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Discussion in 'music' started by flatpopely, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

    Got a compiltation from TonyL. I'm struggling with it TBH :confused:
  2. mjw

    mjw pfm Member

    Even Zappa recognised he was an acquired taste. That's why he released the 'guitar' albums - his virtuosity was never in doubt.
  3. Paul R

    Paul R pfm Member

    Which compilation?

  4. johnfromnorwich

    johnfromnorwich even my wife noticed the dif..

    What exactly are you struggling with? Some people (me included) really like the 1960s material and a good deal of the early - mid 70s (particularly the Roxy / 1974 bands) but find the rather forced and puerile 'humour' and over reliance on keyboards of a lot of the late 70s / 80s material to be way too wearing (okay Frank, we get the point). Others like the rocking out solos but can't handle the 'modern composition'. Or hate the synclavier stuff. Or don't like the over mining of Louie Louie and 50s doo-wop for satirical purposes and do like the orchestral stuff. I've got about 60 albums I think and would describe myself as a fan, but even I have to admit it's a pretty mixed bag and not easy to summarise in a single disc comp.

    OTOH If there's nothing you like about it, then you probably should move on to something else. One Size Fits All (1974) is probably the best starting point. Then work backwards and forwards until you hit something you hate.
  5. garyi

    garyi leave blank

    Waka Jawaka.

    If you don't like this, then you won't like zappa.
  6. kneecap

    kneecap pfm Member

    Would agree about One Size Fits All and also,Burnt Weeny Sandwich is the most accessible of the earlier stuff
  7. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    It's an obscure European comp on Polydor called 'Pop History', it collects a decent selection of tracks from the Verve period, i.e. right at the start of his career. For me this is the best stuff (my fav Zappa albums are Freak Out and Absolutely Free), but there are far more who prefer the later stuff.

  8. CHE

    CHE pfm Member

    johnfromnorwich has it spot on; there is so much he did that you would struggle to like it all.

    Personally I was first introduced to FVZ via Shiek Yerbouti then the Joe's Garage series and saw him a few times in the 70s/80s - superb stuff, guess I like the humour and solos then ! The very early stuff I'm not so keen on nor the synclavier music (although I have most of it). If I were to recommend one album to start with it would be Hot Rats.

    Saw Dweezil earlier this year and it was one of the best concerts I been to in ages - even Mrs CHE bopped along.

  9. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

    I'm going to persevere as I hear hints of genius in there but its just so disjointed; as soon as a track gets going it changes to something totally different.

    However prog is my main taste so I don't expect to 'get' Zappa straight away.

    Thanks for the recommendations.
  10. RJohan

    RJohan pfm Member

    As it happens, Swedish Radio was transmitting a live concert yesterday with Zappa composed orchestral something. As opposed to his (in my view) rather boring rock music, this was rather good, if a bit western movie like. It was composed together with some German group, I think they said.

  11. babu

    babu pfm Member

    ...or try You are What You Is
  12. Theo

    Theo pfm Member


    Hi mid-70s period is superb - try Apostrophe, Zoot Allures or Overnight Sensation. I'm a closet prog fan and these reallywork for me...

    Might be a good idea to listen to a selection of tracks on Spotify beforehand?
  13. johnfromnorwich

    johnfromnorwich even my wife noticed the dif..

    Ensemble Modern maybe? They're from Frankfurt and collaborated with Zappa a few times. He did make a movie soundtrack (very early on) for a western called "Run Home Slow". There's elements of this type of music right across his oeuvre. "Theme for Lumpy Gravy" in particular.
  14. FranzD

    FranzD pfm Member

    In prefer the 60ies/early 70ies stuff with the Mothers of Invention. His later material does nothing for me. And especially what mjw calls his virtuosity bores the s.. out of me. The Pop History has the focus on his best period IMO.

    Tony, strange that you call the Pop History compilations obscure.Those German compilations on the Polydor label were extremely popular in the years between 1970 and 1975 where I live (maybe limited to the German speaking world?). Their choice of artists was excellent , mainly the important people from 1965-1970 (e.g. Who, Hendrix, Velvet Underground, Cream,...). And also the selection of material was exceptional (a combination of Hits, LP-tracks and Live material). Definitely much better than the bulk of 'Best of..' or 'Greatest Hits..' compilatons that were around in those days. I do not have much use for CDs, but I have to admit that the art of making good compilations has really improved with the ermegence of the CD.

    A quotation form the allmusic guide's comments to Pop History Vol. 25 Medicine Head (!):
  15. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    They certainly never made it over to the UK in any great numbers, plus it's sufficiently obscure not to register on the AllMusic.com Zappa discography, at least I couldn't find it. I think the one I sold Andrew is the only one I've ever seen!

  16. Paul R

    Paul R pfm Member

    I can see why Andrew might have some minor difficulties with access...

    OTOH I'd consider http://www.amazon.co.uk/Best-Frank-...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1256292289&sr=1-1 worth £3.98 of anybody's money.

    Then you basically need them all.

  17. johnfromnorwich

    johnfromnorwich even my wife noticed the dif..

    My 'route in' was via the You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore' live comps. Volume 1 alone opens with Flo and Eddie discussing swallowing vomit in an airport transit lounge in Florida, proceeds to a very early version of Sofa Pt1, contains absolute killer renditions of I'm The Slime and The Big Swifty and ends with a 20 minute version of Don't Eat the Yellow Snow incorporating 'enforced audience participation' and Frank reciting Under Milk Wood... and that's just the first disc.
  18. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

  19. jackbarron

    jackbarron Chelsea, London

    Ensemble Modern did an album of chamber music with Zappa called The Yellow Shark, which is cool.

    In terms of orchestration, the two albums he did with The London Symphony Orchestra are pretty good.

    Frank thought some members of the Orchestra were incompetent and couldn't read music very well. Apparently during breaks some musicians went down the pub to get pissed.

    To get around the mistakes the Orchestra made, Zappa did a lot of edits in the studio.

    I've got around 50 Zappa CD's and box sets. If I had to pick three, I'd got for: Waka/Jawaka, Weasels Ripped My Flesh and Bongo Fury with Captain Beefheart.

  20. FranzD

    FranzD pfm Member

    I can see that too. It is because his main taste is prog obviously. That of course makes it really, really hard to get good music. ;)

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