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Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 3 CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.75 | 131 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This was definitely the least necessary volume in the series, but it's not bad. While Vol 1 touched on seemingly every era, and Vol 2 focused on one of the most beloved eras of the band (the mid-70's Roxy lineup), this one focuses almost exclusively on the 80's lineup (which was, uh, not one of the most beloved eras of the band). There's a small amount of era hopping, and a particularly ingenius exercise in conceptual continuity ("King Kong," which splices in performances from both the 1971 and 1982 lineup), but at least 70% of this could pass for just another 80's live album. And, well, the world didn't really need another 80's Zappa live album.

The first disc does indeed have some nice surprises; the funniest of these is in "Bamboozled by Love," where in the second half the band plays the riff to "Owner of a Lonely Heart" (!!) while Zappa solos away. There are also some nice renditions of various Joe's Garage tracks, and I admit that I had a laugh at the first minute of "Ride My Face to Chicago" (before it becomes yet another rambling jam), but for the most part these tracks tend to feel pretty perfunctory overall. If you can tell me the essential difference between this version of "Drowning Witch" and the original, other than that this one is shorter, go right on ahead.

The second disc is highlighted by a bunch of performances from the second "suite" on You Are What You Is, which show that this more "straightforward" material was still terrifying complex and intricate. The hard-driving funky licks of "Society Pages" are as great as ever, the insane start-stops of "Beauty Knows No Pain" and "I'm a Beautiful Guy" are as fascinating as ever, and "Charlie's Enormous Mouth" is still one of Zappa's best hard rockers. Plus, the cut to "Cocaine Decisions" after "CEM" seems very appropriate.

There are some other nice tracks on the second disc as well, like an early 70's performance of "Dickie's Such an Asshole," or another nice performance of "Zoot Allures." Even the very very long performance of "King Kong" entertains me in spots (though not in all, that's for sure). Still, these nice tracks aren't enough to make this into a great set. Serious Zappa fans will probably want this, but casual fans could probably do well without it.

tarkus1980 | 3/5 |


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