My wife hated Zappa.
J. Galt | El Paso, TX USA | 03/22/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I found it slighty disconcerting to see FZ's music pigeon-holed as "Progressive" on the Amazon website. Zappa has a vast and varied body of work ranging from fusion to 4/4 rock. If you listen closely to the things he did onstage in this compilation you will find this to be true. "The Evil Prince" is a scathing indictment against Android Lloyd Webber and his almost single-handed destruction of the Broadway musical. How can you not laugh when you hear George Duke intone about his "Great plan". When my then wife first heard Volume 1 she said; "How can you listen to that"? I replied how can you not? That was 12 years ago. J.... is long gone. Frank is still here."
A Good Place To Start.
A Hermit | Southwestern Pa. | 02/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the late 1980's Frank Zappa went into his vault, and began work on a mammoth retrospective of every phase of his professional career, from the early recordings of the scandalous Mothers Of Invention, all the way through to what would be his final touring ensemble, the 11-piece backing band that, due to infighting, wound up disbanding before the tour was completed. There is a lot, and I mean A LOT of music in this series. Every line-up has something to offer, and this volume, the first in the series, gives the listener twenty-eight tracks, all live, recorded on different stages all over the world. The opening number, "The Florida Airport Tape," is a candid recording Zappa made on his portable tape recorder, of Mark Volman telling the other guys in the Mothers, circa 1970, that he had vomited on stage ("puked onstage," in his words), and wanted to know if anybody else had noticed this. Of course, poor-taste jokes follow, and this segues to a 1971 performance of the band, with most of the guys from the 1970 Florida tape, playing part of a forgotten suite,"Once Upon A Time," that leads into an early version of "Sofa (sung in German)." This leads right into a recording of the 1982 band playing an instrumental version of what would, with lyrics, appear on "Thing-Fish," two years later, as "The Mammy Anthem." And so forth, all through this disc, ending with a 1979 performance of "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow." FZ himself referred to this as a "totally stupid" song, but the version included here, is a first-class live performance, and worth buying the disc for. It depicts the band, in top form, recreating the music from the original as heard on "Apostrophe'," but with a lot added, most notably, the unreleased "Rollo."
Disc Two follows the same format, starting with the original Mothers Of Invention playing in a bar in the Bronx, New York, Spring tour, 1969, replete with stage announcements by Frank Zappa, telling the owner of a green Chevy, that his car needs to be moved, and the listener is transported through time and space, from the 1960's, through the 1970's, and into the 1980's, ending with the 1981 band's MTV special, before MTV turned into what it is now; it actually had MUSIC, played by MUSICIANS back then, and to give this volume a sense of beginning, main body, end, it closes with the MTV special's clip of the 1981 band playing an instrumental version of "Sofa," the track near the beginning of the first disc that had Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman singing in German.
Bottom line, this is a THOROUGHLY enjoyable cross-section of Frank Zappa's music, all live, and an excellent first volume of the series. In time, I aim to write reviews of all six volumes."