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Thread: Frank Zappa: Which 5 albums to get first?

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    These are the 4 I have:
    Hot rats
    Waka / Jawaka
    The grand wazoo
    Over-nite sensation

    Now where to go next?
    If you like Overnite Sensation you can't go wrong with Apostrophe, Roxy And Elsewhere or One Size Fits All, IMHO.

  2. #102
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    ^^ Yeah! They all kind of go together with me: Over Nite Sensation through One Size Fits All.

  3. #103
    Hot rats
    Overnite sensation
    Apostrophe
    One size fits all
    Lather
    " je m'amuse à vieillir , c'est une occupation de tous les instants " Paul Léautaud

  4. #104
    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    These are the 4 I have:
    Hot rats
    Waka / Jawaka
    The grand wazoo
    Over-nite sensation

    Now where to go next?
    Absolutely Free
    We're Only In It For the Money
    Uncle Meat
    Hell, they ain't even old-timey ! - Homer Stokes

  5. #105
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Billie The Mountain is amazing! Especially the versions on Playground Pyschotics and Carnegie.
    I pulled Carnegie Hall from the shelf today and spun all four hours of it (even the Persuasions opening set). Some excellent playing, and I love the version of King Kong, but man, most of Billy The Mountain is close to unlistenable for me, and that's almost entirely because of Flo & Eddie. I've never cared for all the little motifs either (Carson show theme music numerous times for two seconds, Suite Judy Blue Eyes, etc.) Oh well, different strokes! Give me Greggery Peccery any day.

    Edit: The jamming stuff that is track 2 after the main song is amazing, classic Zappa stuff. But despite it all being lumped together and called a 47 minute version of Billy The Mountain, I don't really think of it that way.
    Last edited by Progatron; 5 Days Ago at 06:37 PM.
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  6. #106
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    Edit: The jamming stuff that is track 2 after the main song is amazing, classic Zappa stuff. But despite it all being lumped together and called a 47 minute version of Billy The Mountain, I don't really think of it that way.
    It's not "lumped together," though. The jam section was always part of "Billy the Mountain." It was edited out of the JABFLA version.

  7. #107
    Strictly looking at it from a neophyte just getting into Zappa, I would suggest:

    1. Overnite Sensation/Apostrophe (available on 1 CD, contains many studio/radio greatest hits like Montana, Don't Eat The Yellow Snow, Cosmik Debris, Dirty Love, Stink Foot, Dinah-Moe-Hum, Camarillo Brillo etc.)

    2. Hot Rats (virtually no singing or snark involved, save for a brief bit by Captain Beefheart, but excellent instrumentals like Peaches en Regalia, Willie the Pimp and The Gumbo Variations)

    3. You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 2 (All live including the infamous "Helsinki Concert", featuring fine versions of Whipping Post, Inca Roads, Dupree's Paradise and Pygmy Twylyte)

    4. We're Only In It For The Money (The Mother's political, cultural and satirical zenith of all things hippie in 1968)

    5. Uncle Meat (a double albums described by critics as an "inspired monstrosity", "unfocused sprawl", and an "assault of glorious noise")
    "And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision."

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  8. #108
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    It's not "lumped together," though. The jam section was always part of "Billy the Mountain." It was edited out of the JABFLA version.
    Fair enough. It's great stuff for sure, and I'm happy to listen to that track, conveniently kept separate from the other two sections.
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  9. #109
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    Without Billy the Mountain, I never would have been a Zappa fan all those eons ago.

    My fave musical moment of the last three years is driving down Route 21 towards Newark to catch a show at the Pru and listening to BtM from Carnegie for the first time.... THE fucking best.
    No one plans to take the path that brings you lower

  10. #110
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    Just placed an order at discogs: hot rats, the grand wazoo, one size fits all, uncle meat and apastrophe. I could get those from one seller. Roxy will have to wait.
    I received this batch today. I will start with Hot rats and maybe post a few comments once I feel I am familiar enough with it.
    Let the FZ binge begin!

  11. #111
    Quote Originally Posted by MudShark22 View Post
    Without Billy the Mountain, I never would have been a Zappa fan all those eons ago.
    +1 to that!
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  12. #112
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Inspired by this thread, I bought Grand Wazoo and Over-Nite Sensation. What do you think about GW? I've heard most of the tracks on Roxy (not sure how), so know it's very good to excellent.
    Last edited by mozo-pg; 3 Days Ago at 02:38 PM.
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  13. #113
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    I'm listening to GW now. Sounds quite decent so far.
    What can this strange device be? When I touch it, it brings forth a sound.

  14. #114
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mozo-pg View Post
    Inspired by this thread, I bought Grand Wazoo and Over-Nite Sendation. What do you think about GW?
    The Grand Wazoo is outstanding Zappa fusion stuff, one of my favourites actually. Even better than Waka Jawaka, which I also love. But the real must-have IMO is the 2-CD archival live release from the accompanying tour, simply titled Wazoo. Now that's a killer release! I've just pulled it from the shelf myself!
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  15. #115
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    The Grand Wazoo is outstanding Zappa fusion stuff, one of my favourites actually. Even better than Waka Jawaka, which I also love. But the real must-have IMO is the 2-CD archival live release from the accompanying tour, simply titled Wazoo. Now that's a killer release! I've just pulled it from the shelf myself!
    Cool. I just purchased it randomly. I have 5 or 6 Zappa titles but this thread reminded me there is a treasure trove. I love fusion and GW, on first listen, GW was reallly nice. I'll definitely keepa an eye out for Wazoo. Thanks for the recommendation.
    Last edited by mozo-pg; 4 Days Ago at 07:54 PM.
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  16. #116
    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    ....Billy The Mountain is close to unlistenable for me.
    +1. Even closer, for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    The Grand Wazoo is outstanding Zappa fusion stuff, one of my favourites actually. Even better than Waka Jawaka, which I also love.
    Yup...
    Hell, they ain't even old-timey ! - Homer Stokes

  17. #117
    The Grand Wazoo is arguably his very finest jazz-oriented release, although I'm extremely partial to the first two minutes of "Big Swifty" and the title track from Waka Jawaka.

    I was in a band that used to do "Eat That Question", usually by was of one musician introducing the main riff during one of our free jams. That riff - along with "Hiram Afterglid" by Steve Hillage - was one of the coolest shortlick-themes I ever played on my Gibson SG; you could practically go on forever on that rumbling excitement alone. Ecstatic stuff.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  18. #118
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    The Grand Wazoo is arguably his very finest jazz-oriented release, although I'm extremely partial to the first two minutes of "Big Swifty" and the title track from Waka Jawaka.

    I was in a band that used to do "Eat That Question", usually by was of one musician introducing the main riff during one of our free jams. That riff - along with "Hiram Afterglid" by Steve Hillage - was one of the coolest shortlick-themes I ever played on my Gibson SG; you could practically go on forever on that rumbling excitement alone. Ecstatic stuff.
    I could never really tell apart Grand Wazoo from Waka Jawaka: in my book they are one double LP released separately. GW is more refined, Waka is wilder and more unpredictable. They constitute a high point in Zappa's oeuvre.

    Eat that Question is a killer riff - and what a finale, with the gradual enter of brass, wind, piccolo flute, and even cowbell! - it blows you out of the walls. But Blessed Relief is also a masterpiece. That long musical phrase which seems to have escaped from Zappa's psyche ready-made, whole, complete, perfect is the mark of a composer who stands equal next to the classical guys (Stravinsky, Debussy, Satie etc)

  19. #119
    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    The 2012 editions of Wazoo, and Waka sound beautiful. Big Swifty is a bit too much noodling for my taste. I prefer the Roxy version.

  20. #120
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    One of the standout tracks for me on Grand Wazoo (and indeed among all FZ music) is the non-fusion Cleetus Awreetus-Awrightus. Another one of those fantastically well put together Zappa instrumentals.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  21. #121
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    I could never really tell apart Grand Wazoo from Waka Jawaka: in my book they are one double LP released separately. GW is more refined, Waka is wilder and more unpredictable. They constitute a high point in Zappa's oeuvre.
    There is a huge difference between the two, despite being almost the same musical adventure.
    Wazoo features two horn sections (one in treble, the other in bass) that Waka doesn't . That's why Wazoo has a depth that no other Zappa album has, the same way that Bitches Brew and the Mwandishi albums did... Bass clarinet adds a lush & rich dimension.

    But ultimately, the huge star in both album is Ainsley Dunbar, who keeps all of those dudes in line.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarThrower View Post
    The 2012 editions of Wazoo, and Waka sound beautiful. Big Swifty is a bit too much noodling for my taste.
    Agreed, having played it again yesterday I confirmed what I'd always thought about that track- too long. But I had forgotten how good the title track was.

  23. #123
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Wazoo is a bit noodly yes, and Jim Gordon (although a great drummer) is not quite as interesting as Aynsley Dunbar.
    But besides this, is nice to hear the tracks live.

  24. #124
    My own approach would be to start by acquiring everything he recorded up to the end of 1972, select liberally from 1973 and 1974, and thereafter proceed with increasing caution.

  25. #125
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    Thinking about it, the overt crankiness might have started around the time of Sheik Yerbouti. He probably could have called that one Have I Offended Someone?

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