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Frank Zappa - Hammersmith Odeon CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



4.37 | 79 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars The first thing that strikes me about this, the most recent of the Frank Zappa releases, is that this album is long. With almost three hours of music, this must have been one fine concert. The second thing is how good the sound is. Frank announces at the beginning that this was being recorded for a radio braodcast, so that would explain the pristine audio quality.

The song selection focuses mostly on the poppy, more commercial titles from Zappa's catalog, and mostly covers the late seventies albums, from "Zoot Allures" through the not yet released at the time "Shiek Yerbouti" and "Joe's Garage". While it's nice to hear some well played, but raw versions of these songs, they are not the highlights.

The highlights are: on disk one, a twenty minute version of A Pound For A Brown On The Bus played as a fusion masterpiece, featuring spectacular solos by keyboardists Tommy Mars and Peter Wolf. Disk two has an extremely funny, and longer than I've ever heard before, explanation of the song I Have Been In You, and another Tommy Mars extravaganza, The Little House I Used To Live In, which focuses mostly on Ian Underwood's original piano intro (now played on Mars' synths, with vocals), and does not contain the most recognizable melodies from that piece. Still, it's a great piece. The third CD features a rare, full band version of Envelopes, and a hot rendition of King Kong.

My thanks go out to the Zappa Family Trust for releasing this gem.

Evolver | 4/5 |


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