Originally Posted by Nuggets4
All right people I respect, need some opinions.
Always been a fan of Frank Zappa, but never gotten anything of his (sadly, I feel more guilty about this than a lot of other things in my life). Recommendations? I'm thinking I'll probably get "Strictly Commercial" because it has a lot of great songs on it (specifically "Peaches en Regalia" -- personal favorite of mine because we did an arrangement of it in a percussion ensemble at UNC) and covers a lot of ground. Big problem with that one is that it doesn't have "The Black Page" on it. So I guess I'll just have to get more than one CD.
So, I need recommendations for good studio and good live albums (because his bands are AWESOME live). I thank you in advance.
I'm actually not that big of a Zappa fan....he just either got wayyy too goofy or wayyy to complex for my tastes, so for me, a little of FZ goes a very long way.
That's not to say I don't own any.....here's what I have in the way of Zappa:
FREAK OUT - the first installment. It actually has some pretty nice sounding stuff on it musically without going over the top. That's a minor miracle given Zappa's oft repeated mantra "The modern day composer refuses to die"...spelling it out from the very beginning the kind of musical snobbery that says this will never condescend to being 4/4 stuff. Of course the humor is there from the get go as well. I like it because it has some pop elements on it to be honest with you...songs like "You Didn't Try To Call Me" & "Any Way The Wind Blows" balance out the indulgent 12 minute "epics" quite effectively IMO. ABSOLUTELY FREE has a couple of interesting songs on it that makes me keep it in my collection, but besides LUMPY GRAVY (a disc of atmospheric tones) it's the weakest FZ CD I have IMO.
WE'RE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY - Is a vicious attack on the peace & love crowd....from the cover on down. As Zappa's answer to SGT. PEPPER, who knew Frank hated hippies so much? "Who Needs The Peace Corps?" is indicitive of the set....It's basically a collage of sounds and some songs and , for some reason, years later reminds me of something not so dissimilar to a Negativland CD.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU IS - Another vicious CD, but this one probably has the musical aptitude you're looking for as well on it. I consider it his best work and a lot of it still holds up in terms or music and content...if I had to recommend one to anyone, hands down this one would be it....it's very solid.
A SHIP ARRIVING TOO LATE TO SAVE A DROWNING WITCH - Yeah, the Valley Girl one...it's a skimpy release but what's on it is pretty good stuff...if you liked the single, you'll like the album.
There, I kept it as short as I could...hope the rambling helps...BTW I've never heard any of the SHUT UP AND PLAY YOUR GUITAR or the YOU CAN'T DO THAT ON STAGE ANYMORE series but by the descriptions I've been given of them, they might be what you're looking for as well. I'd also check out the AMG site for this which has some very accurate write ups on anyone in music...that could help you out also.