Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention: The Grand Wazoo Song by Song Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Musicman1998, May 12, 2018.

  1. Musicman1998

    Musicman1998 And I'm The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    I gotta go with Hot Rats as my favorite, although a couple others come close
    mmars982 and mark winstanley like this.
  2. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    NYC Man
    I wouldn't say that it took me time to warm up to Waka/Jawaka in general, but for a long time I would have said that I prefer the Grand Wazoo of the two, but eventually that flip-flopped and now I'd rank Waka/Jawaka higher (even though I still love the Grand Wazoo, too).
    Jazzmonkie and Musicman1998 like this.
  3. kevinsponge

    kevinsponge Forum Resident

    Portland, OR USA
    Bought this used Christmas ‘84 along with at least a dozen other Zappa Lp’s in Portland at 2nd Avenue Records.

    I’d saved about 300$ and hit the motherload! I wanted to get them all recorded to tape since I’d be joining the Air Force

    in two months and wasn’t sure when I’d get to spin lp’s again. Glad I did! It was a real luxury to have some new Frank to

    Listen to whilst navigating tech school and military fun stuff! I was familiar with Waka already so I knew I’d probably

    dig Wazoo. I love the horns, Ainsley, George, the bass and Frank’s occasional guitar solo. I prefer these albums to Hot

    Rats, maybe Mr. Duke’s presence gives them the edge. Another thing, the lack of words made this great studying music

    for me.
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  4. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    Hot rats, one size fits all and joes garage are probably my faves
    Edit and roxy... too hard, too many, too good
  5. Musicman1998

    Musicman1998 And I'm The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    As i said in the Listening Now thread, Zappa was the gift that kept on giving, both in life and even in death.
  6. danner

    danner Forum Resident

    Birmingham, AL
    Ha, couldn’t tell you how many college papers I wrote to Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar.
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  7. kevinsponge

    kevinsponge Forum Resident

    Portland, OR USA
    I became obsessed after hearing WOIIFTM, my second Zappa Record. My first was joe’s garage 2&3 and I wasn’t really

    blown away, then or now. The Rolling Stone Record guide (red one) showed me most of the story and catalogue. I talked

    about Music and Zappa at work all the time so an older co worker gave me five Zappa albums, Freak Out!, Fillmore

    East, 200 Motels, Just another band from L.A
    and Waka/Jawaka. Thanks Doug!

    Waka was a revelation! Big Swifty just assaulted my brain with possibilities and I never would’ve guessed what side two

    had in store (steel guitar). At the same time, I’m totally getting into Freak Out! As well!

    Wazoo was fascinating even though it had to complete with a bunch of other Zappa albums I’d bought at the same time.

    I loved the stately sections of the title track right from the start!

    I also loved how unfashionable the inside gatefold appeared to me in the mid eighties!
  8. Elson Quick

    Elson Quick Well-Known Member

    Following the Turtles of Invention period, while Frank thoughtfully saved his fans money by releasing stuff they didn't have to buy, Waka Jawaka was something of an air-punch of an album. Hot Rats II it was not, but hey, it was music-music. Again! And made everything since Burnt Weeny Sandwich look like yesterday's soup at the soup kitchen. It got some critical stick for being jazz, but it's not jazz fercrissakes, it's Frank, and in the same freaking year the man-who-is-a-genre-all-to-himself served up the Grand Wazoo to reassure us Waka Jawaka hadn't been just a one-shot deal. Another music-music album-album! And unlike Wa-Ja, there's no chalky aftertaste, no feeling of it not being quite as good as it should.

    The Grand Wazoo is a perfect title - who does grand anymore? It's more than nifty swell and bitchin', it's more than "iconic" or "classic". It's grand, is what it is. And a sleeve you’ll be proud to display in den or lobby! That Cal Schenkel art (wtf happened to him on Waka Jawaka?) repays beady-eyed study with satisfying snickers and conceptual continuity clues. Serious-stoopid, like the music. Nothing there is to like not. And everything put into this colorful and generous project comes out, and keeps on coming - an endlessly rich marriage of complexity and accessibility, chops n' chuckles. And as minty-fresh today as when it first hit the shelves. One of the many albums where the only necessary reaction is - thanks, Frank.
  9. rufus t firefly

    rufus t firefly Forum Resident

    Long island, NY
    Very happy you started this thread as I had not listened to this gem in a while. Just finished listening to it. The title cut and "Eat that question" are the standouts to my ears. Aynsley Dunbar is almost too good to be believed on this album. This is a collection I never tire of.
  10. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    Waka/Jawaka was one of the first Zappa albums I heard. Maybe that is one reason I prefer it to Grand Wazoo which has some material that is a bit too mainstream fusion for my taste. I'm looking forward to reading other perspectives on the album in this thread.
  11. jeddy

    jeddy Forum Resident

    Love love love this album!!!
    For Calvin... is one of my favourite Zappa tracks

    Veeerry mysterious sounding
    like Satie's Gnossiennes

    Imo the remaster should open with Calvin....
    No other album opens with something so creepy and strange! Like driving into a fog...

    The Grand Wazoo fires on all cylinders
    Great playing
    Great mood
    Great compositions

    Frank kept bad mouthing "jazz" through out his life
    but he must have secretly loved it because he was so damn good at it!
    Like Mozart not really liking flutes but writing some of the most beautiful flute music LOL

    Even my friends who aren't into Zappa like this album.
    Does anyone else here hear a kinship between Frank and SunRa?
    They seem like brothers from other mothers to me

    Oh......happy Mother's Day everyone!
  12. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    Great review.
    Musicman1998 likes this.
  13. B. Bu Po

    B. Bu Po Forum Resident

    Nice to join this thread on Mothers Day. I saw the show at the Hollywood Bowl, with Tim Buckley and "The Doors" opening. Frank was still recovering from his deep purple "accident", conducting the group in his inimitable way. Wish I could remember more details, but I do recall it was awesome.
  14. B. Bu Po

    B. Bu Po Forum Resident

    Actually, his conducting style is quite imitable.
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  15. Musicman1998

    Musicman1998 And I'm The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    First off, how were Tim and The Three Doors?

    Also, Not even some silly old injuries could stop Frank from making music. You can’t say he was easily defeated.
    B. Bu Po likes this.
  16. I asked for Hot Rats for Christmas and got Waka/Jawaka instead (ya know, because it says Hot and Rats on the faucets). So I had W/J from a relatively early age and just fell in love with Big Swifty and the rest of the album. For no good reason, other than Zappa has an immense catalogue, I didn’t get The Grand Wazoo until much later, and don’t know it as well. So I am looking forward to diving in again and following along with this thread—thanks @Musicman1998. Happy Mothers Day!
  17. mcchocchoc

    mcchocchoc Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
  18. mcchocchoc

    mcchocchoc Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    ....hope it's ok to add another pic. a magazine ad . . .
  19. B. Bu Po

    B. Bu Po Forum Resident

    Tim Buckley I remember as enthralling. I didn't know his music well, so I was impressed.
    The Doors I wasn't expecting much from. I wasn't interested without Jim, and they had gone into that jazz-fusiony phase which I wasn't into. But that, now that I think of it, made them a good match for this era of Zappa. Buckley, on the other hand, was jazzy as well. Hey, that was a well-curated show!
    Anyway, the main thing I remember about The Doors is Ray Manzarek's vocals, which left something (Jim) to be desired, and his calling out to Jim: "Jim, I know you're out there!"
    Maybe I'm just an unfeeling hard-ass, but it was a little goofy.
  20. B. Bu Po

    B. Bu Po Forum Resident

    That's the one!
  21. B. Bu Po

    B. Bu Po Forum Resident

    You know, when you say "Tim and The Three Doors", that might really have been something!
    But, we should get back to the topic at hand...
    Musicman1998 likes this.
  22. Rne

    Rne Tangled up in blue

    Great picture, I hadn't seen it before.
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  23. Rne

    Rne Tangled up in blue

    Big difference. The 2012 remaster is the original mix without any reverb. The tracks are still switched, though, but that's never been a big problem to me.
    Musicman1998 likes this.
  24. Rne

    Rne Tangled up in blue

    The famous Duran/Gilmour telepathic event!
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  25. DaverJ

    DaverJ Forum Resident

    East Tennessee
    What was the reason/logic behind switching track order on re-releases?
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