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Frank Zappa
"Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar"

© Rykodisc

March 25 - 31, 2018

Year of Release: 1995
Disc One: Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
  • Five-Five-Five
  • Hog Heaven
  • Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
  • While You Were Out
  • Treacherous Cretins
  • Heavy Duty Judy
  • Soup'n Old Clothes
    Disc Two: Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More
  • Variations On The Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression
  • Gee I Like Your Pants
  • Canarsie
  • Ship Ahoy
  • The Deathless Horsie
  • Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More
  • Pink Napkins
    Disc Three: Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
  • Beat It With Your Fist
  • Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
  • Pinocchio's Furniture
  • Why Johnny Can't Read
  • Stucco Homes
  • Canard Du Jour

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    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
    Previously, Frank Zappa's Guitar was reviewed, as it was the follow-up to this week's review, Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar. Originally three albums, based on Zappa's instrumental guitar works, the three albums were set as a 3-disc box set: Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar, Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More, and Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar. And, as reviewed from his 2-disc Guitar release, once again, Zappa's instrumental guitar works here on this week's review truly stands out as "unique" and "obscure."

    Disc 1: Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
    Another word (as another review stated), is "unimaginable." This is the word for the starter track, "Five-Five-Five." For some, this track is "a lot of noise." But this is what made Zappa's music unique, obscure, and unimaginable. (Whether or not his songs had vocals or not.) "Hog Heaven" is just as "noisy" (?), and the three words mentioned.

    And speaking of those three words, this could have set his music as "the Zappa Sound." Truly as creative as it was, Zappa created his own deverse sound and style. For those already familar with Zappa's music, his "sound" can be classified as humorous, demented, silly, funny. It truly was different than your standard Rock n Roll, or Rock Music in general. This gets the title track on Disc 1.

    These recordings were mostly live recordings, and for those who saw him in concert, (which I never did), I'm sure that Zappa took the stage as a pro. "While You Were Out" sounds more like a band warming up to present a great concert performance. "Treacherous Crewtins" is slow moving, yet it's Frank Zappa, and his music.

    Another classification on Zappa's music, was his take on Jazz. Truly it stands out as Jazz, but with Zappa, he put his own touches on this source of music, as he would create his own sound (once again), and classify it as his own -- making it the "Frank Zappa Jazz." This is the case for "Heavy Duty Judy." Obscure as the "Zappa sound," "Soup 'N Old Clothes" is another obscure and unimaginable in sound, yet it's a good track.

    Disc 2: Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More
    Opening this set, is "Variations On The Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression." Carlos Santana? Really? He didn't play like this (to my knowledge). Or did he, on a secret as FZ implies? It's quite bouncy, and yes, again, it's different, being compare to the great Santana. "Gee, I Like Your Pants" is groovin' Zappa, where "Canarsie" is more of the Dr. Demento style. Obscure for "Ship Ahoy." Really Obscure Zappa, where the German band Kraftwerk meets Zappa, in my opinion.

    And another source of music that Zappa took on was not only Jazz, but also Classical. "The Deathless Horsie" is almost Classical, and it is the "Zappa Jazz." The title track from Disc 2 is definitely Jazz-sounding, being compared to another great Jazz band, Weather Report. And the most impressive track on this disc, is the Psychedelic Blues track, "Pink Napkins." Zappa puts his own guitar touches on blues, and he makes it all his own.

    Disc 3: Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
    The "Zappa Jazz" is most of the style on this disc, with "Beat It With Your Fist," and the title track for this disc, and "Pinocchio's Furniture." Compared to another track from this box set, "While You Were Out," gets "Why Johnny Can't Read" -- it's the unique Zappa sound. Unique is also on "Stucco Homes," and there is peaceful guitar that Zappa does that gets your attention, towards the end of this track. The album closes with "Canard Du Jour," with its uniqueness as he can get, and somehow it reminds me of another unique -- The music of Peter Schickele's PDQ Bach.

    Frank Zappa's guitar work is truly unique, remarkably outstanding. But maybe this kind of music and sound may not appeal to most. Yet, Frank Zappa was a creative genius. His albums and music devoted to the uniqueness of his talent he provided in music. Although he is no longer with us, his son, Dweezil has carried the torch by playing his father's music in various live performances. And Dweezil himself is an accomplished and fine guitar player. Is he as good as his father, or better? He is remarkable, let's put it that way, he learned from the best.

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