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Frank Zappa - Just Another Band From L.A. CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.19 | 152 ratings

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2 stars Just Another Band From L.A. is just another Flo and Eddie-era Mothers album. Without the classical experiments of 200 Motels, the Hot Rats-tinged air of Chunga's Revenge, or the "life on the road" concept of Fillmore East, the album lacks cohesiveness. Oh, sure, there's Billy the Mountain, a sidelong rock opera dominated by Flo and Eddie's narration and vocal talents, which is a bit of fun but slightly overlong and doesn't really go anywhere. But the second side is just a grab-bag of material with nothing really connecting it together... beyond the limp, uninspiring performance from the band, which simply isn't as tight as the original Mothers lineup, or future Mothers lineups... or, come to think of it, more or less any other touring band Zappa put together in his career.

Ultimately, I think the basic problem with the Flo and Eddie lineup of the Mothers was that Zappa never quite worked out a way to integrate them into the music, though he makes a good start on Billy the Mountain - it's just a shame that they overshadow most of the instrumentalists on that track. It always feels like it's "the Mothers, featuring special guest stars Flo and Eddie" as opposed to the pair being fully integrated members of the group. Either way, it's often cited as a low point in Zappa's career, and whilst I share Zappa's view that people who deride all of his band lineups aside from their favourite (said favourites usually being either the original Mothers of Invention or the Mothers lineup which existed from Overnite Sensation to One Size Fits All), I do think that out of all of the phases of Frank's career this ranks as one of the less successful ones.

Warthur | 2/5 |


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