at the beginning..'freak out'.
24 responses Add your response
I'd watch the DVD "Baby Snakes." Unfortunately, I never got to see Zappa, though "Freak Out" was one of the first real rock LP's I bought (The other two were "Are You Experienced" and "The Velvet Underground with Nico"). "Baby Snakes" gave me a dimension of Zappa I had never appreciated, which is the deep emotional engagement he has in his music and his phenomenal and generous connection with his audience. That said, I can still sing ("sing?" okay, maybe recite) along with "Freak Out" and "Absolutely Free," having remembered most of the lyrics. Many audiophiles believe "The Yellow Shark" is sonically excellent.
Burnt Weenie Sandwich is a good one... a similarly fine aroma is emitted from Chunga's Revenge, Transylvania Boogie alone makes this worth getting, (check out Warren Cuccurullo's much later version on Roadrage if you really wanna' catch a fine guitar buzz). Weasels Ripped My Flesh is also close in vintage to BWS, (it might take awhile before you dig every track on it, but a lot of the best stuff works that way). And of course it's nice to see other 'goners offering up the Hot Rats record. Grand Wazoo and Waka Jawaka (Hot Rats 2) are damn spiff and Bongo Fury poots forth a quarter ounce green rosette on top of the Overnight / Apostrophe period. If you haven't taken these in yet you're in for a big treat.
I played "Road Ladies" from Chunga's Revenge for my friend, a great Jimmy Page admirer. After hearing the blues licks he instantly began taking Frank seriously, became a fan. That was 37 years ago and I'm listening to that song as I write.
I love all the experimental early music, social satire.
BWS, Chunga's Revenge, Hot Rats, Grand Wazoo*, Waka Jawaka, Over Night Sensation come to mind as favorites. Love all the older stuff, not so much after Overnight Sensation, One Size Fits All an exception.
Overnight Sensation was the point that established the next level in his incredible guitar technique. He had always been one of the most creative players in rock.
I would have to recommend Hot Rats as the next step. The earlier albums are essential if you want to understand his music. I love them, but cant help suggesting you jump to HR first, it's special.
* Not only is Grand Wazzoo a great album, I say him perform it live in 1972.
I really like "Imaginary Diseases" which is a collection of live instrumentals released a couple of years ago. The recording is excellent. Go to Amazon and listen to a sample of the title track and "Montreal". I think this is one of Zappa's most accessible recordings and really showcases his ability to improvise on guitar which is why he is a music icon.
Thanks to all who've taken the time to offer advice. Collectively, I'm pretty comfortable that this group intimately knows the terrain in the Zappa sandbox - so I'm off to CDconnection. You've give me quite a lot to digest (and even more to buy). I look forward to any additional thoughts sent my way.
Check out "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" and the track, Orange County Lumber Truck. Also, the movie soundrack recording from "2000 Motels". Frank was a genious. Glad "Burnt Weenie Sandwich" clicked for you. It has long been a favorite of mine. I love AyBeSea and The Little House I Used to Live In. In my opinion, "Reuben and the Jets" is one of the most romantic albums ever recorded. From "Uncle Meat", the King Kong tracks are worth special attention. Check out, "Yellow Shark" and "Strictly Genteel", as well.