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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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Roxy & ElsewhereRoxy & Elsewhere
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$8.06
$8.06 (used)
Freak OutFreak Out
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$3.51
$3.32 (used)
Joe's Garage Acts I II & IIIJoe's Garage Acts I II & III
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$11.98
$10.89 (used)
Over-Nite SensationOver-Nite Sensation
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$8.23
$12.11 (used)
Shut Up 'N Play Yer GuitarShut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$12.40
$11.49 (used)
Apostrophe (')Apostrophe (')
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$8.25
$6.79 (used)
Sheik YerboutiSheik Yerbouti
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$8.01
$7.10 (used)
We're Only In It For The MoneyWe're Only In It For The Money
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$4.19
$7.99 (used)
Hot RatsHot Rats
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$7.94
$6.98 (used)
Uncle MeatUncle Meat
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$6.04
$4.13 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Overnite Sensation Frank Zappa and The Mothers Quadradisc LP US $39.99 Buy It Now 37m 49s
FRANK ZAPPA ZOOT ALLURES CD 1995 RYKO USA COME WITH ORIGINAL GREEN JEWEL CASE US $13.29 Buy It Now 40m 19s
Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention : Uncle Meat (2CDs) (2006) US $9.12 Buy It Now 48m 6s
FRANK ZAPPA 7" 45 "DANCIN' FOOL" b/w "BABY SNAKES" 1979 Near Mint US $1.99 [0 bids]
50m 43s
Frank Zappa -- Mystery Disc (Ryko CD) US $9.50 [0 bids]
59m 4s
Chunga's Revenge Frank Zappa CD Gas for everyone from Z Ryko Edition US $34.99 Buy It Now 1h 22m
Anyway the Wind Blows Frank Zappa 2 CD Ike Willis Arthur Barrow Vinny Colaiuta US $99.99 Buy It Now 1h 30m
Frank Zappa, I'm The Slime/Montana #0842 7" Record Store Day RSD 2013 US $16.00 [5 bids]
1h 35m
FRANK ZAPPA LP HOT RATS A1 B1 REPRISE GATEFOLD LP STEAMBOAT LABEL RARE VINYL US $58.81 Buy It Now 1h 36m
Frank Zappa Sheik Yerbouti RARE NM LP Record Album US $11.49 [2 bids]
1h 39m
FRANK ZAPPA "Studio Tan" Discreet 2291 1st Press NM US $11.99 Buy It Now 1h 39m
FRANK ZAPPA / PIERRE BOULEZ " Boulez Conducts Zappa" Angel 38170 1st Press NM LP US $19.99 Buy It Now 1h 49m
Frank Zappa Barking Pumpkin Digital Gratification - Francesco Zappa NEW CD US $16.41 Buy It Now 1h 51m
Frank Zappa - Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention NEW CD US $16.41 Buy It Now 1h 52m
Frank Zappa - Does Humor Belong In Music? NEW CD US $16.41 Buy It Now 1h 52m
Frank Zappa - Jazz From Hell NEW CD US $16.41 Buy It Now 1h 52m
Frank Zappa - Broadway The Hard Way NEW CD US $16.41 Buy It Now 1h 52m
Frank Zappa - As An Am 1981 / 82 Live LP EX US $25.20 [0 bids]
2h 8m
FRANK ZAPPA 200 Motels LP Vinyl US S-9956 US $29.99 [0 bids]
US $49.99 Buy It Now
2h 19m
You Are What You Is - Frank Zappa 1995 Remastered Near Mint CD Free Shipping US $12.99 Buy It Now 2h 34m
Frank Zappa The Man From Utopia, japan import Vinyl w booklet US $40.00 Buy It Now 2h 35m
Fibonaccis - Tumor Slow Beautiful Sex Vinyl Record Frank Zappa Talking Heads US $12.95 Buy It Now 2h 40m
Fibonaccis - Fi-Bo-Na-Chez Vinyl Record Frank Zappa Talking Heads SEALED US $19.95 Buy It Now 2h 44m
Frank Zappa's 200 Motels LP Vinyl NM- 1971 W/ Book Mothers Of Invention Sdrtk. US $24.99 Buy It Now 2h 50m
Figures On A Beach ? Swimming Vinyl Record Frank Zappa Talking Heads SEALED US $35.95 Buy It Now 2h 51m
Frank Zappa "Broadway The Hard Way" with Insert & Inner Sleeve EX US $22.99 Buy It Now 3h
Frank Zappa "You Are What You Is" with Insert & Inner Sleeve EX US $16.99 Buy It Now 3h 6m
FRANK ZAPPA: ZAPPED ~ Original 1970 BIZARRE Various Artists Lp US $24.99 Buy It Now 3h 6m
Them or Us by Frank Zappa (CD, May-1995, Ryko Distribution) US $4.95 [0 bids]
3h 8m
Guitar by Frank Zappa (CD, May-1995, 2 Discs, Ryko Distribution) US $9.95 [1 bids]
3h 8m
Weasels Ripped My Flesh by Frank Zappa/The Mothers of Invention (CD,... US $7.95 [0 bids]
3h 9m
Thing Fish Frank Zappa 2 CD Ryko Made in Japan Steve Vai Johnny "Guitar" Watson US $54.99 Buy It Now 3h 18m
FRANK ZAPPA Sheil Yerbouti 2LP RARE ROBERT LUDWIG RL MASTERDISK US $9.99 [0 bids]
3h 21m
Roxy & Elsewhere by Frank Zappa/The Mothers of Invention (CD, May-1995, Ryko... US $9.99 [0 bids]
3h 24m
One Size Fits All by Frank Zappa/The Mothers of Invention (CD, May-1995, Ryko... US $7.99 [0 bids]
3h 27m
FRANK ZAPPA HOT RATS LP GATEFOLD RS6356 US $41.23 Buy It Now 3h 35m
RARE Fleetwood Mac,Rolling Stones,Frank Zappa "The Force" WLP LP Record VG++/NM- US $8.99 Buy It Now 3h 37m
Frank Zappa Apostrophe Discreet Canada Original St Alphonzos Yellow Snow US $22.99 Buy It Now 3h 47m
Frank Zappa The Mothers "Over-Nite Sensation" 12"LP Discreet EX/NM "Montana" US $4.99 [0 bids]
3h 59m
FRANK ZAPPA The Grand Wazoo Bizarre/Reprise 0598 1972 US $14.99 [0 bids]
US $25.00 Buy It Now
4h
Have I Offended Someone? Frank Zappa CD Ryko Gas for everyone from Z US $23.99 Buy It Now 4h 23m
Rare Meat - Early Works of Frank Zappa CD US $12.99 Buy It Now 4h 57m
Frank Zappa - The Man From Utopia. Rare Dutch Pressing VG+ US $25.69 Buy It Now 5h
Frank Zappa: Son of Cheep Thrills [ECD] ~ Very Good CD (1999, Ryko (USA)) Cheap US $10.02 Buy It Now 5h 10m
STEVE VAI Greatest Hits 2CD Digipak BOX Best Photo Frank Zappa Whitesnake SEALED US $16.99 Buy It Now 5h 15m
FRANK ZAPPA YOU ARE WHAT YOU IS BARKING PUMPKIN RECORDS PW2 37537 US $10.00 [0 bids]
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5h 23m
FRANK ZAPPA Hot Rats vinyl LP unplayed PICTURE DISC US $49.99 Buy It Now 5h 26m
FRANK ZAPPA ZOOT ALLURES LP RARE PROMOTIONAL record vinyl US $27.99 [0 bids]
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6h 6m
Frank Zappa The Mothers ?- Fillmore East - June 1971 LP Bizarre Records MS 2042 US $12.00 [0 bids]
US $27.00 Buy It Now
6h 6m
FRANK ZAPPA THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION FREAK OUT! VERVE 2LPS NM GREAT COPY US $20.00 [8 bids]
6h 9m
THE NOVA CONVENTION WILLIAM BURROUGHS PHILIP GLASS FRANK ZAPPA JOHN CAGE 2LPS US $49.99 [1 bids]
6h 12m
FRANK ZAPPA SHEIK YERBOUTI ZAPPA RECORDS 2LPS LUDWIG MASTEREING GREAT US $9.99 [1 bids]
6h 15m
Frank Zappa & The Mothers?- Just Another Band From L.A. LP Reprise ?- MS 2075 US $12.00 [1 bids]
6h 16m
FRANK ZAPPA-Lot of 2 magazine pictures US $5.03 Buy It Now 6h 26m
Frank Zappa 1970 Bizarre lp US $11.00 Buy It Now 6h 39m
FRANK ZAPPA Zoot Allures 8 track tape 1976 WB Original US $13.69 Buy It Now 6h 47m
Frank Zappa 1972 Bizarre lp US $21.00 Buy It Now 6h 47m
Frank Zappa - Zappa En La Radio (Zappa On The Radio) CD NEW RARE OOP US $27.66 Buy It Now 7h
NEW & Sealed! Frank Zappa "Overnight Sensation" LP Vinyl Record (Free Shipping) US $28.98 Buy It Now 7h 6m
Cruising With Ruben & The Jets Frank Zappa Audio CD US $25.97 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Uncle Meat Frank Zappa Audio CD US $20.62 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Mothermania Frank Zappa Audio CD US $25.97 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Hot Rats Frank Zappa Audio CD US $23.72 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Apostrophe(') Frank Zappa Audio CD US $20.93 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Fillmore East - June 1971 Frank Zappa Audio CD US $25.97 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Bongo Fury Frank Zappa Audio CD US $22.00 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Studio Tan Frank Zappa Audio CD US $25.97 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Sleep Dirt Frank Zappa Audio CD US $25.97 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Tinsel Town Rebellion Frank Zappa CD US $20.54 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Baby Snakes Frank Zappa Audio CD US $25.97 Buy It Now 7h 7m
London Symphony Orchestra Frank Zappa CD US $29.03 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Jazz From Hell Frank Zappa Audio CD US $25.97 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Broadway The Hard Way Frank Zappa Audio CD US $25.97 Buy It Now 7h 7m
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 6 Frank Zappa Audio CD US $22.15 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Frank Zappa Sheik Yerbouti Record LP Psych VG++ Inner Sleeve 2 LP Set Gatefold US $18.00 Buy It Now 7h 19m
LATHER BY FRANK ZAPPA - MIMI LP - JAPAN IMPORT - 3 CD - VACK - 9003 US $59.95 [0 bids]
7h 21m
Frank Zappa Studio Tan Record LP Discreet Psych VG++ Shrink US $16.00 Buy It Now 7h 24m
Frank Zappa Mothers of Invention Ruben Jets LP Verve Psych VG++ w/ Sticker US $41.00 Buy It Now 7h 28m
FRANK ZAPPA ~ RARE 1979 DOUBLE LP ~ JOES GARAGE ~ ACTS 2 & 3 ~ CLASSIC ROCK US $9.99 [1 bids]
7h 31m
FRANK ZAPPA ~ RARE 1979 LP ~ JOES GARAGE ACT 1 ~ EXCELLENT! CLASSIC ROCK US $9.99 [1 bids]
7h 40m
Frank Zappa - Apocrypha Rare 4 CD Live Concert Set OOP US $89.99 Buy It Now 7h 40m
Frank Zappa "Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar" 3CD Box - MISLABELED BY RYKO! Very rare US $42.75 [0 bids]
US $57.00 Buy It Now
7h 51m
Frank Zappa The Old Masters Box One 1985 7 LP Box Set BPR-7777 1985 US $221.00 [0 bids]
7h 55m
Frank Zappa Double Lp You Cant Do That On Stage Anymore SAMPLER GATEFOLD US $9.95 [0 bids]
7h 59m
You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 2 Frank Zappa CD US $13.33 Buy It Now 8h 4m
FRANK ZAPPA - YOU CAN'T DO THAT ON STAGE VOL. 4 CASSETTE TAPE TESTED BARGAIN! US $19.50 Buy It Now 8h 12m
FRANK ZAPPA / MOTHERS fillmore east june 1971 ( rock ) US $8.99 Buy It Now 8h 19m
FRANK ZAPPA - JOE'S GARAGE ACTS I, II & III - 1995 RYKO 2 CD - NEW & SEALED US $16.99 [0 bids]
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8h 19m
LOT OF 9 FRANK ZAPPA THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION LP RECORDS 200 MOTELS GRAND WAZOO US $36.00 [8 bids]
8h 29m
Frank Zappa Chungas Revenge Bizarre Reprise RS-2030 German Pressing NM!!! US $39.99 Buy It Now 8h 34m
Frank Zappa Pa's Nose Fell Off at breakfast Rare Deluxe Gatefold US $36.00 [0 bids]
8h 39m
Frank Zappa - Frank Zappa's Classical Selection NEW 2 x CD US $13.56 Buy It Now 8h 48m
Frank Zappa - The Interview Sessions NEW CD US $10.49 Buy It Now 8h 48m
Frank Zappa - Frank Zappa's Jukebox NEW CD US $13.56 Buy It Now 8h 48m
Frank Zappa - Them or Us on Barking Pumpkin Records SVBO-74200 GATEFOLD COVER US $34.99 Buy It Now 8h 49m
ROXY BY PROXY: Frank Zappa CD NEW and SEALED US $59.95 Buy It Now 8h 56m
Frank Zappa - Joe's Garage - Box Set - Zappa Records 1979 - OOP - NM US $50.00 Buy It Now 8h 58m
Frank Zappa - 2 LP record - Roxy & Elsewhere - 2DS 2202 - 1974 US $9.99 [0 bids]
9h
VINYL LP~FRANK ZAPPA/MOTHERS-ROXY & ELSEWHERE~2 RECORD SET/LIVE~DISCREET~1974~VG US $19.99 Buy It Now 9h 58m
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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)

3.90 | 406 ratings
Freak Out!
1966
4.12 | 339 ratings
Absolutely Free
1967
3.29 | 247 ratings
Lumpy Gravy
1968
4.17 | 427 ratings
We're Only In It For The Money
1968
2.69 | 169 ratings
Cruising With Ruben & The Jets
1968
4.16 | 328 ratings
Uncle Meat
1969
4.33 | 986 ratings
Hot Rats
1969
3.89 | 248 ratings
Burnt Weeny Sandwich
1970
3.77 | 252 ratings
Weasels Ripped My Flesh
1970
3.36 | 203 ratings
Chunga's Revenge
1970
3.01 | 136 ratings
200 Motels
1971
3.90 | 301 ratings
Waka / Jawaka
1972
4.31 | 546 ratings
The Grand Wazoo
1972
3.98 | 385 ratings
Over-Nite Sensation
1973
3.98 | 429 ratings
Apostrophe (')
1974
4.33 | 521 ratings
One Size Fits All
1975
3.70 | 267 ratings
Zoot Allures
1976
3.74 | 176 ratings
Studio Tan
1978
3.61 | 171 ratings
Sleep Dirt
1979
3.83 | 313 ratings
Sheik Yerbouti
1979
3.38 | 109 ratings
Orchestral Favorites
1979
4.13 | 315 ratings
Joe's Garage, Act I
1979
3.91 | 245 ratings
Joe's Garage, Acts II & III
1979
3.67 | 179 ratings
You Are What You Is
1981
3.58 | 155 ratings
Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch
1982
3.10 | 70 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I
1983
3.12 | 142 ratings
The Man From Utopia
1983
3.22 | 122 ratings
Them Or Us
1984
2.39 | 92 ratings
Thing-Fish
1984
2.60 | 84 ratings
Francesco Zappa
1984
3.63 | 81 ratings
The Perfect Stranger
1984
3.28 | 89 ratings
Meets The Mothers Of Prevention
1985
3.49 | 148 ratings
Jazz From Hell
1986
3.02 | 47 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. II
1987
3.70 | 85 ratings
Civilization Phaze III
1994
3.31 | 54 ratings
The Lost Episodes
1996
3.95 | 125 ratings
Läther
1996
1.92 | 40 ratings
The Mystery Disc
1998
3.40 | 27 ratings
Everything Is Healing Nicely (EIHN)
1999
1.85 | 27 ratings
Joe's Domage
2004
2.95 | 25 ratings
Joe's Corsage
2004
2.10 | 20 ratings
Joe's XMASage
2005
3.54 | 22 ratings
Feeding The Monkeys At Ma Maison
2011
4.18 | 30 ratings
Läther
2012
3.04 | 6 ratings
Joe's Camouflage
2014

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

3.24 | 102 ratings
Fillmore East, June 1971
1971
3.13 | 95 ratings
Just Another Band From L.A.
1972
4.40 | 217 ratings
Roxy & Elsewhere
1974
3.50 | 147 ratings
Bongo Fury
1975
4.19 | 171 ratings
Zappa In New York
1978
3.03 | 114 ratings
Tinsel Town Rebellion
1981
3.36 | 63 ratings
Baby Snakes
1983
3.47 | 57 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
1986
3.58 | 85 ratings
Broadway The Hard Way
1988
3.46 | 80 ratings
Guitar
1988
3.95 | 81 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 1
1988
4.50 | 140 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 2
1988
3.47 | 62 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 3
1989
3.48 | 59 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 4
1991
4.31 | 131 ratings
The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life
1991
4.37 | 101 ratings
Make A Jazz Noise Here
1991
2.23 | 15 ratings
As An Am
1991
3.38 | 17 ratings
The Ark
1991
2.71 | 13 ratings
Freaks & Motherfuckers!
1991
2.52 | 18 ratings
Unmitigated Audacity
1991
2.14 | 16 ratings
Anyway The Wind Blows
1991
2.84 | 16 ratings
'Tis The Season To Be Jelly
1991
2.05 | 14 ratings
Saarbrucken 1978
1991
3.70 | 24 ratings
Piquantique - Stockholm 1973
1991
1.46 | 9 ratings
At The Circus
1992
2.37 | 11 ratings
Conceptual Continuity
1992
2.93 | 11 ratings
Disconnected Synapses
1992
3.58 | 12 ratings
Electric Aunt Jemima
1992
3.00 | 9 ratings
Our Man In Nirvana
1992
3.83 | 10 ratings
Swiss Cheese / Fire!
1992
2.46 | 9 ratings
Tengo Na Minchia Tanta
1992
2.90 | 32 ratings
Playground Psychotics
1992
3.55 | 54 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 5
1992
3.78 | 55 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 6
1992
3.75 | 83 ratings
The Yellow Shark
1993
3.24 | 56 ratings
Ahead Of Their Time
1993
4.00 | 37 ratings
FZ:OZ
2002
3.80 | 26 ratings
Halloween (DVD-Audio)
2003
3.50 | 44 ratings
Trance-Fusion
2006
3.84 | 50 ratings
Imaginary Diseases
2006
3.90 | 29 ratings
The Dub Room Special!
2007
4.12 | 35 ratings
Buffalo
2007
4.07 | 44 ratings
Wazoo
2007
3.57 | 31 ratings
One Shot Deal
2008
3.25 | 20 ratings
Joe's Menage
2008
4.18 | 32 ratings
Philly '76
2009
4.00 | 40 ratings
Hammersmith Odeon
2010
3.69 | 17 ratings
Carnegie Hall
2011
3.44 | 19 ratings
Finer Moments
2012
3.35 | 15 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #1
2012
4.87 | 16 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #2
2013
4.00 | 5 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2013
4.92 | 5 ratings
Roxy By Proxy
2014

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

2.84 | 40 ratings
200 Motels (The Movie)
1971
3.42 | 19 ratings
Uncle Meat (Video)
1988
2.59 | 41 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
2003
4.09 | 58 ratings
Baby Snakes
2003
4.24 | 25 ratings
QuAUDIOPHILIAc (DVD-Audio)
2004
3.94 | 32 ratings
The Dub Room Special!
2005
4.00 | 9 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2005
4.10 | 31 ratings
Apostrophe (') Over-Nite Sensation
2007
4.61 | 28 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)

3.71 | 28 ratings
Mothermania: The Best Of The Mothers
1969
3.59 | 41 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
1981
3.75 | 35 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More
1981
3.74 | 30 ratings
Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
1981
3.99 | 75 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar (The Box Set)
1982
3.33 | 6 ratings
The Old Masters, Box One
1985
2.50 | 11 ratings
We're Only In It For The Money / Lumpy Gravy
1985
2.83 | 6 ratings
The Old Masters, Box Two
1986
2.83 | 6 ratings
The Old Masters, Box Three
1987
3.52 | 85 ratings
Joe's Garage, Acts I, II & III
1987
4.00 | 13 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Sampler
1988
3.38 | 8 ratings
Beat The Boots 1
1991
3.43 | 7 ratings
Beat The Boots 2
1992
3.21 | 24 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I & II
1995
3.22 | 42 ratings
Strictly Commercial
1995
3.68 | 25 ratings
Frank Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa: A Memorial Tribute
1996
4.19 | 18 ratings
Strictly Genteel
1997
3.23 | 20 ratings
Have I Offended Someone?
1997
2.89 | 35 ratings
Cheap Thrills
1998
3.07 | 32 ratings
Cucamonga (1962 - 1964)
1998
2.93 | 21 ratings
Son Of Cheep Thrills
1999
4.46 | 9 ratings
Zappa Picks - By Larry LaLonde Of Primus
2002
4.42 | 7 ratings
Zappa Picks - By Jonathan Fishman Of Phish
2002
4.60 | 11 ratings
Threesome No. 1
2002
4.47 | 12 ratings
Threesome No. 2
2002
3.20 | 10 ratings
For Collectors Only
2003
2.76 | 14 ratings
The Best of Frank Zappa
2004
3.32 | 27 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
4.25 | 4 ratings
Understanding America
2012

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

3.83 | 6 ratings
How Could I Be Such a Fool?
1966
4.00 | 7 ratings
Trouble Comin' Every Day
1966
3.67 | 6 ratings
It Can't Happen Here
1966
3.46 | 9 ratings
Big Leg Emma
1967
3.25 | 4 ratings
My Guitar
1969
3.37 | 14 ratings
Peaches en Regalia
1970
3.20 | 5 ratings
Tell Me You Love Me
1970
3.33 | 3 ratings
WPLJ
1970
3.75 | 4 ratings
Cletus Awreetus - Awrightus
1972
3.11 | 6 ratings
Montana
1973
2.67 | 7 ratings
Don't Eat The Yellow Snow
1974
2.67 | 3 ratings
Find Her Finer
1976
4.50 | 6 ratings
Bobby Brown
1979
4.00 | 6 ratings
Joe's Garage
1979
3.24 | 6 ratings
Dancin Fool
1979
3.86 | 9 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
2.77 | 7 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
4.17 | 6 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
3.12 | 5 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
 Chunga's Revenge by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.36 | 203 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
4.92 | 5 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 | 986 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 | 313 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
4.12 | 339 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
3.04 | 6 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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 Läther by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.18 | 30 ratings

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Läther
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by darkshade
Collaborator Jazz Rock/Fusion Team

5 stars This is truly Frank Zappa's magnum opus. It encompasses everything there is to know about the man. You can't go wrong, no matter what side of Zappa you prefer. There's the late 60's psychedelia and avant-garde, great classic rock, jazz-rock/fusion, classical, guitar solos galore, humor, satire, and so much more. Even if you own all the 70's albums that came out of this, as I do, this is still essential because this is the way it was meant to be presented, in this order and format. The context of everything makes it that much more exciting. There are also songs and different renditions of songs that aren't on any other Zappa albums.

As for the songs themselves, The Ocean Is The Ultimate Solution here is the best version, much more focused than the Sleep Dirt version, while great because of the amazing extended intro, it can drag on a bit. Here it gets right to the point. Revised Music for Guitar and Low-Budget Orchestra and RDNZL are of course the show stoppers, with Greggary Peccary strangely but effectively ending this epic album. Everything else is pretty much the same versions, but with strange noises and sounds between most tracks. It's literally the transition from jazz-rock fusion/rock/classical of the 70s to the humor, filth, hard rock, and serious compositions of the late 70s/early 80s.

If this album had come out it would be up there with the other classic Zappa albums like The Grand Wazoo, Hot Rats, Apostrophe, Roxy & Elsewhere, One Size Fits All, etc... This is basically Zappa at his most creative, extreme, epic, and all around greatest. A must own for Zappa heads, Jazz-rock/fusion fans, rock fans, avant-fans, classical fans, comedy rock fans, you get the point...

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 Buffalo by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2007
4.12 | 35 ratings

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Buffalo
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by João Paulo

5 stars Great live performance of Frank Zappa and his band. All famous tracks with great guitar solos and great music moments made by band members. When we listen the best live moments of Zappa Universe, we can imagine the hard work before go to stage. Make a Jazz Noise Here and Zappa in New York, are the famous live performances concerts and Baby Snakes tour, with Bozzio and others, another chapter. Buffalo are another great concert, when Zappa have the assistance in his and with a brilliant guitar parts and his hilarious histories. The other musics are brilliant too. One of the best live moments by the Genious of rock music artist. A masterpiece? Absolutely. A masterpiece of live performances ever made. 5 stars

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 Road Tapes - Venue #2 by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2013
4.87 | 16 ratings

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

Review by darkshade
Collaborator Jazz Rock/Fusion Team

5 stars 20 years after Frank Zappa passed away, we are still getting new albums that rival some of the best ones released during his lifetime. This album is one of them. Recorded in 1973, in between the big-band, jazzy Wazoo era of Zappa's band, and the fusion/prog rock Roxy lineup. With names like Jean-Luc Ponty, George Duke, Bruce Fowler, Tom Fowler, and Ralph Humphrey in this band, you can expect the music to lean heavily on jazz-rock/fusion, and it does, and Zappa's music works well in the context of jazzier surroundings. Between this era, and the Wazoo era, you'll find some of the best (and most) jazz in all of Zappa's large output.

Ruth Underwood and Ian Underwood also return, and the former would stick around in Zappa's band, more or less, until '76.

This era of Zappa's music is all about the players. As there was no lead singer besides Frank in the band, and he hadn't become the cynical front man he would become after the Lather debacle, this left a lot of room for improv. If you're familiar with Jean-Luc Ponty's 70s jazz-rock albums, or some of George Duke's, you're in for a treat. There are plenty of Zappa's themes, and early versions of some classics, in fact, this version of RDNZL is my favorite, and is much more fusion-like than what it would become on Lather/Studio Tan (though the Piquantique version is better, or better yet, get the SBD of the show that that show comes from, which is from August 21, 73, only a couple of days before this album was recorded, from Zappateers.)

This is a lost classic. It's the equivalent of the first Lost Quintet of Miles Davis' band (eventually released as "It's About That Time" in 2001). A band that never got an official release until long after it ended. Over-nite Sensation features this band, but that album came out after these tours, and Zappa had tightened his music up by then, with the transition to the Roxy lineup completed later in the year. Road Tapes: Venue 2 shows this series will be a very good series for us fans, as this is one of the most interesting FZ albums in a long time, maybe since Wazoo, or Lather. Get it, this is for for casual fans and hardcore fans, or any fan of jazz-rock/fusion.

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 The Grand Wazoo by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.31 | 546 ratings

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The Grand Wazoo
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by darkshade
Collaborator Jazz Rock/Fusion Team

5 stars Essential Jazz-Rock/Fusion from a man not usually associated with jazz. You can find jazz throughout Zappa's discography. This album, The Grand Wazoo, may be the best example of FZ jazz. It is the follow up and companion album to Waka/Jawaka, but where that album had its (few) flaws, The Grand Wazoo is near perfect. If you are familiar with Zappa's music, this is a must have. If you're not, but you're trying to have a great jazz-fusion collection, this album is also a must.

My old version of this album has tracks 1 and 2 switched, so it starts out with For Calvin. But I only listen to the 2012 UMe CD, which has better sound due to the fact that it is the original analog recording.

First thing's first, the only vocal track, "For Calvin (And His Next Two Hitch-Hikers)". The song is quite weird and avant-garde; just what you'd expect from Zappa. But from a fusion record? With lots of horns playing dissonant lines, and vocals that sound like a dying witch, it would probably scare off the casual jazz listener away. However, I have always felt that having it as the second track ruins the flow of the album. With For Calvin as the first track, as it is on the original LP, the album can be seen as starting out very chaotic in usual Zappa fashion, and gradually through the album becoming jazzier and more melodic.

The title track is one of Zappa's best tunes, and contains some great improv over a shuffle beat. The song is kind of Third Stream Jazz in nature, but is totally rockin'. I enjoy how the band plays the composed sections and everyone falls into the solo sections quite nicely. What is a Frank Zappa record without a little humor?

Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus is a short little pompous track, with full wind ensemble here; particularly trumpets and clarinets playing very fast lines, complemented by the drums. Eventually, a woman sings the first part of the main theme, followed by Frank himself singing the other half of the main theme, and it's quite funny. I always think of him sitting in the studio recording it. As the album continues, one notices the fact that it's getting jazzier.

Eat That Question contains one of FZ's best rock riffs, and one of George Duke's best keyboard solos. Duke is one of the reasons this album is so good, as he brings a Herbie Hancock type sound to the table, making almost everything Zappa-related that he plays on, very jazzy.

The album closes with the mellow Blessed Relief, which might be hinting at the trip one takes listening to this album and making it to the end. This is one of the most beautiful songs ever conceived by Zappa, with great solos by trumpet, keys, and guitar; Frank plays with that cool effect on his guitar, similar to what he used on Watermelon in Easter Hay from Joes Garage.

As I said before, this album is essential listening for any fan of jazz-fusion. It's also unique in that it has all the trademarks of a classic 70s fusion record, but with the Frank Zappa strangeness (though most of it is not so strange by his standards). Don't let that turn you off though; your fusion collection is not complete without this album. One of the few fusion recordings that is excellent from start to finish. No solos are too long, and Frank doesn't go on and on about politics or sexual harassment in the workplace :)

Be sure to get the 2012 Universal version, which is the original analog recording, and sounds much better than all older CD versions.

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