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Frank Zappa Buffalo album cover
4.17 | 76 ratings | 4 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1 - 62:26
1. Chunga's Revenge (8:34)
2. You Are What You Is (4:12)
3. Mudd Club (3:02)
4. The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing (3:21)
5. Cosmik Debris (3:50)
6. Keep It Greasy (2:58)
7. Tinsel Town Rebellion (4:19)
8. Buffalo Drowning Witch (2:44)
9. Honey, Don't You Want A Man Like Me? (4:36)
10. Pick Me, I'm Clean (10:15)
11. Dead Girls Of London (3:02)
12. Shall We Take Ourselves Seriously? (1:36)
13. City Of Tiny Lights (9:58)

Disc 2 - 78:07
1. Easy Meat (9:26)
2. Ain't Got No Heart (2:00)
3. The Torture Never Stops (23:36)
4. Broken Hearts Are For Assholes (3:39)
5. I'm So Cute (1:38)
6. Andy (8:14)
7. Joe's Garage (2:12)
8. Dancing Fool (3:36)
9. The "Real World" Thematic Extrapolations (8:53)
10. Stick It Out (5:36)
11. I Don't Wanna Get Drafted (2:48)
12. Bobby Brown (2:42)
13. Ms Pinky (3:48)

Total Time: 140:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Frank Zappa / lead guitar & vocals
- Steve Vai / stunt guitar & background vocals
- Ray White / vocals & rhythm guitar
- Ike Willis / vocals & rhythm guitar
- Tommy Mars / keyboards & vocals
- Bob Harris / keyboards, trumpet & high vocals
- Arthur Barrow / bass & vocals
- Vinnie Colaiuta / drums & vocals

Releases information

Live at the Memorial Auditorium, October 25, 1980, in Buffalo, NY

Thanks to Evolver for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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Buy FRANK ZAPPA Buffalo Music

FRANK ZAPPA Buffalo ratings distribution

(76 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(43%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

FRANK ZAPPA Buffalo reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars The first thing that struck me about this recording is how clear it sounds. The bass and drums have punch, and you can hear the whole band. Not bad for a 27 year-old tape.

This band was one of many exceptionally talented groups that Zappa assembed throughout his career. They shine in this concert.

The highlights: A burning, fast rendition of "Keep It Greasy". Arthur Barrow blazes on the bass on this one.

"Easy Meat" - I always loved Tommy Mars' keyboards on this song, and Zappa's middle- eastern flavored solo is one of the best I've heard him play.

"Andy" - Gotta love this song.

For Zappaphiles: An early recording of "Tinsel Town Rebellion", without most of the "eyebrows" the band would later add to the song.

An early scat version of "Drowning Witch".

"The "Real World" Thematic Extrapolations", a sort of lame rant on how people interact in a disco.

This must be an early appearance for Steve Vai, as he seems underused throughout the concert. And I wish they had play more of Zappa's complex pieces.

But I like the album anyway.

Review by HolyMoly
4 stars This archival release from 2007 documents a complete (or nearly complete) concert by the 1980 Zappa touring band, around the time of You Are What You Is. And as unappetizing as that may sound to a Roxy and Elsewhere or Hot Rats fan, I think this just might be the best archival Zappa release yet to surface from the vaults. It's a hot performance (like really hot) by a highly underrated ensemble, has fantastic sound quality, features a generous helping of established and future Zappa classics, and Zappa's guitar soloing was at a peak. There's a good reason the late 70s and early 80s concert material generated not one but two guitar solo albums (the Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar series, and then Guitar a few years later).

First, two quick words: Vinnie Colaiuta. Probably the most explosive drummer Zappa ever had, and he truly explodes on this thing. Not content to just sit back and set the tempo, time and time again he throws in some crazy fills or rhythmic accents that continually push the band to its limit; in some other context this might be annoying, but with the stop-on-a-dime-omigod-what's-next nature of a Zappa show, this only serves to raise the intensity even higher. Just check out "Keep it Greasy" for proof.

The set list, though good, has few surprises. Beginning with "Chunga's Revenge", an instrumental guitar solo feature, one can already tell that this is an "on" night for Frank - he carries the solo a couple of minutes longer than he usually does as a result. Then we get a 3 song medley of vocal songs from You Are What You Is before hitting the crowd-pleasing "Cosmik Debris", which by 1980 had lost a lot of its charm and novelty. "Keep it Greasy", from the recent Joe's Garage album, is propelled to a new level by Vinnie's drumming. Faster than a speeding bullet, this one. "Tinsel Town Rebellion" follows, an early version of a song which would eventually appear on the album of the same name, and at this early stage it's still a pretty weak number. "Buffalo Drowning Witch" is the precursor to the later "Drowning Witch", at this point just a goofy scat-sung "meltdown" number which is nothing special but definitely a treat for fans. "Honey Don't You Want a Man Like Me?" gets a great rendition here, as does the new song "Pick Me, I'm Clean", which has a surprisingly long and exploratory guitar solo inserted in the middle. "Dead Girls of London", a song Zappa co-wrote for violinist L. Shankar, was a frequent set list entry in these days, and it's a short, catchy rocker. "Shall We Take Ourselves Seriously?" is a brief poke at cultural snobs, and the first set and CD ends with the majestic "City of Tiny Lites", extended to ten minute length by yet another dazzling guitar solo.

Set two opens with "Easy Meat", a song dating from the Flo and Eddie days (but never released as such), as well as the newly-fast version of "I Ain't Got No Heart", originally on Zappa's first album Freak Out. Both of these songs are similar to their performances on the later Tinsel Town Rebellion album. Then we get a mammoth marathon version of concert favorite "The Torture Never Stops"; at 23 minutes, it thankfully isn't just one long guitar solo, but several improvisational sections including a keyboard solo by Tommy Mars. Two punky tunes from Sheik Yerbouti follow, and these benefit greatly from Colaiuta's amphetamine charge. "Andy" brings us another welcome taste of Roxy-era material, a complex number with myriad shifts in direction and tempo, and polished off with yes, another great guitar solo. Maybe the best "Andy" I've heard. "Joe's Garage" and "Dancin' Fool" bring us back to fun vocal territory (I think Zappa was a bit wary of straying too far from the vocal material -- I think he sensed or thought that his audience was more into the "funny stuff"). Then we have a long monologue piece which is always fun to hear (hear it for yourself). And finally, a quartet of snappy numbers that close the show on an energetic note: "Stick it Out", "I Don't Want to Get Drafted", "Bobby Brown Goes Down", and "Ms Pinky".

No collection is complete with just one Zappa album, but I'd be tempted to say that if you're a fan of the earlier jazzy Zappa and just want one album to represent the late 70s/early 80s period, this is the one to get. You pretty much get it all here.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars A live recording of a concert in Buffalo, New York on October 25, 1980 and released posthumously, this is very well produced album with excellent sound and some great and not so great performances. In other words, it's not always consistent, however, there are enough great solos (guitar and others) that still make it worthwhile.

There are three tracks from "You Are What You Is" which is not one of my favorite studio albums from Zappa, however, one of them (The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing) is very well done. The version of Cosmik Debris is excellent with a killer guitar solo, but too short. After that, things stay kind of standard and nothing really stands out much until Frank Zappa forgets the lyrics in "Honey Don't You Want a Man Like Me" After that, the band seems to get really really tight and things get amazingly excellent all the way through two huge guitar solos and a few shorter songs. This part of the recording is very enjoyable, especially "City of Tiny Lights", which has always been a favorite of mine, but this is by far the best live rendering of the song and I always thought it provided a great base for a killer shredding guitar solo, which is exactly what happens here.

The second disc starts out with the band still in excellent form. This carries on through the gargantuan version of "The Torture Never Stops" which features many many solos from not just the guitar, but drums, keyboards etc. After this, things falter a bit with some awful versions of a couple of some normally great Sheik Yerbouti tracks. When "Andy" ends, it seems that we have come to the end of the show, but what follows are several encore performances which for the most part are well done and fun. A lot of humor here with Frank doing some naughty musings and stuff making fun of people and mating habits.

So, overall, a little inconsistent but still an excellent addition to your Zappa collection and the good parts outweigh the substandard parts, so it's worth having.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Great live performance of Frank Zappa and his band. All famous tracks with great guitar solos and great music moments made by band members. When we listen the best live moments of Zappa Universe, we can imagine the hard work before go to stage. Make a Jazz Noise Here and Zappa in New York, are t ... (read more)

Report this review (#1099471) | Posted by Joćo Paulo | Wednesday, December 25, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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