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Frank Zappa - Ahead Of Their Time CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.26 | 90 ratings

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2 stars Somehow it feels wrong to give a Zappa album two stars. He's given us so many brilliant gems over the years. But this one kind of falls flat, and I can't see a way to give it more than two stars.

As has been mentioned by others, the first half of the concert is dramatized. There really isn't that much of a storyline to it, but there are certainly some zany antics that we miss out on. (I'd love to see Jimmy Carl Black hustling young ladies dressed as a pop star, for instance.) That's the first half of the concert. The music here (indeed on the whole album) features Uncle Frank and the Mothers in full-blown avant-garde mode. If you like Frank's avant-garde stuff and if you don't mind using your imagination to supplement the verbal clues we get as to what was going on stage, the first half of this should be quite satisfactory. There are some great musical moments (they tend to come early) and there are some that are rather trying. But the Mothers are, as billed, ahead of their time in the first half of this concert.

The second half is a step backwards, however. King Kong is ok, Pound for a Brown is disappointing from the start but Frank salvages it with a decent guitar solo in the second half. Mediocrity rules the second half of the concert. The Orange County Lumber Truck is decent and has some nice guitar work from Frank, but the one track that REALLY is exciting is the all instrumental version of Let''s Make the Water Turn Black. This is the stuff! Other than that track, though, there isn't too much to get really excited about.

I have to give this two stars. Frank gave us so many great live recordings, but this one is clearly not up to standards. It's not bad, but there's a whole bunch of other Zappa albums you want to get before you try this one.

ghost_of_morphy | 2/5 |


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