Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life - Frank Zappa

This is a live album by Frank Zappa. It was recorded during his 1988 tour. I've been listening to Zappa now for about 2 years. This was one of the first albums by Zappa that I had heard songs from. The first full album was either Freak Out! or We're Only In It For The Money. But this original album cover was actually changed because Frank didn't have the "rights" to the picture in the box. It's stupid, but it wasn't in the 2012 reissue either. But I don't want to get to into specifics because I want to listen to the album. I did do a review of some other releases by his, but yeah, I figured I was listening to this, why not do on for it.
  1. Heavy Duty Judy: This is the beginning of the album, and it is an instrumental. I like this more than the first time I had heard it. This song was originally on 1981's Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar. The first record, not the one where they did all 3 together. I heard this version before I had heard the original.
  2. Ring of Fire: This is a "Reggae Version" of Ring of Fire that Frank learned the day it was performed because Johnny Cash couldn't make it. I don't know if this is true, but I still like this song. This was one of the first songs by Zappa that I heard. This, Jesus Thinks Your A Jerk, Lonesome Cowboy Burt (Swaggart Version),  and some others. This version of the song, because of Frank's comments, make it kind of laid back. This entire tour was kind of like that. I think that Frank figured this was his last so he didn't really care and wanted to make it fun. I might be wrong, but that's kind of what I got out of the Boots and the Official recordings from this tour.
  3. Cosmik Debris: This is a song that was originally on Apostrophe (') from March, 1974. That, along with the album before it, Over-Nite Sensation from September, 1973, were acclaimed as his two classic albums. You could argue that March 1979's Sheik Yerbouti is one, which I like that one more too, but from what I've gathered from people is they usually would say it's those two. Now that the history lesson is over this song is played like it is on the album, but its got the 1988 tour kind of vibe to it. Especially at my favorite part in the original part of the original right after it says "And I showed him how to do it right". I don't like this as much as the original though.
  4. Find Her Finer: This song was originally on October, 1976's Zoot Allures album. It's also on the 2009 album Philly '76. It's on other albums too, but I'm picking those two because it's closest to the original album release. This version seems more complex. Kind of like how Vegetables is a less complex version of Vege-Tables.
  5. Who Needs The Peace Corps?: They kind of played this song the same way, but they added in more horns. And also the reggae thing they did with some of the songs on the tour. This version isn't as, for last of better word, good as the 1968 WOIIFTM version. Maybe that's because I like that version more, but I don't know. It's not like he basically did a rewrite of the song. The song Lonesome Cowboy Burt is different on this album than on the original 1971 200 Motels albums.
  6. I Left My Heart In San Francisco: I think it's kind of funny they when form Who Needs The Peace Corps? where it says "Ill go to Frisco" and then they transition into this song. This is only 36 seconds long, but it's still kind of cool.
  7. Zomby Woof: They don't have that same like vocal sound as on the album but Ricky Lancelotti O.D.'d in 1980. This version of the song is a little different, especially in the solo. The strat that Frank played on the tour is probably part of the reason why, but there are also more of like a feeling of like space of improving in the song during the solo. Which that happens a lot on this, and like all of the Zappa tours.
  8. Bolero: This is a cover version of a song. This isn't on, to my knowledge, any other album. Well at least that have been officially released. I do like this song, and I think it's kind of a cool sounding instrumental. I actually really like this, now that I've heard it in it's entirety, there is a kind of like Egyptian thing that I'm getting from it. I might be wrong, but that's my view.
  9. Zoot Allures: This is off the 1976 album of the same name. I didn't care much for that album the first time I heard it, and I'm going to give it a re-listen  but not right now, I did recheck out the song that were on it, on this album. I haven't heard the original in about a year so I'm gonna wait to re-listen to it until I go in dept about this one. Well to date, this isn't really one of my favorite songs. I don't care much for really any of the versions on the song. I mean it isn't a bad song, but yeah.
  10. Mr. Green Genes: This is off 1968's Uncle Meat album from October of that year. This is different in the way that there are more like a '88 tour vibe. More horns and bass and such. Like I could see him renaming this Mr. Green Genes (New Age Version) like he did for the Black Page on 1991's Make A Jazz Noise Here. This served as like a transition into the next 3 tracks. This is a little faster than the Uncle Meat version.
  11. Florentine Pogen: This song, along with the next two, are off one of my favorite albums by the June 1975 album One Size Fits All. I didn't care for the album that much till hearing the 2012 UMe Remaster version which had the original analog recordings on it. Then I really liked it. This song has that '88 tour vibe to it. There are actually like bongos in the background that I heard. I don't like this as much as the 1975 album version, mainly because I like Napoleon's voice doing this song more than Ike's. But for this song, just like I think Johnny "Guitar" Watson's voice is awesome as Brown Moses and his thing that he does on Andy and San Ber'dino off OSFA.
  12. Andy: This song was a song that I was timid to listen to. I don't know why, I'll explain more in the OSFA review I'll do sometime, but yeah. After hearing the original version of the song, for real, I went wow. I think that I George is better for this song than Ike again, but you can only do so much. Why can't Johnny at least be there. Even on this version, its such a jamming song. I want to just pick up my guitar and strum along with it.
  13. Inca Roads: This song is one of my favorite songs ever. I don't think it's as good as the 1975 version or any of the 1974/1975 boots it's on. I actually like the bootleg I did a review of that was recorded on St. Patrick's Day 1988. But there is defiantly a like "New Age" taste to it. New Age isn't the right work, but it's more like an '88 tour version, instrumentation would be. The part where it goes "Guacamole Queen" is like slowed down a lot. That kind of takes away form that part, at least for me. And instead of saying "On Ruth" they said "On Bruce". Not a big ordeal, but I just wanted to mention it.
  14. Sofa #1: This song, long story short it was originally performed in 1971 with Flo and Eddie (see Carnegie Hall or Beat the Boots I: Swiss Cheese/Fire). Then it was reword, into two versions, for 1975's OSFA. Then it was worked for a band with horns and such, the instrumental version, then it was performed on this, pretty much the same way as on Zappa in New York
This is a two disc album, the second disc was mainly cover versions of songs from that tour, minus 4 or 5 of the 14 on that track too. In between the two discs I re-listened and restudied what I felt I needed to know for the review.
  1. Purple Haze: This isn't really anything like the Jimi Hendrix version of the song. On any album wither it be a live or studio album. I actually don't care for this version, but you could tell it wasn't that serious of a performance of the song. It seems more like industrial. It kind of sounds like a cover Devo would do.
  2. Sunshine of Your Love: This song flowed from the last. Its that still kind of Devo sound. Ike sounds like he does on Thing-Fish. Until the chorus. The guy who does the Johnny Cash impression then sings. It's actually kind of funny that Ike calls him the Man in Black. It's like a reference to Ring of Fire song they did earlier. I did that in-case anyone didn't know what that meant.
  3. Let's Move to Cleveland: I like this song. I'm not very familiar with it, but I like the way it sounds.
  4. When Irish Eyes Are Smiling: These next two tracks are from the 1988 St. Patrick's Day show that I did a review of.
  5. "Godfather Part II" Theme: This reminds me a ton of James Bond. But yeah.
  6. A Few Moments With Brother A. West: This is just some guy talking. I didn't feel like looking to deep into it. You will be able to tell what he's talking about if you listen to the track. I do think this is a good intro  though to Torture Never Stops.
  7. The Torture Never Stops, Pt. 1: This "part" is almost 5 1/2 minutes long. The "2nd part" is over 10 minutes. He plays it like he usually plays it, but there is the '88 tour little things. It actually is probably closest to the ZINY version. There is a part where it is speed up where there say the lyrics over other song melodies. A list of those songs are listed at here.
  8. Theme from "Bonanza": Whatever this is that theme. It's like a cowboy intro to Lonsome Cowboy Burt.
  9. Lonesome Cowboy Burt (Swaggart Version): This was one of the first Zappa songs I have ever heard. I really liked this song. I don't like it as much as I used to, but I still think it's alright. It's about, in this version, Jim Bakker. He is also talked about in the other "Swaggart Versions" of songs on this album, and Jesus Thinks Your A Jerk off 1988's Broadway The Hard Way. Which I did a review of.
  10. The Torture Never Stops, Pt. 2: This is just a solo. It's a solo. What else can I really say about it.
  11. More Trouble Every Day (Swaggart Version): This version of this song is a on that is defiantly from this tour. It has that kind of ''reggae'' thing, and also it talks about "Jimmy Swaggart".
  12. Penguin in Bondage (Swaggart Version): This is one of my favorite songs. But I'm not huge on this version of the song.  After this song I only have 20 minutes left. So I'm kind of glad for that.
  13. The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue: I haven't heard the original 1970 Weasel Ripped My Flesh version in a very long time. So before I heard this one I listened to that one. This is though, a song I could see Eric Dolphy playing.
  14. Stairway to Heaven: This isn't my favorite version of the song. The beginning is like Reggae arpeggios, if that makes any sense. I'd rather listen to that Bootleg version from St. Patty's Day. This is a great way to end an album though. Especially one that was almost two hours long. This has the silly sounds in it, but the solo is horns playing the solo intro. Some live version had an improved solo by Frank, but this one used the horn version. Frank took 3 different live performances, as he did for a lot of his live albums, and cut them up to keep the ''good parts'' and got rid of the ''bad'' and combine the ''good parts'' he liked to get the track that we have here, and other ones too. He did that with all, but one, guitar solo for the album Joe's Garage.
Overall I have to give this a 8/10. I don't know why I really keep reviewing the '88 tour, but I still have some more listening to do. I do like some of these songs than I did back a year ago. Maybe in a year I'll love this album. But for right now, I'm not huge on it. It's a pretty long one too.

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