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Who IS Frank Zappa

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Mushroom Sword View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:03
I am a long time prog lover. Classic Prog, other then that mainly dream theater. And the furthest I stray from progressive rock is Zeppelin and Hendrix, which both have very progressive aspects.

Now... I've read about Frank Zappa, and loved the idea of the music he makes. Now, I want to listen to what he does. The best of what he does. I read his Bio on the main site. I read all about him on Wikipedia. But through all of this you don't learn his music. And I don't really have the interest of listening to every single song from every album. So what's his best work? What has he done, what can you recommend? What's your favorite things about this man? Stories? Affairs? Mailmen? Who is this awesome person?




Edited by TheProgtologist - October 25 2010 at 10:51


"I gazed into the eyes of the madman and I saw, and I saw,and I saw myself.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:09
Zappa is a major commitment if you want to know the complete artist.  Be ready with time and lots of cash. 

If you want to take you time and do it right, start at the beginning and just move one album at a time without rushing yourself.  Freak Out is great, and moving chronologically allows you to see the growth and change of the work.  Just my opinion. 

If you only want to check out his one or two best albums, best listen to other's replies.  I'm not a Zappa expert....


......YET!

remember



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Textbook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:12
Joe's Garage is the place to start in my opinion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SaltyJon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:13
Who is Frank Zappa?  This guy:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ronnie Pilgrim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:13
One Size Fits All. It really does. From there you can go anywhere. I dunno. Zoot Allures maybe?

Edited by Ronnie Pilgrim - October 22 2010 at 23:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Quiet One Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:13

Albums for the beginner, depending your tastes:

Hot Rats or The Grand Wazoo (if you're a fan of jazz rock, these are amazing but you don't need to love the genre to appreciate this album, recommended for the starter)
Roxy & Elsewhere (for me, the best entry to Zappa's real world, you got it all here in the best shape possible)
One Size Fits All or Apostrophe or Over-Nite Sensation (intermediate Zappa, accessible and still highly accomplished compositions, plenty of humor but it doesn't affect the songs as they would do in the early 80s, also great place to start for the Prog fan)
Joe's Garage (if you can manage lots of humor and a rather mixture of different rock styles, this is one great fun piece, not Zappa's finest, but indeed a great and original one)
Burnt Weeny Sandwich (if you're into 60s proto-prog, you must check this out, unbelieavable late 60s material from Zappa and the Mothers)
 
You should know that I'm a big Zappa fan, love him as a composer and guitarist, pure genius in my opinion, creating highly complex stuff that is listenable and yet he adds a humor I'm fond of.


Edited by The Quiet One - October 22 2010 at 23:15
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SaltyJon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:15
As far as the jazz rock side goes, I think The Grand Wazoo or Waka/Jawaka are better examples of the style than Hot RatsHot Rats is a great album, though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mushroom Sword Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:19
Before I've already listened to Bobby Brown and I am the Slime. The latter is pretty amazing, Bobby Brown is... different... And O.k. WiIll do to everyone who posted above.

...except saltyjon (
s first post).


Edited by Mushroom Sword - October 22 2010 at 23:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Quiet One Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:19
Originally posted by SaltyJon SaltyJon wrote:

As far as the jazz rock side goes, I think The Grand Wazoo or Waka/Jawaka are better examples of the style than Hot RatsHot Rats is a great album, though.
 
Waka/Jawaka is a failure for me with the exception of the title track, while The Grand Wazoo was the good result. Hot Rats though different musically to those two other jazz rock albums, it still is jazz rock in my opinion, and of high caliber, especially considering it was 1969.
 
Also, I would recommend Sleep Dirt way before Waka/Jawaka as a great jazz rock record.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SaltyJon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:20
Originally posted by The Quiet One The Quiet One wrote:

Originally posted by SaltyJon SaltyJon wrote:

As far as the jazz rock side goes, I think The Grand Wazoo or Waka/Jawaka are better examples of the style than Hot RatsHot Rats is a great album, though.
 
Waka/Jawaka is a failure for me with the exception of the title track, while The Grand Wazoo was the good result. Hot Rats though different musically to those two other jazz rock albums, it still is jazz rock in my opinion, and of high caliber, especially considering it was 1969.
 
Also, I would recommend Sleep Dirt way before Waka/Jawaka as a great jazz rock record.

Hot Rats mostly seems more bluesy than jazzy to me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Quiet One Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:22
Originally posted by Mushroom Sword Mushroom Sword wrote:

Before I've already listened to Bobby Brown and I am the Slime. The latter is pretty amazing, Bobby Brown is... different... And O.k. WiIll do to everyone who posted above.

...except saltyjon (
s first post).
 
Those two are some of his poppiest songs, which doesn't mean they're bad, but hardly shows what Frank was able to deliver.
 
If you're going to listen through youtube or somewhere else, make sure to check these compositions:
 
Peaches en Regalia
Eat that Question
Fifty/Fifty
Echidna's Arf (of you)
Inca Roads
Little House I Used to Live In
Black Napkins
Zoot Allures


Edited by The Quiet One - October 22 2010 at 23:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Quiet One Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:24
Originally posted by SaltyJon SaltyJon wrote:

Originally posted by The Quiet One The Quiet One wrote:

Originally posted by SaltyJon SaltyJon wrote:

As far as the jazz rock side goes, I think The Grand Wazoo or Waka/Jawaka are better examples of the style than Hot RatsHot Rats is a great album, though.
 
Waka/Jawaka is a failure for me with the exception of the title track, while The Grand Wazoo was the good result. Hot Rats though different musically to those two other jazz rock albums, it still is jazz rock in my opinion, and of high caliber, especially considering it was 1969.
 
Also, I would recommend Sleep Dirt way before Waka/Jawaka as a great jazz rock record.

Hot Rats mostly seems more bluesy than jazzy to me.
 
Interesting, I've never felt a bluesy feel to Hot Rats with the exception maybe of 'The Gumbo Variations' and 'Willie the Pimp'. 'It Must be a Camel', 'Little Umbrellas' and 'Son of Mr. Green Genes' for me are highly jazz inclined.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mushroom Sword Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:27
Originally posted by The Quiet One The Quiet One wrote:

Originally posted by Mushroom Sword Mushroom Sword wrote:

Before I've already listened to Bobby Brown and I am the Slime. The latter is pretty amazing, Bobby Brown is... different... And O.k. WiIll do to everyone who posted above.

...except saltyjon (
s first post).
 
Those two are some of his poppiest songs, which doesn't mean they're bad, but hardly shows what Frank was able to deliver.
 
If you're going to listen through youtube or somewhere else, make sure to check these compositions:
 
Peaches en Regalia
Eat that Question
Fifty/Fifty
Echidna's Arf (for you)
Inca Roads
Little House I Used to Live In
Black Napkins
Zoot Allures

Ok. Thank you. The solo from slime seems pretty awesome. But from reading his bio. And having "Avant-Garde" as a genre, I know that's not what I should be expecting. I really am open to hearing some really... off-the-wall sounds from him. I'm that kinda guy that's racist towards mainstream anything. (except Starship Trooper). Now enough about me. More about Mr. Smoke-on-the-water-reference.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SaltyJon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:33
Zappa's a very eclectic artist (I've always thought he would fit better in Eclectic than RIO/Avant, but that's another discussion).  If you want to hear the off-the-wall type stuff, check out an album like Weasels Ripped My Flesh!.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tarkus1980 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:33
Burnt Weeny Sandwich
"History of Rock Written by the Losers."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Quiet One Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:34
Originally posted by SaltyJon SaltyJon wrote:

Zappa's a very eclectic artist (I've always thought he would fit better in Eclectic than RIO/Avant, but that's another discussion).  If you want to hear the off-the-wall type stuff, check out an album like Weasels Ripped My Flesh!.
 
Now that's a RIO album. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SaltyJon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:41
Originally posted by The Quiet One The Quiet One wrote:

Originally posted by SaltyJon SaltyJon wrote:

Zappa's a very eclectic artist (I've always thought he would fit better in Eclectic than RIO/Avant, but that's another discussion).  If you want to hear the off-the-wall type stuff, check out an album like Weasels Ripped My Flesh!.
 
Now that's a RIO album. Wink

Indeed.  I have a feeling that if we did have album-by-album tagging, most of his more well known albums would be elsewhere.  That one belongs with us ZARTies, though. HugLOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2010 at 23:50
If you want a really good sampling of songs from his career, the live album Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life is a good place to go.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tuxon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 23 2010 at 02:39
Originally posted by Slartibartfast Slartibartfast wrote:

If you want a really good sampling of songs from his career, the live album Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life is a good place to go.
 
a little bit too much covers I think, Love the version of Stairway to Heaven, well it is a very good live album so you can't go wrong there.
 
I liked Strictly Commerial, a collection of singles and the more popular tunes.
 
Basically I would go for some of the Live albums (Roxy and Elsewhere is pretty good).
 
for studio albums it would be all of them, I liked Where Only In It For The Money, Freak Out, Hot Rats , Apostrophe, Joe's Garage, Waka Jawaka, no really I mean all of them.
 
edit:    below post has some nice recomendations


Edited by tuxon - October 23 2010 at 02:53
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote darkshade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 23 2010 at 02:47
get any and all of these (these are basically the top 15 best IMO)

One Size Fits All
Roxy & Elsewhere
Lather (probably his magnum opus)
Make A Jazz Noise Here
Uncle Meat
Hot Rats
Tinseltown Rebellion
The Grand Wazoo (and if you really dig that, get "Wazoo")
Zappa NY
Joe's Garage
Apostrophe (')
Overnite-Sensation
We're Only In It For The Money
Absolutely Free
Shiek Yer Bouti

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