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Frank Zappa - Sheik Yerbouti CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.89 | 504 ratings

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5 stars At first glance what appears to be a fairly straightforward live release, 1979's epic 'Sheik Yerbouti' is actually anything but. Featuring 18 tracks spread over four sides of vinyl, this is the kind of album that almost perfectly sums up the never-ending sonic experimentation that characterizes Zappa's boundary-shattering career. The deal here is that Zappa has taken bits and pieces from various live shows - usually performed in-and-around the late-seventies - and stitched them together with studio over-dubs, effects and vocal lines to create one of the best concert albums of the era. Except, of course, it isn't a concert album. However, the effect gives off the appearance of a seamless live show(bar a couple of surreal albeit brief interludes) creating one of Zappa's most endearing and impressive albums. The great thing about 'Sheik Yerbouti', apart from the title, is that you have virtually every facet of Zappa's sonic style on show, ranging from his signature smutty comedy-rock('I Have Been In You'), bluesy doo-wop acid-pop('Broken Hearts Are For Assholes') electric jazz-funk('City Of Tiny Lites') and psychedelic dream-prog('Yo Mama') all segued together with the great man's usual intricate attention to detail and eye for beautifully-delivered solo's. Backed by a star cast that includes the likes of future King Crimson alumnus Adrian Belew(guitar, vocals) Terry Bozzio(drums), Napoleon Murphy Brock(sax, vocals) and a whole host of top-notch performers from the Mothers past-and-present, 'Sheik Yerbouti' is a defining and hugely-enjoyable record from one of rock music's most iconic performers. Alongside the likes of 'Apostrophe', 'Joe's Garage', 'Overnite Sensation' and 'Roxy & Elsewhere', this must surely rank as a seminal Zappa release. Fantastic.


stefro | 5/5 |


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