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Frank Zappa - The Crux Of The Biscuit CD (album) cover

THE CRUX OF THE BISCUIT

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.87 | 11 ratings

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Evolver
Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars You may notice that the cover of this album is similar to the cover of "Apostrophe", and that is intended. This is the "audio documentary" of Frank Zappa's highest charted album, following releases like "MOFO" (the making of Freak Out), "Lumpy Money" and "Greasy Love Songs".

Here, they don't waste our time (or precious dollars) providing the original album. The ZFT presumes that we all have that by now. This is a concise disk, containing alternate takes and mixes and a live track.

The album begins with a recreation of Zappa's original vision of side one of the album, in order.

"Cosmic Debris" is a different edit and mix. There is an intro edited out of the released version, as well as a few other sections that were also cut. And Tina Turner & The Ikettes are mixed a little louder.

Next is an outtake of Uncle Remus. It's great to hear it played differently by George Duke, but I like the original released version a bit better.

"Down In De Dew", first released on "Lather" is next, and paired with "Apostrophe" the songs were intended to be paired together as "Energy Frontier". Notable here is that both tracks feature Jack Bruce on bass. "Apostrophe" on this disk is the original version, unedited, and allows us to hear Zappa and Bruce together in all their splendor for much longer. The liner notes describe Zappa as being annoyed by Bruce's style of playing all over the place, leaving little room for the guitar, but still, this is a joy to hear.

"Don't Eat Yellow Snow" is an early live version, with Jean-Luc Ponty, with a few eyebrows I don't recognize from other released performances of the piece. The jewel of this one is where Zappa leads the group into a blindingly fast refrain of "St. Alphonzo's Pancake Breakfast".

Then there are two versions of the "Down In De Dew" section of "Energy Frontier" (the second is much better), and the "bridge" (I wonder if that was a nod to Cream), which features another long Bruce/Zappa jam.

Then a few more outtakes and alternate mixes.

Surprisingly, "Stink Foot", from which the title is culled, does not appear here. Maybe there are no other recordings of it.

The liner notes are fantastic, offering much insight into what Zappa was aiming for with "Apostrophe", and some of the meaning behind the songs.

Just wonderful.

Evolver | 4/5 |

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