Friday, November 8, 2013

Zoot Allures - Frank Zappa

This is the first album since the final ending of The Mothers of Invention. Though there are some Mothers on this album, Terry Bozzio, Captain Beefheart, among a few others. This is pretty much like Zappa's Diamond Dogs. Why may you ask I said this. Not because it's stylistically, but because they both played main parts with fewer contributions from others. I feel that overall though this was kind of just put together. But this was released on Warner after a dispute on his own DiscReet Records and Herb his business partner. That led to Bat Chain Puller not being released until 2012.
  1. Wind Up Working At A Gas Station: Davey the guy who sings on this also sings on Lemme Take You To The Beach. This song continues the continuity of gas stations. You can hear his voice in the backing vocals. This is a good intro and grabs your attention. Though the lyrics are still silly that doesn't really ruin the song. I like the counter voices part. Good example is like in the end of New Religion by Duran Duran. It's a quick 2:30. A decent track {6/10}
  2. Black Napkins: This became one of Zappa's most famous guitar pieces. Along with instrumentals like Zoot Allures and Watermelon In Easter Hay, I don't think that there are many that top in terms of being known. The Deathless Horsie is great, but I don't think it's probably as well known. Of the 4 mentioned two are on this album. This song is smooth and kind of relaxing. It was "captured" at Osaka, Japan in 1976 on February 3rd. I don't know if there are overdubs on this track or not. The outro is better than the rest. Where it kind of doubles tempo or speeds up. I think it sounds cool. 
  3. The Torture Never Stops: The only thing Zappa doesn't do on this track is drums and moans. This is an awesome track. He, along with, Gail and another woman recorded several hours of "recreational activities" audio. That is the moans and squeaks and squeals in this track. This is a dark track and great when it comes to imagery. Even with lines like "the night of the iron sausage" this is still dark. There is a picture that happens in this song and those moans fit it. It's sick he put those in there and they fit. And the keys are pretty sick, pre-chorus,  and also chorus. The long solo in this song is played and the moans "solo" too. I couldn't imagine going on a date then playing this song. Well, unless you're into that Läther stuff. "Choke me out, gauge me with a spoon" you know what I mean? I do have to be in the mood to tolerate this long solo though. The tracks fine, it's just that part. I love the "pig squeals" right before the lyrics come back in. Post solo there is an interesting part right at "locked away down there". That instrumental "fill" after the line. That's sick. The ending of this song is a pretty cool. I enjoy it, and think that sit is kind of worth it. The ending is not just a repeat of the beginning, it's kind of messed with. It makes it neat. Solid bass line to. 
  4. Ms Pinky: Out of the numerous versions of this track, my least favorite is this one. This is the backing track for Thing-Fish's version too. I don't care for the darkness of the instruments. That's odd for me to say, but let me explain a little better. The guitar/bass overdrive thing isn't doing it for me. Maybe it'd sound better on vinyl and make the crunch warmer, but right now I'm just ok with it. This track is much more interesting on Buffalo or YCDTOSA, Vol. 6. This is a good song, but not so much this version. This song is also classic Zappa sexual humor with this being about a sex toy. 
  5. Find Her Finer: This song has a kind of country vibe to it with the harmonica. Like the last song, this is a sexual themed song. Except this is about, as on Philly '76 the "virtual instruction booklet on how to do it". "It" being how to get laid. This song is just ok, I don't think that it's anything that amazing. I like Lady Bianca's vocals in the Philly version more. I think they add more of an atmosphere.
  6. Friendly Little Finger: This track is much better than the prior. This was supposedly, according to the man himself, a creation of Xenchrony. I like this more than the prior track. I like how it fits but it's kind of off, it's like Rubber Shirts but this has more of a drive to it. This is solid enough to be alone by itself. It's kind of like complete madness. But I like that its like that. The very ending reminds me of Aerosmith. This track is sick, better on the 2012 Remaster and contains the intro to Wonderful Wino.
  7. Wonderful Wino: The music for the track was written by Simmons and the lyrics by FZPart of this track date back to about '73. Tracks like this are the reason Zappa bootlegs rock. There are a bunch of different versions, live and studio, of this song. The original Jeff Simmons' track from 1970, the Flo & Eddie live version (playground psychotics, or freaks & motherfu*#@%!), the Ricky Lancelotti version from 1973 (lost episodes), this version. I don't know what my favorite version is, but I know it's not this one. This is a solid version, but I'm not huge on Frank's voice in the track. You understand what he's saying but it's ultimately between Ricky and Jeff for the best version. The same backing track on Ricky's was the same as this albums version.
  8. Zoot Allures: This song is basically chords. It's not all that complex of what I imagined it to be based of it being the title track. This is really chill-axed a ton. This is a song I could see someone smoking too. This is another of Zappa's self claimed signature pieces. This is a very unique song and I like the bizarre vibe from it. Also the vibraphones in this track (?). The solo is playing over a solid backing that contains a harp or something that sounds like a harp. It's hard to hear, but pretty. The song fades out.
  9. Disco Boy: This is a solid track, the 2012 Cd having the full intro and outro of the song. This is a fun song and glad to hear the whole thing. The 2012 remaster has something's I don't remember, mainly because the Ryko cut it out. The guitar in this track is cool and a towards the end sounds like a surf guitar a little. There are parts where it kind of just pops up (synth), but sounds cool. This is slow though and not very exciting. It kind of drags a little. I like the synths too. I like the guitar at the end, before it gets distorted. 
Overall I have to give this album a 6/10. This is his most "Straight"-"Forward"* album I know of by him. This is certainly has an atmosphere to it, and it's dark and it's dry. I wouldn't want to hang around this guy based on this album. This is not a first discover album for someone who wants to get into him, but this is a good album for maybe a guitarist.

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