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Thread: Anyone like Frank Zappa?

  1. #1
    I...am...Kirok!!! David Huber's Avatar
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    Anyone like Frank Zappa?

    I've been thinking of sampling some Zappa but he's got so many freaking CDs that it's ridiculous. I'd like to hear some stuff with him on guitar since I'm a fan of solos, so I'm thinking a live CD might be the place to start? I know he has a CD called 'Shut Up and Play the Guitar' or something like that, but I heard it's 2 CDs of nothing but a bunch of solos strung together, and I think that might be a bit excessive to begin with. The only things I've heard from him are 'Dancing Fool', 'Valley Girl', and 'Don't Eat the Yellow Snow' (which I heard on Dr. Demento's old show). Any tips are appreciated!

  2. #2
    Registered User Kenton Sem's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone like Frank Zappa?

    Zappa was a real-deal bona-fide musical genius of the 20th century. He's one of the very few that will still be taken seriously the further down the road we get from that time period. His music was so complex (not to mention funny, and sarcastic, but everyone knows that) that even the most fantastic lineups of amazing musicians sometimes could not attain his musical goals.

    The 'Shut Up n Play Yer Guitar' recordings are indeed ALL guitar solos (with maybe a bazouki thrown in) and probably aren't the best thing to start off with, unless maybe you are a guitarist who is already enamoured of Zappa'a style (s).

    Any given Zappa fan will claim that any number of albums, from any number of time periods and band lineups, are THE Zappa albums to listen to, so no matter what anyone tells you, you will ultimately find your own favorite zone ( I prefer the late 70's - early 80's stuff myself).

    If you want other stuff mixed in with the solos, you might start with any of the "You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore" series. I also really like 'Tinseltown Rebellion' and 'Joe's Garage'. Both of which have great everything.
    Last edited by Kenton Sem; 03-24-2005 at 02:43 PM.

  3. #3
    Taste my danish! Jesper Maintz's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone like Frank Zappa?

    (Deep breath)

    First of all, SHUT UP´N PLAY YER GUITAR are not the best place to start - neither is GUITAR - its pretty much various guitar solos isolated from various live gigs, and its for fans only. I like both albums, but they tend to be a bit repetitive - but off course, if you like Zappas guitar playing both albums are essential.

    For the perfect introduction to Zappa´s universe and his guitar playing, Ill recommend JOES GARAGE act 1-3. Its one of the best and funniest concept albums ever made, it was the album that made me fall in love with Zappa and it contains numerous brilliant guitar solos, especially on act 3 - WATERMELON IN EASTER HAY is Zappas best guitar work ever, IMO. You cant go wrong with Joes Garage...

    After Joes Garage, you need to get SHEIK YERBOUTI that is a hit-filled album but do contain some splendid guitar solos as well - and afterwards get yourself ZOOT ALLURES with the great, great THE TORTURE NEVER STOPS - those three albums never get old, and they are a work of genius...

    Hope that helped...
    En god banan!

  4. #4
    Registered User Kenton Sem's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone like Frank Zappa?

    'Joe's Garage' is a great place to start, and 'Watermelon in Easter Hay' is beautiful.

    I like 'Zoot Allures' too. I was watching the "Baby Snakes' DVD recently, along with the Zappa 'Saturday Night Live' appearances. I've gotta say that Terry Bozzio is just freakin' amazing on drums. Brutal!
    Last edited by Kenton Sem; 03-24-2005 at 02:56 PM.

  5. #5
    Safe As Milk Travis Sheldon's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone like Frank Zappa?

    I agree with the albums already mentioned and will add the following:
    Hot Rats - Peaches en Regalia, 'nuff said!
    Over-Nite Sensation - Some of his most accessible work, but it still retains the Zappa style.
    Apostrophe - (See above.)
    Bongo Fury - Anything w/Beefheart is fun.

  6. #6
    Registered User Marshall Crist's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone like Frank Zappa?

    Personally, I strongly prefer the early stuff with the Mothers. ABSOLUTELY FREE is perhaps my favorite.

  7. #7
    Thread-killer Kieran M's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone like Frank Zappa?

    HOT RATS was the album that made me a Zappa fan.
    Currently I'm struck by the genius that is We're Only In It For The Money.
    The great thing about getting into Zappa is the GIANT back-catalogue of goodies waiting to be discovered.

  8. #8
    Taste my danish! Jesper Maintz's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone like Frank Zappa?

    The albums I recommended was strictly based on the guitar-work/Zappa-compositions - an album like HOT RATS are a milestone, and the guitar work is outstanding (especially on Willie The Pimp), but if you have to start somewhere, Joes garage is the way to go, IMO.

    My fave Zappa album ever is Chunga´s Revenge....
    En god banan!

  9. #9
    ********* Damian P's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone like Frank Zappa?

    I likes ZAPPA plenty but his output was just too much (so much unreleased too) for me to consume as a whole. I do have a taste for the live recordings. Oddly enough one of my first Zappa purchases was the BEAT THE BOOTS cassette box set. I still listen to those tapes.
    Another great and easier to find album is Roxy & Elsewhere.

  10. #10
    Taste my danish! Jesper Maintz's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone like Frank Zappa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Damian P
    Another great and easier to find album is Roxy & Elsewhere.
    Amen to that! ROXY & ELSEWHERE is one of the greatest live recordings ever made, and is a worthy contender to DEEP PURPLE: MADE IN JAPAN (which I consider to be the best live album ever made)...

    I would give my left testicle to see that BEBOP TANGO...
    En god banan!

  11. #11
    ********* Damian P's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone like Frank Zappa?

    Now I need to get DEEP PURPLE: MADE IN JAPAN.

  12. #12
    Taste my danish! Jesper Maintz's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone like Frank Zappa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Damian P
    Now I need to get DEEP PURPLE: MADE IN JAPAN.
    Yes you do! Its fucking great, and a masterpiece of pure fucking 70s rock... Youll love it - its a way of life!
    En god banan!

  13. #13
    All Shook Up Ian Miller's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone like Frank Zappa?

    .....and it's available at most used record stores.


    As for Zappa, my fondness runs mostly from the 60's to early 70's (The Phlo and Eddie stuff is GREAT), but it's ALL worth listening too. His early doo-wop and novelty sides (available on disc as EARLY MEAT on Del Fi, I believe) are also quite good.

  14. #14
    What would Jesus do? KH Brown's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone like Frank Zappa?

    One to avoid if you're after guitar stuff is Jazz from Hell, which is all Synclavier based - though still very good.

    I would go for Hot Rats - mostly instrumental - and Sheik Yerbouti - satirical lyrics as a means to get people to listen to complex music.
    giallo-fever.blogspot.com

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