Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Beat the Boots 2
Genres: Alternative Rock, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
Essential Zappa Box Set, But Unfortunately Now Out-of-Print
x | USA | 04/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Frank Zappa's "Beat the Boots #2" is a wonderful set that shamefully has been out-of-print for several years now. When is Rhino going to re-release this lost gem? The set is much in vein with the first "Beat the Boots" set; that is, the set is comprised of bootlegs that have circulated for years. Part of the genius of Frank Zappa was to combat the influx of illegitimate releases by issuing those recordings through Rhino Records at much cheaper prices, thereby benefiting both himself (by getting a royalty) and the general public (who didn't have to pay outrageous prices for them on the black market). The set consists of the following titles: Swiss Cheese/Fire (Switzerland Dec 4 '71); Disconnected Synapses (Paris Dec. 15 '71); Tengo Na Minchia Tanta (NYC Nov. '70); Electric Aunt Jemima (Denver '68 & other locations); At the Circus (Munich '78); Our Man in Nirvana (Fullerton Nov. '68); Conceptual Continuity (Detroit Nov. '76). Overall, the sound quality is much more consistent than the first set, which had a few discs that were of very poor sound quality (e.g., "Unmitigated Audacity"). "Swiss Cheese/Fire" is particularly important, as it documents an incredible performance of the Mothers (w/Flo and Eddie) in very good sound quality. After a long introductory jam, the band perfectly executes "Peaches En Regalia" with Flo and Eddie brilliantly vocalizing some of the parts that on the original recording were completely instrumental. The medley of "Tears Began to Fall/She Painted Up Her Face/Half A Dozen Provocative Squats" is brilliant, illustrating how well-rehearsed and precise this particular version of the Mothers was. The show ends abruptly at the end of the second disc when the building catches fire. "Conceptual Continuity" from Detroit is another gem that captures the mid-70s Zappa band in all its glory. The disc begins with a rousing version of "Stinkfoot" featuring humorous interactions between Frank and the audience. There is a nice "Poodle Lecture/Dirty Love" medley and long version of "The Torture Never Stops." "Our Man in Nirvana" is an example of the early Mothers, and features a guest appearance by the great Wild Man Fischer, who sings a couple of his classics ("Wild Man Fischer Story/I'm the Meany"). There is also a version of "King Kong" that clocks in at a staggering 30 minutes. "Disconnected Synapses" is another Flo and Eddie era show, and features several songs that are not on the "Swiss Cheese/Fire" release. Particularly noteworthy is the live rendition of "Who Are the Brain Police." "Tengo Na Minchia Tanta" contains yet more of the zany theatrical and musical antics of the Flo and Eddie version of the Mothers. "At the Circus" is an excellent sounding recording from '78 featuring Ike Willis, Denny Walley, and Tommy Mars, among others. Most of the songs on this recording are short and precise renditions of some of Zappa's concert staples during that period (e.g., "Easy Meat," "Baby Snakes," "Conehead," "Bobby Brown.") "Electric Aunt Jemima" was recorded in '68 in Denver (and other places) and, as expected, is an indispensable example of the brilliant original Mothers. If you can find this set for a reasonable price, buy it. You will not regret it. However, the world would be so much better if Rhino Records could realize the demand for this set and reissue it."
Sound quality knocks it down a star
kireviewer | Sunnyvale, Ca United States | 02/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an 8 CD boxset (Swiss Cheese is a double CD). It came in a cardboard box that was 12x12x4 inches. It came with a black beret.
All of the CD's in the boxset were also released individually at one time. Now, it is all out of print.
This is were Zappa took bootleg recordings of concerts, transferred them to CD and released them with limited packaging. There is a reproduction of the orginal bootleg cover, along with a song listing and the members of the group at the time of the recording. There are no concert details, such as data and place, unless it was on the original cover.
The sound quality on most is poor to mediocre. The poor sound quality is especially apparent on any vocals.
By far, the best thing in the boxset is Electric Aunt Jamima. It is the Mothers after Ian Underwood joined, but before the days of Flo and Eddie. It is taken from a number of concerts in 1968. It is almost all instrumentals and there is some great jamming. Jimmy Carl Black and Ian Underwood really shines in parts. Zappa's guitar style is still evolving. The sound quality is better than most, but still mediocre, with some tape hiss.
Swiss Cheese is the two CD set. The second CD was sometimes available as the bootleg Fire. They are both from the same concert. This is a typical Flo and Eddie concert. I don't think it is anything special, and I have it all before on many other CD's. But, there are some good parts. There is a good medley from 200 motels and Call Any Vegetable is pretty good. Peaches En Regalia is unique with Flo and Eddie adding some vocal instrumentation. It starts out with a 14 minute instrumental, but the first 8 minutes are just a high pitched noise. The sound quality on this set is mediocre to poor in spots. There is some major tape hiss on some of the tracks.
Disconnected Synopses probably has the best sound quality of all of the Beat the Boots. It is about 60 minutes long. The band is Flo and Eddie, Jean Luc Ponty, Ian Underwood, George Duke and others. The first 20 minutes are probably the worst Flo and Eddie performance I have heard. But then there is a great 32 minute King Kong, and the final track is also pretty good.
I will report on the rest of the CD's as I listen to them more carefully. When I first bought this boxset, I listened to the CD's once and then shelved it. Because of the sound quality, I got tired of listening to it. It is also heavy on Flo and Eddie and original Mothers music, so there is a lot of repeats in songs and music.
There are a lot of Zappa CD's I would get before getting this boxset. But, it is still is a lot of fun."