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

  1. #176
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by profusion View Post
    For reasons known only to himself, Frank retooled this album for its initial CD release in the '80s, and he split up the later part of the original running order with two unlistenable things: first, a 1982 song, "Tengo Na Minchia Tanta", sung (badly) by some random Italian guy, and then a 40-minute excerpt of pointless dialogue from the Uncle Meat movie that wasn't released until 1987. If he'd just stuck these at the end, they'd have been mild curiosities, but he put them *before* the King Kong suite that was Side 4 of the original album.
    And he segued the gobbledegook into "King Kong," so if you tried listening to just the latter you got the opening clipped off.
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  2. #177
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    If you have Amazon Prime, check out Summer '82: When Zappa Came to Sicily. I really thought it was cool and there is primo footage of the '82 band live!

    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  3. #178
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    And he segued the gobbledegook into "King Kong," so if you tried listening to just the latter you got the opening clipped off.
    The 1987 Uncle Meat CD was the first time I heard the album, so I got used to "King Kong" with that extra half second of noise at the beginning (as I would usually put in CD 2 and skip right to track 4). In fact I miss it a bit when I listen to it on the LP I own now.

  4. #179
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Since the arrival of Meat Light, I never play the old Uncle Meat CD in the fatboy case... but I can't bear to part with it!
    Prog, Metal and Classic rock reviews/interviews - www.velvetthunder.co.uk

  5. #180
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    ^I can't fault Rykodisc themselves. They did a really nice job of the packaging and everything. In terms of music they could only work with what they were given.

  6. #181
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    Since the arrival of Meat Light, I never play the old Uncle Meat CD in the fatboy case... but I can't bear to part with it!
    Ha - me too
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  7. #182
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    Since the arrival of Meat Light, I never play the old Uncle Meat CD in the fatboy case... but I can't bear to part with it!
    Ditto here.
    No humor please, we're skittish.

    Never let good music get in the way of making a profit.

  8. #183
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    Over- Nite Sensation
    Apostrophe
    One Size Fits All
    Zoot Allures
    Sleep Dirt

  9. #184
    I really like the Meat Light set as well, but I'd never heard the previous editions so this is the only one I know. I need to listen to it many more times to get a deeper understanding of it, but it's a fascinating set with some great things going on. It's not my favorite period of FZ, but it's an important part of his catalog.

  10. #185
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    Uncle Meat:

    Now this is a completely different beast then Hot rats! Hard to believe its recorded by the same artist, even harder to believe that it is recorded in the same year. Some bits sound very Rio-ish to my ears, while the term RIO still had to be invented for quite a number of years. I really love a lot of the instrumental bits; I spotted quite a few influences on Cardiacs there, like on the Bellyeye intro (or Fairy Mary Mag outro?).

    It is still a bit of a mixed bag though. All those 'humorous' bits and the those high pitched vocals….I dunno. I guess you just had to be there at the time. Altogether this must have been quite an expirimental album for 1969. I wonder how it was received back then.

    CD2; two excerpts from a film interrupted by an incredibly cheesy song. Why do I need to hear that?? I understand this was not part of the original double vinyl album but whoever decided to make it part of the CD?
    King Kong I like. A LOT even, especially the last live recorded part

    Next: One size fits all

  11. #186
    If they were to take away my Zappas and allow me only one for keeps, I'd take Meat. It doesn't contain my fave standalone works by him or anything, but the totality of that package (and I've got a Reprise vinyl with A/D B/C) remains the ultimate gateway into "serious" avant-garde in rock. From here on it could all just happen.
    "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

  12. #187
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    but whoever decided to make it part of the CD?
    Hint: His first name rhymes with Tank and his last name rhymes with Yappa.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  13. #188
    Zhwank Quappa? Or, is that too obvious?

  14. #189
    I also feel that Uncle Meat is the album that encapsulates better the Zappa genius in all its diversity and might. It's his sort of masterpiece. Because he has like 10-15 albums that deserve masterpiece status for me. But no Trout Mask Replica, a record that truly stands out amidst his discography.

  15. #190
    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    But no Trout Mask Replica, a record that truly stands out amidst his discography.
    His and everyone else's.
    "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

  16. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    Altogether this must have been quite an expirimental album for 1969. I wonder how it was received back then.

    CD2; two excerpts from a film interrupted by an incredibly cheesy song. Why do I need to hear that?? I understand this was not part of the original double vinyl album but whoever decided to make it part of the CD?
    Zappa himself. alas. It was done in his lifetime.

    Skip past all that crap- lovingly dubbed 'penalty tracks' by fans- and go straight to 'King Kong'.

  17. #192
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    His and everyone else's.

  18. #193
    So that's what everyone means by "penalty tracks"! I never realized until now.

  19. #194
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    Zappa himself. alas. It was done in his lifetime.

    Skip past all that crap- lovingly dubbed 'penalty tracks' by fans- and go straight to 'King Kong'.
    Actually "Uncle Meat" was planned as a film and a part of the music should have been the soundtrack , in terms of the "conceptual continuity" everything the man did was meant to be part of a bigger picture and is in some obscure way connected. The film was never realised but Zappa did in the 80s a documentary named Uncle Meat with original footage and other tasty stuff and the extra tracks on the first CD edition come from this source. It's for fans only material.
    Dieter Moebius : "Art people like things they don’t understand!"

  20. #195
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  21. #196
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    [QUOTE=thedunno;953298]Uncle Meat:

    Now this is a completely different beast then Hot rats! Hard to believe its recorded by the same artist, even harder to believe that it is recorded in the same year. Some bits sound very Rio-ish to my ears, while the term RIO still had to be invented for quite a number of years. I really love a lot of the instrumental bits; I spotted quite a few influences on Cardiacs there, like on the Bellyeye intro (or Fairy Mary Mag outro?).

    It is still a bit of a mixed bag though. All those 'humorous' bits and the those high pitched vocals….I dunno. I guess you just had to be there at the time. Altogether this must have been quite an expirimental album for 1969. I wonder how it was received back then.

    Uncle Meat (1) was recorded in 1967 and 1968 (released in 69), and Hot Rats (2) was recorded in 69, still they are pretty damn far apart in terms of personnel and general overall aroma, (even though Mr Green Genes kinda shows up on both albums). It seems like you're well underway in getting immersed, but if you were to start w/ kind of a skeletal group of five purchases that could get fleshed out later, it might make sense to not just get stuff that came out within a five to seven year window. Uncle Meat is a pretty key early one. Lumpy Gravy and Weasels Ripped My Flesh contain some early germs (not pathogens) that are building blocks in establishing his "conceptual continuity". Waka Jawaka and Grand Wazoo are highly deluxe fruits of post Hot Rats R&D that deserve to be checked out. You have One Size Fits All (3), which is pretty enormous and gets you near Overnite, Apostrophe and maybe even Roxy, (of course all those have real apex stuff on them). Maybe at some point go back to Live at Fillmore East or Chunga's Revenge to take in some of the Dunbar/Flo and Eddie period, same goes for Bongo Fury from 75' which has some uniquely muscular snarl on it. Snagging Lather (4) gets you the Orchestral Favorites/Studio Tan/Sleep Dirt stuff. Yellow Shark (5) might be a good one to take in some of his more formal sounding late career stuff. Five records...no matter how you pick is going to leave some pretty big holes that you'll likely be glad to fill.

  22. #197
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  23. #198
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    I still have to give my feedback on the last 3 of my 'first zappa'.

    One size fits all. I love it. Maybe one or two I care a little bit less about but the rest is gold. And Inca Roads! I've become pretty obsessed with this song.

    The Grand Wazoo: love it start to finish. Only the first track could maybe use a few minutes less but the rest kicks ass. Overall probably my fav of the the five.

    Apastrophe. This is were I fail to connect. The Zappa humour and me have yet to become friends. My favorite track is the instrumental title track. Probably have to play this one a few times more.

  24. #199
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    I still have to give my feedback on the last 3 of my 'first zappa'.

    One size fits all. I love it. Maybe one or two I care a little bit less about but the rest is gold. And Inca Roads! I've become pretty obsessed with this song.

    The Grand Wazoo: love it start to finish. Only the first track could maybe use a few minutes less but the rest kicks ass. Overall probably my fav of the the five.

    Apastrophe. This is were I fail to connect. The Zappa humour and me have yet to become friends. My favorite track is the instrumental title track. Probably have to play this one a few times more.
    Don't give up on "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast" just yet....that tune contains one of Zappa's most beautiful instrumental passages imo, and is fiendishly difficult to play.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  25. #200
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Don't give up on "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast" just yet....that tune contains one of Zappa's most beautiful instrumental passages imo, and is fiendishly difficult to play.
    Just out of curiosity, which passage are you referring to? Wondering if it's the part I'm thinking of.

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