I like "Overnite Sensation" and "Weasels Ripped my Flesh".
Also, "Hot Rats".
Also, "Hot Rats".
Overnight sensation is about the last one before he lost me, no I really liked One Size Fits All. The older stuff still rules, Uncle Meat, Burnt Weenie Sandwich, Chunga's Revenge (a personal favorite often overlooked), Hot Rats, Waka Jawaka (sp?), The Grand Wazoo, Live at the Filmore. All of his early stuff is fun, it was his most creative work, his incredible guitar expertise improving over his considerable career. Kinda lost me with his later work but always loved his music.
I like: Hot Rats, Weasels Ripped My Flesh and Uncle Meat among many others that I do not know the titles of.
Frank should be on the post about people that passed away at their peak - in the Rock and Roll Heaven
Blkadr, are the albums: Burnt Weenie Sandwich, Chunga's Revenge Waka Jawaka and The Grand Wazoo mostly instrumental? What I mean is not a lot of talking like on Uncle Meat.
IMHO nearly all his records have parts with big genius written all over em'. Uncle Meat employs alot of great compositions and devices that didn't sink in right away and were used as a springboard for some of his best stuff in the 70's. If you're pretty familiar with most of his stuff (or even if you're not), it might be real fun to check out a good live overview of his work. "Make a Jazz Noise Here" is a smoker. The Mothers "Ahead of Their Time" is a surprisingly good disc of older concert tapes put together by F.Z.
I like most of his later records, but would agree that alot of the early efforts have a feel and personality that makes them unique.
Seldenr I think everyone likes Apostrophe but it is (in some people's opinion) kind of his first 'commercial' record and is a departure from the typical FZ record. I think it is ignored not for what it is but what it represents.
that said I am in the camp of 'Frank Zappa did no wrong' in his very prolific career I like almost everything I have heard from FZ and that definetly includes Apostrophe.
I have a lot of Frank Zappa. I've enjoyed most of his music since soon after "Absolutely Free" first came out in the '60s.
I don't know that these are his best, but these are the six that I think I play the most these days:
"Weasels Ripped My Flesh"
"Roxy & Elsewhere"
"Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar"
"One Size Fits All"
Phil, Burnt Weenie has some of the commentary and has the most "experimental" music on it. Chunga's Revenge is kind of a turning point with some more conventional music, still some parody and sarcasm. Waka Jawaka and the Grand Wazoo are almost all instrumental, the Wazoo has a lot of charted horns. I saw him play this live and it was incredible, the players looking a little puzzled at times but a great performance. None of these albums feature the spoken narration style like Overnight Sensation and much of his later work. And oh ya, I love Ruben and the Jets but it is all tounge in cheek 50s music Zappa style.
i've been listening to zappa since my older brother turned me onto Hot Rats in 1970 at the age of 9 (this also introduced me to Captain Beefheart who has also remained a favorite over the years). I've been a devout fan ever since, owning virtually his entire recorded output plus many live reordings and seeing him many times over the years (the last time being the great "Best Band You Never Heard" tour...a set well worth checking out if you've never heard it...even for those of us that are partial to Frank's earlier and more experimental material).
Hard to pick faves among Frankie's vast output in part because there are many Zappa's to choose from; but if pushed i would have to say (in no particular order):
Weasels Ripped My Flesh
We're Only In It For The Money
You Can't Do That On Stage (volume 2)
Just Another Band From LA (was and still am a Turtles fan)
Roxy And Elsewhere
Burnt Weeny Sandwich
Of his later output (i thought Zappa was musically reborn after as he emerged from the Warner Brothers suit) i'm also partial to:
Best Band You've Never Heard In Your Life
Make A Jazz Noise Here
Lather (o.k. technically earlier material but "officially released" later)
Would be interested if people have heard any good quality boots. I've gotten a couple of good ones recently (via ebay) and would be interested in comparing notes if others are interested.
Also, curious what folks think about Zappa's ambiguous relationship with his audience. It seemed that he had as much of a love/hate relationship with us that he did with pop music and pop culture in general.
Looks like I'm late jumping into this one but I just noticed it. I'm another Zappa nut who owns the entire Verve catalog and roughly 45 releases overall. Most of his best has already been listed here, but I wanted to add a few thoughts.
Of more recent releases, both "Make a Jazz Noise Here" and "Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life" are astounding live performances (minus a little between song goofiness). "Roxy & Elsewhere" remains an all-time favorite. I'd love to see that one re-issued on heavyweight vinyl.
Jazz fans will likely enjoy the version of "Let's Move to Cleveland" found on Volume 4 of the "You Can't Do That On Stage" series - it features Archie Shepp on tenor!
Two other recent relases of Zappa material by other artists are welll worth it. The Persuasions relased "Frankly A Capella" on the EarthBeat! lable in 2000, very nicely done all-vocal renditions done with heartfelt feeling. And the "Ed Palermo Big Band Plays the Music of Frank Zappa" was released on Astor Place records in 1997 (well, I guess not that recent).
An incredible enigma of an artist!
Hot Rats is my favorite. 30yrs ago I bought this as a close out. First listen to this disc instilled gross anxiety. Put it away for several years. One day after many hi-fi evolutions and up dates I re-visited Hot Rats only to find real music that my old systems had never been able to unravel. Hot Rats progressivly becomes more involving as my hi-fi extends in resolution. Tom
Interesting to see Hot Rats come up so often, as it is one of my favorites, yet not particularly accessible. It has been an inveterate demo disc for me, and I have taken it to hifi shops all around the country for years. I admit that the queer looks I get really are part of the fun. But Hot Rats tears my head off every time (heh, heh). It is no sonic gem, but pretty good, and as noted above, there is a lot there to be revealed as one's equipment gets better. Heh heh. I also think Yellow Shark is exraordinary music.
Yellow Shark IS extrodinary!
More so by the fact that members of the Ensemble Modern really spent a lot of time conquering the difficult scores, with most pleasing results. Zappa, ever the perfectionist, was I think happier with these performances than any other of his orchestral works that made it to record.
It would have been nice to have heard it live, as the music was presented in the theatre in 6 channels! I believe 3 channels each were merged to produce the stereo recordings. I think I'm going to go listen to this again tonite...
I am proud I from country(Czech rep) where Zappa got shocking welcome from about 5000 fans including our president/former dissident V.Havel.When Zappa came out from airplane he coud not beleive it there was huge crowd of Zappa's freaks waiting for HIM.Anyway Uncle Meat is one I play the most following by Sheik Yerbouti(I played this one in 4am in Costco warehouse, where I was working as a stocker,very loud on their stereo and I got almost fired for this,well I quit few weeks later anyway,could not handle the bullshit.)Please check out awesome group from Belgium called PALINCKX I was so happy to find out their musicianship and a lot of Zappa's influencies especially album called Psychadelic Years.Thanks for understanding about my broken English.