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Frank Zappa


AeroG33k

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The article in GP made me curious, what would be his best album to start out with? So far I've heard almost nothing by him.

-Andy

 

 

"I know we all can't stay here forever so I want to write my words on the face of today...and they'll paint it"

 

-Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon)

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We disscussed this a while back. There are many great albums to start with. It depends on the "version" you want to start out with.

 

For the zany stuff, you can buy a copy of two of his albums in one double album called "Apostrophe/Overnight Sensation". A great way to get two albums for one price and they are really great albums.

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I think you'll get as many recommendtions as posts! Apostrophe was my first, but I like Overnight Sensation better. Camarillo Brillo and Zombie Woof might be my favorite tunes by Zappa. Also worth checking out is on that page of Stairway to Heaven mp3's that was in a thread like a month ago is his version. When I saw Zappa (with electric Hot Tuna warming up!!!) do Stairway I was knocked out by it.

 

Lumpy Gravy might not be a good place to start. Live at the Filmore East is a classic, but so many of his records from Absolutely Free and Freak Out up to the end are classics.

check out some comedy I've done:

http://louhasspoken.tumblr.com/

My Unitarian Jihad Name: Brother Broadsword of Enlightened Compassion.

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I'd highly recommend Joe's Garage as you've got a great selection of styles in there. There are also compilation CDs called Cheap Thrills and Son of Cheap Thrills which are a great introduction.

 

What Griffinator said about The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life..... you can't go wrong with it. Apostrophe is cool as is Hot Rats. Burnt Weeny Sandwich is another great one. Absolutely Free is a fantastic album, probably my favourite Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention album.

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There are two albums with "Hot Rats" in the title, one is earlier, just called Hot Rats, the other is titled Waka-Jawaka and the words "Hot" and "Rats" appear below on the taps of a sink that's pictured on the cover. That's the one that's from the same basic group of players as is The Grand Wazoo, and features lots of Zappa big-band instrumental arrangements; those two are probably his most jazz-oriented recordings overall. Great stuff!

 

Hot Rats itself features one of Zappa's best jazz compositions, though, in "Twenty Small Cigars," as well as some of his coolest guitar work in "Transylvania Boogie."

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I'd second the Hot Rats album; it contains most elements of FZ's music, the highly intellectualized, the baldy humorous and some great guitar in his stretched out modal-raga style of soloing.

An alternative would be Shut Up & Play Your Guitar.

 

The truth is, though, that the range of FZ 's oeuvre probably isn't captured by any single disc or set.

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If you can afford it get Lather.3 disc and its amazing.If you just wanna get your feet wet Zoots Allure.Like someone else said,once you get into him it gets addictive.I went from having respect for him because of his interveiws but not getting the music at all to buying every thing avalible by him.Thats alot of music and a huge chunk of change but worth every penny.The only thing i DONT like by Frank is Francesco Zappa.If you can find the book by Ben Watson called the negative dialects of poodle play get it.I went through a period where all i could listen to was Frank and things kinda like him.Can ,Henry Cow John Zorn etc.He's worth the effort but give it a chance.
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My first, and still favorite, Zappa album is "Hot Rats." I wore out the LP when I was a teenager. Recently rediscovered the CD. Played "Willie The Pimp" on repeat on the way home Friday.

:D

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
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Sorry, I've been mixing up Chunga's Revenge with Hot Rats -- that's the album with "Twenty Small Cigars" and "Transylvania Boogie."

 

Doh!

 

Hot Rats features "Peaches en Regalia," one of FZ's greatest instrumental compositions...

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Zoots Allure was mentioned and I'll do it again because it is rarely identified as a popular source of connection to things "Zappa-esque". It's Smart, quirky, rude and hides a wealth of great playing by Frank. It's not band music... it is very soulful and rich.

Hot Rats has that but it's less refined at that early stage.

 

I don't like when it gets stupid and the Vaudeville band material dragged and bored the shit out of me... not funny, not smart, just stupid.

 

Modified dogs aren't stupid...

 

There are so many stages he went through that you simply need to sample material throughout his cataloge to see where he was going. It also helps to read Barry Miles' biography to see what made him and how that shaped everything.

 

You need to go shopping and I would strongly suggest you buy and listen to his material chronologically to better appreciate it in context with the period from wence it was spewed.

or not..

I still think guitars are like shoes, but louder.

 

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May not be the best Zappa album of all time...
I think Burnt Weenie Sandwich is one of the best Zappa albums... "Orange County Lumber Truck," "Didja Get Any Onya?," "Directly From My Heart to You" with Don "Sugarcane" Harris' great violin solo... great stuff...
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