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FRANK ZAPPA/Sheik Yerbouti: Ah, you kids today take it for granted when the world is falling apart, but back in 1979, when the world was falling apart, it was still a big deal. And there was Zappa to lead us through the morass with one of his more hard hitting albums that dropped singles and would be singles left and right, from "Dancin' Fool" to "Jewish Princess" to "Broken Hearts are for Assholes". With a rock solid line up powering the proceedings and Adrian Belew still on his way to Bowie, Crimson and Paul Simon zinging the strings there's nothing here that doesn't hit the nail on the head in a way most satisfying to any generation and style of Zappa fan. It's hard to point a finger at what his most protean album is, but this is riding high on the list, toe to toe with each era's classic. Except for the remastering, all the elements seem to be restored to the original 1979 vinyl edition glory making all previous cd editions relics and collectors items--particularly for the geeks that savor aberrations. As much of a cross generational uniter as a classic Sinatra album, anyone who ever wanted to deliver a smash in the mouth to the forces working against us will love the way this set stands and delivers. Much more than a message in a bottle, this is rock rebellion at it's generational finest.

FRANK ZAPPA/Grand Wazoo: Comedy fans, you can tune out here, this is Zappa in a jazz big band mode, that of course, is played from a bandstand on Mars. With a load of talented and name cats in tow, his knack for turning up the best of the best, even if everyone else didn't know it yet, was in fine fettle. It doesn't hurt if you appreciate Sun Ra, Monk or cats like that before you byte into this because you ain't getting no Woody Herman/Maynard Ferguson jazz big band here. Sure, there's stuff college marching bands on acid could turn to, but it would be a lot harder to learn than Louie Prima or "Peter Gunn". Wild stuff that you can enjoy with avant garde ears and not need black clothes or foreign cigarettes.

FRANK ZAPPA/Zoot Allures: And yet another amazing record that confounded the typical Zappa fan. With ace players on the cover that had nothing to do with the record, here we find Zappa playing most of the instruments most of the time himself and coming with a highly credible heavy metal album complete with a song you always blamed Sting for, "The Torture Never Stops". Deep, dark and yet another example of yet another time zone Zappa was calling to us from, this set is Zappa coming at you from such an unexpected yet timely direction that it's a shame for any self respecting 70s styled metal head to miss this boat. A wild ride through one of the lesser circles of Zappa's vision of hell, you don't need horror movies when you have this slice of audio genius. And yes, the title is a sonic play on the French words for ‘oh, shit'.

Volume 35/Number 353
October 18, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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