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Frank Zappa - Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar (The Box Set) CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.84 | 109 ratings

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3 stars Whatever one's opinion is of this album, I get the feeling that it would be pretty well set before hearing a single note from here. This here is 3-CD's worth of nothing but guitar solos (with really solid support from his backing bands), originally released as three separate LP's (Shut Up 'N' Play Yer Guitar, Shut Up 'N' Play Yer Guitar Some More and Return of the Son of Shut Up 'N' Play Yer Guitar), and depending on your attitude towards lengthy guitar wanks in general, you'll like this or despise the living daylights out of it. Not being a guitarist, I'm not extremely thrilled (needless to say, I was completely unable to listen to this straight through in one sitting), but I definitely like it much more than not.

The best thing about Frank as a guitarist is that he doesn't repeat himself much, if at all. I can't imagine the horror of trying to sit through, say, 3 CD's of nothing but live Steve Howe solos (I mean, I love his ending "Siberian Khatru" solos, but every version of it is 90% the same), but getting through this is nowhere near as tedious as it would be in the hands of a lesser guitarist. For instance, the solos in each of the title tracks (from the three original albums) come from performances of "Inca Roads," yet each of them has its own personality and development. And with all the tracks in general, the solos are clearly intended to be melodic and interesting and entertaining, never excessively drenched in feedback and never going into atonal pain mode.

I refuse to go into descriptions of the solos on here, mainly because my desire to go combing through 3 CD's of guitar solos again to pry out little nuances is limited at best, but make no mistake, I like this album. Just don't make me slog through this again, please ...

tarkus1980 | 3/5 |


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