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  • Frank zappa

    Hey guys... I'm looking to pick your brains like a raven on the field of battle yet again...

    (hmm, that sounded far too much like a pre-fusion period Gong lyric to me)

    I know Mr. Zappa has some pretty funky material but I'm not sure where... any suggestions on which albums/material to be looking for? Any is any of it especially killer?

    (Gods I'm lazy...)
    *

  • #2
    hot rats !

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    • #3
      I find Zappa is a personal acquired taste. Find yourself a store or a reference point that can tell you the players on each album.

      Frank got some of the hottest jazz/fusion/rock musicians to sit in on recording sessions - and then of course he would add his own brand of production. A heavy fusion of soul, jazz, rock and very experimental. This could give you a good first pointer to some of the albums that you'ld pick up on personally.

      Hot Rats is the obvious starter and not too difficult to come by.

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      • #4
        I'd also say Sheik Yerbouti, too. There's a great cut on there, the name of which escapes me right now, but it was the famous one that always featured on Old Grey Whistle Test as a crazy cartoon.

        The same album also has Dancing Fool, a pisstake/tribute to disco, and Bobby Brown which, somewhat inexplicably, was a big record in Swiss discotheques when I used to live there many years ago.
        http://www.djhistory.com

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        • #5
          Naturally, everybody here is gonna point to Hot Rats which contains some of Zappa's more straight ahead funk material [remember, straight ahead in the world of Zappa aint very straight]
          This LP featrues the heavy fuzz funk of Willy the Pimp, vocals courtesy of Dr. John, but check the quite wonderful little track Little Umbrellas for a more refined taste of unasuming head-nodding tempo, modal Jazz lushness and be amazed. I first heard this on a friends mix tape of Prog-Jazz and the overwhelmingly mellow atmosphere filtered into my subconscious leaving it's rhythm humming in my head for weeks untill I found a copy.
          But if you want something more dirty and twisted, for me, it just doesnt get any better than the King Kong side from his Uncle Meat LP. This is the funk. Sounds like some barking mad Polish fusion joint, mental arrangements and filthy playing all round. Superb and inspirational stuff right there.

          Just don't do what I did which is write him off completely after years of enforced exposure to his more "free" recordings, at the insistance of various friends. When I think of all those years I spent believing Zappa to be another artist I will forever despise because his shit was just waaaaaay too out there and ultimately inaccessible to me I could cry!

          I mean when I heard his Uncle Meat LP in Intoxica many years later, I was at the height of my easteuropeprogjazzfusion obsession and on hearing the grooves on King Kong, I thought I'd died and gone straight to Funk heaven.  

          Ultimately, as with everything, it's a matter of taste & possibly here, endurance! I mean, if Zappa was a sandwich, he'd be made to order and "Special Delivery".
          I was raised by wolves

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          • #6
            Originally posted by [b
            Quote[/b] (ladyboygrimsby @ Sep. 23 2003,09:36)]I'd also say Sheik Yerbouti, too. There's a great cut on there, the name of which escapes me right now, but it was the famous one that always featured on Old Grey Whistle Test as a crazy cartoon.
            would it be City of Tiny Lights?

            One Size Fits All Is A Good Intro to Zappa's 70's song based material.

            We're Only In It For The Money and Freak Out are great 60's albums taking the piss out of hippies and straights alike but with loads of killer tunes.

            The Grand Wazoo and Burnt Weenie Sandwich are my favourites being mainly instrumental and covering big band jazz and more modern composition mixed with rock (and doo wop) respectively but Hot Rats is a good starting point for his instrumental material.

            Alternatively the Cheep Thrillz comps are cheap and very mixed.
            Enthusiastic vagueness passes for scholarship in the twilight world of the disc-jockey.

            John Peel

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            • #7
              I picked up Frank Zappa/The Mothers Over Nite Sensation recently, it's quality, crazy stuff. Nice art work too!
              www.myspace.com/thecromagnonband

              http://www.wolfpeople.co.uk

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              • #8
                Originally posted by [b
                Quote[/b] (emperor tomato ketchup @ Sep. 23 2003,12:43)]
                Originally posted by [b
                Quote[/b] (ladyboygrimsby @ Sep. 23 2003,09:36)]I'd also say Sheik Yerbouti, too. There's a great cut on there, the name of which escapes me right now, but it was the famous one that always featured on Old Grey Whistle Test as a crazy cartoon.
                would it be City of Tiny Lights?
                Yeah, that's the one! There's also a live version of it somewhere, too, isn't there? Anyone else remember the OGWT 'video' of it, or am I just too old?
                http://www.djhistory.com

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by [b
                  Quote[/b] (ladyboygrimsby @ Sep. 22 2003,14:34)]
                  Originally posted by [b
                  Quote[/b] (emperor tomato ketchup @ Sep. 23 2003,12:43)]
                  Originally posted by [b
                  Quote[/b] (ladyboygrimsby @ Sep. 23 2003,09:36)]I'd also say Sheik Yerbouti, too. There's a great cut on there, the name of which escapes me right now, but it was the famous one that always featured on Old Grey Whistle Test as a crazy cartoon.
                  would it be City of Tiny Lights?
                  Yeah, that's the one! There's also a live version of it somewhere, too, isn't there? Anyone else remember the OGWT 'video' of it, or am I just too old?
                  Well I remember it well - the amazing surreal plasticine thing - but then maybe I'm old as well... I also remember they used to play tracks to old silent film footage, like Television's 'Foxhole' cut with world war 1 film, or Led Zep played over 20s can-can dancers...and there was a cartoon they used to run with Pink Floyd's proto-housey 'One Of These Days' thing as well. Better than most actual videos, I reckon...

                  Does anyone know where that 'Tiny Lights' cartoon came from? Seems to have been done to go with the track, so possibly from the '100 Motels' movie (which I've never seen) or something?
                  a giant steam-powered turntable in warwickshire plays six foot cement recordings of Prince Albert's speeches to the rejoicing populace

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                  • #10
                    "100 Motels" is pretty unwatchable IHMO - lots of in jokes and bad acting - the live bits are good though. It is not the source of that bit of film though. On a Zappa tip I like "Valley Girls", his amusing cover of "Stairway to Heaven" and "We're Only in it for the Money".

                    Anyone else remember BBC marathon video nights - I think they were called "Rock Around the Clock" - Bohemian bastard Rhapsody always got the most votes - philistines!
                    "..hole...road...middle thereof"

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