Frank Zappa Song By Song Thread (1966-96)*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Zoot Marimba, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I wonder why 'No No No' 's title alone is in inverted commas.

    'Jelly Roll Gum Drop' always sounded like an aberration on this record to me: it's got that Northern Soul style 'do do do do' rhythm that makes it sound (musically at least) like more of a 60s pop pastiche than a 50s one.

    I love the wordless crying singing from 1.11-1.31 on 'Stull Up The Cracks': once again, it evokes the despair of the eternal wronged 50s teenager so brilliantly: I can just see the camera in the movie of the song zooming out and panning across an aerial view of uncaring terrain of suburban houses as he weeps alone somewhere below.
     
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  2. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia
    I couldn’t tell if it was Bunk or Motorhead, I knew it had to be one of those two.
     
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  3. Rne

    Rne Sufferin' succotash!

    Location:
    Malaver
    Hey, to be honest, we got no real evidence. For all we know, it could have been Ian too! :laugh:
     
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  4. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia
    I say it’s Macca.

    Ohmyga, Beatles!
     
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  5. trebori

    trebori Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    When I first bought this record, at the time it was released, I found it in my local Woolworth's ($2.98, IIRC) and wasn't even sure it was a Mothers record but it had to be. Was so disappointed because it was "straight 50s music and bubblegum (or whatever)". And I thought Frank was pulling one on his fans. The only track I liked was "Stuff Up The Cracks". And that was even before the guitar solo started. It was the only track from the album I listened to for a while. But then, the whole thing started to grow on me.

    Now it's right up there with the first five (if you include Lumpy Gravy). It's really as good as anything he did at that time and it's given me great pleasure over the past (nearly) 50 years.

    For what it's worth, I always thought the sax solo was on alto and assumed it was Ian Underwood.
     
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  6. Rne

    Rne Sufferin' succotash!

    Location:
    Malaver
    We need a separate thread for the "Stuff Up The Cracks" sax controversy :D
     
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  7. mcchocchoc

    mcchocchoc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Haha. Well, you are correct. Bunk on tenor.

    I didn't get any alerts for the thread today. Stuff Up The Cracks, a perfect song to end the album. Along with 'Anything', my favorite song on the album. Very nice solo from Frank, it oozes out of the speakers. It also hints at things to come guitar-wise.

    Yay, Uncle Meat up next!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. SJR

    SJR Forum Resident

    Just finished listening to the latest remaster — great stuff, sounds fantastic!

    "Darling, darling, please hear my plea; God only knows what your loving does to me" . . .

    [​IMG]
    1968/2016 (Zappa Official Release #5) Zappa Records ‎– ZR 3838-1
     
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  9. Beatnik_Daddyo'73

    Beatnik_Daddyo'73 Music Addiction Personified

  10. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    Still got MY copy of this!
    Can't tell you the last time I watched it.....
     
  11. Rne

    Rne Sufferin' succotash!

    Location:
    Malaver
    What a waste of video tape (except for the Royal Festival Hall parts).
     
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  12. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia
    Hey let’s catch up with
    Uncle Meat
    [​IMG]
    Uncle Meat is the fifth studio album by The Mothers Of Invention and last before the group’s breakup. The album, released April 21, 1969 on Bizarre/Reprise Records, was the last in a conceptual series known as No Commercial Potential that comprised of Lumpy Gravy, We’re Only In It For The Money, and Cruising With Ruben & The Jets. It was also meant to be the soundtrack to a science fiction film as directed by Frank, but said film was left unfinished and not released until 1987.
    It also contains the last Recordings with Billy Mundi before his departure to join a group called Rhinoceros (as acknowledged in the album credits). Also making an Early Bird Cameo is Ruth Underwood (or Ruth Komanoff at this time), who plays percussion on this record alongside Art Tripp.

    Uncle Meat: Main Title Theme

    Starting off the record is the Main Title Theme, which gives you a little taste of what’s coming up.
    The track is lead by Art (or Ruth) on the Marimba while Ian plays some nice harpsichord and Art plays a good solid marching beat in rhythmic support. The horns also throw in some little licks before the song slows down to a Victorian ballet before going all musiquita concrete.
    Overall a fantastic opener that lets you know this is not just any album and you’re going into some new territory for these guys.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  13. Jazzmonkie

    Jazzmonkie Can't stop buying music.

    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    One of my all time favorites. It really opened up my ears and expanded my musical horizons. I was so happy to see Ruth live on the 10th anniversary tour.
     
  14. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia
  15. mcchocchoc

    mcchocchoc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Same here, an all time favorite. One of Frank's many masterpieces. An amazing collection of music. Frank was cutting-edge with the use of the studio.

    Uncle Meat: Main Title Theme is an amazing opening piece.
    Powerful stuff.
     
  16. Beatnik_Daddyo'73

    Beatnik_Daddyo'73 Music Addiction Personified

    ...nice little intro to one of my absolute favorites by Zappa & The Mutha’s. Got Meat Light playing right now :cool::thumbsup:
     
  17. Rne

    Rne Sufferin' succotash!

    Location:
    Malaver
    One of my favorite albums by anyone. A masterpiece. The first Mothers album I loved from the get go.

    The opening track features one of Frank's most memorable melodies arranged for xylophone, harpsichord and snare drum, plus a coda for harpsichord, xylophone and winds.
    I don't think it's Jim the one playing the snare drum here. It must be Artie (or maybe even Frank, or Ruth, but we will never know). We can't also know for sure who's handling the vibes, but we only have two options: Artie or Ruth. Maybe both. Regarding the harpsichord, it must be Ian due to the classical nature of the material. We also get some woodwinds modified to sound like trumpets.

    To wrap up the piece, some electric noises flow gently until Suzy Creamcheese makes her appearance.

    This ain't rock, people.
     
  18. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia
    I would assume if not Jim Than Art is playing the snare.
     
  19. Rne

    Rne Sufferin' succotash!

    Location:
    Malaver
    Yes, that's my first thought, but we know that Frank could play that material on snare, and Ruth was hanging around too. I would say that the safest assumption would be Arthur Dyer Tripp III.

    Meat Light includes a true gem called "Exercise 4 Variant" which consists of variations on the "Uncle Meat" theme played on keyboards, "Uncle Meat: Main Title Theme" without snare drum, and the coda used in "The Legend of the Golden Arches". Extremely beautiful.
     
  20. mcchocchoc

    mcchocchoc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
  21. mcchocchoc

    mcchocchoc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
  22. mcchocchoc

    mcchocchoc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
  23. Beatnik_Daddyo'73

    Beatnik_Daddyo'73 Music Addiction Personified

    ...if I saw this ad and knew nothing of the Mutha’s or Zappa I would still have to get it! That’s art right there!
     
  24. Lightworker

    Lightworker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    It's no fluke that this is the only Zappa/Mothers song that the Teenage Fanclub guys ever covered...they just couldn't resist a pure 60s pop nugget like AWTWB.
     
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  25. mark winstanley

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

    Ahhhh Uncle Meat.
    The first time I heard this album, it was somewhat bizarre to me. I was still fairly new to the world of Zappa, and my honest first initial impression was "wtf is this?" ... Don't hate on me, as a teenager this was pretty far removed from the Kiss and Beatles I was used to (not to mention the top forty new wave stuff) .... This is even quite removed from Zappa's seventies output that I had become accustomed to and really enjoyed.
    I guess when I went back in time I was expecting something different, and it sure was different, just not the different I was expecting .... anyhow.
    Now that I have grown accustomed to Frank over the years, I can really enjoy this album and the other more oddball sixties albums (i do not use oddball in a derogatory sense there)...

    The opening theme is a perfect example. To "fresh off the top forty" ears, this is weird, percussive, march music, using weird instruments and following some kind of weirdo melodic flow, akin to someone having a seizure trying to do a line dance ... once the shock of something so different wears off and you attune yourself to what is going on here .. We do certainly have a march of sorts, but it is very organised, rather than the chaos it first seemed. Also the melodic structure is quite sensational and the unusual to the ears timbres suddenly become compelling draws that lead you along this march.
    There is such beautiful musical depth to this, that you are startled by your own inability to hear it the first time. There is such a flow of melody and rhythm that you almost want to call Frank and apologise for not getting it instantly.

    This sure is a special album, as in the end most Zappa albums are, but like it was when you first heard an album of his, and were challenged by it, don't expect that the challenge is overcome. even the most hardcore Zappa fan is surely often being challenged by the array of music, sounds and ideas that have come from this great musician and composer's mind.

    Welcome to Meat World
     

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