From the Vault...


Frank Zappa
"Zappa In New York"

© Rykodisc Records

Year of Release: 1978

track listing
  • Titties And Beer
  • Cruisin' For Burgers
  • I Promise Not To Come
    In Your Mouth
  • Punky's Whips
  • Honey Don't You Want
    A Man Like Me
  • The Illinois Enema Bandit
  • I'm The Slime
  • Pound For A Brown
  • Manx Needs Women
  • The Black Page Drum
    Black Page #1
  • Big Leg Emma
  • Sofa
  • Black Page #2
  • The Torture Never Stops
  • The Purple Lagoon/

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Frank Zappa related sites:
    Frank Zappa Website
    Previous Review: #1187
    Chuck Mangione--Fun And Games
    Next Review: #1189
    Don Moore--Axe Attack
    Frank Zappa
    "Zappa In New York"

    About This Album...
    "In 1976 we played for a cozy group of 27.500 deranged fanatics in New York City (13,000 for three shows at the Felt Forum, at Halloween, and 14,000 for four shows at the Palladium the week between Christmas and New Year's). All of those sold out concerts were promoted by Ron Delsener (who we hereby thank), and attended by some of the nicest people we have had the experience of playing for (who we hereby thank). New York last Christmas is what made this album possible."

    Frank Zappa's lives performances (many captured on albums and in later years CD and DVD) all no doubt reached the standards of pure entertainment. Some of his concerts consisted of a full orchestra, for either Rock shows Jazz, and Classical. Including Zappa the "conductor" himself, a 12-piece band of musicians, part of which was a horn section -- Blues Brothers Band members Tom "Bones" Malone and Lou Marini performed. Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo was also included with various narrating. put him on the map, as being a very distinguished and talented trumpet player. The album mentioned was truly excellent, and Fun And Games is really no different.

    Starting off is the comedical "Titties And Beer," where there is no description needed for this song, it depicts Zappa talking/singing with the Devil regarding two things on Zappa's mind. "Cruisin' For Burgers" is a near 10-minute Rock instrumental. (Please note that the long guitar solos in this song, [I believe performed by Zappa] -- I've heard these solos on other Zappa recordings, and the sound/style of his solos do get a little outstretched. Not to argue that Zappa was a bad guitar soloist.) The next instrumental, "I Promise Not To Come In Your Mouth" has a more Smooth Jazz approach, and luckily, being an instrumental, we can just imagine what kind of lyrics would consist in this song, with the nature of its sexual-innuendo title, which is actually mentioned in the next song, "Punky's Whips," a deranged song in sound and style, 11 minutes in length. It sure is demented in sound, as this was one of many different musical styles Frank Zappa incorporated throughout his entire career.

    You can't help but wonder to watch how these comedical, strange, deranged songs are performed on stage. This is the feeling I get when listening to "Honey, Don't You Want A Man Like Me." It sounds like Zappa and band are really having a fun time performing this song. And just maybe Frank Zappa had the original idea with the title of this song, before the Pussycat Dolls came along decades later, with "Doncha Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me." Again, the same feeling is felt (performing the song, not based on the topic of the song) on "The Illinois Enema Bandit," as Don Pardo narrates the story about Michael H. Kenyon, the "Illinois Enema Bandit." The story occurred in 1975, as Kenyon terrorized coeds at the University of Illinois for 10 years. He pleaded guilty recently at the time in Urbana, Illinois, to six counts of armed robbery. He admitted to administrating enemas to women victims in at least three of the six robberies. (If you don't know what enemas are, let's just say this is best performed at hospitals, and what Kenyan did to these women, was just outright SICK). But, leave it to Frank Zappa, to cover such an event like this into this blues-driven song.

    Disc Two starts out with "I'm The Slime." And Zappa sings in its beginning, "Deranged, Sexually Deranged..." It certainly does have the deranged sound, likewise its title, being THE SLIME. (I think we all know what SLIME is.) It merges into the next deranged sounding tune, "Pound For A Brown." This instrumental definitely has a Jazz sound, where Jazz meets Zappa's Demented Rock. "Manx Needs Women" is really demented, only lasting short of 2 minutes. The horn section is the standout in this short track.

    Drummers alert! Obviously in almost every live show, the drummers get the spotlight an extended drum solo. In most cases, the rest of the band just walks off the stage, and lets the drummer take his/her toll. Not really, in the case of "The Black Page Drum Solo/Black Page #1" Yes, there is drumming throughout, but not where the drummer is the only performer heard. Zappa returns with his crazy jazzy style on "Big Leg Emma," a song originally from Zappa's Absolutely Free. "Sofa" is another powerful instrumental, and another reason for watching this performance live, Zappa the "conductor" arranging his powerful sounding band. "Black Page No. 2" is another powerful "Zappa conducting the instrumental band." "The Torture Never Stops" is another 12-minute demented/deranged Zappa storyline. The last track is close to 17 minutes, "The Purple Lagoon/Approximate" -- another "Jazz meets Zappa's Demented Rock" instrumental.

    Some can easily say that Frank Zappa was ahead of his time. Aside from his adult comedy storylines in his songs, (which he was most famous for) -- you have to admit, musically, he had a broad range in showcasing and performing his music. Since he emerged in the late 1960s, he brought a whole different sound to not only Rock, but Jazz. He also incorporated Classical music later in his career too. Frank Zappa recorded numerous studio and live recordings, and there are still new releases (mostly of live performances) since his death in 1993 of terminal prostate cancer. "Widely hailed as one of the most inventive and provocative musicans of his time, his work was characterized by his satiric, often deviant lyrics and his use of advanced musical forms not usually found in rock music, as well as his exceptional guitar technique." [] "Frank Zappa dabbled in virtually all kinds of music - and, whether guised as a satirical rocker, jazz-rock fusionist, guitar virtuoso, electronics wizard, or orchestral innovator, his eccentric genius was undeniable" (Wikipedia) Two quotes that couldn't be said any better. His guitar technique was different, his musical styles exquisite; he put his own sound to his music and lyrics.

    It's hard to believe that Frank Zappa has left us now for almost 10 years, but his music and legacy will live on for many generations to come.

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    Previous Review: #1187
    Chuck Mangione--Fun And Games
    Next Review: #1189
    Don Moore--Axe Attack