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Frank Zappa - Broadway The Hard Way CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.64 | 152 ratings

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4 stars Zappa's political tribute album to the '80's sort of. This is Zappa's last studio album before he died. Of course you have to qualify that with studio album of new material performed by Zappa before he died.

What's spooky is how many of the characters and issues he sang about are still relevant to this era. Elvis is still dead. Pat Robertson and Michael Jackson are still around and as annoying as ever. Don't see much of Jesse Jackson these days, but he's still around, too. We have a fresh crop of vacuous bimbos, another corrupt presidency that's out of control, right wing "Christians" trying to force their religion down our throats while engaging in heavy hypocrisy and sexual scandals, the poor are still getting the shaft.

I think it's fair to say this is his best studio album of the '80's next to Tinsel Town Rebellion and You Are What You Is. And it's got Sting! That completes the Police's intersection with the progressive rock web along with Copeland/Curved Air and Summers/Fripp.

It's got some really cool and memorable lyrics:

"They got lies so big They don't make a noise They tell 'em so well Like a secret disease That makes you go numb" - When The Lie's So Big

"It's the work of the Devil, so Girls, don't blow! DON'T BLOW DON'T BLOW Don't blow Jimmy, don't blow Bobby Get yourself another hobby" - Promiscuous

"Republicans is fine, If you're a multi-millionaire Democrats is fair, If all you own is what you wear Neither of 'em's REALLY right, 'Cause neither of 'em CARE 'Bout that Hot-Plate Heaven, 'Cause they ain't been there" - Hot Plate Heaven At The Green Hotel

"With a Ku-Klux muu-muu In the back of the truck, If you ain't Born Again, They wanna mess you up, screamin': "No abortion, no-siree!" "Life's too precious, can't you see!" (What's that hangin' from a neighbor's tree? Why, it looks like 'colored folks' to me - Would THEY do THAT... They've been doin' it for years! Seriously?) The rights of 'certain people' disappear Mysteriously? . Now, wouldn't that sort of qualify As an American Tragedy? (Especially if they cover it up, sayin' "Jesus told it to me!") I hope we never see that day, In The Land of The Free - Or someday will we?" - Jesus Thinks You're A Jerk

Zappa went out with a bang and pulled no punches on this one. Zappa and crew are in top form musically. Broadway, not quite the hard way, as Thing-Fish is. A nice bookend to his discography. Four stars on the round up.

Slartibartfast | 4/5 |


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