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FRANK ZAPPA

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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

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


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

3.92 | 715 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Freak Out!
1966
4.03 | 587 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Absolutely Free
1967
3.20 | 430 ratings
Lumpy Gravy
1968
4.12 | 728 ratings
The Mothers of Invention: We're Only in It for the Money
1968
2.75 | 317 ratings
The Mothers of Invention: Cruising with Ruben & The Jets
1968
4.05 | 576 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Uncle Meat
1969
4.35 | 1764 ratings
Hot Rats
1969
3.93 | 476 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Burnt Weeny Sandwich
1970
3.78 | 479 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Weasels Ripped My Flesh
1970
3.41 | 383 ratings
Chunga's Revenge
1970
3.10 | 260 ratings
200 Motels
1971
3.93 | 562 ratings
Waka / Jawaka
1972
4.32 | 1068 ratings
The Grand Wazoo
1972
4.01 | 696 ratings
The Mothers of Invention: Over-Nite Sensation
1973
4.03 | 773 ratings
Apostrophe (')
1974
4.30 | 1071 ratings
The Mothers of Invention: One Size Fits All
1975
3.73 | 467 ratings
Zoot Allures
1976
3.76 | 311 ratings
Studio Tan
1978
3.65 | 331 ratings
Sleep Dirt
1979
3.89 | 565 ratings
Sheik Yerbouti
1979
4.14 | 590 ratings
Joe's Garage, Act I
1979
3.99 | 474 ratings
Joe's Garage, Acts II & III
1979
3.64 | 321 ratings
You Are What You Is
1981
3.61 | 289 ratings
Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch
1982
3.15 | 263 ratings
The Man From Utopia
1983
3.15 | 132 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I
1983
3.31 | 219 ratings
Them Or Us
1984
2.38 | 178 ratings
Thing-Fish
1984
2.62 | 152 ratings
Francesco Zappa
1984
3.52 | 141 ratings
Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger
1984
3.22 | 164 ratings
Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention
1985
3.43 | 257 ratings
Jazz from Hell
1986
2.98 | 103 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. II
1987
3.78 | 147 ratings
Civilization Phaze III
1994
3.35 | 98 ratings
The Lost Episodes
1996
4.00 | 215 ratings
Läther
1996
3.17 | 62 ratings
Everything Is Healing Nicely [Aka: EIHN]
1999
2.96 | 59 ratings
Joe's Corsage
2004
1.67 | 61 ratings
Joe's Domage
2004
2.19 | 45 ratings
Joe's XMasage
2005
3.49 | 50 ratings
Feeding The Monkies At Ma Maison
2011
2.91 | 37 ratings
Joe's Camouflage
2014
3.98 | 76 ratings
Dance Me This
2015

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

3.26 | 191 ratings
Fillmore East, June 1971
1971
3.14 | 174 ratings
Just Another Band From L.A.
1972
4.39 | 375 ratings
Roxy & Elsewhere
1974
3.56 | 254 ratings
Bongo Fury
1975
4.25 | 295 ratings
Zappa in New York
1978
3.40 | 178 ratings
Orchestral Favorites
1979
3.13 | 192 ratings
Tinsel Town Rebellion
1981
3.28 | 108 ratings
Baby Snakes
1983
3.60 | 99 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
1986
3.64 | 149 ratings
Broadway The Hard Way
1988
3.39 | 137 ratings
Guitar
1988
4.05 | 145 ratings
You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 1
1988
4.47 | 234 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 2
1988
3.74 | 122 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 3
1989
3.61 | 108 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 4
1991
4.37 | 216 ratings
The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life
1991
4.41 | 166 ratings
Make a Jazz Noise Here
1991
3.75 | 41 ratings
Piquantique - Stockholm 1973
1991
2.38 | 26 ratings
As An Am
1991
3.38 | 29 ratings
The Ark
1991
2.67 | 23 ratings
Freaks & Motherfuckers!
1991
2.44 | 27 ratings
Unmitigated Audacity
1991
2.14 | 27 ratings
Anyway The Wind Blows
1991
2.82 | 26 ratings
'Tis The Season To Be Jelly
1991
2.38 | 24 ratings
Saarbrucken 1978
1991
1.53 | 19 ratings
At The Circus
1992
1.96 | 18 ratings
Conceptual Continuity
1992
2.84 | 54 ratings
Playground Psychotics
1992
3.67 | 94 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 5
1992
3.89 | 93 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 6
1992
2.30 | 19 ratings
Disconnected Synapses
1992
3.02 | 20 ratings
Electric Aunt Jemima
1992
3.11 | 16 ratings
Our Man In Nirvana
1992
3.62 | 17 ratings
Swiss Cheese / Fire!
1992
2.33 | 16 ratings
Tengo Na Minchia Tanta
1992
3.88 | 145 ratings
The Yellow Shark
1993
3.26 | 88 ratings
Ahead Of Their Time
1993
3.93 | 63 ratings
FZ:OZ
2002
3.60 | 40 ratings
Halloween (DVD-Audio)
2003
3.90 | 76 ratings
Imaginary Diseases
2006
3.51 | 72 ratings
Trance-Fusion
2006
4.15 | 68 ratings
Buffalo
2007
4.05 | 80 ratings
Wazoo
2007
3.66 | 49 ratings
The Dub Room Special!
2007
3.64 | 47 ratings
One Shot Deal
2008
3.18 | 32 ratings
Joe's Menage
2008
4.20 | 57 ratings
Philly '76
2009
4.35 | 72 ratings
Hammersmith Odeon
2010
3.85 | 42 ratings
Carnegie Hall
2011
3.17 | 43 ratings
Finer Moments
2012
3.43 | 41 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #1
2012
4.37 | 57 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #2
2013
4.65 | 44 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2013
4.57 | 51 ratings
Roxy By Proxy
2014
4.65 | 17 ratings
Roxy: The Sountrack
2015
3.82 | 11 ratings
200 Motels The Suites
2015
2.41 | 15 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #3
2016
3.07 | 10 ratings
Little Dots
2016
3.79 | 14 ratings
Chicago '78
2016
4.17 | 19 ratings
Halloween 77
2017
4.44 | 25 ratings
The Roxy Performances
2018
3.38 | 7 ratings
Halloween 73
2019
4.33 | 3 ratings
Halloween 81 - Live at The Palladium, New York City
2020
4.00 | 8 ratings
Zappa '88: The Last U.S. Show
2021

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

2.86 | 61 ratings
200 Motels (The Movie)
1971
3.38 | 26 ratings
Uncle Meat (Video)
1988
2.81 | 69 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
2003
4.11 | 82 ratings
Baby Snakes
2003
4.19 | 34 ratings
QuAUDIOPHILIAc (DVD-Audio)
2004
4.04 | 48 ratings
The Dub Room Special!
2005
4.08 | 25 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2005
4.17 | 44 ratings
Apostrophe (') Over-Nite Sensation
2007
4.57 | 48 ratings
Zappa In Barcelona
2007
3.33 | 9 ratings
Tratto dal filmato 'A Token Of His Extreme'
2007
4.16 | 24 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
4.12 | 22 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2013
4.56 | 30 ratings
Roxy: The Movie
2015
5.00 | 4 ratings
Zappa
2021

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

3.73 | 43 ratings
Mothermania: The Best Of The Mothers
1969
2.00 | 3 ratings
Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention
1975
3.73 | 67 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
1981
4.12 | 60 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More
1981
3.88 | 52 ratings
Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
1981
3.84 | 118 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar (The Box Set)
1982
3.88 | 8 ratings
The Old Masters, Box One
1985
2.92 | 20 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
3.77 | 142 ratings
Joe's Garage, Acts I, II & III
1987
4.08 | 24 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Sampler
1988
4.09 | 11 ratings
Beat The Boots 1
1991
2.00 | 2 ratings
Cucamonga Years - The Early Works of Frank Zappa (1962-1964)
1991
4.00 | 9 ratings
Beat The Boots 2
1992
3.50 | 49 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I & II
1995
3.24 | 59 ratings
Strictly Commercial
1995
3.73 | 35 ratings
Frank Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa: A Memorial Tribute
1996
4.16 | 28 ratings
Strictly Genteel
1997
3.24 | 33 ratings
Have I Offended Someone?
1997
2.92 | 46 ratings
Cheap Thrills
1998
2.04 | 55 ratings
The Mystery Disc
1998
2.11 | 18 ratings
Cucamonga (1962 - 1964)
1998
2.96 | 29 ratings
Son Of Cheep Thrills
1999
4.54 | 11 ratings
Zappa Picks - By Larry Lalonde of Primus
2002
3.94 | 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
2.67 | 9 ratings
For Collectors Only
2003
2.85 | 21 ratings
The Best of Frank Zappa
2004
3.40 | 38 ratings
The Making Of Freak Out! Project/Object
2006
2.95 | 2 ratings
The Frank Zappa AAAFNRAA Birthday Bundle
2006
4.00 | 1 ratings
Beat the Boots III
2009
3.60 | 23 ratings
The Lumpy Money Project/Object
2009
3.11 | 23 ratings
Greasy Love Songs
2010
4.40 | 16 ratings
Understanding America
2012
4.50 | 2 ratings
ZAPPAtite (Frank Zappa's Tastiest Tracks)
2016
3.88 | 13 ratings
The Crux Of The Biscuit
2016
3.82 | 13 ratings
Frank Zappa For President
2016
4.67 | 6 ratings
Meat Light: The Uncle Meat Project/Object Audio Documentary
2016
2.98 | 5 ratings
The Guitar World According to Frank Zappa
2019
4.80 | 5 ratings
Zappa in New York (40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
2019
4.86 | 7 ratings
Orchestral Favorites (40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
2019
0.00 | 0 ratings
Under the Covers (The Songs He Didn't Write)
2019
4.17 | 11 ratings
The Hot Rats Sessions
2019
3.67 | 3 ratings
Zappa (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Deluxe)
2020

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

4.09 | 11 ratings
How Could I Be Such a Fool?
1966
4.50 | 14 ratings
Trouble Comin' Every Day
1966
4.00 | 12 ratings
It Can't Happen Here
1966
3.74 | 14 ratings
Big Leg Emma
1967
4.20 | 10 ratings
My Guitar
1969
3.66 | 29 ratings
Peaches en Regalia
1970
3.45 | 11 ratings
Tell Me You Love Me
1970
4.00 | 9 ratings
WPLJ
1970
3.50 | 4 ratings
Tears Began To Fall
1971
4.00 | 1 ratings
Magic Fingers
1971
4.00 | 1 ratings
What Will This Evening Bring Me This Morning?
1972
4.27 | 11 ratings
Cletus Awreetus - Awrightus
1972
3.28 | 15 ratings
Montana
1973
2.89 | 15 ratings
Don't Eat The Yellow Snow
1974
4.00 | 5 ratings
Cosmik Debris
1974
5.00 | 3 ratings
Du Bist Mein Sofa
1975
3.25 | 8 ratings
Find Her Finer
1976
3.80 | 5 ratings
Disco Boy
1976
4.00 | 16 ratings
Bobby Brown
1979
4.14 | 14 ratings
Joe's Garage
1979
3.39 | 14 ratings
Dancin Fool
1979
3.47 | 18 ratings
I Don't Wanna Get Drafted 12''
1980
3.75 | 8 ratings
Stick It Out
1980
3.67 | 6 ratings
Goblin Girl (picture)
1981
2.89 | 16 ratings
Valley Girl
1981
3.50 | 2 ratings
Love Of My Life
1981
4.00 | 5 ratings
Harder Than Your Husband
1981
4.00 | 4 ratings
Cocaine Decisions
1983
3.00 | 3 ratings
The Man From Utopia Meets Mary Lou
1983
2.67 | 6 ratings
Rare Meat - Early Productions Of Frank Zappa 12''
1983
3.50 | 6 ratings
Baby Take Your Teeth Out
1984
3.50 | 2 ratings
True Glove
1984
4.63 | 16 ratings
Peaches En Regalia (longpack)
1987
4.50 | 12 ratings
Montana (Whipping Floss)
1988
4.67 | 9 ratings
Zomby Woof
1988
3.23 | 12 ratings
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
1988
2.09 | 3 ratings
You Can't Do That On the Radio Anymore
1990
3.08 | 9 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
4.50 | 6 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
4.50 | 2 ratings
Don't Eat The Yellow Snow / Down In De Dew
2014
2.00 | 2 ratings
200 Motels Overture
2015

FRANK ZAPPA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Joe's Domage by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 2004
1.67 | 61 ratings

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Joe's Domage
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mirakaze
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

1 stars As much of a fan as I am of Mr. Zappa's music and would hate to think ill of the people entrusted to curate his oeuvre, I can't help but shake off the impression that those people sometimes abuse their position to rip off gullible fans, and this utterly pointless, worthless CD release, chronicling a rehearsal session from the early 70s featuring the same big band with which Zappa recorded the albums "Waka/Jawaka" and "The Grand Wazoo", is one of the most egregious examples of this. I might have been able to forgive how the music is regularly interrupted by barely audible spoken directions and random banter and I might have even been able to forgive the abysmal sound quality of the recording which constantly clips and cuts out, but I cannot forgive the fact that there aren't even any actual songs featured on this album: instead we get a mind-numbing collection of failed takes, musicians practicing short snippets of melodies without accompaniment and the band generally just messing around, randomly divided into multiple tracks and only occasionally interspersed with brief prototypes of songs that would eventually end up on the aforementioned studio albums. Maybe a few minutes of all of this stuff would have been cute to fill up an album featuring actual full takes of these songs; even releasing it in full for free on YouTube might have been interesting, but no one can convince me that the people who decided to release and sell CD copies of this recording could have honestly believed that anyone would willingly shell out 20 dollars and listen to 55 minutes of this crap if they weren't suckered into it. Do not buy this unless you're the most dogmatic of Zappa fans and need to hear absolutely everything that the man ever spat out onto tape.
 Thing-Fish by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.38 | 178 ratings

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Thing-Fish
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by GrafHaarschnitt

1 stars Why on earth is THIS my first review? I bet it must be something deeply psychologically concerning with me.

Nonetheless:

This Record is a great example of what happens if you throw some of the most dry Zappa recordings in your trash without having enough precaution that this might end in your trash turning mad and getting the intention of becoming a very slow and very doom Frank Zappa cover band whilst on heavy drug influence. And if that weren´t enough choosing a stage show presentation form with absurd creatures and racism sprinkled all over it just for a little bit of ornamentation.

I still find it incredible how an album with so many straight time drum beats can sound so rhythmically jarred.

Although I think its one of the few things in my life I listened too once and don't ever want to again, just caused by the pure aural and mental displeasure it provokes, this is like the logical conclusion to all of Frank Zappas satirical career. Its like the next step in Joe´s Garages evolution. I believe Zappa must have planned this one all along since the release of its first tracks on earlier Zappa Albums. But its also obvious why the critics shredded even what few of what was intended to hold this thing together.

On the whole I have to admit I was never a fan of Zappas "funny" operatic, gospel, soul etc. vocals, so I get nearly nothing from that part of the album. And the textures overall are nothing to be proud of. You might be interested by their sometimes proto industrial vibes, but we had that on Zoot Allures before, which is somewhat a blueprint for this albums sound. (and features more than one song from it)

Actually, even if painful to listen to, as a stageshow, this might´ve been quite funny. Mainly because of its fine sense of provoking the audience and even a nice opportunity for involvement. (Thinking of the Bozzios sitting amidst the audience)

Personal Enjoyment: 3 - 4/15

 Understanding America by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
4.40 | 16 ratings

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Understanding America
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by isrort

5 stars Undersdyanding America Album ?A Top-Notch Sound Quality GEM. With Understanding Comes Appreciation by Isra Ortiz

Man, grab a decent set of IEMs or Headphones and listen to this album, NOW! The recording quality is top-notch. First off I have to confense that I wasn't a hardcore fan (until now) of songs like Camarillo Brillo, Find Her Finer, Dinah-Moe Humm, Disco Boy, I'm the Slime, etc; ie the "poppy" catalog of Frank, BUT HERE, they shine and hit a home run since the quality of the recordings, mastering and alternete takes. Even if you already love those tunes, and you haven't listened to this, go and listen them, NOW! You'll be surprised, trust me. I started talking about the later tunes because while I liked them, they were never my favorite, but the rest of the menu is beyond amazing ?it will blow your mind.

The two-disc compilation of alternative takes titled Understanding America is intended for devoted fans only BUT those who appreciate great music will love it as well. It's scattershot material, tied together loosely by one theme: Zappa's acerbic mistrust of American culture. Throughout the '60s, '70s, and '80s, social satire made up a huge amount of his catalog, so Big Brother, media outlets, organized religion, and recreational drugs are all subject to attack here. The gold nugget is the unreleased 25-minute "Porn Wars Deluxe," a Negativland-esque collage that pairs together samples of music with clips from the 1985 PMRC Senate hearings, for which Zappa played an integral role defending against censorship.

This is what it took to produce this amazing deluxe version if you are asking yourself...

Includes Bow Tie Daddy, SEX and parts of It Can't Happen Here, Brown Shoes Don't Make It, What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body?, Who Are The Brain Police? and He Used To Cut The Grass

TTG Studios, LA

March 9 & 12, 1966

March 9 & 12, 1966

Produced by Tom Wilson

Director of engineering for MGM: Val Valentin

Engineers: Ami Hadani & Tom Hidley

FZ?vocals & vocals

Ray Collins?vocals

Jim Black?drums & vocals

Roy Estrada?bass & vocals

Elliot Ingber?guitar

+

Eugene DiNovi?piano

Gene Estes?percussion

Neil LeVang?guitar

+

And maybe some other freaks

?oOo?

Mayfair & Apostolic Studios, NYC

July-October, 1967

Engineers: Gary Kellgren, Dick Kunc

FZ?guitar, vocals

Ian Underwood?piano

Don Preston?keyboards

Roy Estrada?bass

Billy Mundi?drums

Jimmy Carl Black?drums

?oOo?

Piano people voices from Apostolic Studios, NYC

October, 1967

Engineers: Dick Kunc

Spider Barbour?voice

All-Night John Kilgore?voice

Monica?voice

?oOo?

Village Recorders, LA

April, 1979

Engineers: Joe Chiccarelli, Mick Glossop & Steve Nye

Ike Willis?lead vocals

Peter Wolf?keyboards

Patrick O'Hearn?bass

Vinnie Colaiuta?drums

?oOo?

Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK

February 17-19, 1979

Engineers: Mick Glossop, Bob Stone

FZ?lead guitar & vocals

Ike Willis?rhythm guitar & vocals

Warren Cuccurullo?rhythm guitar & vocals

Denny Walley?slide guitar & vocals

Tommy Mars?keyboards & vocals

Peter Wolf?keyboards

Ed Mann?percussion

Arthur Barrow?bass & vocals

Vinnie Colaiuta?drums

?oOo?

UMRK

c. July-October 1982

Engineers: Mark Pinske and/or Bob Stone

FZ?guitar, vocals

Ray White?vocals

Bob Harris?vocals

Ike Willis?vocals

Tommy Mars?keyboards

Arthur Barrow?bass

Chad Wackerman?drums

?oOo?

Thing-Fish section (including some dialog from Galoot Up-Date) from UMRK

c. 1982-83

Engineers: Mark Pinske and/or Bob Stone

Ike Willis?Thing-Fish voice, rhythm guitar?

Steve Vai?guitar?

FZ?rhythm guitar?

Tommy Mars?keyboards

Arthur Barrow?bass

Chad Wackerman?drums

?oOo?

Voices from the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

September 19, 1985

Senator Danforth (R-Missouri)

Senator Hollings (D-South Carolina)

Senator Trible (R-Virginia)

Senator Hawkins (R-Florida)

Senator Exon (D-Nebraska)

Senator Gorton (R-Washington)

Senator Gore (D-Tennessee)

Reverend Jeff Ling

FZ

?oOo?

UMRK, c. 1985

Engineer: Bob Stone

FZ?Synclavier

Also, purportedly this release from the Zappa estate vaults is only one of a few compilations produced and sequenced by Frank himself, and his goal seems to have been to pool all of his high-shock-value outtakes and otherwise controversial material as a big middle finger to the Parental Guidance sticker LOL!

You'll love it, guaranteed!

 You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 3 by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 1989
3.74 | 122 ratings

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You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 3
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by isrort

5 stars The worst of the catalog? really? lol This is the best and is not even close... and I love the Vol 1 & 2. Still have to listen 4,5,6 though

I was reading some of the reviews here before getting into this album since in the first place I do already have all the official albums released by Frank and ZFT, so before getting into this saga called You Can't.... I thought that all the material was a compilation of what had been released up to this date and I didn't want to spend redundant time if already had the material somewhere else which I have listened hundreds of times ?06.2022. Well, while few material is indeed in some posthumous albums like Halloween 77' and 81, I'd say that at very least the 70% of the content here is not, and that is great to start off; ie most of the material is brand new versions of already beloved songs or actually unreleased material. Also, you have to know that my music background is hard rock , heavy metal, and classic rock (before entering into the Art Rock/Experimental world, aka "progressive" music), plus, I specially love guitar virtuoso music, so this volume of the series fits just right with my musical taste because most of it is actually that; hard rock and guitar virtuoso music performed by the cream of the cream of the industry by the time and led by the best musician of all-time in my book; so... what else do you want? lol

Having said that as an introduction, this album is not for people who is entering into Frank Zappa universe IMO, since in order to really appreciate it 100%, you should have digested everything else of the catalog including the ZFT releases, ie the vault material?over 120 albums and 2500+ songs lol; I mean, out there are dozens of Dickie's Such an Asshole, Zoot Allures, Sharleena, etc. versions and yes, every single version is different, and that my friend, is what makes FZ unique and a genius among other million things. So these particular versions presented here are literally home runs by Frank, and now I get why he selected this particular performances and mixes. They are magnificent, and hey! Sharleena, Dickie's such an Asshole, Honey, Don't You Want a Man Like Me?, etc were oks in my book before listening to this, but here my friend, they shine like masterpieces; really!

Also, El Maestro here once again proves his genius mind. Did you ever imagine listen in a song like Zoot Allures which is already a master piece in its studio version, being performed by say:

musicians 1976: FZ?guitar Napoleon Murphy Brock?sax André Lewis?keyboards Roy Estrada?bass Terry Bozzio?drums

musicians 1982: FZ?lead guitar Ray White?rhythm guitar Steve Vai?stunt guitar Tommy Mars?keyboards Bobby Martin?keyboards Ed Mann?percussion Scott Thunes?bass Chad Wackerman?drums

Well, Frank made it possible here mixing the tune which sounds terrific. Speaking for myself I always wanted to listen for example Bozzio and Vai in a single tune; here the dream came true. Some other tunes as well like King Kong were mixed this way. Seriously, you will be surprised how beautiful they sound.

Do not take me wrong all newbies in the FZ universe, you will love it as well since after all this is still great music, but hardcore FZ fans might understand what I'm talking about ?or not lol

Anyways, this is a masterpiece all the way man. It's only 5 stars just because out there are not 10.

 A Token Of His Extreme by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2013
4.65 | 44 ratings

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

Review by isrort

5 stars At the time when I made this review I already had 83 albums in my library and over 1900 songs of Frank Zappa. I'm saying this because you might think, why would you add another version of, say, Montana or Inca Roads? Out there are dozens; well...

The sound quality of this baby is nothing but spectacular to start off. Secondly, the versions of the songs are not found anywhere else. Actually, when you listen to it, you might think that this is a studio album since the clearness and cleanness of the sound. It doesn't matter how many versions of the songs you have, this is a must have fellas. The arrangements and execution are completely different of what you have listened before. It is actually in HI-RES lossless format in almost every streaming platform btw. Arguably it is the tightest version of the band performing at the best possible sound quality, and it says something when you have listened The Roxy Performances boxset. George Duke is a phenomena here. Napoleon is at his peak of his career. Ruth is at her prime as well. Chester Thompson and Tom Fowler are beasts here. It is a five star album all the way. Trust me.

 Hot Rats by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.35 | 1764 ratings

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Hot Rats
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by WJA-K

5 stars After reviewing supposed modern masterpieces, I decided it was time for a real classic.

Hot Rats is totally up my alley. I love these jazz-oriented works of art. It is what drew me to Focus and why I like earlier work from KC, like Lizard and Islands. And they all are unique.

Zappa playing is brilliant, as are Ian Underwood (notably the sax on The Gumbo Variations) and the guest artists.

For elaborate reviews, I point you towards others who have done it much better than I ever could. I leave them to albums with fewer reviews. But I wanted to add my appreciation for this album by adding a 5-star rating.

 Orchestral Favorites by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 1979
3.40 | 178 ratings

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Orchestral Favorites
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Orchestral Favorites" is a live album release by US artist Frank Zappa. The album was released through DiscReet Records in May 1979. It´s the successor to "Sheik Yerbouti" from March 1979. All material featured on "Orchestral Favorites", was originally meant to be featured on the shelved "Läther" box-set, but ended up being released as one of four individual album releases, instead of the collective work that would have been the "Läther" box-set.

The 5 tracks featured on "Orchestral Favorites" were recorded during three sessons on the 17th-19th of September 1975, at Royce Hall on the UCLA campus with conductor Michael Zearott and the 37-piece Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra. The first two sessions were recorded as concerts with an audience, while the last session was done without an audience. Zappa spliced the best parts from the three sessions together and added an overdub guitar solo on "Duke of Prunes". It´s a combined classical orchestra and rock group performance, so in addition to the classical music instruments like violin, oboe, and clarinet, the music also features regular rock music instrumentation of guitars, bass, keyboards, and drums. The music is fully instrumental.

The melodic, dynamic, and symphonic "Strictly Genteel" opens the album. An early version of this composition with vocals was included on the "200 Motels" (1971) film and soundtrack. Themes from "200 Motels" (1971) are also used on the closing track "Bogus Pomp". "Pedro's Dowry" and "Naval Aviation in Art" are avant garde tinged classical music pieces, showing Zappa´s more experimental side. "Duke of Prunes", which was originally featured on "Absolutely Free" (1967), is featured here in a re-arranged classical orchestra/rock group version. The above mentioned overdubbed guitar solo is pretty intense, featuring an almost constant near feedback noisy approach.

While "Orchestral Favorites" certainly features a couple of intriguing moments, it´s arguably the least interesting release culled from the shelved "Läther" material. According to Zappa he spend around $200,000 on this project, and honestly I can´t say I think those money was well spend. A 3 star (60%) rating isn´t all wrong though as there are enough great elements to warrant that rating.

 Sheik Yerbouti by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.89 | 565 ratings

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Sheik Yerbouti
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars "Sheik Yerbouti" is an album release by US artist Frank Zappa. The album was originally released in March 1979 as a double vinyl release through Zappa Records. It was the first release on Zappa´s own label after his acrimonious split with manager and business partner Herb Cohen in May 1976, which meant the end of their co-owned DiscReet Records and a host of lawsuits and disagreements over the remaining part of their distribution deal with Warner Bros. Records. "Sheik Yerbouti" bridges the gap between the two last (out of four) individual albums that Warner Bros. Records released featuring material which was originally meant to be released on the four-LP box set Läther. A box set which was shelved and split into four albums and released by Warner Bros. Records without Zappa´s full consent. The two albums bookending "Sheik Yerbouti" are "Sleep Dirt" from January 1979 and "Orchestral Favorites" from May 1979.

"Sheik Yerbouti" ended up being Zappa´s most commercially successful release and it laid the foundation for the mainstream success (well...relative mainstream success) he had in the 80s. Most of the basic tracks were recorded during 1977/1978 live performances and later spliced with studio overdubs. In typical Zappa fashion it´s most of the time impossible to hear where the live tracks and the studio overdubs start and end. What you´ll experience as a listener is just a very well produced album, featuring an organic, professional, and detailed sound production, helping the material shine like the best quality productions always do.

"Sheik Yerbouti" is loved by many but loathed by just as many as a consequence of the sexually explicit lyrics (although some of them are hidden behind secret words and descriptions) and lyrical topics poking fun at union workers, disco, a certain type of Jewish women, egotism...etc. "Jewish Princess" is considered particularly controversial and even some interpret it as anti-semitic. Zappa refused to apologies though and maintained that he just described a certain type of women that he had observed. "Bobby Brown" is another song which is often considered controversial because of the sexually explicit lyrics which includes stereotyping of lesbians, golden showers, rape, and anal sex. It´s all done with a gleam in the eye and the great social satirical angle that Zappa was known for.

"Sheik Yerbouti" is overall a very eclectic release featuring pop/mainstream oriented songs, which could have been played on commercial radio (and were in some countries), if it wasn´t for the explicit lyrics, rock songs, progressive rock songs, avant garde pieces, jazz/fusion, punk, and silly spoken word dialogue from the band members. Featuring no less than 18 tracks and a total playing time of 71:40 minutes, there are a lot of material and minutes for Zappa to guide us through the many different sounds and styles of "Sheik Yerbouti". The vocal part of the album deserves a special mention. It´s primarily Zappa himself and drummer Terry Bozzio who sing the lead vocal parts on the album, but Napoleon Murphy Brock is credited for singing lead vocals on "Wild Love" (along with Tommy Mars) and Adrian Belew sings the lead vocals on "Jones Crusher" and "City of Tiny Lites" (as well as performing the Bob Dylan impersonation on "Flakes"). Bassist Patrick O'Hearn is also credited for performing some lead vocalst. Naturally with that many lead vocalists and a host of backing vocalists, the vocal part of the album is equally as eclectic in nature as the instrumental part of the material.

It would be wrong to call any Frank Zappa related release an easy listen or mainstream oriented, but parts of "Sheik Yerbouti" are probably the closest you´ll get to that with Zappa. However the eclectic nature of the album ensures that the listener is constantly kept on his/her toes and challenged by the clever compositions and high level musical performances. Are some of the lyrics offensive or in bad taste? I guess it depends on the ears that hear and the morale and political/social values of the listener. Personally I find the lyrics quite brilliant, and in my opinion even the most silly and borderline mean lyrics should be understood as social commentary rather than hateful rantings. Upon conclusion "Sheik Yerbouti" is one of the essential albums in Zappa´s discography, and especially essential if you´re looking for his most accessible comedic/satirical releases. A 5 star (100%) rating is fully deserved.

 Francesco Zappa by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.62 | 152 ratings

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Francesco Zappa
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars "Francesco Zappa" is an album release by US, California based artist Frank Zappa. The album was released through Barking Pumpkin Records in November 1984 and is sandwiched between "Them or Us" from October 1984 and "Thing-Fish" from December 1984.

"Francesco Zappa" is a rather unusual Zappa release, as it doesn´t feature a single piece of music composed by Zappa himself. The album instead features 17 pieces of classical chamber music composed by Italian composer Francesco Zappa (who was active from 1763 and 1788 and despite sharing sur-name with Frank Zappa, aren´t otherwise related). Francesco Zappa isn´t a particularly prolific classical composer in the eyes/ears of today, but in his time he was a highly regarded cellist known for his virtuosic skills on the instrument and his compositions were published and distributed throughout Europe. He spend most of his working life on The Hague's 18th-century music scene. Frank Zappa discovered the music of Francesco Zappa when David Ocker (copyist, synclavier programmer, and clarinetist) introduced Zappa to one of Francesco Zappa´s pieces, and Zappa soon after began a search for sheet music, which proved a difficult task, but he eventually was able to locate some sheet papers.

With the help of Ocker, he then programmed some of the Francesco Zappa pieces into his Synclavier synthesizer and thus we have the "Francesco Zappa" album. A through and through bizarre music experiment and probably not how Francesco Zappa would have imagined the first publication of his music would sound like (not that he could probably even image a publication since he died over 200 years ago). The compositions themselves are rather generic chamber music, influenced by the baroque period which had just ended (gradually faded around 1750). They are decent pieces of classical chamber music, but nothing out of the ordinary for the style, and performed by the Synclavier synthesizer the material becomes a somewhat odd listen. The music which was clearly intended to be played on organic classical music instruments, ends up sounding like plastique casio keyboard elevator muzak.

I´m not sure why Frank Zappa found this music appealing or why he thought it was a good idea to spend time, money, and effort, getting these compositions released, but to my ears it´s probably the least interesting release in his entire discography. I´d even listen to some of the lo-fi quality official bootlegs before listening to this one. It´s not that it´s a horrible listening experience, but it leaves me indifferent and a 2 - 2.5 star (45%) rating isn´t all wrong.

 Just Another Band From L.A. by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 1972
3.14 | 174 ratings

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Just Another Band From L.A.
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mirakaze
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

2 stars Too much musicality is sacrificed here in favour of nonsense stories, inside jokes and just plain screwing around. Frank's trademark absurdity and witticisms can't help but get stale when you're subjected to them with only the most rudimentary of musical accompaniments for three quarters of an hour. The pièce de résistance "Billy The Mountain" has exactly one interesting musical phrase (the Studebaker Hoch theme) that lasts for only two out of its twenty-four minutes, the rest being drawn-out idiocy. Maybe with a visual component this stuff might have been more entertaining, but without it this mostly just strikes me as a big waste of time. Listen to "Greggery Peccary" if you want to hear Frank tell an absurdist fable that's actually funny and musically interesting. This album's version of "Dog Breath" goes off well enough and is about the only spot on the album where Frank really lets loose with his guitar, but I think I'd prefer just about any version of the song that doesn't have Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan warbling over it with their abrasive high-pitched voices. Also, good lord... Did Frank really need to stretch out his ugly Freudian tale "Magdalena" to over six minutes? Stupid.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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