the first of it's kind actually. But, the emphasis here is more on the rock then on the jazz. Yes, it's a bit quirky. But, what Zappa album isn't? Only one song features any vocals, 'Willie the Pimp', and those are courtesy of Captain Beefheart (who I generally cannot stand). However, here Captain Beefheart just sounds like an old bluesman and is not too annoying. My personal favorite song on the album is 'The Gumbo Variations'. Zappa is on fire here! Just some really amazing guitar work. 'Peaches en Regalia' is another highlight and has a really lovely melody. Something you don't typically say of a Zappa tune. For those of you typically put off by Zappa's weirdness and his juvenile antics give this album a try. It's still a little off-beat, but in a pleasant way. A great addition to any prog-rock collection.

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 Sheik Yerbouti by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.83 | 328 ratings

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Sheik Yerbouti
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Chicapah
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In 1977 Frank Zappa's contract with Warner Brothers ended and he finally got the unfettered freedom that he'd been yearning to have for years. "Sheik Yerbouti" was the first release on Zappa Records and I get the feeling that Frank wanted to celebrate the occasion by having some fun. While many might consider this double LP too frivolous I beg to differ. The man's humorous side was never hidden from public view so to expect him to conceal it as if it were something he was ashamed of is to dismiss a huge part of his personality for no good reason. For those inclined to limit themselves to his more "serious" endeavors there's plenty of albums available that more readily accentuate Zappa's adventurous jazz/rock fusion explorations but I think to do so hampers one's ability to completely understand his genius. This wasn't just some wise guy with distinctive facial hair who surrounded himself with eclectic collections of musical virtuosos, this was FRANK ZAPPA! He was openly rebellious and to expect him to play by the rules was pure folly. This is no masterpiece of prog rock or modern jazz but I doubt that he was trying to make one this time around. I think he just wanted to reiterate to the industry that in his realm there were no sacred cows to be revered and, by combining live tracks with studio add-ons and effects, demonstrate that he refused to be restricted or corralled by traditional methodology. "Sheik Yerbouti" displays splendidly the mixture of wit and immense talent that made Frank the stellar, one-of-a-kind 20th century savant who influenced millions of musicians worldwide during his too-short 52 years on Terra Firma.

The first five cuts are a non-stop medley of tunes that appear to be a lampoon of the trends that surfaced and thrived (at least for a while) during the 70s, starting with a hilarious send up of R&B Doo-Wop sensibilities entitled "I Have Been in You." I find the crude lyrics and the high-pitched backup vocals to be an absolute hoot because Motown was never this brutally honest about sex although they sang about it all the time. From there he cruises into "Flakes," a great skewering of Californians in general coupled with proggy interludes and rhythm guitarist Adrian Belew's faux Bob Dylanisms that only the mind of Mr. Zappa could make work. "Broken Hearts are for Assholes" is next, a rocking stab at the New Wave movement that also gives a wink to the pretentious performance artists of that era via free-form word association. "I'm So Cute" then barges in. It reminds me of some of the silly British glam acts that tried so hard to be outrageous but were only successful at becoming ridiculously dated. The southern-fried boogie craze gets its turn on the grill with "Jones Crusher," a driving number faithfully rendered complete with inane words and an overblown concert finale. "Whatever Happened to All the Fun in the World?" is the first of several brief forays into an abstract dimension that'll give you cause to grin. It's not all vaudeville, though. On "Rat Tomago" Frank cuts loose on the fret board and proceeds to dazzle and stun your ears with his inimitable axe-wielding ferocity. It's pretty much a droning on-stage jam but who cares when the guitar playing is this fierce? "Wait a Minute" is another short spasm of incidental hijinks. Those of the politically correct persuasion had best skip "Bobby Brown Goes Down," a bold slice of satire that's bound to offend the sensitive. My opinion is that if you can't enjoy a chuckle over this song then you're taking yourself way too seriously (Something Zappa avoided like the plague.) Lighten up, for heaven's sake.

"Rubber Shirt" is an experimental detour into jazz land where Terry Bozzio's drums and Patrick O'Hearn's bass guitar roam free. Frank, ever the mad scientist, combined two totally unrelated tracks to construct something intriguing. It goes to show that he was never afraid to "put it all out there." He wasn't as concerned about the common man's acceptance of his fearless craft as he was of staying true to it. "The Sheik Yerbouti Tango" is a strange journey into Latino territory where Zappa colors far outside the well-defined lines. It's definitely not for the musically conservative ear. On the odd little ditty, "Baby Snakes," it's back to unapologetic funny business for a few minutes. "Tryin' to Grow a Chin" is a sly poke at rock & roll theatrical productions. (Makes me wonder what FZ would've thought of extravaganzas like the recent insipid "Rock of Ages" stage show and movie.) "City of Tiny Lites" is a prime example of why there'll never be another Frank. It's a tightly-compacted conglomerate of rock, prog, funk, jazz and humor that's a testament to his unmitigated gall. "Dancin' Fool" follows, an incredibly spot-on swipe at the vapid disco phenomenon. (The tune actually crossed over into dance clubs for a spell in '79 to Zappa's astonishment.) "Jewish Princess" is Spike Jones on LSD. Sometimes making music can be made for no other purpose than to elicit a giggle or two and I'm okay with that. Let it be exactly what it is and don't overanalyze. "Wild Love" is a highly complex, intricate arrangement of musical passages and assorted absurdities that defies description. Think jazz/rock fusion tossed in a blender. The album ends with 12:36 of "Yo Mama," an epic that showcases Frank's progressive leanings eloquently. Here structure and spontaneity get swirled together brilliantly. I realize that a lot of folks won't "get it" but I'm glad that I do. It's greatness.

"Sheik Yerbouti" went on to become Zappa's biggest seller. It rose to #21 on the LP charts and, to date, has sold over 2 million copies. Not bad for an anti-establishment non-conformist. While I can dig that this stuff ain't for everybody I think it's still better than most of the self-righteous garbage I hear on radio and TV today. No one dares to be sarcastic anymore for fear of reprisals from the right or left and that's a shame because we need to be reminded from time to time that we're all crazy, neurotic messes that don't seem to know when to take a chill pill and have a good laugh at ourselves. Frank Zappa took on that dirty job with pleasure and, in hindsight, it's obvious that he didn't scar anybody for life with his playful jabs. "Sheik Yerbouti" is a harmless yet entertaining escape. 3.5 stars.

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 Absolutely Free by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.09 | 352 ratings

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Absolutely Free
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy

5 stars ABSOLUTELY FREE is absolutely just that. Freer than any bird that a certain American Southern rock band would later sing about or even come close to sounding like. I have to always go back and look at the year on the CD when I listen to this. Really? 1967? Uh, wait a minute wasn't that the year of the Summer Of Love and all the other psychedelic and hippie love gracing the musical world? Well, yeah but obviously nobody told Mr. Zappa and the Mothers. They had their own jaded agenda and much more grounded in reality it was. While many were dropping out, Mr Zappa and the Mothers were dropping biting critiques taking pokes at politics and society in general. To this day this remains some of the most intelligently designed musical expressions ever laid down on tape.

After a great start with their debut this is the album where all those wonderful and crazy ideas really came to roost. You know the kind. The kind music that forces you to recalibrate your musical attitude to get it and either fall in love with it like I did or reject it in total dismay because it's just too scary! Mommy help me! Whether you hate it or love it, it forces you to react and you either dive in for repeated listens or you run away in total shock and horror accusing them of blasphemy and being possessed by demons who are out to destroy the status quo. This was not my first Zappa album but it has become one of my top 50! It helps that they dropped the overabundance of doowop and dared to fly their freak flags ever higher. I am inclined to think that the Mothers Of Invention were one of the most significant bands to catalyze what we now call progressive music. Nothing was even close to this style of madness back in 1967 and precious few acts have achieved it since.

This album which has been described as a condensed 2-hour musical was one of the first overtly complex albums that excelled at political and social satire. On this album Bunk Gardner was added on saxophone which created an even richer sound and consists of 2 side long suites that take music in directions never thought possible. Although this is unlike anything else one can still hear the Stravinsky and Varese influences if you're familiar with their music and of course the Mothers were pioneering the unthinkable act of creating jazz-fusion.

This must have been a total slap in the face to any listener when this came out. Between the over-the-top criticism and intelligently delivered lyrics mixed with a musical collage of ideas that rotate like a sampling guide it just plain boggles the mind! This is one of the best albums Mr Zappa and the Mothers ever came up with. It is brilliant from the very first track "Plastic People" to the closing "America Drinks And Goes Home." Although bonus tracks are extremely hit and miss on Zappa albums, the two tracks "Big Leg Emma" and "Why Don't You Do Me Right" fit in perfectly on my Rykodisc version of this musical masterpiece.

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 Joe's Camouflage by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.03 | 13 ratings

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Joe's Camouflage
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams

3 stars The "Joe's" series of Frank Zappa releases that the Zappa Family Trust has been putting out for about the last decade has mostly been for the hard core fans that must hear everything he recorded (like me). But even so, the smattering of rehearsals, outtake and banter on most of the disks has often been disappointing. This is one of the better of the series.

After the great mid-seventies lineup, that included the Fowler Brothers, Chester Thompson, and of course Ruth Underwood dissolved, Frank worked with a lot of different lineups. This one never got past the rehearsal stage, supposedly for scheduling reasons. I think there may have been other reasons.

Familiar names are here. Roy Estrada of the original Mothers is back on bass and very high vocals. Napoleon Murphy Brock is there, as is Terry Bozzio, Denny walley and Andre Lewis. Unknown to most are guitarist Robert "Frog" Camarena and violinist/keyboardist Novi Novag.

It may be that there just were not many rehearsals, or that this band is not as tight as the groups Zappa put together since the Fowlers graced his stage, but the performances are rough. At best, they remind me of the Burnt Weenie Sandwich period of FZ's career.

There is a lot of good music, however. "Phyniox" (a misspelling of Phoenix) appears in two different takes. This is sort of a fanfare piece, the type that the band would play to warm up at the beginning of the show. It's nice, but not great.

The highlight is "T'Mershi Duween", that sounds less fusiony than any released version I've heard, and more like an Eastern European folk tune. This segues into "Reeny Ra", a silly but amusing track, that ends with Frank explaining to the band just what it is he's trying to get them to do.

Another nice moment is a full band version of "Sleep Dirt". It's only two minutes, but it gives you the idea of what a full blown arrangement of this would sound like.

An early version of "Honey, Don't You Want A Man Like Me" doesn't fare well, with vocals almost inaudible. "Any Downers" also appears, as a single riff song with slightly different lyrics.

This certainly is not for a Zappa neophyte, but there are some interesting tracks for the fans.

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