Jump to content

Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

- - - - -

Frank Zappa, where to start?

  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

Carl Miller


  • 1,461 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 17 2002

Posted May 31 2007 - 01:14 PM

I picked up Frank Zappa's, Apostrophe CD over the weekend for $3 at a garage sale and really like it...I've paid zero attention to Zappa for some reason and was thinking about trying to pick up a few used Zappa CD's next time I'm near the local used CD store... Problem is, his catalog is pretty big and while I like the All Music Guide as a reference, I don't often agree with their reviews. Any Zappa fans out there to point me in the right direction?

#2 of 12 OFFLINE   ChristopherG



  • 1,674 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 16 2003
  • Real Name:Chris

Posted May 31 2007 - 01:32 PM

Wow - great question. I recommend starting with FreakOut and We're Only in it for the money by the Mothers and then checking out Hot Rats followed by Joe's Garage Acts I, II, III. This a slice across several phases of FZ and might give you an idea of some of the multitude of style he had.
It takes 52 pounds of pressure to rupture an eyeball... :blink:

#3 of 12 OFFLINE   Keith Paynter

Keith Paynter


  • 1,830 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 16 1999

Posted May 31 2007 - 01:46 PM

There is a great "highlights" CD, called Strictly Commercial that is a good overview. Besides We're Only In It For The Money and Joe's Garage, my personal favorites include Apostrophe (') and Over-Nite Sensation. "Watch out where the Huskies go, and don't you eat that yellow snow!"
I don't like SPAM!

#4 of 12 OFFLINE   KurtEP


    Supporting Actor

  • 698 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 03 2006

Posted May 31 2007 - 02:02 PM

For a live flavor, You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol I is pretty cool. I'd also add Sheik Yerbouti to some of the excellent selections mentioned above.
Lay down your law books now, they're no damned good -- The Eagles

#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Mikael Soderholm

Mikael Soderholm

    Second Unit

  • 493 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 05 1999
  • Real Name:Mikael Söderholm
  • LocationStockholm, SWEDEN

Posted June 01 2007 - 01:00 AM

If you liked Apostrophe, I suggest material from that period, ie Overnight Sensation, One Size Fits All, the live Roxy and Elsewhere and Shiek Yerbouti. You might also like Joe's Garage, although IMHO, with the exception of a few songs, it does not quite match the quality of the others I mentioned.
Stuff made before this period, what little I've heard, was a bit more experimental and strange, but then again, I haven't heard half of it....
Stuff after this period was more skechty, some great, some not so great, endless double albums consisting mostly of guitar solos (shut up and play yer guitar vols 1-9 or so...) so I kinda lost interest somewhere around Ship arriving too late, Zoot Allures etc.

But you really have to listen for yourself, the output of a genious such as FZ is too complex and diverse to judge and recommend in a short post...

- "Do you indulge in any form of worship?"
-"Life. I love life, very much indeed."
David Bowie interviewed by Russell Harty, 1973

#6 of 12 OFFLINE   Egbert Souse

Egbert Souse


  • 43 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 13 2007

Posted June 01 2007 - 05:08 AM

The Leather album(spelled Lather on the cover,with a picture of a cow)is an amazing 3 disc set that covers almost all aspects of Zappas music,highly recommended.Also "One Size Fits All".For more mainstream appeal there`s "Hot Rats" and "Zoot Allures",but in my oppinion,you just can`t go wrong with any Zappa.

#7 of 12 OFFLINE   LarryDavenport



  • 2,980 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 15 1999

Posted June 01 2007 - 05:59 AM

Any of the above suggestions are good ones, particularly Mikael's because if you jump to the Freak Out or Fillmore East 71 bands, as great as they are, they are completely different bands/styles. I would recommend starting with the first two You Can't Do That On Stage volumes. The first is a sampler oh his overall career and the second is the complete Helsinki concert from 1973. The only period of Zappa I'm not crazy about are the 84 & 88 tours. The band is technically proficient, but I think they are a bit "thin" sounding despite such a large ensemble. I'm not a big fan of Bobby Martin or Chad Wackerman. I also recommend renting or buying the Baby Snakes and Dub room Special DVDs. There is a "Classic Album" DVD coming out about the recording of Apostrophe and Overnight Sensation that is supposed to have some Roxy 73 performances.

#8 of 12 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

Carl Miller


  • 1,461 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 17 2002

Posted June 02 2007 - 03:52 AM

Thanks guys. The only Zappa our local used CD store had was Hot Rats, so I picked it up...I hadn't read anything about it and wasn't expecting what I heard, but that turned out to be a good thing because it was all the more surprising. I'm definitely going to hit some of the suggestions here and pick up some more Zappa...really good stuff and you all weren't kidding about the diversity in his music. I'm wondering what took me so long to discover Zappa. Clearly I've been missing out on a lot of good and interesting music.

#9 of 12 OFFLINE   Greg Bright

Greg Bright

    Second Unit

  • 263 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 24 2000

Posted June 03 2007 - 10:57 PM

Don't forget "Just Another Band From L.A.". Billy the Mountain is an operatic masterpiece.
"Aufersteh'n, ja aufersteh'n wirst du, Mein Herz, in einem Nu.
Was du geschlagen, Zu Gott wird es dich tragen!"

#10 of 12 OFFLINE   Fudge



  • 10 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 12 2006

Posted July 16 2007 - 08:33 AM

A bit late but... It's not on the usual list, but Studio Tan is a favorite. "The Adventures of Greggary Peccary" fully represents Frank's sense of humour, orchestral leanings and ambitiousness. Then you also have the fun, silly side of Frank with "Lemme Take You To The Beach", and two fine instrumentals that are great examples of how gorgeous his melodies could be and his awesome guitar skills.

#11 of 12 OFFLINE   Russell G

Russell G

    Fake Shemp

  • 10,421 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 20 2002
  • Real Name:Russell
  • LocationDeadmonton

Posted July 16 2007 - 10:32 AM

I'm a huge fan of Zappa. That said, try to find the old "cheap Thrills" compilations. They offfer a really good variety of the different music Zappa did, from the more rock type stuff to the avante gard.

#12 of 12 OFFLINE   mcintosh



  • 16 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 13 2007

Posted July 16 2007 - 12:17 PM

I just recently received my SACD/HYBRID recording of their 2nd self entitled cd, Blood, Sweat, and Tears. Great band and horn section, featuring for you jazz lovers like myself, a young "Randy Brecker." With the classics "And When I Die", "Spinning Wheel", and "You Make Me So Very Happy", I was singing right along with them. A very clean and crisp recording using Mobile Fidelity`s GAIN2 technology.

Definitely one to check out!! Next, "Shaft."Posted Image

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users