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Frank Zappa - Roxy & Elsewhere CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



4.37 | 344 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This was the best live Zappa album up to this point, although many will say it's his best period. Most of the tracks were recorded from his sets at The Roxy in December of 1973 but there are some songs from "elsewhere" recorded the following year. There is a lot of talking from Frank on this album but I like it. His voice is always enjoyable even if the subject matter isn't always so (haha). Everyone seems to be having blast on this album including the audience. The musicianship is outstanding as usual. Duke, Underwood and Zappa especially.

"Penguin In Bondage" opens with a Zappa monologue that is really funny. Check out the vibes 2 1/2 minutes in and the guitar that follows. Great sound as Zappa goes on and on. Horns 6 minutes in. It blends into "Pygmy Twylyte" where the vocals are outstanding. It blends into "Dummy Up" which features some nice bass early on. A dialogue follows. "Village Of The Sun" opens with a monologue before we get that seventies sounding pop-like music. It blends into "Echidna's Art (Of You)" which is better, I like the bass too. Just a killer instrumental track really. It blends into "Don't You Ever Wash That Thing ?" which features lots of horns and vibes. Spoken vocals after 2 1/2 minutes. Keys before 4 1/2 minutes. An impressive instrumental display after 5 1/2 minutes. Nice guitar 7 1/2 minutes in.

"Cheepnis" opens with Frank talking about monster movies. Music after 2 minutes. It blends into "Son Of Orange County". This is laid back and it sounds incredible. Vocals join in. Cool guitar before 3 minutes. "More Trouble Everyday" is a favourite of mine. The guitar 3 1/2 minutes in goes on and on. "Be-Bop Tango (Of The Old Jazzmen's Church)" is the almost 17 minute closer. Lots of audience participation here but still we get a great trombone solo 4 1/2 minutes in. Music returns late.

I can appreciate fans tiring of all the monologue, especially if you've heard it several times, but I think it's an important part of the live experience and it gives us a feeling of what it would have been like to be there. Easily 4 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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