Getting into Frank Zappa

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by englishbob, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. englishbob

    englishbob Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Kent, England
    I think I am at the stage of my life, both musically and in maturity, to fully appreciate Frank's music a lot more than I did 20+ odd years ago when I was given his "Guitar" album.

    Question is, where to start, and what would be essential if you had 10 to own for example?

    I'm mostly a vinyl purchaser, so I'd be interested to hear from members that have opinions on currently available pressings and if they are any good. Obtaining originals would obviously be too expensive.

    I've been listening / returning to this quite a bit recently, really like the sound. The performance of all the musicians is exceptional



    Thanks in advance
     
  2. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    That's my favourite period.
    Roxy album.. Overnight Sensation...Apostrophe!


    Well recorded as well!!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
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  3. Those are the three most obvious albums to listen to first, I suppose. However, they are relatively samey compared to Zappa's total discography. I personally wonder if it would be an idea to mix it up a bit more by substituting one of them with something different, such as Hot Rats.
     
    PDK likes this.
  4. Thoughtships

    Thoughtships Forum Resident

    Location:
    Devon, UK
    I'd take these...

    Hot Rats
    The Grand Wazoo
    Overnight Sensation
    One Size Fits All
    Apostrophe
    Waka/Jawaka
    Zoot Allures
    Lather
    Joe's Garage
    Sheik Yerbouti
     
  5. notgoblin

    notgoblin Active Member

    My first was You Are What You Is. Wonderful music and very funny. "I'll be harder than your husband.......to get along with...."
     
  6. To the contrary of some, and since buying Zappa vinyl album is not cheap, I for one would suggest tackling the very early albums with circumspection, both for the quality of the recordings and for the nature of the material itself. Things improve quite dramatically with Uncle Meat in 1969.

    One Size Fits All (1975) is a much surer bet for you to start with. A splendid album and a splendid recording. I hear that the present mastering and pressing job is awesome too.
     
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  7. Mook

    Mook Member

    Five great albums to get you started...

    1. One Size Fits All
    2. Roxy & Elsewhere
    3. Overnight Sensation
    4. Apostrophe
    5. Bongo Fury

    Having said that, pretty much everything he did from Hot Rats to Joe's Garage is golden from my perspective.
     
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  8. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Please label the photos you post

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Seems like someone starts this thread every month or so.
     
  9. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Forum Resident

    Location:
    Little Britain
    I like Franks more rock/jazz fusion albums and less his ventures into comedy, opera, vaudeville, doo-wop stuff.
    So I can recommend:
    Hot Rats
    One Size Fits All
    The Grand Wazoo
    Overnight Sensation
    Bongo Fury
    Apostrophe
    Waka/Jawaka
    Zoot Allures
    Burnt Weeny Sandwich
    You Are What You Is
    + the guitar instrumental albums
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
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  10. Jeff Kent

    Jeff Kent Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mt. Kisco, NY
  11. gregorya

    gregorya Forum Resident

    A testament to Mr. Zappa's enduring appeal.

    Too bad his fans don't have the restraint of the Beatles fans here... ;)
     
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  12. egebamyasi

    egebamyasi Forum Resident

    Location:
    Worcester, MA
    Or you could change the title to Your Ten Essential Zappa albums.

    Freak Out
    We're Only In It For The Money
    Uncle Meat
    Hot Rats
    Apostrophe
    Over-Nite Sensation
    Sheik Yerbouti
    Joe's Garage Act I
    You Are What You Is

    I guess I only have nine but there are plenty more to choose from.
     
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  13. PIGGIES

    PIGGIES Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Lol, he will :)
     
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  14. Jerquee

    Jerquee Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, NY
    Start here:

    Overnight Sensation
    One Size Fits All
    Apostrophe

    Then: Joe's Garage

    If you're looking for a much better collection of solo guitar: Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
     
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  15. Jeff Kent

    Jeff Kent Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mt. Kisco, NY
    Everyone has their favorite Zappa period and almost everyone has a least favorite one too. There's literally something for everyone. I love the early albums the Apostrophe/Roxy band, The Waka/Wazoo era and the 88 band. Since I got the 88 band recordings first, I like them best.

    If you like classical music at all you really need to get The Yellow Shark. I maintain that this is the way Frank hears the music in his head when he's composing therefore the most pure recordings of his compositions. Even if you don't like classical per se, you should hear these.
     
  16. englishbob

    englishbob Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Kent, England
    Well, I thought about that, but wanted to know if the currently issued vinyl editions where any good as well. I get the impression they are worth it?

    Obviously I'm in the UK so the most financially viable would be the European versions. Looking at Discogs though (example Apostrophe) the US and Euro ones have totally different matrix, so not strictly dealing with like-for-like here.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  17. seacliffe301

    seacliffe301 Forum Resident

    These, plus "Weasels Ripped My Flesh".
     
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  18. jawaka1000

    jawaka1000 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Yes they are !
    Most of them sound better then the originals.

    Don't make a fuzz, just get on the bus.
    It's a way of life!
    You'll love it!
    In Leather!
     
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  19. davmar77

    davmar77 I'd rather be drummin'...

    Location:
    clifton park,ny
  20. sbeaupre

    sbeaupre Active Member

    Location:
    MDI, ME
    I like the “ten essential” approach. If you boost it to 15, my list would be complete. But here are ten. Once you get to the late 70s my interest drops off.

    Absolutely Free
    We’re Only in It for the Money
    Uncle Meat
    Hot Rats
    Burnt Weeny Sandwich
    Weasels Ripped My Flesh
    200 Motels
    The Grand Wazoo
    Rosy & Elsewhere
    One Size Fits All
     
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  21. jawaka1000

    jawaka1000 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Netherlands
    These are my favorites:
    Lumpy gravy
    Hot rats
    Uncle meat
    Waka-jawaka
    Grand Wazoo
    You can't do that on stage anymore volume 2
    One size fits all
    Zappa in New York
    Sleep dirt
    Lather
    Shut up and play your guitar
    You are what you is
    Thing fish
    Yellow shark
    Civilization phaze 3
    Imaginary diseases
    and last but not least: Roxy the movie
     
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  22. thepigdog

    thepigdog New Member

    Location:
    Maine
    The Zappa Family Trust has released most of his albums. They sound pretty good. Too bad the family is so dysfunctional.
     
  23. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    I think You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore Vol. 1 still holds up as a nice appetizer of Zappa's oevure. ("Oevure where?")

    [​IMG]

    That is, if you're not allergic to CD's, OP.
     
  24. jeddy

    jeddy Forum Resident

    Zappa?
    Don't listen to him!
    He's gross and perverted
    obsessed and deranged

    he can't stay on a melody long enough to write a song!

    It's all just a a big heap of random mess
    with no skills from anyone involved.
    He's arrogant rude and ugly!
    How can anyone like that be any good?
     
  25. A bunch of these type of threads are yours to view here with a bit of searching.

    I'd start with Lather to get the full breadth of his genius.
     

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