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Frank Zappa - Läther CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



4.00 | 219 ratings

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4 stars The story of Lather has been re-hashed often enough by previous reviewers, so I'll cut to the chase. Assuming you're a bit of a Zappa fan, you might be wondering if it's worth buying a 3 disc collection, most of which has already seen the light of day on 'In New York', Studio Tan', 'Orchestral Favourites' and 'Sleep Dirt'.

The short answer is yes.

None of the albums that it was remoulded into stands up all that well - New York is a prototype for many subsequent double albums of stadium rock with smutty lyrics, great solos and unlikely time signatures; Sleep Dirt is more fusion oriented; Orchestral Favourites has a classical bent, and Studio Tan lumps together anything which didn't obviously fit on any of the other albums. Listened to as Zappa originally intended, however, you get a surprisingly coherent and engaging overview of Zappa's universe in the mid 70s. The whole thing is presented with sparkling UMRK remastered sound, an informative booklet and a handful of not strictly necessary bonus tracks, and a brief snippet of Zappa introducing the thing on his famous radio broadcast.

If you're new to Zappa, or even just this particular phase of his career, Lather is an excellent starting point. Given that most of his studio albums came in at around 35 miniutes in the 70s, and most of his double vinyls fit very comfortably onto a single CD, 3 hours of astonishingly varied music of such a consistently high standard is excellent value in anybody's book.


Syzygy | 4/5 |


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