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


Frank Zappa



3.26 | 91 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars While it's great to have a recording of a show like this, this CD also demonstrates just how visual a Mothers Of Invention concert was back in those days (Damn, was it really 42 years ago?). The first half of the album has the band performing a musical play called "Progress?" in which the "talented" members of the band (because they can read music), Ian Underwood, Bunk Gardner, and Art Tripp, quitting the Mothers to form their own group, one with discipline. The whole story transpires with the BBC Symphony Orchestra playing Zappa's works behind them (much of it later used again in "200 Motels"). The music is great, but unless you are reading the liner notes when listening, there is no way to know what the audience is reacting to. This makes this part of the album not terribly conducive to repeat listenings.

The second half is easier on the ears, with the Mothers playing instumental reditions of many early favorites. The recording quality is fair, and the performance is great. Although it does underline the fact that, despite having two drummers, the rhythm section at thetime just wasn't up to the task of performing Frank's music. Most of the drumming is just simple timekeeping. But still, it's great music.

3.5 stars - rounded down to keep it in comparison with FZ's other albums.

Evolver | 3/5 |


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