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Frank Zappa - Fillmore East, June 1971 CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.21 | 152 ratings

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2 stars One-third decent live performance, two-thirds LAME juvenile standup comedy/skits (with vague musical backing), this is the kind of landmine that serves as an example of why Frank Zappa's discography is a dangerous place to trod. The majority of the album consists of Flo and Eddie (with some narration by Frank about the infamous Mud Shark incident with Vanilla Fudge, though he never actually gets to the punchline) singing/talking about sex with groupies (oh, sorry, they're not groupies, Roger Daltry never laid a hand on them) who only want an artist with a number one hit (with a bullet!) on the chart. This goes seemingly FOREVER, and it's all the sadder because Frank (Flo and Eddie are absolved largely because Frank wrote this crap, though they did willingly consent to deliver it) really seems to think that just mentioning crude sex acts and using dirty words and obvious sexual puns ("I Bwana Dik! I Bwana Dik!") is sufficient to create legitimate ha-ha humor. I do admit that it's funny that the ultimate punchline of the interminable "Do You Like My New Car?" is the band breaking into "Happy Together," especially when they end up doing it so well (Frank's backing vocals are terrific!), but even so, were I in that audience that night, I'd be pretty pissed off.

On the plus side, when the band actually gets its act together and plays some real music, they sound fine. The opening runthrough of an excerpt from "Little House I Used to Live In" is perfectly decent, the sadly faded out (just as it's really picking up steam) version of "Willie The Pimp" sounds like it has the potential to rip down the house, and "Peaches en Regalia" (with Flo and Eddie doing a nice job of replacing the horns at one point) is a fine choice for the encore. And while they don't show very good vocal harmonies in it, the closing r'n'b pop of "Tears Began to Fall" leaves a nice taste in my mouth, though the net effect is like taking a single Tic-tac after siphoning ten gallons of gas with my mouth.

tarkus1980 | 2/5 |


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