frank zappa
Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa was a master at his music and also one freakin' funny guy. Zappa died in December of 1993.

I wrote a song about dental floss but did anyone's teeth get cleaner?
--Frank Zappa, Senate Hearing on "Porn Rock", 1985, in response to Tipper Gore's allegations that music incites people towards deviant behavior,
or influences their behavior in general.

Apostrophe/Overnite Sensation Frank Zappa - Apostrophe/Overnite Sensation (Rykodisc) 1973/1974

1.   "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" (2:06 )
2.   "Nanook Rubs It" (4:38)
3.   "St. Alphonzo's Pancake Breakfast" (1:50)
4.   "Father O'Blivion" (2:18)
5.   "Cosmik Debris" (4:16)
6.   "Excentrifugal Forz" (1:31)
7.   "Apostrophe" (5:52)
8.   "Uncle Remus" (2:44)
9.   "Stink Foot" (6:37)
10.   "Camarillo Brillo" (3:59)
11.   "I'm the Slime" (3:34)
12.   "Dirty Love" (2:58)
13.   "50-50" (6:10)
14.   "Zomby Woof" (5:10)
15.   "Dinah-Moe-Hum" (6:03)
16.   "Montana" (6:36)

I use to be a big Zappa fan in the early 80's and owned a large vinyl collection of his stuff. I have been slow in getting cd's to replace those albums but I had to replace "Overnight Sensation," as it is one of Frank's best and funniest albums. "Montana," "Camarillow Brillo," and "Dinah-Moe-Hum" and of course, "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" are all classic Zappa songs. I found this two-on-one disc for $6.99 so I snatched it up. Great deal!

 Frank Zappa - Sheik Yerbouti (Rykodisc) 1978

1. "I Have Been In You" [live] (3:33)
 2. "Flakes" [live] (6:41)
 3. "Broken Hearts Are For Assholes" [live] (3:42)
 4. "I'm So Cute" (3:09)
 5. "Jones Crusher" (2:49)
 6. "What Ever Happened To All The Fun In The World" (:33)
 7. "Rat Tomago" [live] (5:15)
 8. "Wait a Minute" (:33)
 9. "Bobby Brown Goes Down" [live] (2:49)
 10. "Rubber Shirt" (2:45)
 11. "Sheik Yerbouti Tango" [live] (3:56)
 12. "Baby Snakes" [live] (1:50)
 13. "Tryin' To Grow A Chin" [live] (3:31)
 14. "City Of Tiny Lites" [live] (5:32)
 15. "Dancin' Fool" [live] (3:43)
 16. "Jewish Princess" [live] (3:16)
 17. "Wild Love" [live] (4:09)
 18. "Yo' Mama" [live] (12:36)

As good as, and just as humerous as both "Apostrophe" and "Overnight Sensation." Loads of politically incorrect satire and enough vulgar variety to offend just about everybody. Musically great as well. Loads of killer guitar jams. Now all I need is the incredible "Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar" and "Joes Garage." (-:

Frank Zappa - Joe's Garage-Acs I, II, & III (Rykodisc) 1979

1. "The Central Scrutinizer" (3:28)
2. "Joe's Garage" (6:09)
3. "Catholic Girls" (4:26)
4. "Crew Slut" (6:31)
5. "Fembot In A Wet T-Shirt" (4:45)
6. "On The Bus" (4:18)
7. "Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?" (2:35)
8. "Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up" (5:43)
9. "Scrutinizer Of Postlude" (1:34)
10. "A Token Of My Extreme" (5:30)
11. "Stick It Out" (4:34)
12. "Sy Borg" (8:56)

1. "Dong Work For Yuda" (5:03)
2. "Keep It Greasy" (8:21)
3. "Outside Now" (5:49)
4. "He Used To Cut The Gras" (8:35)
5. "Packard Goose" (11:34)
6. "Watermelon In East Hay" (9:08)
7. "A Little Green Rosetta" (8:15)

Even the remotest fan of Zappa will remember the Central Scrutinizer whio is out to protect your for the harmful effects of...well, everything. "This is the Central Scruuuuutinizer..." Like almost any Zappa record the series of Joe's Garage releases were a mixture of Zappa's fine musicianship and his bizzare, humorous take on life. The music is that Zappa blend of jazz, rock and fusion. As good as the music is, especially Zappa's killer guitar solos, it was Zappa's sense of humor that made so many fans of this album. His humor is sometimes downright side splitting, but at others will make you squirm in your chair or even downright angry. Zappa was always a very opinionated man and was never afraid to not only share that opinion in his music, but also to criticise things he didn't agree with, such as religion. Certainly his music will raise some sort of emotion in almost anyone. For me, I do enjoy the lyrics here and there as they bring about certain nostalgic memories of days gone by. However, what I enjoy even more is the extended instrumental guitar jams. (Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar indeed!) This is not a CD for those who are easily offended by tiolet humor or coarse satire.

"Joe's Garage" Act 1 was released shortly after Zappa was free from his Warner Brother contract, and only six months after "Sheik Yerbouti". "Joe's Garage" is a loose concept piece about the adventures of a musician named Joe who begins by jamming in his garage. In Act I, Joe is fascinating about bizarre stories from the road. Two months after the release of Act 1, Frank completed the story of Joe by releasing " Joe's Garage: Acts II & III".

Orchestral Favorites Frank Zappa - Orchestral Favorites (Warner Bros./Descreet) 1979

1. "Stricktly Genteel"
2. "Pedro's Dowry"
3. "Naval Aviation In Art"
4. "Duke Of Prunes"
5. "Bogus Pomp"

"Orchestral Favorites" is one of those nostalgic favorites of mine from when I was a teenager. It's one of those instrumental albums that I use to enjoy late at night while kicking back. Frank Zappa was a brilliant musician. The music here is a mixture of rock, jazz and classical. This album was said to have laid the groundwork for Frank's explorations with the London Symphony Orchestra. Perhaps nostalgia plays a part in this but I find Orchestral Favorites to contain some of Zappa's most compelling and memorable melodies. It's simply just an enjoyable listen. (Thanks again Trog)

Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar Frank Zappa-Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar (Rykodisc) 1981

Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
1. "Five-Five-Five" (2:35)
2. "Hog Heaven" (2:49)
3. "Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More" (5:38)
4. "While You Were Out" (5:59)
5. "Treacherous Cretins" (5:35)
6. "Heavy Duty Judy" (4:42)
7. "Soup 'N Old Clothes" (7:49)

Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More
8. "Variations on the Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression" (3:58)
9. "Gee, I Like Your Pants" (2:35)
10. "Canarsie" (6:01)
11. "Ship Ahoy" (5:25)
12. "The Deathless Horsie" (6:20)
13. "Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar" (6:53)
14. "Pink Napkins" (4:35)

Return of the Son of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
15. "Beat It With Your Fist" (1:58)
16. "Return of the Son of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar" (8:31)
17. "Pinocchio's Furniture" (2:05)
18. "Why Johnny Can't Read" (4:34)
19. "Stucco Homes" (9:08)
20. "Canard du Jour" (9:57)

Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar was originally released simultaneously as three albums independently by Frank Zappa's mail order record company, Barking Pumpkin. It was later re-released Rykodisc in September 1986. The lead guitar tracks were all recorded live, mostly in concert in '79 and '80. I've always loved this disc and found it to be one of the finest instrumental albums ever release.. While Zappa is known for his wit and humor, he is also a master of his instrument, as this disc makes very clear. Each song has it's own style, class, and story to tell. While most of the disc is electric guitar solos, there are some rare acoustic guitar solos as well. As I said, I love this disc. Have loved it since I was a teen. It's great driving music as well as a good disc to kick back to on a late evening.

Have I Offended Someone? Frank Zappa - Have I Offended Someone? (Rykodisc)

1. "Bobby Brown Goes Down" (2:42)
2. "Disco Boy" (4:23)
3. "Goblin Girl" (4:19)
4. "In France" (3:30)
5. "He's So Gay" (2:45)
6. "SEX" (3:44)
7. "Titties & Beer" [live] (4:37)
8. "We're Turning Again" (4:56)
9. "Dumb All Over" [live] (5:43)
10. "Catholic Girls" (3:51)
11. "Dinah-Moe-Humm" (7:14)
12. "Tinsel Town Rebellion" [live] (4:24)
13. "Valley Girl" (4:50)
14. "Jewish Princess" (3:15)
15. "Yo Cats" (3:32)

"Have I Offended Someone" or more appropriately titled "As Politically Incorrect As I Can Be." Frank was one bizarre dude, with a warped sensed of humor, but man could he play his guitar. This one has something for everyone. Most memorable line: "His night is not complete without some meat between his seat...he's so gay." Yes, that is disgusting, but it's also pretty funny. "Tinsel Town Rebellion" made me laugh out loud. The thing about this stuff is that, while it probably does offend people, if the offend-ees took a look in a mirror, they would realize just how funny this stuff is. I must admit, Zappa's criticism of even my own beliefs makes me realize that sometimes we say one thing while doing another. Biggest slap in the face to me: "Dumb All Over." If Christians represent God on earth, do we make God look "dumb and a little ugly on the side?" Ouch! Reality 101 straight between the eyes. I must admit, however, that I wouldn't want my kids listening to this, so I can also understand why some people (ie. Tipper) wanted a rating system for stuff like this.

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