Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
Recorded in 1976, this mythic three-CD opus finally sees the light of day to the joy of Zappaphiles. It almost goes without saying that there's a wealth of silliness, grotesque humor, and freeform genius in these three hou... more »
Recorded in 1976, this mythic three-CD opus finally sees the light of day to the joy of Zappaphiles. It almost goes without saying that there's a wealth of silliness, grotesque humor, and freeform genius in these three hours of wacked-out tunes about muffins, prunes, geese, and the legendary Illinois Enema Bandit. Abandon all logic ye who enter here--an all-too-rare warning at a time when Zappa still rates as a lone wolf howling against conformity. --Jeff Bateman
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Just call this "Zappa's Revenge"
A Hermit | Southwestern Pa. | 03/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The whole debacle FZ had in the 1970's and 1980's with Warner Brothers was one more slap in the face this man suffered in the "Land Of Opportunity." Yes, his detractors say he was "arrogant," "bitter," "spiteful," and so on, and this criticism isn't without merit, but Warners really made life miserable for him at the time. If anything, he suffered from his own Type A personality. He delivered an eight-sided box set to the record company to fulfill his contract, and they wouldn't release it, and they wouldn't let him release it elsewhere. Mercury Records printed 300 copies of it before Warners halted the process, saying they had the material in their own vault. They wouldn't pay him, they wouldn't release him from his contract, and they wouldn't release the record, citing it as "objectionable." The law suit over this, and all his master tapes, from "Freak Out," with the Mothers Of Invention up through "Zoot Allures," went on for years, costing HUGE amounts of money and dissolving business relationships as well.
But "Lather" (or "Leather," depending) is one of those gems that nobody thought would ever see a proper release. It was played once in its entirety on a Los Angeles radio station (before the days of the snotty, wussy, fascist FCC's retarded tactics), and only existed as a bootleg, until the folks at UMRK unearthed it, and gave it its due. And despite some minor changes, it's all here, for all to experience the way it was meant to be.
The bulk of this material is available on other releases, ones Warners put out without Zappa's authorization to make some money from "product," but in 1996, it finally saw the light of day. He has written and arranged such a staggering breadth of material, in so many styles and formats, it can be endlessly rearranged, and somehow come off as fresh.
Recorded between 1972 and 1976, it contains tastes of the jazz era of The Mothers, with George Duke and Ruth Underwood, orchestras, small rock combos, and early versions of some of the tracks which were reworked on "Sheik Yerbouti."
The only thing I wouldn't have done on this was use the bonus materials, as used here. They are little gems from the vault, previously unavailable, but they have no place in the continuity of this particular issue. Even though they are at the end of it all, they still disrupt the idea of the original program. A good idea would be to make a back-up copy, and simply not put this stuff on. But this is just my two cents, although I am a long-time fan, and I understood, or should I say, I "got" what he was doing.
But don't confuse this cover with Floyd's "Atom Heart Mother." (chortle)"