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2 stars this live record is dominated by the 24-minute Billy the Mountain, and this is just its majot blemish. I mean, this track, featuring Flo and Eddie on vocals, is one of those zappa-things that you probably had to watch performed on stage, and it is a bit weak and, let's say it, tiresome on record. the remaining four tracks are stage versions of songs from other albums and do not add anything new to the record. sad to say, but not a great record, in my opinion, by uncle Frank.
Report this review (#29709)
Posted Wednesday, July 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first song I ever heard by Frank Zappa was Billy the Mountain when I was ten years old. I did not know what or who I was listening to, but it was so amazing that it stuck with me for four years until I stumbled onto Zappa on my own. Researching him I found out that he did the song Billy the Mountain, and I immediately bought the album. The track is one of those once in a lifetime songs that will never be performed live again. I cannot imagine how anyone could memorize that narration.

Moving on, the other four songs are great live material from great musicians. The band was just having fun, and it shows all throughout the album. Definitely one of the best live albums I have ever purchased. The lyrics are hilarious and the music is spot on.

Report this review (#36680)
Posted Thursday, June 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Another live album with Flo & Eddie (they do best this way), this is an excellent, but overall doesn't do much more than Fillmore East (except in sound quality). Billy the Mountain starts off this show, a 25-minute rock story of a mountain's adventures with his wife is completely funny and interesting throughout even though the references may be completely irrelevant now. After this is a new version of Call Any Vegetable from Absolutely Free! Flo & Eddie do a great job with this new rendition which is particularly funky. Also, Dog Breath is redone here as well, and it's done excellently. New songs are Magdalena and Eddie Are You Kidding? Both being very funny and containing great playing, well the entire album does, but that's default with Zappa. This is not for everyone because a) it's not very welcoming in structure (redone old songs and a 25-minute beginner? b) for the less determined listener there is better Zappa to start with. This is still an incredibly entertaining show, and would be an excellent addition to your collection as a Zappa fan. 8.6/10
Report this review (#38717)
Posted Wednesday, July 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The finale to the Mothers albums that feature Flo and Eddie is a live outing that takes you to the edge of your seat, especially with the opening epic Billy the Mountain. Zappa and his cohorts are musically brilliant while Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman offer witty and relentless comedic stabs at the audience/listener.

Billy the Mountain opens the album, and what a way to open it. A 24 minute epic about a mountain who goes to New York with his wife (who is a tree that is attached to Billy's shoulder). There are some really great musical bits as well as some great comedic interplay between Kaylan and Volman. Next up is an old Mothers favorite hailing from Absolutely Free, Call Any Vegetable features some great musical interplay and some dynamic unison vocals. Are You Kidding Eddie? is one of the new songs on this album, and it is a musical venture with some funny vocal parts. Magdalena and Dog Breath round out this album and both are musical masterpieces.

Overall, there is not much I can fault this album with, other than the sound could be a little better. If you want some great Mothers material that is post-68, this is the album to go for. 4/5.

Report this review (#60815)
Posted Monday, December 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars To anyone who is familiar with it, "Billy the Mountain" is the track to talk about. It tells a story about none other than Billy the Mountain. Billy (and is lovely wife Ethel) journey through out the US because he recieved payment for all those photographs he had posed for. Some where in the story, Studabaker Hawk is called to get Billy to go to war because he was drafted. I won't spoil the ending for you though. This is always a fun song to listen to because he parodies so many other songs, one of the things Zappa is known for. The sheer length of this piece played LIVE and as good as it gets is a testament to Zappa's and the Mother's talent and musicianship. "Call Any Vegetable" is a really cool track, as is "Eddie, Are You Kidding?". I think "Dog Breath" is the least attractive of the album because of the high voices (something I was never too excited about in some Zappa songs), but it does have its good points. Upon first listening to "Magdalena", I only noticed the way the band played and how they sung, not what they said. On my second go-around, I really warmed up to the comedy and the deliverance of this piece. They sing very dramatically about a father groping his daughter and explaining his actions. I just couldn't stop laughing. This live album is definately one to get for all Zappa fans.
Report this review (#75285)
Posted Monday, April 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
Man With Hat
Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team
3 stars Just Another Band From LA is the final installment in the 'Flo & Eddie' era of Zappa's work. I for one never cared to much for this time. There are some memorable stuff, but overall, nothing spectular. But enough about that. This album is dominated by Billy The Mountain. A twenty four minute epic, that covers alot of ground. While this epic does contain some good parts, I would have preferred more instrumental sections. For one thing I'm not a fan of the vocals, I just don't like 'Flo & Eddies' voices. And not that i usually let those things hurt albums, the vocals seems to dominate the era and this album. I don't really understand why this song is marked as a Zappa classic, although it is impressive memorizing all those lyrics. It contains too many parts that seem to go nowhere and focus on 'humor' and storytelling. There are good melodies and percussions, but not enough for me. Call Any Vegetable really picks up the pace. An awesome rendition of the Absolutely Free highlight. Musically its top notch, and their are some really good lyrics as well. Top it off with a very cool little guitar solo from FZ and you have yourself a wonderful song. Eddie, Are You Kidding? is a short more doo-woopish song. Certainly a more vocal based song, and it doesn't really contain anything that impresses me (although slightly funny). Magdalena is an upbeat song, with a neat vocal (and guitar) line. Also, musically this song is excellent as well, with an fantastic little change in the middle which is really impressive on the percussive side of things. One of my favorites of the album. Finally Dog Breath closes the album in grand style. Continuing the instrumental prowess side of the album (including a top notch guitar solo), the band gives a great performance of one of my favorite songs from Uncle Meat. I also find the vocals a bit better on this song.

All in all, this is an uneven album to my ears. A good farewell to Flo & Eddie, but overall an effort that falls a bit short, especially in Zappa's catalouge. To be discovered at the end of your Zappa journey, IMO. A solid three stars.

Report this review (#84493)
Posted Saturday, July 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars Billy the mountain No fine instrumental passages, just sloppy vocals from Flo and Eddie. The melodies aresub par, as well. Could have worked if you saw it on the stage, but otherwise not much. 0 stars

Call any vegetable A live version of an older Zappa tune. Here, the vocals work well and there are some short instrumental parts as well, even if the track is nothing that awesome. 2.5 stars

Eddie are you kidding The melody is only in parts of this one, and itīs sub par, mostly similar to the worst offerings of the early albums from Mothers of invention. The longest part on this one is just a spoken narrative. No atmosphere and no purpose for thois other than it could have been fun if you were in the audience. 0 stars

Magdalena Essentialy just as the previous one. 0 stars

Dog breath The melody isok, though notgreat and Frank plays a nice, typical solo of his, but the singing by Flo and Eddie is too much over. Sounds like a second rate Hot Rats outtake.3 stars

Overal rating: 1 STAR


Report this review (#133924)
Posted Monday, August 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Billy The mountain - 24 minutes of pure funny music, is a great moment in Zappa's career. The remainder of this short (5 tracks, 45 minutes) live album is good, not as good as the side A, but very interesting, especially Dog Breath. I really love this album, a very interesting document about the most delirious Zappa ear : the 'Flo & Eddie' period. Not essential, I guess, but you'll like it if you like humor and music (but does humor belong in music ?) !
Report this review (#162965)
Posted Saturday, March 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars

The above lines from Billy the Mountain shows well what this incarnation of Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention were about. Fun and more fun, but of course the music was great too and cleverly composed as well. Lots of Frank Zappa fans complain about the singing from Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman but Iīve always enjoyed their vocal approach and funny commetaries on and off stage. This is pivotal to the question of how much you will like this album as Just Another Band From L.A. is dominated by the singing from the two former Turtles frontmen. The rest of the band is more or less like the one playing on Fillmore East, June 1971. Frank Zappa on guitar and vocals, Ian Underwood on Winds, Keyboards and vocals, Aynsley Dunbar on drums, Don Preston on keyboards and mini-moog and Jim Pons on bass and vocals.

Just Another Band From L.A. is a live album recorded live in Pauley Pavilion on the campus of UCLA on the 7th of August 1971 and it was released on the 26th of March 1972. The album consists of five songs. Three new ones in the 24:47 minutes long Billy the Mountain, Eddie are you Kidding? and Magdalena and two re-worked Mothers of Invention songs in Call Any Vegetable from Absolutely Free and Dog Breath from Uncle Meat. To those of you who donīt know Frank Zappa he primarely play rock with avant garde tendencies.

Billy the Mountain starts the album and itīs such an excellent track. Hilarius ( and weird)lyrics and an overall great humour, brilliantly composed and above all brilliantly played. Billy the Mountain has all the ingredients that makes Frank Zappa so unique. The lyrics are about a mountain who has a small wooden wife growing of off his shoulder. He is drafted for the US army but refuse and then the trouble starts which includes Billy and his small wooden wife Ethelīs trip to Las Vegas, the destruction of Edwards Air force base and a fantastic superhero called Studebaker Hawk. Does this sound crazy to you ? Well it better. Donīt be fooled here though as Zappa of course mixes some more serious opinions with all the fun and weirdness. For example there is a critique here of the US governments fear of communism. At least thatīs how I see it. Billy the Mountain is one of my favorite Frank Zappa tracks.

Call Any Vegetable is a re-worked version of the song that first appeared on The Mothers of Inventionīs Absolutely Free. This version of course features the dominant vocals from Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman but Frank Zappa also contributes to the general madness of this song and the strange lyrics about vegetables. I think itīs a great re-worked version where there is also some great brass included.

Eddie, Are You Kidding? is a very vocal dominated song and itīs here that Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman really show what they are capable of. Itīs such an enjoyable song with lots of great vocal harmonies. The humour of the lyrics are of course great too.

Magdalena is another great song. Some might say that the lyrics are a bit insensitive to the subject of incest, but done the Zappa way it will always offend someone and itīs intended to. I still think that there is a grain of seriousness to the song that you shouldnīt ignore. Again the vocal work is astonishing.

Dog Breath from Uncle Meat has been given the Rockīnīroll treatment and has ended up being a really powerful tune. Some great guitar soloing from Frank Zappa makes this song excellent. Itīs very different from the original. The musicianship is just excellent throughout the album. You can feel that this incarnation of Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention were at their peak. The performance is thight but as always with Zappa there is room for improvesation.

The sound quality given that this is a live recording is good for the time. Itīs not the best Iīve heard but it has itīs charm and itīs certainly better than the sound quality on Fillmore East, June 1971.

This would be the last album with Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman still in the band. This version of the Mothers of Invention would be disbanded after Frank Zappa was pushed of the stage at the Rainbow Theatre in London in December 1971 by a member of the audience who alledgedly claimed that Zappa had been sending eyes at his girlfriend ( of course he was. He is a rock star. What did the idiot expect ?). Zappa was severely hurt when he hit the concrete floor of the orchestra pit and suffered damage to his head, back, leg, neck as well as a crushed larynx. Upon recovery this caused his voice to drop a third which is clearly heard on his first vocal performance after the accident which is Overnight Sensation. He would also have problems with his back and leg for the rest of his life.

This was not the only reason for disbanding The Mothers of Invention though. Just a week before Zappaīs accident in London all of The Motherīs gear was destroyed in fire that started while on stage at the Casino de Montreux in Switzerland. The fire not only destroyed The Motherīs gear but also burned down the entire Casino. The famous Deep purple song Smoke on the Water was written about this event as Deep Purple actually were present at this concert. So in addition to his accident Zappa didnīt feel it would be economically safe to continue. Zappa would of course do other things in his downtime from The Mothers of Invention ( Waka Jawaka and The Grand Wazoo).

This is not an essential Frank Zappa album but itīs a really excellent album and the best testimony to the incarnation of The Mothers of Invention which had Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman as lead vocalists. I think itīs more than worth the 4 stars that I will rate it.

Report this review (#179569)
Posted Thursday, August 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Well, at least half of this is fairly amusing, thank goodness. This is yet another live album featuring Flo and Eddie on vocals, and once again Frank puts their juvenile intonations of his work (and on side one, of one of his surreal comedy skits) ahead of the performance of the rest of the band. On the second side, this (as usual) isn't really a good thing. "Call Any Vegetable" is changed to allow for more interplay between Flo, Eddie and Zappa as they throw some semi-clever lines back and forth, but it's not really an improvement on the original. "Dog Breath" is made worse, I'd say, by letting them sing some new lyrics (and sheesh, Flo and Eddie sound a hundred times worse than the assorted Mothers did on the studio version on Uncle Meat), though I must admit that the energetic wah-wah solo Frank puts in the middle is a nice touch. As for the two new songs on this side, well, they're not exactly worth repeated listens. "Eddie, Are You Kidding?" isn't funny (at all) or particularly memorable, and "Magdalena," a rather explicit tale of a man lusting for his daughter (Frank, you already told this joke in "Brown Shoes Don't Make It") and giving into his incestual urges, isn't enjoyable from a music perspective either.

The first side, however, keeps giving me some light chuckles with each listen, even if plotwise it's rather stupid (the plot can be found in many places on the web, but for the purpose of adding some length to this review, I will re-tell it). "Billy the Mountain" tells the tale of a mountain (named Billy, naturally) with a tree (named Ethell, who is his wife, I guess) growing out the side of him. Over the years, Billy had appeared on thousands of postcards, and finally, one day, his royalties check comes in the mail, making him rich. Billy and Ethell decide to uproot and go on a vacation to New York, and in the process of trekking across the country they accidentally keep destroying residential spaces and military air bases. To save the country, the government trumps up charges against Ethell of being a communist and a witch, and drafts Billy into the military. The would-be hero, Studebaker Hoch, who is sent to deliver this order to Billy (and who is able to fly into the air to speak "face to face" with Billy by a means involving flies and maple syrup), ends up getting seriously hurt when Billy laughs at him (Billy has a cliff for a jaw, you see). The ending moral, of course, is that, "A mountain is something you don't want to f*&k with."

Yup, this is stupid, and yet it has a certain "suck you in" quality to it that much of the other Flo and Eddie material simply lacks. Some people don't like the way that it so deliberately namechecks so many icons and places of contemporary (circa 1972) American culture, saying that this aspect severely dates it (especially since the references tend to focus mostly on, you guessed it, L.A.), but I don't think these references date the piece anymore than all of the cultural references found in 40's and 50's Warner Bros. cartoons date those pieces. They're not the focus, they're just a nice extra layer that somehow makes the whole thing at least kinda tasty. At least, I think so.

All in all, then, this isn't exactly an album I'd recommend hunting night and day for, but the first half is intriguing in its own perverse way, so you could certainly afford to grab it if you're a real Zappa-phile and you see it used. This incarnation of the band did a lot worse, after all (and thank goodness, this was the last Flo and Eddie album. Huzzah).

Report this review (#291974)
Posted Monday, July 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
2 stars An album that returns to the early madness of the first Mothers era, and (IMHO) is a solid step backwards after Rats, Chunga and Weasels. This second version of the mothers is normally more impressive, with Preston, Dunbar and Underwood, but they rarely show the extent of their talents on this album. Released in 72, with a comics Studebaker-riding-on-hamburger artwork inciting potential fans rnto look up Meat and Ruben albums, but my advice is to look up the Zappa solo albums of that same era, instead of stinkers like this one.

Opening on the sidelong 25-mins Billy The Mountain, but we're far from an "epic" here, as we deal with a typical Zappa-esque humorous (if you fancy it), but it's mostly a big bore, AFAIAC. Lots of nearly grotesque moments, coupled with downright-weird passages and dumb Monty Python-like sketches, but relatively little music? to think that frank never smoked a doobie or dropped LSD or drugs other than tobacco and coffee, I'd hate to think what tracks like these would sound if he had done these substances. The flipside is indeed a bit more enthralling with the Vegetable, with those slight doo-wop choruses and yodelling rutabagas, but we're definitely not in Rats or Chunga land. Kidding Eddie fares no better with the grotesque music and Magdalena fails to arouse my curiosity. Only the closing Dog Breath does show some rather incredible drumming, keyboards and guitars, though. This is the only track of the album that would be worthy of Chunga's Revenge.

Indeed, just as bad as 200 Motels or Uncle Meat, LA Band is best avoided if you're looking at a proper music/price return, and I'm about to ask the Archives' owner to reimburse my rental of this album. At least, now I know why I ignored this album for years and even 15 years after my first listen, while writing this review, I wondered why I chose to give it a second chance.

Report this review (#296949)
Posted Wednesday, September 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars As much as I love Billy The Mountain, I just cant give this album more than three stars. Sure Billy is inventive and hilarious, but the sound quality is pretty bad for an album of it's time, and a lot of the jokes are now dated. But on the other hand, if you like The Adventures Of Greggery Peccary on the "Studio Tan" album, this one is a must, just to get the back story on Billy & Ethel.

The second side of the album is good, too, but suffers from the same sound quality issues. Call Any Vegetable is a better arrangement than the "Absolutely Free" original, helped quite a bit by the zaniness of Flo & Eddie (Mark Volman & Howard Kaylan). Eddie Are You Kidding a piece Volman and Kaylan wrote with Frank, is a silly doo-wop styles song about a suit salesman. But it manages to be funny as well. Magdalena would probably not been released if it was written even a decade later. It's actually sort of funny in a weird way, if you can get past the repulsine incest theme. If it had more of a payback from Magdalena to her pervert father, the song might have fared better. And Dog Breath on this album rocks!

Report this review (#404759)
Posted Monday, February 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#486377)
Posted Tuesday, July 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Team
2 stars This is basically the 2nd part of the Fillmore East album for those of you who are Flo and Eddie fans. Personally, I think most of their shenanigans are obnoxious and I don't like most of the albums that they are involved with. This one probably has a little better quality recording than Filmore East did, but it's still very annoying, even more so. This album is loaded with humor and vocals, not much in the way of solos or instrumentals, though Frank does go into a short guitar solo in the middle of "Call Any Vegetable".

The opener on this is the 24 minute epic that was not recorded on any official album before this point. It is FZ satirical take on the rock opera trend that was popular at the time. It's a funny enough skit, but most of it is goofing around and spoken word with very little to offer musically. It takes up an entire side of this album, and after the first listen, kind of loses it's impact. The other tracks on the B-side don't get much better either. It's just full of a lot of Flo and Eddie hijinx and some of it is original to this album and most of it is Flo and Eddie's takes on past Mother's tracks.

If you are a fan of the era in FZ's history, then you will enjoy this. Personally, I would rather listen to almost any other era in FZ's discography than anything with Flo and Eddie in it, and this album does nothing to win me over either. Not that great for me.

Report this review (#1435796)
Posted Sunday, July 5, 2015 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars While the first lineup of THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION focused mostly on studio albums which took them from the amazingly brilliant debut 'Freak Out' to the 1970 albums 'Burnt Weeny Sandwich' and 'Weasels Ripped My Flesh.' In the same year band leader FRANK ZAPPA decided to completely dissolve the band and start anew therefore the classic band members of the first phase such as Jimmy Carl Black (drums), Roy Estrada (bass), Bunk Gardner (tenor sax), Lowell George (guitar), Don Harris (violin), Don Preston (piano), Buzz Gardner (trumpet), Motorhead Sherwood (baritone sax), Art Tripp (drums) and Ian Underwood (alto sax) were out of the band and in was a whole new wily cast of characters with the primary lineup of Ian Underwood (organ, guitar, sax, piano), Aynsley Dunbar (drums), George Duke (keyboards), Jeff Simmons (bass, guitar) and three members of the sunshine pop band The Turtles. All of a sudden bassist Jim Pons and the singers Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan better known as Flo & Eddie were a part of the new reality of THE MOTHERS.

The new formation would perform on ZAPPA's solo album 'Chunga's Revenge' and then commence to release a couple live albums before ZAPPA's infamous accident at Montreaux, Switzerland and the subject matter of the classic rock song 'Smoke On The Water' by Deep Purple. The first of the live albums 'Fillmore East - June 1971' was released followed by this second offering JUST ANOTHER BAND FROM L.A. which came out the following year in 72. This album was recorded live on August 7th, 1971 in the Pauley Pavilion on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles, CA and was the last performance before the ZAPPA's serious injuries resulting from the incident at the Casino de Montreaux. The album was originally intended to be a double LP that included solos from 'Studebaker Hoch' and 'The Subcutaneous Peril' which were to take up the majority of the second LP as well as additional parts to 'Bill The Mountain' but nothing seemed to flow smoothly in the world of FRANK ZAPPA and he was forced to land on his feet like an improvisational jazz cat.

JUST ANOTHER BAND FROM L.A. found the short-lived second coming of THE MOTHERS at its peak and in the end contained only five tracks. The massive sprawling parody of rock operas, 'Billy The Mountain' which swallowed up an entire side of the original vinyl release as well as four additional tracks on side B. This included reworkings of "Call Any Vegetable' from 'Absolutely Free' and "Dog Breath' from the many variations on 'Uncle Meat.' Two more tracks "Eddie, Are You Kidding?' and 'Magdalena' were new renditions of earlier ZAPPA ideas channeled into the current lineup's focus on the humorous antics of Flo & Eddie. In a way JUST ANOTHER BAND FROM L.A. returned the band focus to humor, parody and social critique of earlier albums like 'Freak Out' only with time specific references to the greater Los Angeles area as well as show biz personalities, politicians and various commercial enterprises. Gone were the sizzling jazz-fusion and focus on instrumental passages (for the most part) and in were hilariously constructed improvised storylines that offered variations from show to show therefore this album is just one mere glimpse of the myriad possibilities that the band performed.

'Billy The Mountain' is the focal point of the entire album experience and one of my personal favorite tracks of the entire ZAPPA universe. While the song was originally designed to be an entire hour and a half musical experience that was reinventing the notion of what a rock opera should be in response to its popularity of the era, the track was whittled down to a mere 25 minutes in order to fit on the record. For years this was only album to host this wacky and often silly parody that played out like 'Peter and the Wolf' but alternate versions would finally emerge on 1992's 'Playground Psychotics' and 2011's 'Carnegie Hall.' The track is ingenious in how it juxtaposes disparate musical passages that included the theme for Johnny Carson's 'Tonight Show' and Stephen Stills' 'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,' 'The Star Spangled Banner,' 'Over The Rainbow' and more! The story of a talking mountain named Billy and his wife Ethel who is a tree growing on his shoulder was the ultimate satire which showcased the shallowness of American culture and material society in general. Flo & Eddie in particular add a whole new level of silliness and although many hate this period of THE MOTHERS, i have always had an affinity for their clownish behavior as well as being a Turtles fan.

While side A was the clear attention getter on JUST ANOTHER BAND FROM L.A., the rest of the album is excellent as well. The remade versions of 'Call Any Vegetable' and the new chapters of the ongoing 'Dog Breath' series are performed more in a rock band fashion focusing more on singing rather than the mostly narrated storylines of 'Billy The Mountain.' Same goes for the new tracks 'Eddie, Are You Kidding?' and 'Magdalena' which take the band into progressive rock territory with challenging musical time signature changes and intricate compositional fortitude. Like many ZAPPA offerings, all of these offer a plethora of musical styles that range from vaudeville styled outlandishness to heavy rock, country, doowop and pop with extra segments that offer humors conversations between Flo & Eddie while ZAPPA provides background vocals. The entire album takes potshots at the local L.A. scene with a whopping middle finger to the material consumer culture. 'Where can i get MYYYYY poodle clipped in Downey?' LOL

When it comes to the wealth of live albums that ZAPPA released with THE MOTHERS, this one has always been one of my first go to experiences when i'm less interested in lengthy jam based instrumental workouts and just want a heavy injection of the most ridiculously biting humor that has been released on record. The album was notorious as being badly recorded and produced but newer remastered versions have corrected all that. JUST ANOTHER BAND FROM L.A. displays ZAPPA and his band at the height of the silliest version of his entire career and although his 80s solo albums would revisit the humor and comedic parodies, nothing ever matched the magnificence and brilliance of tracks like 'Billy The Mountain' which has to be experienced to be believed. No words can do it justice! For some reason this live release doesn't get as much respect as some of the others. While many claim Flo & Eddie didn't integrate into the band very well, i'd have to disagree. I think they were a perfect match for Zappa's most whimsical and laughable moments. Not only did they nail the most absurd lyrical contents without losing composure but their vocal styles added an even more hilarious element to the process. Personally i love this album!

Report this review (#2242296)
Posted Wednesday, August 7, 2019 | Review Permalink

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