Frank Zappa Song By Song Thread (1966-96)*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Zoot Marimba, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    Let’s try this again:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    Looks like the folks have already summed up the Goose well.
    Yes this is the heart of II and III ....
    It starts off like this bouncy dance song or something and then moves into this beautiful multi-time signature piece of greatness.
    We have an interesting set up with the lyric too. We have a the context of the play, where Joe is dissing imaginary critics, of his imaginary music, but of course the lyrics are very easily transcribed to a real world scenario.
    I always found the first breakdown "Wonder what became of Mary" quite beautiful. That vocal is beautiful. Also as mentioned the little Dale Bozzio spoken section is great too.
    Then we move into a great staccato section, that explodes into more fantastic Zappa guitar. Hard to look past this track.
     
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    This is like a calming massage after some MMA.
    This is one of the most beautiful guitar pieces Zappa ever did. The guitar sound, that he seemed to try many times after to better, but never quite did, is simply mesmerizing.
    I love this
     
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  4. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    My Top 5 Artists on Spotify this year:
    [​IMG]
    In case the image ends up vanishing:
    1. Frank Zappa
    2. Little Feat
    3. The Mothers Of Invention
    4. King Crimson
    5. Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band
     
  5. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    Been busy with other things, so if anybody wants to take the last track and overall thoughts, go for it! @Rne @mark winstanley @Fastnbulbous, any of you can go.
     
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  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    Ok. I got it
     
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  7. jeddy

    jeddy Forum Resident

    one of my all time fave Zapp tunes

    I like the various live versions better however...

    and 11/8 time signature!!!!
     
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  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    A Little Green Rosetta


    I guess for most people this song is just a bit of nonsense ... and to a degree it is ... but I love it.
    For the Conceptual Continuity folks, it is fairly obvious that this track ties into the Muffin Man from Bongo Fury.
    We are once again given an introduction by the Central Scrutinizer, and I think it is fair for me to say, he is one of my favourite characters ever put on a record. I love the overblown descriptions. I love that Zappa called his recording studio the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen. I love even more that he uses that name on his records in a mildly sarcastic way. I love the irony that an album of music is made to tell us that music will really **** up your life. I love that he announces that he is going to put down his little plastic mega-phone to sing the last song on the album in his real voice.
    This song is the only song on a Zappa album that has every member of the band singing on the out-chorus.
    To be honest I have very often wondered if Zappa, although a fairly staunch anti-drugs guy, sat down and rolled a little green rosetta with the guys as a musical experiment or something. So many of the little lyrical implications on this track suggest that is what the lyric is about. I sure would like someone to set me straight on that.
    In spite of all the musical madness on here, and the fact that this is a somewhat simplistic tune for FZ.
    We get some fantastic drums, and a somewhat sarcastic reference to Steve Gadd, who was at the time the most highly paid session drummer in the world, I believe. We have layers of stuff going on ... and as much as one would imagine I would skip this track when listening to this album for the hundredth time.... it always get played.
    I love the clowning around on the lyric and the silly little stories that pop in - the Japanese Sandman - the Steve Gadd thing - the kerosene record player thing ... it all just adds up to a ton of fun.
    So the song bops along with its happy little groove, and lives a life completely removed from the rest of the album, yet ties in beautifully and finishes the album on a hazy high of fun.

     
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  9. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    Like many songs on Joe's Garage, "Rosetta" is an old song that Zappa repurposed to fit this set. Here's the earlier, fragmentary version, probably recorded at the same session as the intro to "Muffin Man" (Bongo Fury):

     
  10. kendo

    kendo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oot Beh,Scotland
    Packard Goose -> Watermelon In Easter Hay = Peak Zappa IMO ...(today :) ).
    He and his musicians never sounded better.
     
  11. Fastnbulbous

    Fastnbulbous Doubleplus Ungood

    Location:
    Washington DC USA
    LGR is a perfect way to close the album, chock full as it is of sardonic in-jokes and drenched in CC. That outtake posted by @pbusby is killer too.

    I wonder how Gadd entered the rich pantheon of Zappa characters. I assume they met on one of Frank's SNL appearances when Gadd was with the house band. Looking at his bio I'm amazed by the variety and number of sessions he worked. Gotta be a backstory there!
     
  12. Fastnbulbous

    Fastnbulbous Doubleplus Ungood

    Location:
    Washington DC USA
    He was certainly anti-drug in his personal life, as we know, and he wouldn't abide it while his musicians were working. But he also knew perfectly well that his music had massive appeal to '70s stoners and he wasn't above playing to this in his lyrics. His rather cringeworthy appearance on SNL (Coneheads sketch) also riffed on this theme IIRC.
     
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  13. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    Apparently, he tried it once with Mark and Howard according to Howard’s book.
     
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  14. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    I don't know if Gadd and FZ met. Vinnie and other band members probably knew Gadd's playing and maybe FZ heard them talk about it.
     
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  15. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    I loved reading about your enjoyment.

    Despite the love and attention his earlier bands routinely (and deservedly!) get, and despite accusations of being overlong and a bit too much all-over-the-shop, I've always felt Joe's Garage was one of Frank's biggest and most enduring achievements. It's such a layered piece of work, with much to get one's teeth into, not just musically but lyrically as well. One of those albums that you like at the beginning but end up loving the more you play it and the more you get out of it on different levels.

    As for the green rosettas, I'm afraid only one person could really set us straight on what all that's supposed to mean, but he's spent the last 26 years being very quiet, sadly.

    My take on the album's ending is that Joe's gotten in so much trouble and has had such a hard time because of music that he quits and ends up getting a job frosting muffins with green rosettes. Like I previously mentioned elsewhere, the walrus was Paul and Joe was the Muffin Man.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    I think because Zappa wore so many different coats, that folks feel they need to pick a favourite one and stick with it.... I don't love every album across the catalog, but I love the fact that I don't, because it means he was continuing to push boundaries, and that is really important for a guy who is making music over such a long period of time. Having said that though, there isn't a period that doesn't have an album I love.
    For me personally the seventies is my favourite Zappa period, and Joe's Garage is like the pinnacle of the seventies mountain in a lot of respects. It is so well conceived, and executed. It is so entertaining..... It is musically wonderful, in terms of the writing, Zappa's guitar playing, the ensemble all just hitting the mark, but it has the added bonus, for me at least, of having that Monty Python quality that leaves sections permanently embedded in the mind ... and little pieces of it come out in conversations with those who know, and sometimes just to wilder those who don't.
    I reckon it is a classic album, but also a classic play/rock opera ... whatever we want to call it, and like I think Zoot said, it is a shame that this hasn't been attempted as a movie/play/ or perhaps a multimedia event :)
     
  17. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    "Where's 5?"
     
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  18. gd0

    gd0 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies

    Location:
    Golden Gate
    They're purty good musicians.
     
  19. jeddy

    jeddy Forum Resident

    wasn't there a stage play of Joe's Garage?
     
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  20. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    A Little Green Rosetta:
    I first want to thank @mark winstanley for his review.
    This is a quirky little number where Frank sort of lets his guard down in a way he rarely ever did. You have Ed’s marimba (ha!) and some effects to compliment Frank’s vocals. It’s one of the weaker songs on the album but it’s an enjoyable track when I’m in the right mood.

    Overall, the album is not perfect, but it’s a very strong album overall and possibly the last true classic in the Zappa Canon. Excellent performances by Frank and company, Frank delivers some of his best writing and arrangements on here, the production really allows the instrumentation to perk up. I can definitely recommend this one for sure.

    If anybody would like, we can also talk about Zappa related releases throughout the seventies, be it the work of former bandmembers or an album that Frank had a hand in such as that Grand Funk album.
     
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  21. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

  22. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    I hear you. Me, I'd give the "last classic" title to You Are What You Is, though. :)
     
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  23. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    As far as his rock albums, yes. Then you could combine the best of the next few albums to create one more classic double album.
     
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  24. Fastnbulbous

    Fastnbulbous Doubleplus Ungood

    Location:
    Washington DC USA
    I'm afraid JG is the end of the road as far as "classics from the Zappa canon" for me. Love the guitar and orchestral stuff, but the "social commentary" and novelty numbers haven't aged well at all.
     
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  25. gd0

    gd0 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies

    Location:
    Golden Gate
    Wimps! :laugh:

    [​IMG]
     

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