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Frank Zappa Apostrophe (') album cover
4.04 | 822 ratings | 47 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Don't Eat The Yellow Snow (2:07)
2. Nanook Rubs It (4:37)
3. St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast (1:50)
4. Father O'Blivion (2:18)
5. Cosmik Debris (4:14)
6. Excentrifugal Forz (1:33)
7. Apostrophe' (5:50)
8. Uncle Remus (2:44)
9. Stink-Foot (6:32)

Total Time: 31:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Frank Zappa / guitars, bass, lead vocals, arranger & producer

- Tony Duran / rhythm guitar (7)
- George Duke / keyboards, backing vocals
- Don 'Sugarcane' Harris / violin
- Jean-Luc Ponty / violin
- Ian Underwood / saxophone
- Napoleon Murphy Brock / saxophone, backing vocals
- Sal Marquez / trumpet
- Bruce Fowler / trombone
- Jack Bruce / bass (7)
- Alex Dmochowski ('Erroneous') / bass
- Tom Fowler / bass
- Jim Gordon / drums (6,7)
- John Guerin / drums
- Aynsley Dunbar / drums
- Ralph Humphrey / drums
- Ruth Underwood / percussion
- Ray Collins, Kerry McNabb, Susie Glower, Debbie, Lynn, Ruben Ladron De Guevara & Robert Camarena / backing vocals
- Tina Turner & The Ikettes / backing vocals (uncredited)

Releases information

Artwork: Cal Schenkel

LP Discreet ‎- DS 2175 (1974, US)

CD Rykodisc ‎- RCD 10519 (1995, US) Remastered by Bob Stone
CD Zappa Records ‎- ZR 3851 (2012, US) From original 1974 analog master

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FRANK ZAPPA Apostrophe (') ratings distribution

(822 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

FRANK ZAPPA Apostrophe (') reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I think this album is absolutely overrated. The bass is absolutely loud, bottom and complex. The drums can be very elaborated. Zappa's electric solos sound are, more than usually, very gross. The tracks are unequal: some reach a REAL quintessence, like "St.Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast" and "Father O'Blivion", while all the others are just too slow, not elaborated enough, outrageously vocals oriented and narrative: they sound like the ordinary George Duke's albums: sadly R&B at the limit!!!!!!!! This album is definitely disappointing: I never found it really interesting, except the 2 tracks mentioned above. Unfortunately, these tracks taken together barely last 4 minutes. Nevertheless, all the tracks contain interesting elements, but the overall mood is rather boring. People looking for a more accessible and simple Zappa's work will enjoy.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review by lor68
3 stars Well probably this is the best album by ZAPPA, among his most accessible ones, and naturally thanks to this work you start appreciating his music within his accessible moments of such "classic rock"... actually after being in the habit also with his usual bizarre moments, you can get an inkling of his grandeur!!. The track "... Yellow Snow" is at times stunning and ironical too; instead the song "St. Alfonzo" is a pure moment of madness and perhaps the most crazy episode of the album... besides "Nanook Rubs It" demonstrates that this ZAPPA's amazing master work on guitar should be awarded, being equal to the splendid closing section concerning the 1st half (represented by "Father O'Blivion"). The last track is good enough , even though to me the instrumental title track stands alone as one of the best moments during the whole remarkable career.

Moreover I like to make a special mention for "Cosmik Debris," a political and sociological satire against the unsuccessful achievements of the youth, within such hippie era, which was coming to an end; and therefore another "jewel" should be worth to be mentioned, that's the excellent piano intro within "Uncle Remus." ( without forgetting naturally some other amazing and spare breaks through), which makes this album another must-have...probably the unique defect is represented by the bad mixing (above all the bass guitar recorded too much loud) and a strange 'raw' approach in the arrangements by Zappa, reminding me of a few uneven performances of his early days, but it's a minor defect after all!

Final score: from three to four stars

Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Great Googly Moogly! Hardcore fans probably have other favorites, but a newcomer to the ZAPPA world could do a lot worse than start with this album. Continuing the approach that worked wonders on "Over- nite Sensation", Frank keeps up the bent humor and rock-pop accessibility (relatively, of course) to balance the instrumental prowess and compositional intricacies. The opening suite is one of the greatest musical interpretations of a dream sequence- surreal, funny, full of strange references, compositional left turns, and red herrings (or, rather, mud sharks). "Cosmik Debris" is a classic sleazy track with incredible performances; if for some strange reason the sounds of Jean- Luc Ponty don't impress you, how about Tina Turner and her backup singers? "Excentrifugal Forz" is a "Hot Rats" leftover, but sounds more at home here, providing a good jazzy contrast with the rest of the album. "Apostrophe" is simply outstanding, a funky, heavy jam- even if Zappa and Jack Bruce had a difficult time working together, the result is on a par with ZAPPA's better rock jams. "Uncle Remus" is a portrait of the conflicted emotions of the black man of the era; I can't verify its authenticity, but it is one of my favorite examples of Frank's less bizarre character portraits. "Stink -foot" returns us to classic over-the-top territory- a song about bromidrosis featuring a dialogue from a dog. It's also a great slow bluesey way to wrap up the album. If you've never heard Frank or want to start a collection? This will be a necessity. Is it for everyone? No...but if you like him even a little, you'll like this- after all, "The crux of the biscuit is the apostrophe."
Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of the more accessible albums in the Frank Zappa catalogue, Apostrophe was his first to go Gold, mainly due to the popularity of Don't Eat the Yellow Snow. After Overnite-Sensation, Frank Zappa released Apostrophe, which is very much in the same vein as O.S. in that the compositions are very technical and the songs are just as weird. The band on this album is superb, most noteworthy is the magnificent Jack Bruce (Cream, etc.) on bass. Zappa's solos on this album are arguably his fastest studio solos, and they are played wonderfully on a wah drenched guitar.

From the opening whisps of wind on Don't Eat the Yellow Snow, one can already feel a carefree ride ahead of them. The catchy 7/4 riff along with the background vocals has a very warm feeling. It segues into Nanook Rubs It, which is another part of this "suite" of sorts. It has a very nasty solo in between verses and Zappa's vocal parts are comedic and refreshing. It segues into St. Alphonzo's Pancake Breakfast, which is a short little number that has a very catchy riff to it. It segues into Father O' Blivion, which is another short little tune that finishes off this "suite" of sorts. Cosmik Debris is another live favorite that has a very distict "new-agey" sound in it. Another catchy but complicated riff only heightens the experience. Excentrifugal Forz and Apostrophe are both instrumentals that are very different. Where Excentrifugal Forz has a rock feel to it, Apostrophe has a very bluesy feel to it, with very distinctive bass (Bruce must have had it on at 11!). Stink Foot rounds off this very short album with more weird ideas from Zappa. The spoken vocals combined with the searing solos and magnificent horn section end the album perfectly.

Overall, I was very impressed with this album, although there are some faults to it. The sound on Apostrophe is muddled and has a bit of a bootleg feel to it, and the album is terribly short, only being 31 minutes long (hell, Utopia had a 30 minute song at the time this was released!). If you want catchy Zappa in the vein of Overnite-Sensation, go for this one. But for me, I'll give it a 4/5.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars As is the case with most of Zappa albums, this one is unpredictable as any Zappa albums have never been the same in styles - it keeps changing - that's why it's called prog. "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow" is a funny song with varied textures followed with another funny one of "Nanook Rubs It". Well, I like the guitar part that follows the singing - it truly a classic rock style combined with brass section. "St Alfonso' Pancake Breakfast" is a xylophone combined with brass section and vocal line. The xylophone and guitar work in particular segment run very quickly - it's really good. It continues seamlessly to next track in even faster tempo with varied styles.

"Cosmik Debris" blends the avant-garde, jazz and rock into one composition augmented with female backing vocals and saxophone. The album title track "Apostrophe" brings the music to the complex brass section with upbeat tempo. The touch of jazz appears so obvious with the guitar work. "Stink-foot" brings the music into more accessible beats and melody with unique singing style and voice of Frank Zappa. The guitar solo is so stunning and it represents the glory days of the seventies. This concluding track is rich with textures with each instrument seems like playing in different direction and the song seems like unstructured. But when it is repeated it brings good subtleties. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by 1800iareyay
4 stars Apostrophe is the follow up to the brilliant Overnight Sensation, and it's almost as great. As usual Zappa has some of the finest musicians in the land to help fulfill his bizarre vision. The centerpiece of the album is without question the Nanook suite. The first four songs of the album comprise a mini opera detailing a dream where the narrator is an eskimo. The song starts simply enough until the line "Don't you eat that yellow snow" comes then the suite devolves into classic Zappa debauchery and filth. I can't outline too much about the suite because children may visit this site. The drumming on this song is superb and the lyrics will leave you howling, while parts like St. Alfonzo have catchy riffs.

Cosmik Debris is a sort of avant-garde blues with Frank using his deeper voice (the one found on his vox on Overnight Sensation) and a tasteful use of background vocals and sax. The lyrics viciously tear into the failure of the hippie youth and are some of his best satire.

Excentrifugal Forz is a short instrumental that's rather hard edged. My complaint is that it's over too soon.

Apostrophe' features Cream's bass legend Jack Bruce on a near 6 minute instrumental that highlights his distorted bass more than any Cream track ever did. Jack's presence gives this a very bluesy feel and it's certainly his greatest performances and it's one of the finest bass performances in rock.

Uncle Remus is one of the most serious songs Zappa has ever written (don't expect it to be somber though). It details the struggles of black men during the late 60s-early 70s.

Stink Foot ensures the album doesn't get any more serious with its ode to...well, it's pretty obvious. This song is a fine way to close the album, and it's very melodic.

Apostrophe doesn't quite measure up to its predeccessor, but it's still one of Zappa's finest works and it's a good place to start along with Freak Out, We're Only In It For The Money, and Overnight Sensation

Review by Chicapah
3 stars This may have been Frank's highest charting achievement, climbing up as far as the number ten spot, but it's far from being his best. In light of the surprising and overdue airplay he got from the excellent "Over-Nite Sensation" it's not hard to understand why Zappa would follow suit with another dose of accessible, humorous satire. For the first time in his career he was riding a wave of unexpected popularity with the public in general and it may have gone to his head just a bit (as it would anyone in his position).

The album starts off in grand style with a witty rock drama in four parts that mainly concerns itself with a dreamed confrontation between an Eskimo and a bloodthirsty baby seal clubber (a hot button in proper society at the time). You learn a great lesson in "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" (useful advice from the hero's mother), then the villainous fur trapper gets his comeuppance for whapping a pup with his lead-filled snowshoe when he is assailed with Husky wee-wee and dog-doo sno-cones in "Nanook Rubs It." Now blinded and forlorn, the bad guy seeks a cure at "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast" restaurant where the dubious "Father O'Blivion" is the cook that serves 'em up light and fluffy white. This epic is truly amazing in its deceivingly complex creativity, musicianship and arrangement. The single (a three and a half minute version found on the "Strictly Commercial" compilation) actually got on the hot 100 list and helped to boost the LP into gold status. No sacred cow was immune from Frank's sarcastic lampooning so next he takes on his generation's obsession with Transcendental Meditation, Gurus and higher consciousness seeking with "Cosmik Debris." ("Is that a real poncho or is that a Sears poncho?") It's a hilarious tune and delivers an excellent guitar lead in the middle just to let you know Zappa hasn't lost his fiery touch on the fretboard. This song garnered a lot of FM radio spins as well, generating even more sales. "Excentrifugal Forz" is a short, bizarre ditty that runs by so fast that it's hard to decipher what it's about. "Apostrophe" is a six-minute jam between Jack Bruce, Jim Gordon and Frank that never goes anywhere, much less reaching a climax. It's what Cream would have probably sounded like if Zappa had replaced Eric Clapton. Sorta. It marks the low point of the album for me. "Uncle Remus" dares to poke devilish fun at the civil rights movement. Now before you start accusing Frank of not being politically correct or respectfully sensitive here keep in mind that the co-author was none other than George Duke, an African American. It's actually a well-written song with some tasteful piano and soulful backup vocals. But "Stink-Foot" is where the project sadly runs out of funny ideas and the odorous joke involving the unsuspecting Fido falls flat on its face. The interesting guitar lead helps but, as Zappa himself admits toward the end, "Ain't this boogie a mess?"

There's a telling credit on the back of the LP cover that reads "Produced, Arranged & Struggled with: Frank Zappa." Despite the relative success of this album I think even Frank knew this "novelty" angle was taking him too far away from his avant-garde passions and purpose. His next offerings would show him stepping back into the sublime strangeness that he loved (i.e. "Bongo Fury" with Captain Beefheart). And, while "Apostrophe" wasn't as consistent and clever as some of his previous albums, it still succeeded in bringing him out of the underground realm and into wider acceptance along with his eclectic music.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars It would be easy enough to dismiss this album as silly and juvenile, something a teenager might get a kick out of. Yet there are a several things about this record that impress me very much. First of all the way Frank has the ability (like reading a book) to take our imaginations into the story as we picture the silly things that Frank is singing about. What I found though after a few listens was I started to focus more on the playing rather than the stories and man was I amazed ! I mean I was already blown away by the title track, but the "Yellow Snow" suite and the other silly songs revealed some incredible instrumental work that brought a new appreciation.

"Don't Eat The Yellow Snow" opens with the wind blowing and it's cold as we hear the story of Nanook. The drumming is crisp and is accompanied by guitar. "Nanook Rubs It" has more good drumming, xylophone, trumpet and some scorching guitar. "St.Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast" has more xylophone, horns and great drumming. It blends into "Father O'Blivion" and yes I must sound like a broken record but check out the drumming. "Cosmik Debris" is a satire directed at the hippies. It opens with guitar and deep vocals. Nice guitar solo after 2 minutes and another good section after 3 minutes as it becomes more uptempo.

"Excentrifical Forz" is only a minute and a half long but it features some ripping guitar. "Apostrophe' " is just a killer instrumental, where former CREAM bass player Jack Bruce and Frank Zappa fight throughout the song for the spotlight. The drumming 3 1/2 minutes in is worth mentioning. "Uncle Remus" has some serious lyrics about racism as the piano and guitar lead the way instrumentally. "Stink-Foot" is just plain funny with more great guitar throughout, especially 6 minutes in. And this is where we get the album's title from. As Frank sings "The crux of the biscuit is the apostrophe (')."

I have to give this 4 stars because although it's so accessible, and at times silly, there is much more to offer if you dig deeper.

Review by ghost_of_morphy
5 stars There are some albums that I hate more each time I spin them. (Pnk Floyd's Wish You Were Here comes to mind.) And then there are some that I love more every time I hear them. Frank Zappa's Apostrophe is an excellent example of the second category.

This is one of the best of the more or less straightforward rockers in the Zappa catalog (only Saint Alfonzo's and Father O'Blivion stray pretty far from that formula.) The weird sense of humor is enthusiastically evident n every track, and gratefully Frank shows a lot more originality in the subjects of his humor than normally. The musicianship on this album is superb, which of course is the norm for Zappa albums after We're Only In It For The Money, and Frank has few albums which showcase his talents on the guitar better. As for the music itself, what can I say? It's COOL! Once again, coolness is something that we expect from Uncle Frank, but it's nice that he can sustain it throughout an entire album.

I guess what makes this album stand out above other Zappa albums is the consistency of the thing. The quality of the album stays true to our highest expectations from Zappa from start to finish. There are no weak spots here, none at all. So I'm giving this four stars. It's an excellent addition to any prog collection.

If things continue at this rate and I continue listening to this album, I might eventually end up giving it 5 stars, though.

EDIT: Six months later, I realize that I just have to bump this thing up to five stars. Frank's guitar work on this is among his most masterful performances, the songs are all of an extremely high quality and it's possibly Uncle Frank's most likeable album (although there is some stiff competition on that score.) So five stars it is!

Review by LiquidEternity
3 stars I understand that this might well be his most commercially popular release ever. He's written better, in my opinion, but this Apostrophe does stand well on its own.

The first four songs flow together to generate a continuous story, though that story begins with a discussion of yellow snow and the maturity level goes down from there. Musically speaking, the instruments are fascinating and high-quality, particularly on Father Oblivion. The first two tracks feature mostly spoken-word lyrics, which works in some ways but doesn't lend the songs to stand very well by themselves. All in all, this first-side suite plays as a fun diversion, but a lack of musical cohesion and a lack of individual musical merit makes this multi-track monster an odd one to review. The final track on the side, Cosmik Debris, is a high-energy song that actually does stand on its own.

Side two begins with Excentrifugal Forz, a relatively weaker song in terms of music. The lost pace quickly picks back up with the splendid title track, Apostrophe'. This long instrumental rocks with the best of Zappa's early jam tunes, built around a burning riff and splendid sound. Uncle Remus stands alone as the terribly rare serious-lyricked tune by this famous goofball, and musically it is rather strong as well. Stink-Foot drops any hint of maturity that Frank built up in the previous track, as he spends over six minutes discussing critically odorous feet. The music is mellow but strong, featuring some excellent clean guitar soloing. The album wraps with this song.

In all, the second side is quite stronger than the first, but the album is still critically injured by the mostly aimless first four tracks. A good album, but a spotty one.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Yet another classic Zappa album featuring his best band (that's the Ponty-Dunbar-Duke-Underwood line- up) and one that boasts some (a few) of his better known numbers, despite being one of his shortest albums ever (not sure it even last the half hour). Actually I was never sure whether this was a solo album or a group effort. But with the three Hot Rats (solo) albums under the belt, and the forthcoming Bongo and Zoot albums, maybe this one is also a solo.

Starting on the delightful Yellow Snow and it's hilarious but almost scatological follow up Nanook Rubs It and the absolutely bonkers St Alfonzo all the way through its short denouement Father O'Blivion, it's a four-movement suite that has forgotten to take up a name, but it takes up most of side A, leaving the connected Cosmik Debris, a destructed blues track, to close it up.

The flipside opens on the short Excentrifugal Forz, but powerful enough to shake us up before the Bruce/Gordon/Zappa-penned title track, a semi-lengthy jam (most likely recorded live) where the bassist's style is immediately recognizable and Gordon's drumming self-explanatory. With the ultra well- known short ditty Uncle Remus and the much-longer almost-improvised Stink Foot for another greasy laughs from the motherhood.

This album might be a bit of n'importe-quoi, (but then again which one of his oeuvre isn't, but this sounds like a fast-assembled compilation of tracks past the first side's suite, the flipside amounting to an unconstructed mess, but a funny one. Not any worse or better than his albums of that era.

Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars As a Zappa neophyte I can't compare Apostrophe's to his other works, but to any investigating Zappa's work should know that this album is a pure joy to listen to.

In general, this release features tongue-in-cheek songwriting played with a bluesy, classic rock sound, punctuated by exceptional shows of musicianship and zany lyrics made serious by their excellent delivery. The opening suite is a silly series of connected events which flows, cooks, and grooves all at once-- with frantic, bluesy shredding throughout. Very catchy, polished and varied in its sounds.

Cosmik Debris is probably my favorite song, with its low, gravelly blues feel, guitar solo and exciting bridge-- and lyrics pointing fun at New Age everything. The instrumental title track features upbeat, heavy, bass-led grooves making for a nice change of pace before the silly closer. Musicianship throughout the album is truly first rate, with interesting rhythms, melodies, and effects. I found myself laughing and engaged with every song.

Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a classic rock sound; Zappa's sense of humor, fine musicianship, and memorable guitar sound are sure to please.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Apostrophe (')" is a studio album by US, California based artist Frank Zappa. The album was released through DiscReet Records in March 1974. After the commercial success of Zappaīs previous studio album "Overnight Sensation (1973)" he followed up that success with another commercially successful album in "Apostrophe (')" and thereby laid the economic foundation that made it possible for him to release some obscure albums in addition to his more popular works.

Iīm not sure if "Apostrophe (')" was a deliberate attempt at exploring and expanding the commercial success of "Overnight Sensation (1973)" or if it was just a matter of circumstance, which led to Zappa creating another commercially successful album release, as itīs always hard to know exactly what his intentions were. The fact is it would be a valid statement to call the two albums sibling releases. Subsequent sarcastic comments made by Zappa himself about some of his more comedic tracks like "Donīt Eat The Yellow Snow" and "TittiesīnīBeer" (from "Zappa in New York (1978)") could suggest that he actually was a little annoyed that it was his more mainstream oriented output that got the most attention instead of what he thought of as his more serious works.

Either way "Apostrophe (')" is to my ears an excellent display of Zappaīs more accessible (and yes commercial as well) songwriting style. Thereīs a great emphasis on humour in the lyrics as well which should appeal those who like their rock music with a comedic element. One should not however be fooled to think that this is easy listening music or that the tracks donīt require anything from the listener, as that is far from the truth. This is still very intricate and sophisticated music. It might seem simple at first listen but some of the things that are played on "Apostrophe (')" are really intense and challenging. Just listen to Ruth Underwoodīs treatment of the vibes/xylophone/marimba on "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast". Virtuosic to say the least. The rhythmic foundation on most tracks is jazz rock/fusion influenced, but as always there is also a strong blues rock/rīnīb influence in the music, and occasionally psychadelic elements too.

The first four tracks segue into each to form a suite and lyrically itīs really entertaining and quite silly. Total nonsense about an eskimo boy named Nanook, a horny leprechaun and so on. Great vocal arrangements and instrumental performances make those four tracks some of thehighlights of the album. "Cosmik Debris" is a blues rock based song with (again) some hilarious (but quite clever) lyrics and a great vocal arrangement.

"Excentrifugal Forz" is quite an atypical Frank Zappa composition as it has a psychadelic flavor to it. Itīs quite the brilliant track feauturing some great selfbiographical humourous lyrics. "Apostrophe'" is the only fully instrumental track on the album. Itīs a great jam with Jack Bruce (Cream) playing some distinct sounding fuzzy distorted basslines, Frank Zappa and Tony Duran playing the guitar and Jim Gordon (Everly Brothers, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, George Harrison, Derek & The Dominos...etc) playing the drums. "Uncle Remus" is a soul/pop song featuring George Duke on lead vocals and The Ikettes doing backing vocals. Itīs another rather atypical Frank Zappa composition, and it may not have an immediate impact, like most of the other tracks on the album, but itīs a grower featuring a great melancholic/nostalgic atmosphere and some great vocal arrangements. The album closes with a live favorite. The blues based "Stink-Foot" with itīs extended Zappa guitar solo is just pure class and great fun.

"Apostrophe (')" features no less than 17 different musicians (including Zappa) plus The Ikettes, and the material featured on the album was recorded at different sessions and at different times (most in 1973 and 1974, but some recordings dating as far back af 1969). It does make the album a little less consistent in quality and style compared to its direct predecessor, and some of the sound productions also differ a bit from the remaining material. It was not unusal for Zappa to collect a batch of songs from different recording sessions and make an album out of them, and he did that many times during his career. I wouldnīt say it works perfect here, but it still works pretty well. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

Review by Sinusoid
3 stars The title jam and the ''Don't Eat the Yellow Snow'' suite are really what save the album for me. I've never been too fond of the post-Mothers humour phase of Zappa's career as the humour doesn't click with me. What made the Mothers works hilarious was the randomness of it all and everything sounded natural. The humour on APOSTROPHE sounds too forced with very uninteresting backing music in support.

''Stinkfoot'' and ''Cosmik Debris'' are so boring they put me to sleep even if there's supposed to be a few funny moments here and there. I could care less about the humour side of the ''Don't Eat the Yellow Snow'' suite, but the title part has one of the best basslines on a Zappa album and the last two parts have great xylophone parts. The ''Apostrophe'' jam is a highlight simply because the instrumentalists really run wild, especially the bass from Jack Bruce. If more focus was on the music power rather than the cheap jokes, then I'd enjoy APOSTROPHE much more.

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is supposed to be one of the more accesible albums by the American master. I personally think it's much easier to start with something almost-purely instrumental like "Hot rats" before jumping into Mr. ZAPPA's vocal jokes.

Much in the same vein as "Over-Nite Sensation", this album contains similar jazz-oriented, American-sounding, totally-humorous serious music. Because there's no question about it: what the instruments are doing, what Zappa the composer wrote down in the staff with fourths and silences, that's pretty elaborated and interesting. While not really to my liking, I can appreciate the original riffs and odd time signatures and the use of less typicalk harmonies. The vocals, on the other hand, just as the lyrics, are a complete joke, a work of humour, at times fine humour, at times just plain incoherent. One look at the lyrics may tell a prospective listener exactly how this music will be sung. And there will be few errors in the predictions.

In my view, this is even less accessible than "Over-Nite Sensation" precisely because it's more full of humour. Of my few ZAPPA experiences, it's clear the more music-oriented "Hot Rats" has been ther more successful, as I think it will be for anybody that hasn't heard any of his music yet.

Review by The Quiet One
4 stars ''The crux of the biscuit is the Apostrophe''

Apostrophe (') while a Zappa solo album, it's technically, looking at the line-up involved in, pretty much the same Mothers of Invention which played on Over-Nite Sensation. However this is not played in the same style nor the compositions are similar to its previous:

In style Apostrophe presents even more profound humour than that presented in Over-Nite Sensation, believe it or not fellas! Every song(with the exception of 'Uncle Remus') have long odd story-lines in which are familiar to that from 'Zomby Woof' or 'Montana' and the like, all pretty weird yet some laughs might jump out of your mouth.

In composition Apostrophe mainly seems way more Blues/Rock rooted than its previous (Over-Nite), with 'Don't Eat the Yellow Snow', 'Nanook Rubs It', 'Cosmik Debris', 'Apostrophe' and 'Stink Foot' all with obvious blues rock characteristics, taking more than half of the album's length which is not much(30 minutes!), however Zappa takes the blues roots and twists them as he pleases, all of them having Zappa's signature guitar rocking out splendidly, plus some very well done twists and turns in the composition itself.

Then there are the more complex or at least non-blues based tunes which are the ones left. The first one being 'St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast' which easily flows with 'Father O'Blivion', while both very short in length, like Zappa has already proved before, he is able of making complex tunes in less than 2 minutes, so do expect having really complex and fast passages very ala Zappa, even some of the ideas presented in these songs, mainly Ruth's vibes, would later be kind-of emulated on future live opus, Zappa in New York. 'Excentrifugal Forz' on the other hand reminds me of the monotonous 'Dinah-Moe Humm', though this time it only lasts 1 minute and a half, so that's kind of an improvement. Lastly there's the gentle piano-led 'Uncle Remus', while pretty simple in structure, it's well worth listening to Zappa in a kind-of sincere up-lifting mood.

Apostrophe while not being Frank's highest level of uniqueness, this still makes up a very pleasant record and definitely "essential Zappa", with some highlights here and there for the dedicated Zappa fan (mainly the suite on Side 1 and Stink Foot). But I really recommend this, firstly, for those who want to get into Zappa's less complex material yet with solid compositions and flawless musicianship. 3.5 stars rounded up because in future releases Zappa would still want to write accessible music, but none really done with such precision and originality like this one.

Review by J-Man
4 stars Watch out where the huskies go, and don't you eat that yellow snow!

This was my third venture into the work of Frank Zappa. I first bought Chunga's Revenge, and I was pretty disappointed to be honest. I enjoyed Hot Rats a lot, but I thought the only really great song was Peaches en Regalia, though the rest did eventually grow on me. Apostrophe (') was the first Frank Zappa album where I was immediately captivated. From the hilarious and entertaining lyrics to the excellent music that is held beneath them, I fell in love with this album.

Since acquiring this album, I've purchased many more Zappa albums, and I've concluded that Apostrophe (') is one of my favorites. It is really enjoyable from beginning to end. My only real complaint is that it only barely cracks the half-hour mark. I guess that's a good thing, though. If you're wishing that an album was longer, that obviously leads to the conclusion that the content present on the album is excellent.

I think this entire album is almost pure genius. The way this album is so lyrically entertaining, while still having virtuosic music shows what an excellent musician Frank Zappa is. Despite all of my praise, I don't quite consider this to be a 5 star album. I can't even reasonably say why, but I don't feel it's up to the level of my other 5 star ratings.


"Don't Eat The Yellow Snow"- The first song begins a suite that will continue into the next three songs. It opens with snow sound effects, but soon a funky riff enters. The drumming is excellent on this song especially. Ruth Underwood does an excellent job throughout this entire album. This song begins the hilarious story of the Eskimo boy named "Nanook".

"Nanook Rubs It"- This is when the story really begins. This song is absolutely hilarious, and I always laugh during some moments in this song. There's an evil fur trapper that is hitting Nanook's favorite baby seal with a lead-filled snowshoe. Nanook gets pretty angry and shoves dog pee in his eyes, and then the fur trapper shoves a "dog-doo snow cone" in Nanook's eyes, so they're both blind, though Nanook is only temporarily blind. Alright, you get the point! This is entertaining lyrically, and the music is pretty good. It's pretty standard blues rock with some typical Zappa trademarks.

"St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast"- This picks up the story where the previous song left off. They go to the parish of St. Alfonzo, overlooked by Father O'Blivion, who is a master pancake chef. The rest of the story in the next two songs goes on about this and introduces a horny leprechaun. It's total nonsense (that's absolutely hilarious), dealing with the leprechaun masturbating in pancake batter, etc. This song musically has excellent percussion, especially the use of the xylophone. The synth solo has an ELP sound to it, and the rest of the song is complex and unusual.

"Father O'Blivion"- This song is based completely on the story I mentioned above. I figured I'd mention the entire thing in my previous song description. This song is a fast paced rocker with excellent basslines. The ending is very solid. This is a great end to the suite.

"Cosmik Debris"- The fifth song very bluesy, with a jazz tinged chorus. The use of xylophone is excellent, and there are surely enough oddities to keep this song interesting. Musically, this reminds me a lot of "I'm The Slime" off of Overnite Sensation. This song is not nearly as lyrically entertaining as the previous suite, but the concept of fake psychics is still fun and entertaining. This is probably my least favorite song on the album.

"Excentrifugal Forz"- After a short but effective opening, the first vocal section comes in. This is the album's shortest song at just over one and a half minutes, so it mostly uses the same vocal melody with a few little guitar noodlings.

"Apostrophe"- This is the only instrumental song on this album, and it is excellent. The bass playing from Jack Bruce is excellent, and turns the instrument into a major part of the song. The guitar is played from Frank Zappa (of course) as well as Tony Duran. The arrangement is spectacular, as well as the musicianship. This is surely a highlight of the album.

"Uncle Remus"- This song has the most melody of any of the songs here. It opens up with some nice piano chords that lead the whole song. I like the background singers on this song especially. I really like the guitar solos present on this song. This reminds me a lot of something from Paul McCartney & Wings.

"Stinkfoot"- The closing song has another ridiculous story. Some guy couldn't get his shoes off for months, and got the imaginary disease of "stinkfoot". This is a blues-rocker with many prog and jazz tendencies. It has some avant leanings as well. It has some odd electric piano melodies, and sound effects add to the occasional avant sound as well. Overall, this is a fun song.


Apostrophe (') is a great album. This is the album that really got me interested in Frank Zappa. The musicianship is excellent, the lyrics can be hilarious, and it is one of the most consistent Zappa albums I've heard. I think the best part of this album is the "Nanook" suite, but the rest of the album is excellent as well. If you're looking for an introduction to Frank Zappa, Apostrophe (') is a great place to start.

4 stars.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of most commercially successful Zappa albums is no way pop-album. Even if one of most accessible his albums ( what is the main reason for it's commercial success), this album is still essential Zappa.

One of the best Zappa's musicians line-up contains such names as Jack Bruce on bass, Jean-Luc Ponty on violin, George Duke on keys, Ainsley Dunbar on drums between others. Plus brass section.

Album's music is heavily based on blues/blues-rock with some brass rock arrangements and great solos, often of free form. Zappa sings half-spoken vocals, with full of black humour lyrics. His guitar solos are as great as usual. Even if album is short and almost all songs are short as well, all music sounds as one blues-fusion-avant opera. Excellent musicianship in combination of Zappa's charisma is present in full form there.

Possibly, one of easiest entrance to Zappa's world. After listening you will love it or possibly will hate it. But just try to catch these vibrations, and you will feel the hunger to second and next Zappa albums, one after another.Really 4,5.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Together with its companion Overnight Sensation, Apostrophe was one of the first Zappa albums to win me over. It's been called accessible and even commercial, but while I would go along with accessible, commercial is quite a stretch still. The album might have been successful but it sure wasn't made to sell big numbers. I really sounds like bunch of superb musicians having the best of times.

The music is strongly rooted in blues this time. Rather then the jazzy leanings of earlier albums, this album is filled with shredding solos on blues and soul standards. Of course, as with all Zappa, there's a big anecdotic element in this music. The songs often step out of the main groove or melodies to accentuate a certain narrative development. It's that exact theatrical aspect of Zappa that can make his music hard to get into. But the creative juices ran so free during this recording that there's plenty to enjoy for the novice.

For me this album stands as an example for music radiating with playing pleasure that is too engaging to ignore. As I mentioned before in previous Zappa reviews, I might start to love this music even more if I can ever overcome my disinterest in checking out lyric sheets. Ignoring the words while listening to Zappa, it's like watching a stand-up comedian show with earplugs in.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Apostrophe (')' - Frank Zappa (7.5/10)

Finally, a Zappa album I can appreciate and enjoy from start to finish! In terms of my journey with this man's music, you might consider it less than ideal. To start things off, I gave 'Lumpy Gravy' a listen without any warning what it might end up sounding like. After half an hour of silly noise, I definitely wasn't any closer to liking this man or his music. Secondly was the jazz piece 'Hot Rats,' which I found a lot more to like, but still found it hard to enjoy so much improvisation and soloing without as much solid composition. While 'Apostrophe' might not have the same influence on a genre or resonance that 'Hot Rats' seems to have a lot of people, the fact is that this is the first time that I am really enjoying Zappa's music.

He has probably had better songwriting sessions in his life, but this is a fine example of progressive rock that doesn't take it too seriously, and I think that's one of the best things about Zappa. The album starts out with lyrics about not eating yellow snow and an Eskimo named Nanook? Obviously not a 'Scenes From A Memory' in the caliber of the concept, but it's obvious that this guy is having fun with making his music. I am not only giving my praise on his disposition though? The music itself- while generally keeping in line with blues-rock, still blows me away in sections. A rapidfire instrumental section in 'St. Alphonzo's Pancake Breakfast' really showed me where Dream Theater got their inspiration from.

The album works as a running piece of music; there is no fade-out between tracks? All that you get is a half hour of unrelenting quirkiness, (bad) humour, and good bluesy riffage. While this artist's more recognized works had turned me off initially, all it took was a commercial- leaning album to show me the groundwork of this man's talent, and finally get me into the music of Mr. Zappa.

Review by tarkus1980
3 stars Frank's most commercially successful album ever, it's really hard for me to get a firm grasp of what I think about this album. The problem for me is that, in a lot of ways, this album bears the marks of a, dare I say it, throwaway album. It's only just over half an hour, almost six minutes of which are taken up by an instrumental jam (and almost another seven minutes of which are taken up by a Zappa blues-parody, which is actually pretty great, but that's aside the point for the time being), and the "jazziness" of the songs too often seems like a cover for a relative lack of real songwriting ideas. The end result of all these factors is that this album ends up turning into background noise for me just a little too often for comfort, and I can't give a very high rating to an album like that.

On the other hand, it's surprisingly enjoyable for an album with all of these negatives. The aforementioned instrumental jam, the title track, is a total rock-out treat for me. Jack Bruce of Cream fame co-stars with his bass playing, and while I know that a lot of people are irritated with him on this track for spending so much time in the highest registers of his instrument, I just can't help but love the way his playing interacts with the tight drumming, and this in conjunction with some blistering guitar solos (though not mixed extremely well) adds up to a heck of a headphone experience for me. The closing "Stink Foot" is also a fun listen for me, even if it doesn't really add much to Frank's legacy from a pure music perspective, as it gets to play off his whole "conceptual continuity" kick, and does throw in a bizarre guitar tone to complement Frank's great blues soloing.

So anyways, I haven't mentioned the reason that this album is most infamous, for better and worse. This is Zappa's parody on the whole concept of rock operas, as this album tells the touching story of an Eskimo named Nanook whose mother told him to never eat the yellow snow, and ... ah, I don't want to tell the story, it's available in billions of places, and it's as dumb and goofy as you'd expect a mock rock opera plot-line from Frank to be. It helped spawn a memorable single that was a large part of this album's success ("Watch out where the huskies go, and don't you eat that yellow snow!"), and it is just effective enough to be able to hook the listener back in when they start to get especially distracted.

There are also large chunks of, as mentioned before, Frank's obsession with conceptual continuity. In one of the tracks we get the "poncho phrase" from "Camarillo Brillo," in another we have reference to the Grand Wazoo, in yet others we have reference to the Mudshark, and in the closer we have references to the "Dirty Love" poodle and the whole concept of "conceptual continuity" in general. You know, things like this make me realize that, to a large degree, Zappa was just a big dork, but it's hard for me to dislike him for that.

So anyway, that's the album: not amazing by any means (did you notice how few actual songs I mentioned? There's a reason for that), but a basically enjoyable listen. Plus, if nothing else, the playing on this album is freaking marvelous, as this really stands out as one of Zappa's tightest bands. If that's the sort of thing that plays a big role in how you think about music, then rush out and get this.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars Frank Zappa was simply a music machine. These days, it seems to take mose musicians anywhere from two to five years to complete an album. But Frank was pumping out albums, mostly high quality music, at more than two albums a year. And this was another home run. At this point, Zappa had, arguably, one of his best lineups ever.

George Duke, Tom and Bruce Fowler, Ralph Humphrey and all were incredible, but what set this band apart was Ruth Underwood. Having played occasionally with Zappa as early as "Uncle Meat", on this album, for the first time we get to hear her completely revolutionize the percussionist role in music. What she does in the Don't Eat Yellow Snow suite is absolutely incredible. And her talent seemed to inspire Zappa to compose more and more incredible passages for her to play during her stint in the band.

Okay, enough gushing about Ruth. The rest of the album is great as well. Although there is a lot of blues riffing, it's all done with that inimitable Zappa style and humor. Cozmik Debris is a hilarious song, detailing a good way to deal with anyone spouting any sort of mystical bull$#!t. Stink-Foot is just a scream, as well. And don't miss Apostrophe', with a guest appearance by none other than Jack Bruce, who plays a mean fuzz bass solo.

Review by Anthony H.
5 stars Frank Zappa: Apostrophe (') [1974]

Rating: 9/10

Great googly moogly!

Apostrophe (') is yet another essential Zappa album from the 70s. This album is the logical continuation of Over-Nite Sensation; I consider the two to be companion pieces. On Apostrophe ('), Zappa builds upon the twisted rock n' roll that he explored on Over-Nite and incorporates elements and motifs that had previously characterized his work: zany storytelling, guitar instrumentals, and social commentary. The result is an album that is even more well-rounded, engaging, varied, and memorable than its superb predecessor. This is yet another testament to the musical might that Frank so triumphantly possessed.

"Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" is one of Zappa's signature tunes, with a great main hook and lyrics. "Nanook Rubs It" is Zappa's greatest storytelling piece. Even when one ignores the priceless lyrics, the guitar licks are absolute perfection. Brass arrangements and mallet percussion show up on "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast", and the "Yellow Snow" suite concludes with the energetic "Father O'Blivion." "Cosmik Debris" is a bluesy rock song with some fantastic gospel-choir vocals. "Excentrifugal Forz" is a short and quite complex track featuring impressive drum work. The instrumental title track is one of Zappa's all-time greatest guitar solos, not to mention Jack Bruce's incredible bass solo. "Uncle Remus" stands out from the rest of the album; it's quite serious in tone, with lyrics about racism. This track emotionally stirring for me in an odd way, and is certainly one of my favorites. The closer "Stink-Foot" is musically similar to the "Yellow Snow" suite, with more fantastically creative lyrics and guitar soloing.

I don't want to ramble on, because a long review for Apostrophe (') simply doesn't fit the music. Zappa crafted yet another gem here. Creativity, humor, and musicianship abound. Whether it's the off-the-wall storytelling of "Nanook Rubs It", the guitar rock of the title track, or the emotional gospel-rock of "Uncle Remus", anybody who even passively appreciates Zappa's music should find something to enjoy here. Frank restores my faith in humanity.

Review by Warthur
5 stars Apostrophe refines and perfects the approach that Zappa and the Mothers tried out on Overnite Sensation, attaining a sound which is accessible wiithout sacrificing any of Zappa's quirky complexity. A short but sweet affair, beginning with the long nonsense story that runs from Don't Eat the Yellow Snow to Father O'Blivion, the album also includes an Overnite-styled off- cut in the form of Cosmic Debris and a clutch of other excellent songs. Zappa's lyrics are as witty as ever but are a bit lighter on his usual sexual and scatological themes, and the musicianship is as tight as you'd expect from the superb mid-1970s lineup of the Mothers. This probably qualifies as Zappa's first masterpiece since Hot Rats.
Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Following on the heels of the successful album 'Over-nite Sensation', Zappa's next album 'Apostrophe (')' would turn out to be his biggest selling album. FZ was trying to make his music more accessible, so he added a lot more humor, a lot more lyrics, and some more commercial beats, while still retaining some of his usual complexity. However, where 'Over-nite Sensation' had no completely instrumental tracks, 'Apostrophe' would have one, namely the title track. There really isn't a whole lot other than that that distinguish the two, but 'Apostrophe' is a definite step forward and more interesting with more variety.

The band is more or less the same as on the previous album. In fact, most of side 1 of Apostrophe was created during the same sessions. This album was created from material that was written over a 2 ' year period, so the band lineup changes somewhat through the tracks, but, for the most part, it remains the same. This was also, in my opinion, one of FZ's most talented lineups featuring Ruth Underwood, Jean Luc-Ponty and even Tina Turner doing background vocals. Jack Bruce also helps out on the title track, but there is some controversy regarding the amount of his contribution.

The album starts out with one of Zappa's most popular songs 'Don't Eat the Yellow Snow', a song that was inspired when FZ watched a dog pee on the band's tour bus. Most people know this song is a simple humorous song, short but sweet, but in reality it is the beginning movement of a longer suite, most of which follows on this album. This flows (get it, flows?) into the next song which is a continuation of the adventures of our protagonist Eskimo Nanook. 'Nanook Rubs It' is a longer, dramatic song about an encounter with a fur trapper. Nanook rescues his favorite baby seal by rubbing yellow snow into the eyes of the fur trapper and a battle ensues. This one is based on a blues riff. We then follow the fur trapper at this point as he runs to 'St. Alphonzo's Pancake Breakfast'. The tempo is sped up again for this short ditty that was inspired by a commercial for Imperial Margarine, which the furtrapper uses to restore his sight after being blinded by yellow snow and accidentally pees on the bingo cards. The main story gets a little confusing at this point as the viewpoint of the singer/narrator shifts around and you realize it's not really a story per se anymore, but who cares? The last part of the suite is called 'Father O'blivion' who is in charge of the St. Alphonzo parish, and things get quite confusing as a masturbating leprechaun is brought into the mix. After that you are left to your own imagination as to what happens. There is actually another part to this suite that did not make it onto this album, called 'Rollo'. It is a longer song which was originally about a dog who watches his master copulate. The lyrics were pretty much abandoned when it was decided that they were too vulgar for the album, and after that, it was just completely left off the album except for the riff that serves as the introduction to 'St. Alphonzo'. By the way, there is a full live version of this suite on 'You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 1' with the instrumental version of 'Rollo' still attached if you are interested.

'Cosmik Debris' finishes up side one. This is a stand alone song about a peddler trying to sell psychedelic paraphernalia. FZ hypnotizes him and steals all of his stuff and blows the peddler's mind. There are references to the previous album which indicates that the two albums are all part of FZ theory that his music has continual continuity. The song has a sort of mysterious vibe to it reflecting the topic of the lyrics and it is all enhanced with Ruth Underwood's exceptional xylophone playing.

The next side starts with a short lyrical song in the same vein as 'CD', this one called 'Excentrifigul Forz'. I'm not exactly sure what it is about, but my guess is it's Zappa's sarcastical take on psychedelia and drugs. The track that follows is one of my favorite Zappa instrumentals and is the title track of the album. Jack Bruce is credited with the amazing bass on this track, and FZ claims that is was Bruce doing this during a jam session. Bruce however, claims that he only did the strange sound effect at the beginning that had something to do with a cello. I tend to believe Zappa's story here as FZ goes on to say that Bruce was difficult for him to improvise with because he treated the bass as a solo instrument and didn't provide the typical bass support that was expected. However, the track turned out quite amazing, even when FZ provides his guitar solo.

'Uncle Remus' is a mid-tempo song that expresses FZ's sentiment on racial slurs. Many thought that the lyrics were written by George Duke, but in reality they were written by Zappa to a tune that was written by Duke. 'Stinkfoot' is a Zappa classic that closes the album. It is a nonsensical song based upon a commercial by Dr. Scholls foot spray where a dog keels over when he brings his master's slippers. FZ provides another great solo, but the song fades out too quickly in my opinion.

Overall, this is a fairly decent album for those who want to be introduced to FZ and his music. It has no shortage of his brand of humor and also gives a sample of his instrumental music. It does not have much in the way of jazz improvisation or classical style and there is very little avant-prog material on this album, but it is quite accessible as a result. I would suggest 'Shiek Yerbouti' as a better all-around example of his music, or maybe 'Hot Rats' as a good beginner album for the instrumental improvisational style. In the end, it is an excellent 4 star album that gives you an easy entry into his style.

Review by patrickq
4 stars Apostrophe starts off strong, with three great tunes. "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" and "Nanook Rubs It" are really one hilarious song, after which the listener has to ask whether Zappa can keep this up for another twenty-five minutes. With a lead-filled snowshoe, and rightly so, "Nanook Rubs It" segues into "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast," which is only a nonsequitur because Zappa offers a ridiculous (and funny) claim that all three songs (and maybe the fourth, "Father O'Blivion") form a continuous story.

But even if the story is continuous, the songwriting quality isn't. Lacking the catchy melodies and amusing lyrics we've gotten used to in the album's first eight or nine minutes, "Father O'Blivion" is a bit of a letdown.

Luckily, side one closes with another strong song. Zappa's anti-drug moralizing on "Cosmic Debris" sounds a bit blaxploitation-y to me (yes, I understand that Zappa is absolved of political incorrectness as long as George Duke and Don "Sugarcane" Harris are on the record), although the song is still impressive.

"Excentrifugal Forz" and "Apostrophe" are, to me, the weakest songs on the album, but without them, Apostrophe wouldn't even fill one side of a twelve-inch vinyl album - - which is probably why I suspect that they're here more for filler than anything else. The overlong "Apostrophe" is notable for its distorted Jack Bruce bass part. I guess you could say that this album lends some insight into how Zappa could turn out so many good albums so quickly.

Anyway, get your shoes and socks on, people; things improve a bit after "Apostrophe." Each of the last two songs on Apostrophe seems to take one aspect of "Cosmic Debris." The Black characterization is retained on "Uncle Remus," a comment on the US civil-rights movement, which Zappa co-wrote with Duke. Meanwhile, the self-assured, no-jive DJ voice from "Cosmic Debris" returns for "Stink-foot."

I'm sure that Zappa could have produced a five-star album every year and a half during the seventies; instead he churned out about two good albums per year. Apostrophe seems to be a perfect example of this strategy, reminding us that Zappa was an astute businessman as well as a musical genius.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Review #149 This is one of the most recognizable albums by Frank ZAPPA, maybe because it was the first one in which he use his own face as a cover or maybe because of the excellent "Cosmik debris". "Apostrophe (')" was released in 1974; in this record, we can appreciate the classic ZAPPA ban ... (read more)

Report this review (#2636643) | Posted by Uruk_hai | Wednesday, November 24, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars REVIEW #1 - "Apostrophe" by Frank Zappa (1974). 5/4/2018 To preface my first review, I thought that covering a Zappa album would be a good way to begin. Given that this work is arguably his most commercially successful and accessible work, it seemed like a good starting point. Frank Zappa was ... (read more)

Report this review (#1919613) | Posted by SonomaComa1999 | Friday, May 4, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The family-friend Zappa: 10/10 I first listened to Serj Takian's cover of Don't Eat the Yellow Snow and upon researching, discovered this "Frank Zappa" was its original composer. So I listened to the original version and found it absolutely great (who doesn't? I think Yellow Snowis one of Zappa's ... (read more)

Report this review (#1691042) | Posted by Luqueasaur | Thursday, February 9, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4.3 stars This was my first experience with Frank Zappa. This album hooked me on Zappa, and just for that it deserves 4 stars. A great, cohesive album overall, and while this doesn't show any extreme spectrum of Zappa (from jazz-fusion to dirty humor), it does offer a great variety of Zappa ... (read more)

Report this review (#644966) | Posted by bb1319 | Saturday, March 3, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Really fun album to listen to... I think this is a great example of the versatility that Frank Zappa managed to achieve in some of his records. He excells in terms of musiciansip, composition, originality, and the overall value of entertainment achieved by his music. APOSTROPHE features irrev ... (read more)

Report this review (#287647) | Posted by AcostaFulano | Monday, June 21, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Great googly moogly! ''Apostrophe'' is the successor of ''Overnite Sensation'', and Zappa uses the same formula, which is easier song structures, clear melodies and crazy lyrics. However, this time they don't end up in some dirty jokes (well, mostly not). Here it is more about.. humour? May ... (read more)

Report this review (#170010) | Posted by Luke. J | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I often hear a lot of praise of this album, but I don't think it lives up to the hype. Admitted there are some good elements on this album, but it does come near it's twin Over-Nite Sensation imo. The inuit songs Don't Eat the Yellow Snow and Nanook Rubs It are good starters and frankly hilariou ... (read more)

Report this review (#170007) | Posted by Devnoy | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars As others have said, Apostrophe (') is a very solid and accessible album by Zappa, chock-full of dirty humor and bluesy, rockin' guitar licks. However, there are no tracks here that stand out to me, and this appears to be the weakest of Zappa's mid-70s, more mainstream rock records. Nothing here ... (read more)

Report this review (#168714) | Posted by stonebeard | Friday, April 25, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Apostrophe surely represents the most commercial Zappa: this album, with his complementary Over- Nite Sensation, has short tracks with (apparently) easy melodies and funny lyrics. The adventure of Nanook, the eskimo, is one of the best known recordings of Frank. It may seem an easy listening work ... (read more)

Report this review (#168515) | Posted by paloz | Wednesday, April 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This was my very first Zappa album, and still remains my favorite. It is more humor oriented than many of his other releases, but that certainly does not mean that the music is any less impressive. St. Alphonzo's Pancake Breakfast, for instance, is hilarious. But what you may not notice upon ... (read more)

Report this review (#168408) | Posted by Endless Wire | Tuesday, April 22, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Recollections of Frank and more... where to begin. My first glimpse of her was in a sleazy bar in Marin. Van Morrison was on a riser, singing his guts out to an almost empty room. Singing to her. Perhaps my best glimpse of her was watching Stevie Ray Vaughn, completely lost in a publicly viewed ... (read more)

Report this review (#166106) | Posted by The Snark | Wednesday, April 9, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This would be the album I'd recommend to anyone who isn't yet familiar with the music of Frank Zappa because it captures perfectly his skill as a musician and his pension for the absurd. The songs on this album will drill itself into your brain and if your lucky people won't thing you too odd w ... (read more)

Report this review (#159940) | Posted by manofmystery | Sunday, January 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Zappa goes accessible again Donīt eat the yelow snow Made upon a repetitive instrumental groove (the melody is quite nice, though), but it still sounds rather seneseless. 2.5 stars Nanook rubs it A number with repetitve bluesy grrove and average melody, Frank moves between speaking and singi ... (read more)

Report this review (#133510) | Posted by Peto | Friday, August 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars My favorite Zappa album, OK, it's to short, but the content more than makes up for that. This was Frank's second gold record and it has a little bit of everthing thrown in, intricate music, ripping lead guitar, humorous stories with lyrics full of Zappa's satire and wit, even lead (fuzz) bass ... (read more)

Report this review (#119070) | Posted by vunder | Friday, April 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album was released in 1974 as the fallow up to Zappa's commercially most acclaimed record Over-Nite Sensation. Most of the music here is blues-rock with a little jazzy feeling here and there, no real RIO/Avant-prog here therefore Apostrophe' is one of his most accessible albums. The first ... (read more)

Report this review (#102249) | Posted by blazno | Saturday, December 9, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is the only album from Frank Zappa I've heard so far. At first I wasn't sure I would like it but after listening to it a couple of times I found it to be a great record full of fun music. My only complaint is that is way too short (just a little over a half hour), but anyway... The first f ... (read more)

Report this review (#101360) | Posted by Hans | Friday, December 1, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This, without any doubt what so ever, is the best Frank Zappa album. It crosses the lines perfectly of impressive, genius music, with audience accessible music. This whole section of his work, from Overnite Sensation right up to One Size Fits All are some of the best albums ever recorded. T ... (read more)

Report this review (#92053) | Posted by proghairfunk | Tuesday, September 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Where do I begin? This is one heep of work! The Production, The Humor and most of all the Musicianship. FZ was great and this album is incredible!!! The first few songs of the album arepractially one song, telling the story of nanook and his huskies. Man was that guy warped(But great) and Cos ... (read more)

Report this review (#59654) | Posted by | Wednesday, December 7, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars at first when i heard that album i was disgusted, what the hell it is? - i though. but i can honestly say now that it's the BEST Frank's album of what i've heard from him. not much of improvisation here, so we have only half hour trip which is so damn good and funny. the album is more bluesy t ... (read more)

Report this review (#45014) | Posted by l-s-d | Wednesday, August 31, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I agree with what has been said before, The song cycle at the beginning (tracks 1-4) is hilarious, though I get tired of them after a while; as repeating any joke can be. The highlight of the album is of course " Apostrophe' ", with Jack Bruce on bass and Jim gordon on Drums, this has to be one of t ... (read more)

Report this review (#29617) | Posted by | Tuesday, April 20, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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