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FRANK ZAPPA

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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Frank Zappa biography
Frank Vincent ZAPPA was born in Baltimore on December 12, 1940. When he was 10 years old, he moved to California with his parents. The first instrument he played was the drums. At that time, Frank ZAPPA really liked rhythm and blues music. But in 1954, ZAPPA found a copy of "The Complete Works Of Edgar Varèse, Vol. One". He was fascinated by the 'weird' avant-garde pieces and it was probably also ZAPPA's first encounter with atonal compositions, something that would later reappear in his own music. During high school, he played in several garage bands, but he didn't write rock and roll music himself until his early twenties. He began writing classical music at 18. Some of his early compositions he wrote for the B-films "The World's Greatest Sinner" and "Run Home Slow" (written by his high school English teacher). You can find the theme from "Run Home Slow" on the "The Lost Episodes" and "The Mystery Disc". From 1962 'til 1964, ZAPPA wrote several songs for different bands (You can find those songs on "Cucamonga" and "For Collectors Only"). In 1964 ZAPPA entered THE SOUL GIANTS. He renamed the band THE MOTHERS (which was a subtle abbreviation of 'motherfuckers') and soon after the band caught the attention of producer Tom Wilson. THE MOTHERS were contracted by the Verve-division of MGM and after they had changed their name into THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION (to satisfy some MGM Records executives, who thought the other name was too provocative), they released 'Freak Out!', the second double-album ever (after Bob DYLAN's "Blonde On Blonde") and also what is said to be the first concept album ever. This milestone contained a strange mix of rhythm and blues, satyrical lyrics and avant-garde dissonance. With this first edition of THE MOTHERS, Frank ZAPPA recorded a number of progressive rock masterpieces. All of his records from the sixties are fantastic, except for "Cruising With Ruben & The Jets", which is a satiric tribute to doo-wop music. Worth mentioning is the fabulous "We're Only In It For The Money", on which ZAPPA ridicules the hippie-culture in general, and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" from THE BEATLES in particular. The entire sleeve of "We're Only In It For The Money" is a parody on that record. On August 20, 1969, ZAPPA disbanded THE MOTHERS. The most important members of the early MOTHERS OF INVENTION had been Frank ZAPPA (guitar, vocals, much more) Ray COLLINS (vocals), Jimmy Carl BLACK (the indian of the group, drums and percussion), Roy ...read more

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Chicago '78 [2 CD]Chicago '78 [2 CD]
Zappa Records 2016
Audio CD$10.11
$16.12 (used)
Meat Light: The Uncle Meat Project/Object [3 CD]Meat Light: The Uncle Meat Project/Object [3 CD]
Zappa Records 2016
Audio CD$11.62
$7.00 (used)
Hammersmith Odeon [3 CD]Hammersmith Odeon [3 CD]
Zappa Records 2017
Audio CD$23.19
Hot RatsHot Rats
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$4.42
$4.37 (used)
Joe's Garage, Acts I, II, & III [2 CD]Joe's Garage, Acts I, II, & III [2 CD]
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$8.83
$14.16 (used)
One Shot DealOne Shot Deal
Zappa Records 2017
Audio CD$8.39
Roxy By ProxyRoxy By Proxy
Zappa Records 2017
Audio CD$8.39
Philly '76 [2 CD]Philly '76 [2 CD]
Zappa Records 2017
Audio CD$16.99
Buffalo [2 CD]Buffalo [2 CD]
Zappa Records 2017
Audio CD$16.59
Sheik YerboutiSheik Yerbouti
Zappa Records 2012
Audio CD$4.43
$4.62 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Frank Zappa Left Of The Dial promo cd sealed USD $30.00 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa Halloween In The Big Apple 1977 CLEAR vinyl LP gatefold NEW/SEALED USD $39.48 Buy It Now
Frank Zappa Captain Beefheart Muffin Man Goes To College V2 YELLOW vinyl 2 LP NE USD $41.81 Buy It Now
Road Tapes,Venue #3[2 CD] by Frank Zappa [Audio CD] Zappa Records May 27, 2016. USD $23.83 Buy It Now 5m 59s
FRANK ZAPPA - CUTTINGS/ CLIPPINGS USD $6.23 [0 bids]
39m 31s
FRANK ZAPPA "JOE'S GARAGE ACTS 1,2 & 3 2" CD NEW+ USD $16.66 Buy It Now 1h 22m
FRANK ZAPPA - FRANCESCO ZAPPA CD ROCK POP NEW+ USD $15.92 Buy It Now 1h 22m
Frank Zappa - Lumpy Gravy 2012 (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 1h 56m
Frank Zappa The Mothers Of Invention - Absolutely Free (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 1h 56m
Frank Zappa - Zappa In New York (NEW 2CD) USD $13.40 Buy It Now 1h 56m
Frank Zappa - Sleep Dirt 2012 (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 1h 56m
Frank Zappa - Broadway The Hard Way 2012 (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 1h 57m
Frank Zappa - Does Humor Belong In Music? (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 1h 57m
Frank Zappa The Mothers Of Invention - Weasels Ripped My Flesh (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 1h 57m
Frank Zappa - Uncle Meat (NEW 2CD) USD $13.40 Buy It Now 1h 57m
Frank Zappa - Orchestral Favorites 2012 (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 1h 57m
Frank Zappa Ensemble Intercontemporain Barking Pumpkin Digital Gratific (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 1h 57m
Frank Zappa - Ship Arriving Too Late (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 1h 57m
Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 3 (NEW 2CD) USD $13.40 Buy It Now 2h
Frank Zappa - The Grand Wazoo (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 2h
Frank Zappa - Playground Psychotics (NEW 2CD) USD $13.71 Buy It Now 2h
Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 6 (NEW 2CD) USD $13.40 Buy It Now 2h
Frank Zappa - Studio Tan 2012 (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 2h
Frank Zappa - Waka/Jawaka (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 2h
Frank Zappa - Ahead Of Their Time (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 2h
Frank Zappa - Baby Snakes (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 2h 2m
Frank Zappa - Chunga's Revenge 2012 (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 2h 2m
Frank Zappa - Cruising With Ruben And The Jets (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 2h 3m
Frank Zappa - Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 2h 3m
Frank Zappa - You Can'T Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 2 - The Helsink (NEW 2CD) USD $13.40 Buy It Now 2h 3m
Frank Zappa - You Are What You Is 2012 (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 2h 4m
Frank Zappa - Thing-Fish (NEW 2CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 2h 4m
Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 4 (NEW 2CD) USD $13.40 Buy It Now 2h 5m
FRANK ZAPPA - MOTHERMANIA CD ROCK & POP NEW+ USD $17.12 Buy It Now 2h 6m
FRANK ZAPPA - JAZZ FROM HELL CD ROCK POP NEW+ USD $17.12 Buy It Now 2h 6m
Frank Zappa - Mothermania (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 2h 7m
Frank Zappa - Läther (NEW 3CD) USD $17.45 Buy It Now 2h 7m
Frank Zappa The Mothers Of Invention - Burnt Weeny Sandwich (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 2h 8m
Frank Zappa - The Man From Utopia (NEW CD) USD $8.72 Buy It Now 2h 8m
FRANK ZAPPA - WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH CD NEW+ USD $19.63 Buy It Now 2h 49m
FRANK ZAPPA - FILLMORE EAST-JUNE 1971 CD NEW+ USD $22.83 Buy It Now 2h 49m
Frank Zappa The Mothers We're Only In It For The Money VINYL LP NEW (9TH DEC) USD $26.19 Buy It Now 3h 20m
Frank Zappa - The Man From Utopia (Vinyl Record) LP USD $25.00 Buy It Now 3h 32m
Frank Zappa Fillmore East June 1971 vinyl LP album record Canadian MS-2042 USD $48.59 Buy It Now 4h 9m
Frank Zappa The Lost Episodes UK CD album (CDLP) 0238892 ZAPPA 2012 USD $21.83 Buy It Now 4h 25m
Frank Zappa Zappa In New York 2 CD album (Double CD) UK 0238562 ZAPPA 2012 USD $21.83 Buy It Now 4h 25m
Frank Zappa Orchestral Favourites UK CD album (CDLP) 0238602 ZAPPA 2012 USD $21.83 Buy It Now 4h 25m
Frank Zappa Waka / Jawaka CD album (CDLP) UK 0238482 ZAPPA 2012 USD $21.83 Buy It Now 4h 25m
Frank Zappa You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore V... 2 CD (Double CD) UK USD $21.83 Buy It Now 4h 25m
Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention Frank Zappa CD album (CDLP) UK USD $15.58 Buy It Now 4h 25m
Frank Zappa Finer Moments UK 2 CD album (Double CD) 0238942 ZAPPA 2012 USD $21.83 Buy It Now 4h 25m
Freak Out Frank Zappa UK CD album (CDLP) 0238342 ZAPPA 2012 USD $21.83 Buy It Now 4h 25m
Them Or Us Frank Zappa CD album (CDLP) UK 0238702 ZAPPA 2012 USD $21.83 Buy It Now 4h 26m
Frank Zappa Ahead Of Their Time UK CD album (CDLP) 0238872 ZAPPA 2012 USD $21.83 Buy It Now 4h 26m
Frank Zappa 2 CD album (Double CD) Uncle Meat UK 0238392 ZAPPA Sealed 2012 USD $21.83 Buy It Now 4h 26m
FRANK ZAPPA+ZOOT+Sounds 1977+POSTER+AD+FRAMED+ORIGINAL+VINTAGE+FAST GLOBAL SHIP USD $124.69 Buy It Now 4h 38m
Frank Zappa Strictly Commercial + obi 2-LP vinyl record (Double Album) UK USD $98.86 Buy It Now 4h 48m
Lumpy Gravy 0824302383629 by Frank Zappa, CD, BRAND NEW USD $6.24 [0 bids]
4h 53m
FRANK ZAPPA+NME RARE ORIGINAL 1974+VINTAGE+TOP QUALITY FRAMED+FAST GLOBAL SHIP USD $112.21 Buy It Now 4h 54m
NEW Brass From Utopia: A Frank Zappa Tribute (Audio CD) USD $19.91 Buy It Now 4h 57m
FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS ROXY THE MOVIE JAPAN DVD + CD USD $67.00 Buy It Now 5h 2m
Bobby Brown Frank Zappa German CD single (CD5 / 5") 159.3094.3 RYKO 1995 USD $21.82 Buy It Now 5h 14m
Frank Zappa Playground Psychotics Japanese 2 CD album (Double CD) VACK5915/16 USD $53.01 Buy It Now 5h 14m
Interview Picture Disc Pack Frank Zappa UK 7" vinyl picture disc single USD $59.82 Buy It Now 5h 15m
Frank Zappa Uncle Meat - 1st 2-LP vinyl record (Double Album) Canadian 2MS2024 USD $130.05 Buy It Now 5h 15m
Frank Zappa Cheap Thrills USA CD album (CDLP) RCD10579 RYKO 1998 USD $15.58 Buy It Now 5h 23m
Frank Zappa Sheik Yerbouti - EX 2-LP vinyl record (Double Album) UK CBS88339 USD $30.25 Buy It Now 5h 24m
FRANK ZAPPA "ORCHESTRAL FAVORITES" CD NEW+ USD $15.99 Buy It Now 5h 29m
FRANK ZAPPA "TINSELTOWN REBELLION" CD NEW+ USD $15.99 Buy It Now 5h 29m
Frank Zappa Sleep Dirt vinyl LP album record UK K59211 DISCREET 1979 USD $29.88 Buy It Now 5h 30m
Frank Zappa Zappa In New York 2 CD album (Double CD) USA D274240 USD $28.06 Buy It Now 5h 32m
Frank Zappa Freak Out CD album (CDLP) UK CDZAP1 RYKO 1987 USD $21.82 Buy It Now 5h 32m
Frank Zappa The Man From Utopia UK CD album (CDLP) CDZAP53 ZAPPA RECORDS 1993 USD $21.82 Buy It Now 5h 32m
Tinsel Town Rebellion Frank Zappa UK 2-LP vinyl record (Double Album) CBS88516 USD $30.25 Buy It Now 5h 33m
Frank Zappa Bobby Brown 7" vinyl single record German CBS8216 CBS 1979 USD $34.87 Buy It Now 5h 33m
Frank Zappa 12" vinyl picture disc record You Are What You Is UK A111622 CBS USD $29.88 Buy It Now 5h 33m
Frank Zappa Orchestral Favorites vinyl LP album record UK K59212 DISCREET 1979 USD $29.88 Buy It Now 5h 33m
Frank Zappa The Man From Utopia Dutch vinyl LP album record CBS25251 CBS 1983 USD $29.88 Buy It Now 5h 33m
Zappa In New York - 3rd Frank Zappa 2-LP vinyl record (Double Album) UK K69204 USD $36.49 Buy It Now 5h 33m
Frank Zappa Apostrophe (') UK CD album (CDLP) 0238512 ZAPPA Sealed 2012 USD $21.82 Buy It Now 5h 37m
Frank Zappa Studio Tan vinyl LP album record UK K59210 DISCREET 1978 USD $23.64 Buy It Now 5h 46m
FRANK ZAPPA Picture wall plaque 10 x 8" solid wood USD $16.84 Buy It Now 5h 48m
Them Or Us Frank Zappa Japanese 2-LP vinyl record (Double Album) EMS-67176.77 USD $98.86 Buy It Now 5h 51m
Over-Nite Sensation Frank Zappa USA vinyl LP album record DSK2288 REPRISE 1980 USD $42.35 Buy It Now 6h
Frank Zappa On Compact Disc - Interview Frank Zappa CD Album Box Set UK CID13 USD $48.96 Buy It Now 6h 4m
The Lives & Times Of Frank Zappa: Ten Years On The Roa... Frank Zappa book UK USD $36.12 Buy It Now 6h 4m
Frank Zappa Roxy: The Movie - Sealed CD Album Box Set Japanese YMXA-10620/3 USD $320.41 Buy It Now 6h 4m
Frank Zappa The Old Masters Box One Vinyl Box Set USA BPR-7777 BARKING PUMPKIN USD $364.71 Buy It Now 6h 4m
FRANK ZAPPA "THE MAN FROM UTOPIA" CD NEW+ USD $17.19 Buy It Now 6h 11m
FRANK ZAPPA "YOU ARE WHAT YOU IS" CD NEW+ USD $18.95 Buy It Now 6h 12m
Frank Zappa CD album (CDLP) The Lost Episodes USA RCD40573 RYKO 1996 USD $34.29 Buy It Now 6h 18m
Freak Out Frank Zappa CD album (CDLP) Japanese VACK-1203 RYKODISC 2001 USD $46.78 Buy It Now 6h 23m
Frank Zappa Fillmore East Japanese CD album (CDLP) VACK-1213 RYKO 2001 USD $46.78 Buy It Now 6h 23m
Apostrophe (') Frank Zappa Japanese CD album (CDLP) VACK-1218 RYKO 2001 USD $46.78 Buy It Now 6h 23m
Frank Zappa Just Another Band From L.A. CD album (CDLP) Japanese VACK-1214 USD $46.78 Buy It Now 6h 23m
Frank Zappa: Studio Tan LP - Discreet Records 1978 - Vinyl VG/Cover VG USD $9.95 Buy It Now 6h 23m
Frank Zappa CD album (CDLP) Studio Tan Japanese VACK-1234 RYKODISC 2002 USD $46.78 Buy It Now 6h 23m
Frank Zappa Hot Rats CD album (CDLP) Japanese VACK-1209 RYKODISC 2001 USD $46.78 Buy It Now 6h 23m
Frank Zappa Lumpy Gravy CD single (CD5 / 5") Japanese VACK-1205 RYKODISC 2001 USD $46.78 Buy It Now 6h 23m
Frank Zappa Cruising With Ruben & The Jets Japanese CD album (CDLP) VACK-1207 USD $46.78 Buy It Now 6h 23m

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FRANK ZAPPA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FRANK ZAPPA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.92 | 555 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Freak Out!
1966
4.07 | 459 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Absolutely Free
1967
3.23 | 337 ratings
Lumpy Gravy
1968
4.13 | 581 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: We're Only In It For The Money
1968
2.74 | 239 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Cruising With Ruben & The Jets
1968
4.07 | 454 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Uncle Meat
1969
4.33 | 1378 ratings
Hot Rats
1969
3.92 | 369 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Burnt Weeny Sandwich
1970
3.78 | 362 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Weasels Ripped My Flesh
1970
3.40 | 299 ratings
Chunga's Revenge
1970
3.07 | 200 ratings
200 Motels
1971
3.91 | 426 ratings
Waka / Jawaka
1972
4.32 | 811 ratings
The Grand Wazoo
1972
4.03 | 525 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: Over-Nite Sensation
1973
4.03 | 581 ratings
Apostrophe (')
1974
4.32 | 786 ratings
The Mothers Of Invention: One Size Fits All
1975
3.74 | 362 ratings
Zoot Allures
1976
3.70 | 238 ratings
Studio Tan
1978
3.61 | 241 ratings
Sleep Dirt
1979
3.87 | 429 ratings
Sheik Yerbouti
1979
4.12 | 448 ratings
Joe's Garage, Act I
1979
3.94 | 355 ratings
Joe's Garage, Acts II & III
1979
3.65 | 244 ratings
You Are What You Is
1981
3.54 | 219 ratings
Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch
1982
3.15 | 201 ratings
The Man From Utopia
1983
3.09 | 103 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I
1983
3.23 | 163 ratings
Them Or Us
1984
2.42 | 134 ratings
Thing-Fish
1984
2.58 | 119 ratings
Francesco Zappa
1984
3.52 | 108 ratings
Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger
1984
3.24 | 123 ratings
Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention
1985
3.47 | 197 ratings
Jazz From Hell
1986
2.91 | 76 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. II
1987
3.77 | 115 ratings
Civilization Phaze III
1994
3.32 | 78 ratings
The Lost Episodes
1996
3.97 | 174 ratings
Läther
1996
3.18 | 46 ratings
Everything Is Healing Nicely [aka: EIHN]
1999
2.93 | 44 ratings
Joe's Corsage
2004
1.75 | 45 ratings
Joe's Domage
2004
2.15 | 33 ratings
Joe's XMasage
2005
3.39 | 35 ratings
Feeding The Monkies At Ma Maison
2011
2.92 | 24 ratings
Joe's Camouflage
2014
4.06 | 51 ratings
Dance Me This
2015

FRANK ZAPPA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.20 | 140 ratings
Fillmore East, June 1971
1971
3.10 | 131 ratings
Just Another Band From L.A.
1972
4.39 | 289 ratings
Roxy & Elsewhere
1974
3.54 | 195 ratings
Bongo Fury
1975
4.24 | 226 ratings
Zappa In New York
1978
3.33 | 148 ratings
Orchestral Favorites
1979
3.07 | 142 ratings
Tinsel Town Rebellion
1981
3.39 | 87 ratings
Baby Snakes
1983
3.58 | 78 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
1986
3.62 | 119 ratings
Broadway The Hard Way
1988
3.40 | 113 ratings
Guitar
1988
4.01 | 116 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 1
1988
4.54 | 189 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 2
1988
3.63 | 97 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 3
1989
3.53 | 89 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 4
1991
4.33 | 176 ratings
The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life
1991
4.41 | 134 ratings
Make A Jazz Noise Here
1991
3.76 | 34 ratings
Piquantique - Stockholm 1973
1991
2.34 | 24 ratings
As An Am
1991
3.39 | 23 ratings
The Ark
1991
2.66 | 21 ratings
Freaks & Motherfuckers!
1991
2.42 | 23 ratings
Unmitigated Audacity
1991
2.13 | 24 ratings
Anyway The Wind Blows
1991
2.80 | 22 ratings
'Tis The Season To Be Jelly
1991
2.35 | 21 ratings
Saarbrucken 1978
1991
1.72 | 13 ratings
At The Circus
1992
1.92 | 15 ratings
Conceptual Continuity
1992
2.86 | 43 ratings
Playground Psychotics
1992
3.66 | 78 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 5
1992
3.85 | 76 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 6
1992
2.24 | 16 ratings
Disconnected Synapses
1992
3.02 | 17 ratings
Electric Aunt Jemima
1992
3.09 | 13 ratings
Our Man In Nirvana
1992
3.97 | 13 ratings
Swiss Cheese / Fire!
1992
2.26 | 12 ratings
Tengo Na Minchia Tanta
1992
3.87 | 113 ratings
The Yellow Shark
1993
3.25 | 71 ratings
Ahead Of Their Time
1993
3.96 | 53 ratings
FZ:OZ
2002
3.84 | 35 ratings
Halloween (DVD-Audio)
2003
3.97 | 67 ratings
Imaginary Diseases
2006
3.55 | 60 ratings
Trance-Fusion
2006
4.11 | 55 ratings
Buffalo
2007
4.18 | 63 ratings
Wazoo
2007
3.57 | 42 ratings
The Dub Room Special!
2007
3.60 | 41 ratings
One Shot Deal
2008
3.11 | 27 ratings
Joe's Menage
2008
4.21 | 49 ratings
Philly '76
2009
4.29 | 59 ratings
Hammersmith Odeon
2010
3.77 | 33 ratings
Carnegie Hall
2011
3.14 | 37 ratings
Finer Moments
2012
3.33 | 30 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #1
2012
4.71 | 42 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #2
2013
4.50 | 23 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2013
4.60 | 33 ratings
Roxy By Proxy
2014
2.80 | 5 ratings
200 Motels The Suites
2015
3.67 | 3 ratings
Roxy: The Sountrack
2015
3.05 | 3 ratings
Little Dots
2016
2.00 | 3 ratings
Chicago '78
2016
2.10 | 10 ratings
Road Tapes - Venue #3
2016

FRANK ZAPPA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

2.85 | 50 ratings
200 Motels (The Movie)
1971
3.52 | 23 ratings
Uncle Meat (Video)
1988
2.72 | 52 ratings
Does Humor Belong In Music?
2003
4.10 | 69 ratings
Baby Snakes
2003
4.26 | 30 ratings
QuAUDIOPHILIAc (DVD-Audio)
2004
4.03 | 41 ratings
The Dub Room Special!
2005
4.11 | 18 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2005
4.19 | 39 ratings
Apostrophe (') Over-Nite Sensation
2007
4.61 | 39 ratings
Zappa In Barcelona
2007
3.63 | 8 ratings
Tratto dal filmato 'A Token Of His Extreme'
2007
4.47 | 17 ratings
The Torture Never Stops
2008
3.50 | 6 ratings
Live In Paris 1980
2008
3.21 | 10 ratings
Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention: In the 1960's
2009
4.19 | 13 ratings
A Token Of His Extreme
2013
4.06 | 12 ratings
Roxy: The Movie
2015

FRANK ZAPPA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 33 ratings
Mothermania: The Best Of The Mothers
1969
2.00 | 1 ratings
Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention
1975
3.67 | 54 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
1981
3.91 | 49 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More
1981
3.84 | 43 ratings
Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
1981
3.94 | 94 ratings
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar (The Box Set)
1982
4.17 | 6 ratings
The Old Masters, Box One
1985
2.81 | 17 ratings
We're Only In It For The Money / Lumpy Gravy
1985
3.67 | 6 ratings
The Old Masters, Box Two
1986
3.14 | 7 ratings
The Old Masters, Box Three
1987
3.60 | 104 ratings
Joe's Garage, Acts I, II & III
1987
4.13 | 18 ratings
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Sampler
1988
4.09 | 11 ratings
Beat The Boots 1
1991
3.67 | 9 ratings
Beat The Boots 2
1992
3.25 | 34 ratings
London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I & II
1995
3.27 | 52 ratings
Strictly Commercial
1995
3.76 | 31 ratings
Frank Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa: A Memorial Tribute
1996
4.22 | 23 ratings
Strictly Genteel
1997
3.28 | 29 ratings
Have I Offended Someone?
1997
2.90 | 41 ratings
Cheap Thrills
1998
2.01 | 52 ratings
The Mystery Disc
1998
2.08 | 16 ratings
Cucamonga (1962 - 1964)
1998
2.97 | 27 ratings
Son Of Cheep Thrills
1999
4.08 | 16 ratings
Zappa Picks - By Larry LaLonde Of Primus
2002
3.90 | 10 ratings
Zappa Picks - By Jonathan Fishman Of Phish
2002
4.03 | 18 ratings
Threesome No. 1
2002
4.20 | 18 ratings
Threesome No. 2
2002
2.38 | 8 ratings
For Collectors Only
2003
2.81 | 18 ratings
The Best of Frank Zappa
2004
3.38 | 34 ratings
The Making Of Freak Out! Project/Object
2006
3.55 | 21 ratings
The Lumpy Money Project/Object
2009
3.12 | 19 ratings
Greasy Love Songs
2010
3.75 | 12 ratings
Understanding America
2012
3.81 | 8 ratings
The Crux Of The Biscuit
2016
3.72 | 6 ratings
Frank Zappa For President
2016

FRANK ZAPPA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 7 ratings
How Could I Be Such a Fool?
1966
4.22 | 9 ratings
Trouble Comin' Every Day
1966
3.88 | 8 ratings
It Can't Happen Here
1966
3.12 | 7 ratings
Big Leg Emma
1967
3.80 | 5 ratings
My Guitar
1969
3.49 | 21 ratings
Peaches en Regalia
1970
3.43 | 7 ratings
Tell Me You Love Me
1970
3.75 | 4 ratings
WPLJ
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
Tears Began To Fall
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
Magic Fingers
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
What Will This Evening Bring Me This Morning?
1972
4.14 | 7 ratings
Cletus Awreetus - Awrightus
1972
3.15 | 10 ratings
Montana
1973
2.73 | 11 ratings
Don't Eat The Yellow Snow
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cosmik Debris
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Du Bist Mein Sofa
1975
3.20 | 5 ratings
Find Her Finer
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Disco Boy
1976
4.00 | 12 ratings
Bobby Brown
1979
4.00 | 9 ratings
Joe's Garage
1979
3.31 | 10 ratings
Dancin Fool
1979
3.97 | 11 ratings
I Don't Wanna Get Drafted 12''
1980
3.40 | 5 ratings
Stick It Out
1980
3.75 | 4 ratings
Goblin Girl (picture)
1981
2.87 | 11 ratings
Valley Girl
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Love Of My Life
1981
3.67 | 3 ratings
Harder Than Your Husband
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cocaine Decisions
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Man From Utopia Meets Mary Lou
1983
2.50 | 4 ratings
Rare Meat - Early Productions Of Frank Zappa 12''
1983
3.40 | 5 ratings
Baby Take Your Teeth Out
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
True Glove
1984
4.58 | 12 ratings
Peaches En Regalia (longpack)
1987
4.33 | 9 ratings
Montana (Whipping Floss)
1988
4.50 | 6 ratings
Zomby Woof
1988
3.19 | 9 ratings
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
1988
2.09 | 3 ratings
You Can't Do That On the Radio Anymore
1990
3.06 | 8 ratings
Stairway To Heaven 12''
1991
3.91 | 3 ratings
Clean American Version
1995
3.87 | 4 ratings
Kill Ugly Radio Some More
1995
3.67 | 3 ratings
Kill Ugly Radio
1995
3.33 | 3 ratings
Return Of The Son Of Kill Ugly Radio
1995
4.40 | 5 ratings
Zomby Woof (longpack)
1998
2.33 | 3 ratings
Penguin in Bondage/The little known story of the Mothers of Invention
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
I'm The Slime
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Don't Eat The Yellow Snow / Down In De Dew
2014
1.50 | 2 ratings
200 Motels Overture
2015

FRANK ZAPPA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Apostrophe (') by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.03 | 581 ratings

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Apostrophe (')
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Luqueasaur

5 stars 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 SNOW is one of Zappa's classics), along NANUUK RUBS IT. I listened to the suite but wasn't really fond of St. Alphonzo's act.

And as time progresses, I discovered APOSTROPHE (') - Zappa's most commercially successful work - homes the awesome YELLOW SNOW suite, and after an underwhelming experience with HOT RATS - which everyone claimed to be a sparkling brilliant Zappa masterpiece; although it was very good, it was repetitive and not nearly as innovative as expected. I guess the hype killed it - I decided to give Zappa another shot because he HAD to be good.

He had to be good, right?

Well, is he good? Is he avant-garde-ish? Is he progressive?

Absolutely to all three cases.

REVIEW

If you're unfamiliar with ZAPPA or the AVANT-GARDE "genre" as a whole, know that there's no such thing as "labeling". In fact, avant-garde is many times used as an interchangeable term with "labelless" mostly because there are so many musical genres in different songs you can't simply just call it A or B. Normally, there's a horseload of experimental and uncommon elements to compose the songs, but ZAPPA here prefers to stay out of the experimentality and stick to labelless tracks. However, if you're desperate for something to grab and know what you're giving here, I would suppose that the common ground among all songs is a freestyle jazz influence. But that's it: influence.

ZAPPA put the first side of the album surrounding the slightly conceptual Nanuuk/St. Alphonzo Parish act, while the second are a bunch of unrelated songs. To prove the point of ZAPPA's genre mixture, the first two tracks about Nanuuk are jazzy and chilly, while the next two are energetic xylophone 'n keyboard frenzied pancake breakfast parish storytelling.

Speaking of storytelling, one of ZAPPA's strongest point besides his musical creativity is his captivating lyrics and narrative. Often using comedic ways, his lyrics seldom doesn't please the listener. You can laugh with some lyrics, while others, such as NANUUK RUBS IT, you get immersed.

Another unique point about ZAPPA's storytelling is something his fans have always thrived upon while newcomers were clueless about: a thing cited - ironically - in STINK-FOOT by our friendly slippers-muncher poodle pal Fido, is the conceptual continuity. ZAPPA is one hell of a funny guy, and he likes to "connect" his albums and songs into some sort of Grand Scheme of things. A better "explanation" is found at Lumpy Gravy Pt. 2, where he talks about "THE BIG NOTE" in an allusion to the Big Bang and some other stuff. However, you shouldn't see this conceptual continuity as anything but... running gags.

1. "Here Fido" can be heard on NANUUK RUBS IT's "Circular Motion" solo, in reference to Fido from STINK-FOOT; 2. "The Grand Wazoo", a fellatio joke ("The price of meat has just gone up/An' yer ol' lady has just gone down . . . ") and the reference to the song CARAMILLO BRILLO from OVER-NITE SENSATION "(Now is that a real poncho or is that a Sears poncho?)"; 3. "Arf! Arf! Arf" as spoken by Fido, and the piece "THE POODLE BY-EE-ITES/THE POODLE CHEWS IT", both in STINK-FOOT; Among others I'm too lazy to search for.

ZAPPA is known to be demanding of his musicians, expecting virtuosity and superb quality on each track. I believe this has been reached on this album, each musician truly seems to give his best. I can claim the keyboards, which are SO VARIED, the distorted and virtuoso guitar, and the appalingly nimble drums as the album's highlights. And for those fond of technical prowess, this album has lots of it. In fact, ZAPPA manages to make odd time signatures - such as DON'T EAT THE YELLOW SNOW's 7/4 or ST. ALPHONZO PANCAKE BREAKFAST's 9/8 - sound as natural as 4/4.

Regarding to creativity, ZAPPA is a fountain beyond endless. Even though the first songs are loosely connected they are still unique on their own manners, each with characteristics and compositions singular to themselves. Not to mention each individual song concept: an eskimo being told not to eat whatever the hell is an yellow snow; a fur trapper using a leadfilled snowshoe, an eskimo legend which orders you to trudge across the tundra mile after mile to a Parish, a mystery man doing offers way too great to believe.

This is even more flabbergasting when you put in perspective this is ZAPPA's fifteenieth album, and even after twelve years of career he has the mind to create such things. Besides, the whole idea of making your entire discography interconnected through jokes is genius, to say the least.

In the end, APOSTROPHE (') is a delicious, gay (on the lighthearted sense) and unpredictable masterpiece of this immemorial master that is FRANK ZAPPA. For those new to avant-garde, look no further - there's no introduction like the best introduction.

10/10

 Joe's Camouflage by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.92 | 24 ratings

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Joe's Camouflage
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Alucard
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The Crux of the biscuit # 3

The tracks for 'Joe's Camouflage' were recorded during rehearsals in the summer of 1975 on a 4 track recorder by Denny Walley.

In the summer of 1975 Zappa was looking for musicians for a forthcoming world tour. For these rehearsals he kept Napoleon Murphy Brook, Terry Bozzio, Denny Walley and added Andre Lewis on keyboards and vocals, Novi Novag on viola, keyboards and vocals, Robert Camarena on guitar and vocals and former Mothers member Roy Estrada on bass and vocals. This would be in majority also the band going on the 75/76 world tour.

Knowing that it would be impossible for new musicians to learn the highly complex music of the former Mothers, Zappa moved on and for one simplified his music and put himself more on the forefront as a soloist.

The new compositions, he rehearsed in the summer of 75 were to a large extent short modal pieces that could serve as a foil for extended solos, 'Black Napkins' becoming the most well known, which makes here its first appearance.

So what's on the menu :

Two older tracks 'T'mershi Duween', one of the staples of the former Mothers shows which would not remain on the concert list and 'Take your clothes off' in a reggae version. Maybe a coincidence, but 1975 was also the year that Bob Marley was becoming popular and Zappa would use quite often reggae versions of his songs from now on.

Two new social commentary songs that would remain for quite a long time in the live repertory: 'Honey, Honey' and 'The Illinois Enema Bandit'. The versions here are basic, but the lyrics are already definitive.

As already mentioned the main dish on this record is 'Black Napkins' in a nearly finished version with a great solo and good viola work by Novag.

'Phyniox' is an interesting overture in form of a march that Zappa would never use again.

'Reeny Ra' sounds a bit like an older Pachuco influenced track maybe with the idea to feature Roy Estrada on vocals. This version without lyrics and only Zappa style vocalizing gives way to a great Zappa solo including a citation of 'T'mershi Duween'. From some studio chatter one could guess that Zappa wanted to combine both pieces. 'Sleep Dirt', the track that would appear as a acoustic guitar duet on 'Sleep Dirt' appears here with Zappa double tracking on acoustic guitar plus viola and some bass.

'Any Downers' is build around a riff and serves as background track for a dialogue improvisation between Zappa and Napoleon (like 'Room Service') about drug users and some Pachuco vocals by Estrada including also a great Zappa solo. This track would also not appear elsewhere.

All in all an interesting document, seen that half of the tracks have never appeared elsewhere and that the musicians have never played again in that combination. The sound is good even so the balance between the instruments is not perfect.

The two records that would make a good complementary listen are 'Zoot Allures' (studio) and FZ: OZ (from the early 76 Australia tour)

4,0 Stars for Zappa fans

 Make A Jazz Noise Here by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 1991
4.41 | 134 ratings

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Make A Jazz Noise Here
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by darkshade
Collaborator Jazz Rock/Fusion Team

5 stars This is one of Frank Zappa's best albums, period. The 1988 band was one of Frank's tightest groups, and they could play just about anything Frank desired them to. This album showcases the (mostly) instrumental side of the band (though I think the other 2 albums featuring this lineup have plenty of instrumental/complex stuff too) Most of the new songs from this tour were featured on Broadway the Hard Way, but there's a few on this album.

However, right off the bat we get to hear Frank speak, and the story of Ed Mann making a mistake in the song "Dickie's Such an Asshole" is humorous. Then we are thrown into unknown territory. "When Yuppies Go To Hell" is an original tune unique to this album, and combines jazz-fusion with electronic stuff and some Synclavier as well. A dense piece that took me a while to appreciate, but it gets better every time I hear it. Out of that we get Fire and Chains, another original tune, though this is mostly a guitar solo. The other original is Star Wars Won't Work, which is more of a goofy song.

The rest of the album consists of older material, but with rousing renditions due to the horns and the arrangements. This album focuses a lot on the big improv pieces, so tunes like Big Swifty, King Kong, and Dupree's Paradise go into all kinds of directions, so much that beyond the main themes, these are all new pieces (and Dupree's Paradise (along with T'Mershi Duween) never had an official release before this album, I believe.)

But seriously, the entire album is one big highlight. It's amazing how many 2 disc albums Frank made and released in the late 80s/early 90s and that hold my attention the entire time (which is most of them.)

This album is a top 5 Frank Zappa album, but should be checked out after you are familiar with a good chunk of Zappa's 60s and 70s albums first; mostly to understand how Frank modified the older tunes, but you could do a lot worse than making this one of your first Zappa albums, especially if you appreciate the horn-dominated, jazzier side of his music.

 Dance Me This by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.06 | 51 ratings

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Dance Me This
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by darkshade
Collaborator Jazz Rock/Fusion Team

5 stars This album is fantastic. It might be Frank Zappa's best Synclavier produced album, I'm not kidding. This album is the last album Frank finished before his passing in late 1993, and the chronological follow-up to Civilization Phaze III, which was released in 1994. While CPIII was a blast of new sounds and directions, Dance Me This is completely different from anything Zappa released before. This doesn't sound like his previous Synclavier compositions. Having said that, the opening title track sounds like the 78 band with Bozzio, O'Hearn, and Tommy Mars jumped into the Synclavier machine and some Tulvan throat singers joined. The great thing about this track is we get to hear one last imaginary guitar solo from the man himself, however brief it is. From here on out, the album is like jumping into another world. I'm not going to lie, I did not "get" this album the first time I listened to it, but the album definitely reveals its beauty upon further listening sessions.

We are immediately brought into Pachuco Gavotte, and I'm not good at describing what these tunes sound like, but this one is crazy, and it leads right into the mammoth 28 minute composition Wolf Harbor, which is broken up into 5 parts, which are indiscernible from one another. First time I heard this, I thought it was one long drone, but I was not in the right mind set for this music at the time (and there is not really much "droning" going on.) I have gotten into World Music a lot in the last few years, and I've come to realize this piece (and the whole album really) is Frank's journey into exploring "world music" and other exotic sounds. There are elements of tribal, alien, earthy, ambient, and cosmic sounds all mixed together on Wolf Harbor, not to mention some weird sound effects. This is possibly the most intriguing piece of music I've ever heard from Frank Zappa, and that's saying something. Again, words are hard to describe this music, but it is relaxing, yet still challenging to the listener; you just might not want to listen to this while cruising down the highway, save it for a late evening with the lights off, or a cloudy/rainy/overcast day.

The second half of the album is a treat. The throat singers return on Goat Polo, and they are a main feature of this piece; and the music is very fast now, with a symphonic theme on top, lots of violin and flute. The throat singers are a very strange, but cool addition to the Frank Zappa world/canon. Rykoniki is a short piece, sort of sounds like Zappa's Envelopes piece, but has a different vibe overall, and I hear lots of tribal sounding instruments.

Piano is, well, a piano piece. Of course it's not a real person playing a piano, but man, Zappa really got the Synclavier to sound exactly like a real piano (Seriously, if you didn't know, you'd think it was someone playing the piano). Some drums and other instruments do come in a bit later on. A very avant-garde piece.

The last tune, Calculus, is once again, a move into a world unlike anything I've ever heard. The coolest stuff from the throat singers is on this tune. This one messes with time signatures pretty much the whole time, as well as constant tempo shifts, and even plain messing with the beat. This tune, along with the title track, are maybe the album's most "accessible" tracks, if you want to call them that. They're the most fun anyway.

This is not for a beginner of Zappa's music, but it is something that is progressive, forward-thinking, other-worldly, and rewarding for patient listeners. Frank was always about pushing his music into new directions, and he did so until the end of his life. He was always ahead of his time. This album make you wonder what he would have done next, where he would be in the 21st Century. Dance Me This was completed in 1993, and even with 22 years before it finally got released in 2015, it is still far ahead of its time. This album deserves 5 stars.

 Finer Moments by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2012
3.14 | 37 ratings

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Finer Moments
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Alucard
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars The Crux of the biscuit #2

I am a big fan of Zappa. I have most of his records in different formats , videos, books etc. and for a long time I have bought blindly all new releases ?.until I got a bit disappointed by some newer releases for their editorial inconsistence . One good example is Finer Moments : A part from the nice cover ( and liner notes ) by artist Bill Miller this double CD consists of material recorded between 1967 and 1972 (with the majority of tracks from 1969) that has already been released by Zappa himself , mainly on his YCDTOSA series. Its excellent material and for a "newcomer" that might be a good introduction into this period, but as a fan I feel a bit disappointed. The recording dates and locations are all give but I would have preferred also an indication that this material was already released.

Some examples:

- Mozart Piano Sonata In Bb on (YCDTOSA Vol 5) as Mozart Ballet -You Never Know Who Your Friends Are in ( Mystery Disc) as Harmonica Fun -Uncle Rhebus is Uncle Meat/King Kong - Music from The Big Squeeze in (The Lost Episodes) - Enigmas 1 Thru 5 is Theme From Burnt Weeny Sandwich -'There Is No Heaven From Where The Slogans Go To Die' is the long version of 'You Call That Music?' in (YCDTOSA Vol 5) -'The Subcutaneous Peril' contains solos from 'Pound for a Brown' 'King Kong' in (Carnegie Hall),

3 Stars for the material 1 Star for the release

 Little Dots by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2016
3.05 | 3 ratings

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Little Dots
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Alucard
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The crux of the biscuit #1 Little dots is the fellow released to Imaginary Diseases (released in 2005) and presents live recordings by the famous Petit Wazoo group recorded live in November and December 1972. The musicians have been part of the short lived Grand Wazoo orchestra, that did only a couple of shows in September 1972, The only newcomer being Gary Barone who replaced Sal Marquez on trumpet. Contrary to the Grand Wazoo this 10 piece band had never recorded any studio material and a bigger part of the tracks are extended jams with various solos, the major exception is the complete 3 part version of Rollo, which Zappa never played live again, an interesting composition that would partly reappear later in Greggery Peccary.

The early version of Cosmic Debris is interesting for historical reasons but there are a couple of far more interesting versions. Little dots, even so the sheet is printed on the inside cover, is merely a composition but a lead sheet for improvisation. The version here contains a long slide solo by Tony Duran followed by a shorter solo by Zappa himself, both not really breathtaking. The Kansas City Shuffle appeared in another form already on Imaginary Diseases and is quite funny with Zappa asking the audience in the middle of the song in which style they wanted the track to end , the audience choosing a boogie. Now the major part of the CD is taken by the last track recorded in Columbia SC and the story of the concert is told by Malcom Mc Nabb in the liner notes: drummer Jim Gordon and trumpet player Gary Barone were arrested backstage by the police shortly before the concert for drug possession leaving the band to play without these two musicians.

The support act having been Tim Buckley, Zappa asked his drummer Maury Baker to sit in with the band, which for obvious reasons reduced the material to non written impros. Zappa announced the situation to, the audience (not mentioning drugs so) in the beginning and I must say the result is rather good , surely linked to the drumming skills of Maury Baker. Especially the second longer part, an extended jam does not get boring and contains a good solo by Zappa and some dynamic riffing by the brass section.

All in all thanks to Rollo and the second part of Columbia SC, I find this release superior to Imaginary Diseases but IMO the interesting material from this band would have fit on one CD.

3,5 Stars

 A Token Of His Extreme by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2013
4.50 | 23 ratings

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A Token Of His Extreme
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by PlacesofLight405

5 stars This live recording was an FZ production that aired on WCET in LA 1974. Released by the family trust a few years ago, this album features many of the same songs Frank and his frozen rubber band tight band played during this period, with some surprises thrown in that will appeal to die-hard and novice Frank Zappa listeners. No trombone this time around, so George Duke really shows his funky chops on the variety of devices at his disposal. As with any exceptional Frank show from his early to mid '70s output, the material blends seamlessly and the droll, dour tone in his musings play perfect foil to madcap Napoleon Murphy Brock. The highlights are many - "The Dog Breath Variations", the medley " Oh No - Son of Orange County" and especially "Pygmy Twylyte" are given his best treatments. A sublime version of "Inca Roads" is included along with the extended "Florentine Pogen" and "Room Service". In all, a great collection of pieces hard to find together nowadays on one CD, as the money hungry Zappa family trust usually stretches things to 2,3,4 CD's. If you are introducing someone to the humor and progressive virtuosity of Frank Zappa, this is a fine place to start.

 The Mothers Of Invention: Freak Out! by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1966
3.92 | 555 ratings

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The Mothers Of Invention: Freak Out!
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A listener's enjoyment of this very first Frank Zappa album may depend largely on their age. If you are a reader born sometime after the year 1980 (like me), you will probably not be impressed. Freak Out! will probably come across as a somewhat bloated, anachronistic curiosity. If you were born at a time when Zappa and the Mothers were actually making music, and especially if you were around in the '60's, you'll probably find Freak Out! a riot of satirical humor and unapologetic finger pointing at the contradictions and hypocrisy of modern culture.

To put this into contemporary perspective, imagine if an incredibly talented group of musicians came together and used the cliches of today's pop-stars (auto-tune, over produced electronic sounds, dance routines, rap-infused vocals) to lambaste the fans of those very same musical cliches. It hasn't happened. It probably won't ever happen; and this is one of the reasons why I think every prog fan - and music fan in general - should give Zappa music a serious try. There's no one out there today like Frank Zappa, and Freak Out! is a great example of his early output.

So what will you hear on this release? Freak Out! is basically a mish-mash of '60's sounds, complete with twanging guitar, do-wop vocals, Beetles-esque rocking, sappy love ballads, psychedelic freak outs, and catchy melodies. You might sometimes be tricked into thinking that these are "normal" songs, but of course they're tongue-in-cheek at their most benign. For the most part the band is playing rhythm-centric music, with melodies carried by the vocalists. Don't expect monster Zappa guitar solos, but you will hear heaps of orchestrated moments as well, as the ranks of the Mothers of Invention add string, brass, woodwind, and percussion elements to many songs. Sometimes this is subtle, but usually it's wonderfully overblown, which adds to the satire of the songs. Half-way through, the freak out session begins. Things get psychedelic and weird, but lose none of their edge or bite.

The overall effect is an hour of sardonic joy. Freak Out! doesn't hit the same heights as some of the Mothers' more polished works, but this release is especially impressive given that it's their very first effort. Now that we're almost post-2016, listen to "Trouble Every Day" and tell me that it doesn't resonate with the times. Highly recommended.

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

 The Mothers Of Invention: Cruising With Ruben & The Jets by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1968
2.74 | 239 ratings

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The Mothers Of Invention: Cruising With Ruben & The Jets
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This early Zappa release, performed entirely in the doo-wop style, and almost entirely with a straight-face, is to me sort of from the Island of Misfit records. There's a lot of Zappa style to enjoy here, but I found myself waiting for the punch- line. Frank himself utilized this style sprinkled throughout his library, but always in snippets and with a wry or biting tone. Cruising With Ruben doesn't have that acerbic humor which I really dug in other releases from this time period. If you're going in to this one blind, be prepared for thirteen tunes that aren't quite doo-wop, and aren't quite fully "Zappa-esque." If you're like me you'll be scratching your head a bit, even if you kinda sorta like what you hear. If Zappa were reading this he'd probably encourage me to listen more deeply (and then flip me off or call me a product of the pretentious anglo-centric prog-rock movement), but the fact remains that Cruising With Ruben strikes me as a tertiary album in Zappa's lineup, to be enjoyed in sessions well after you've spun the man's key albums first. Good for fans, not for starters.

Songwriting: 2 - Instrumental Performances: 2 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

 Frank Zappa For President by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2016
3.72 | 6 ratings

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Frank Zappa For President
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars It is my opinion, now 23 years after his untimely death, that any newly released Frank Zappa music is a very good thing. But since (supposedly) all of the albums Mr. Zappa himself prepared for his family to release have been issued, there can only be a dwindling amount of fresh material to be found.

This album is a collection timed to coincide with the 2016 US Presidential election (I won't get into my personal feelings about the process here).

The collection consists of three previously unreleased (I think) Synclavier tracks, one FZ interview piece backed by some Synclavier accents, one remix/re-edit of a very classic track, and two live tracks from the '88 tour.

Let's start with the Synclavier music, as these pieces are the best reason to purchase the album. "Overture To "Uncle Sam"" is easily the most outstanding work. It's a Stravinsky tinged opus that sounds to me like it was meant to be a guitar concerto. That the synth guitar lines would probably confound nearly every guitarist on the planet is a moot point. I would love to hear what a group like Ensemble Moderne could do with this.

"Amnerica" is a Synclavier piece that I believe appeared in orchestral arrangement as "Questi Cazzi Di Piccione" on "The Yellow Shark". This one has lyrics sung by Napoleon Murphy Brock, and is quite hypnotic. Although this is nice, there is a 10 minute live version on Youtube performed by the Ensemble Moderne that is far better than either this one or the Yellow Shark version.

"Medieval Ensemble" I do not believe has been released elsewhere. It's nice, but sounds like many of FZ's Synclavier works, meaning just a little too formless for me to listen to repeatedly. "If I Was President" is FZ in an interview speaking about what he would do if he was President, with synth noises behind him, similar to what he did to the politicians bloviating on "Meets The Mothers Of Prevention".

"Brown Shoes Don't Make It" is a slightly different edit and mix of the original "Absolutely Free" version. Ears familiar with the original will hear the differences.

"Finally, there are two tracks from the '88 tour. "When The Lie's So Big" is not very different from the "Broadway The Hard way" version, and just as dated by the topical references in the lyrics, and "America The Beautiful", played gospel style, with a fantastic FZ solo.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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