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I just listened to an album by Frank Zappa and The Mothers. 

First time I've ever done so and do you know what? I don't know if I ever want to listen to anything other than Frank Zappa and The Mothers for the rest of time. 

Have you ever discovered the perfect band that had been right there, unsuspected, in front of you your entire life? 

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4 minutes ago, funkgod said:

Check out 200 motels, you might change your mind ! !

I've started at the beginning, so I'll be there in a week or so. I'll keep you posted. 

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Brace yourself. It's a long and sometimes bumpy ride...

You'll hear some amazing bass players on your travels, tho'.

My favourite Zappa stuff is from the mid seventies to the early eighties, but there's stuff to enjoy in every era of his work.

Good luck!

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Absolute genius! He was so prolific that there is some proper dodge in there but there are some gems too. 100+ albums should keep you going for a while, Zoot Allures being one of my highlights ... ENJOY your journey.

The Alex Winter ZAPPA movie should definitely be worth a watch too

 

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Posted (edited)

AS posted , you might wanna skip 200 Motels,  but there's some real treats coming up.  Hot Rats, Overnight Sensation ( killer ! )   Zoot Allures,

Had the pleasure of seeing the great man live at Hammersmith Odeon.   One of my standout live gigs along with  King Crimson  (  Discipline era )  The Tubes ,   Floyd,  Bowie

Edited by fleabag
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I like Beefheart a lot, so figure I should like Zappa somewhat.

But when I've tried Zappa It's not worked for me. Not yet anyway.

Not sure why..... too noodly?

 

Willing to try again though.

 

 

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I loved his incredible live gig so many years back, but his love for doo-wop (like Ruben &...) was not my cup of tea. He did lots of music and I am happy there was something for me, too.

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Went to see him in the early '80s at the Odeon Birmingham with Horace Panter (yes, that Horace Panter) and a mutual friend. He had a very youthful Steve Vai in tow. One of the best gigs I ever saw.

I still have several of his albums on vinyl (including the aforementioned Zoot Allures, and Sheik Yerbouti).

As I've said in another thread, I have no truck with 'Best-in-the-world...' lists. That said, I've always found it curious that Zappa so rarely appears on them. Technically as good as pretty much anyone around at the time and creatively brilliant to boot; what's not to like?

 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, stewblack said:

I just listened to an album by Frank Zappa and The Mothers. 

First time I've ever done so and do you know what? I don't know if I ever want to listen to anything other than Frank Zappa and The Mothers for the rest of time. 

Have you ever discovered the perfect band that had been right there, unsuspected, in front of you your entire life? 

I discovered FZ around 1969, and yes, that was pretty much my reaction. My entire life was a fairly low bar at that time though, I was 16 years old!

At some point you might want to check out his son Dweezil's band Zappa Plays Zappa too; it features both some of Frank's longtime band members and some amazing younger players. I'd rate it as the best cover band I've ever heard live, probably. The show I saw had Napoleon Murphy Brock, Terry Bozzio, and Steve Vai onboard. Here's a cut from the Portland show I attended:

 

 

Edited by Passinwind
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I absolutely love Zappa. Watching Scott Thunes having the absolute time of his life on stage ( I think wearing a dress at one point ) was proper eye opening that being a bass player wasn't boring. Used to cover some songs when I was younger ( Keep it Greasy, Zomby Woof, Zoot Allures, Cosmic Debris etc...) and I loved it. Some stuff it tougher to listen to but them man was a genius

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Long time Zappa fan here too. My introduction was Live In New York, which is still a favourite. He’s one of the very few artists that I’ll blind buy anything that comes out. Received an e-mail from the ZFT the other day announcing the latest release. Didn’t even bother reading the blurb - went straight to pre-order. I also have a ton of bootlegs, which when you take a deep dive into, it’s just amazing the amount of variation in the sets. Not only that, but when you listen to the songs, they’re not always performed the same way night after night either.

 

E82FA06E-29EB-4670-8D11-89AD1E2E8C33.jpeg

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Sounds like I have just stumbled upon a goldmine. 

The two albums I've listened to today struck me for their instant accessibility, musicianship, humour - both musical and lyrical - and creative restlessness. 

This is how I used to write songs back in the day and I just assumed I was broken. Damn. 

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Posted (edited)

Lifelong Zappa fan here, changed my life at 12 or 13 years old... not exaggerating. For me the period 73-86 ish resonates the most, but the earlier stuff is really interesting too and even his classical dabbling worked for me. One of the very few to effectively combine humor with great/serious composition.

Edited by HazBeen
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Posted (edited)

Tips:

- Apostrophe/Overnight sensation

- Sheik Yerbouti

- Zoot Allures

- Them or Us

- Man from Utopia

- Broadway the Hardway

- Roxy and elsewhere 

- Tinseltown Rebellion

- zappa in New York

- Lumpy Gravy

To name just a few....

Edited by HazBeen
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For me, it started when 'Freak Out' was released. It started, but never stopped. Great Stuff. :sun_bespectacled:

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By co-incidence (I hope) someone on one of my Facebook groups just posted a FZ Video.

From  a 1984 Concert the song is called "He's so Gay"........

..... let's just say I remain to be converted. To Zappa, I mean.

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Enjoy the ride, it’s a wonderful place to be. Whatever era you check out, there are gems upon gems - along with a few that will make you question why you’re listening to this in the first place. Personally, I can happily listen to all of it - 200 Motels included - but I get why some folks won’t dig it. Personal album favourite is ‘One Size Fits All’. All time favourite track is ‘Oh No’ in any of the various guises it has appeared in. The ‘Lumpy Gravy’ version are sooooooo good.

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Glad to hear you’ve taken your first steps in Zappa’s immense (and intense) body of work.

as a newcomer I’d recommend:


Broadway the Hardway 

Apostrophe

Sheik Yerbouti

as the most accessible ones.

 

The Yellow Shark Project is worth a listen too - FZ’s masterpiece of orchestral writing.

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1 hour ago, Dad3353 said:

For me, it started when 'Freak Out' was released. It started, but never stopped. Great Stuff. :sun_bespectacled:

My Dead Head band in Seattle ca. 1985 used to cover Call Any Vegetable, I love the early stuff. My favorite band was probably the Live at the Fillmore East one (so '71), I saw a show on that tour just a few months out from the recorded one.

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Posted (edited)

Joe's Garage album... Lucille has messed my mind up, and Watermelon in Easter Hay...

tinsel town rebelion album....Bamboozled by Love.

Get Googling!

Edited by PaulThePlug
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I’m a longtime Captain Beefheart fan, and have tried many many times to get into Zappa, had mates who’d play me their favourite Zappa albums like Hot Rats, or Lumpy Gravy or Zoot Allures or whatever, and insist I’d love them, but....

It’s way too noodly and solo-y for me and I just can’t get on with it. Except for “Trouble Every Day” and this: 

which I absolutely love ❤️ Surely everyone loves this? Maybe I’m a Zappa fan after all? Did he do anything else like this?

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Posted (edited)

One of the absolute joys of the Zappa catalogue as it stands today, is that for an album like 'Sheik Yerbouti' which I absolutely love, we now have the original gigs from which a lot of the basic tracks came from in the shape of the posthumous release 'Hammersmith Odeon'. Then there are projects that Frank started and Dweezil finished like 'QuAUDIOPHILIAc', which sounds superb on DVD-A. Another DVD-A release is 'Halloween' - you can just shut your eyes and feel like you're in the room (I usually have to make sure everyone else is out for this experience to work properly 😂). For those who fancy a different line-up, try 'Philly '76" which features singer Lady Bianca who was only on tour with Frank for a very short time. One can only wonder at what further delights there are to be released.

Edited by hiram.k.hackenbacker

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I became a massive Zappa fan after I first saw 'Does Humour Belong in Music?' when it was shown on Channel 4 years ago. I'm not going to say that I love everything he did, but there is so much great music to dig in to. A lot of great albums have already been mentioned, but I really like the '88 band albums 'The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life', and 'Make A Jazz Noise Here'. Plus, so many great musicians passed through his bands.

Unfortunately, I was too young to see him live, but I did see the 'The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa' tour, a couple of years ago.

 

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