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Frank Zappa: were to start?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by dadodetres, May 12, 2005.

  1. dadodetres


    Dec 19, 2004
    ok, never listened to Zappa, but heard great things about him.

    some friends told me i would love hes music.

    what albumn do you recomend mne to start with?

    im a big pink floyd fan, and also like everything from less claypool.....
  2. dadodetres


    Dec 19, 2004
    also, a store here is selling "does humor belong in music" dvd, do you recomend it? its a live concert , right?
  3. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    It depends on which "style" of music you are into. Personally his stuff from the 70's really rocks my boat.

    For a new listener - my two best recommendations are "Strictly Commercial" the best of FZ or "The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life" which is a two CD live set from the 84 tour which covers music from almost every era.

    BTW its not "easy" music like Primus or Floyd - sometimes Zappa takes a lot of listening to be able to see the forest through the trees.

    Oh - another great starter would be "Hot Rats" but it is mostly instrumental so you wont get an idea of his lyrics / sense of humour.
  4. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    Start with

    1 One size Fits All
    2 Overnight Sensation
    3 Joes Garage

    All conventional Pop song based stuff.

    Great Musician

  5. I would start with:

    -The best band you never heard in your life
    -Make a Jazz Noise here
    -Joe's Garage
    -Zappa in New York

  6. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Hots Rats
    Fillmore East 1971
    Overnight Sensation
    Sleep Dirt
    Shut Up And Play Yer Guitar
  7. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hard question, because Zappa's music encompasses many diverse styles. He recorded guitar-oriented albums, big band, symphonic orchestra, lyric-oriented songs with his typical sense of humor... so I'll give you my opinions:

    For guitar-oriented music: Hot Rats (essential listening IMO) and Shut Up'n'play Yer Guitar.
    Big Band: The Grand Wazoo.
    Orchestral: The Yellow Shark.

    And if you want to listen a tight, solid rock band: Roxy And Elsewhere (or You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore vol. 2 - very similar IMO), Joe's Garage (this will also amuse you with a really twisted-mind history) and The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life (this one with an excellent 5-piece horn section. Zappa released just three live albums with this lineup. The other two are "Broadway The Hardway" and "Make A Jazz Noise Here". All excellent). Also, the live tracks from "Bongo Fury" which DON'T feature Captain Beefheart (I really hate his voice) like "Carolina Hardcore Ecstasy" and "Muffin Man" are excellent. "Freak Out!" (FZ's first album) has a very 60's sound which I enjoy a lot.

    Again, really hard question. I have 46 Zappa original titles in my CD collection.
  8. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    That was the '88 tour, Mark (typo?). The '84 band is very well documented in the "You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore" series and in "Does Humor Belong In Music?". This one is also a great album. For both tours the lineup was practically the same, but in 84 there were Alan Zavod on keys and Bobby Martin on sax and French horn instead of the full wind section, which is the reason why I prefer TBBYNHIYL. The track I like to listen the most from DHBIM? is "What's New In Baltimore?" because of "How about that chord that Ray played?"

    Forgot that YCDTOSA vol. 2 has the excellent live version of "Inca Roads". One of Zappa's best guitar solos can be found in that track.
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Baby Snakes would be a nice DVD to get a hold of.
  10. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Strictly Commercial is a fantastic start point... it's the best of Frank Zappa but unlike stuff like "Cheep Thrills" it's like... his weird take on pop music (rock, dance, disco, funk, jazz), it's not overly Avante Gardey... you will most definatly dig.

    Apostrophe is another must that almost everyone loves, and the title track features some bad ass bassin' by Mr. Jack Bruce of Cream.
  11. hieronymous


    Nov 28, 2002
    Northern CA
    Does Humour Belong in Music is decent - not one of my favorite albums, though the first track, "Zoot Allures," is great. As long as it isn't too expensive, I would say grab it! I've been listening to Frank Zappa since I was around 12 (Live at the Fillmore was given to me by a friend of my dad's on the B-side of a cassette with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers being the intended gift - I've never been the same since! :eek: ) and to this day I can still listen to his music and learn new things...
  12. oldfclefer

    oldfclefer low ended

    May 5, 2005
    Southern Ohio
    I like We're Only In It For The Money, Tinseltown Rebellion and Weasels Ripped My Flesh also Joe's Garge Vol 1.
    If you've never heard Zappa, you are in for a treat!

  13. As an introduction:

    Overnite Sensation
    One Size Fits All
    Hot Rats
  14. Baby Snakes is awesome. Great Bozzio and Belew footage too!
  15. Jherrera

    Jherrera Guest

    Sep 25, 2004
    You Can't Do That on Stage Vol 2. and Vol 5. (second disc of vol 5 is a much "easier listen" than disc 1) both of these are essential and perfect.
  16. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I never thought someone was going to mention YCDTOSA vol. 5. I respectfully disagree. Disc 2 is great, but disc 1 has been pure crap to me.
  17. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    And if you want an ingenious cover art, check "Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A drowning Witch". Not one of my favorite albums, but "Drowning Witch" is a great track. "Valley Girl" is also included in "Strictly Commercial".



    you can figure the rest out from there
  19. I heard Joe's Garage, my introduction to Zappa, while I was chemically enhanced about 15 years ago. Great musicians, great story, and it's pretty funny, while keeping up it's musical integrity.

    I quit enhancing myself chemically years ago, and my Zappa collection is about 70 CD's.

    They have all been mentioned, but I would recomend:

    Joe's Garage
    Roxy and Elsewhere
    Hot Rats
    Sheik Yerbouti
    Filmore East
    Broadway the Hardway

    Also, check out the movies, Baby Snakes and Does Humor Belong in Music?. Two different periods, two different bands, all great stuff.

    By the way, does anybody know when the Roxy DVD is supposed to become a reality?
  20. Zappa's catalog is so big, it's hard to pinpoint any one thing. The before mentioned albums are somewhat accessable as an introduction. Just be careful of the lyrical content around young children and elderly ladies.

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