Favorite Zappa Album

lamartee

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A comment from another thread by gmiller... got me thinking about my favorite Frank Zappa album.

For me it would be a toss-up between "Bongo Fury" and "Apostrophe(')"
 

MntnMan62

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For me its a toss up between One Size Fits All, Roxy and Elsewhere, Bongo Fury, Apostrophe and Overnight Sensation. Too difficult to choose a "best one". They are all so good.
 

JDA

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first bought a Zappa album in 1971; then went backwards a little to his earliest and forward to Roxy and Zoot Allures when I stopped.
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Apostrophe (kinda peak studio proficient Zappa) and Overnight Sensation
Zoot Allures (for Black Napkins live w/TB and the rest of it) (Disco Boy run to the mirror and comb your hair)
(the one with "Any Way The Wind Blows") Freak Out ("Who Could Imagine they would Freak Out in..") We're Only In It For The Money ("What's there To Live For Who Needs The Peace Corp")
Live at The Fillmore 1971 (the white album)
Just Another Band From L.A. (cover art)


doing his best Petula Clark:


"I re-primer ed the right front fender man"

 
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Supernoodle

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First one I played over and over was Sheik Yerbouti (very entertaining with Terry Bozzio featured heavily!) and Overnite Sensation (Ralph Humphrey)

Still like these a lot, also his last album Them or us (Chad Wackerman on drums), also saw them in concert in this lineup as a kid, where I was hoping to hear them do stuff from Sheik Yerbouti, which they didn't of course...
 

Grooovepig

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For me it would have to be Joes Garage and Baby Snakes. Just otherwordly drumming by two monsters; Vince Colauita and Terry Ted Bozzio. You can't go wrong with these two.

Honorable mention to Tinsel Town Rebellion. Some more fantastic playing with a good dose of comedy and snark.
 

frankmott

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The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life. Live album of the last touring band. Bits of it were from his last Cleveland show, which I attended. I saw FZ six times, from '76 on. His live shows just kept getting better and better. Wackerman was FZ's studio and live drummer for the last 11 years -- the longest anyone sat in that chair.

No drummers, but I also really like Jazz from Hell and The Yellow Shark (his last). Of course, they're all good.
 

Ickybaby

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Sentimentally I like Broadway The Hard Way the most (CD version) because I was at the Chicago show where Sting showed up and sang Murder By Numbers.

The first one I heard is my all time favorite though..."Just Another Band From L.A."..... I was in 4th grade, baby sitting my cousin John who had (has) hippy parents (not too hippy cuz they named him John)....anyway I asked him which of his dad's 5000 albums we should play and he (about 6 at the time) said Billy the Mountain and grabbed the record. I was hooked.

I think the Roxy (Mark III) band is the best FZ had that could balance out of this world musicianship with organic feel. Some of his later bands, great as the players were/are.... just leave me a bit cold. YMMV.
 

michaelg

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Don't listen much to Zappa nowadays but loved him when i was younger. So many great albums and playing.

Put on his later "Civilization phase 3" about a month ago and found it quite an emotional ride that stayed with me for a few days.

Death, personal isolation, stupidly,modern civilization are just some of its hefty themes. I think he foresaw where humanity is hurtling towards and its not pretty.

The level of disgust and resignation towards humanity is really palpable on that one. That record gives me the shivers.



PS "Live in New York" and "make a jazz noise here" were also some of my favorites.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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Joe’s Garage is the album I discovered Zappa . I was a teen and at a party and one of my friends had the album and out it on . I literally listened to it start to finish twice and then I was hooked . Just brilliant musicianship .
 

bob

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just another band from la
apostrophe
we're only in it for the money
overnight sensation
zoot allures
live at the fillmore
i also have 2 of his , reuben and the jets , cd's
 

Skyrm

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The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life. Live album of the last touring band. Bits of it were from his last Cleveland show, which I attended. I saw FZ six times, from '76 on. His live shows just kept getting better and better.
Did you see the abruptly cut-short Blossom show? How about the next one, at the Front Row? I loved his stage setup concept there. No one else took as much advantage of the rotating round stage!!

I also saw him at Public Hall twice. Once with Bozzio and once with Vinnie.
 

Pounder

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up until about Tinseltown Rebellion I was a Zappa fan and completionist. I had some 30+ albums. I was getting tired of the increasingly pessimistic lyrics. I'm a fan of his music first and foremost and his amazing improv skills on the guitar. Zappa has various periods that are all excellent, but a bit different.

Early period I would say We're only In It For The Money and Uncle Meat (the first of his albums I heard and hugely impactful).

Early 70s I'd go with Burnt Weeny Sandwich, Hot Rats and The Grand Wazoo (his "big band" album).

Then you've got the amazing band period with Ralph/Chester on drums and George Duke at keys, with a solo album thrown in of Apostrophe, Overnight Sensation and my all-time favorite probably Roxy and Elsewhere. Many feel One Size Fits All is perhaps his most polished studio album.

When Bozzio joined George Duke left, so they had a more straight ahead rock sound, but Zappa's composing came to the forefront. I first saw him on the Zoot Allures tour and was blown away. Then Warners released a series of albums without Zappa's permission which he brought up to a Radio station and told listeners to record because he wasn't paid for them, this was the Multidisc set called Lather. I recently got a copy of this (bootleg only) and it is amazing, on vinyl, but includes the then-current WB releases Studio Tan, Orchestral Favorites, Sleep Dirt, and Live In New York. Lots of great experimental instrumental music in there. Then Zappa released Sheik Yerbouti on the Zappa label and had his first huge hit "Dancing Fool". Sheik is probably his most commercially accessible release since Overnight Sensation.

After that my interest was starting to wane; I was having difficulty with the subject matter of the lyrics, but Joe's Garage with Vinnie on drums injected a new life in the band... But same era my favorite recording would have to be Shut Up And Play Yer Guitar set. This has all the drummers around this time stretching out and Zappa railing incredible guitar soloing over it. This is also my all-time favorite show, which was at the Zoo Amphitheater in OKC. It was packed, Vinnie on Drums, Steve Vai on "backup and incredibly difficult guitar parts", so the band had some luminaries in it but this was off the charts amazing.

Later period I might pick Tinseltown or something or You Are What You Is. I love Chad Wackerman but honestly I preferred seeing him play with Allan Holdsworth over that period of Zappa--I just grew tired of the shocking lyrics I guess. At this point in time Zappa continually would apologetically state that he had to dumb it down in a rock way to sell more tickets.
 


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