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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:29 am 
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As I've noted elsewhere, YAWYI was probably the last studio recorded rock album that wasn't as dependent on using live recorded basic tracks. Starting from the half-live "SATLTSADW", the practice of using live tracks would become the norm.

Man From Utopia had the Sprechstimme tracks and Moggio that were started live. Everything else was studio.
Them or Us, loads of stuff were derived from live tapes, some had more overdubs ("Frogs with Dirty Little Lips" was entirely redone in the studio, except maybe for a Steve Vai guitar track), some less (did "Sinister Footwear" have any?).

I guess Thing-Fish qualifies as almost entirely as a studio album as only "Clowns on Velvet" was recorded live, but the very fact that it uses recycled material from older albums (incl. a redone Tinsel Town Rebellion cut, also originally live) sort of means it was not a traditional studio album with all new material.

The MOP non-Synclavier portions were mostly done live, "I Don't Even Care" was done in the soundcheck. So that's basically the end of the line. No more UMRK rock band studio recordings from here out.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:32 am 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
As I've noted elsewhere, YAWYI was probably the last studio recorded rock album that wasn't as dependent on using live recorded basic tracks. Starting from the half-live "SATLTSADW", the practice of using live tracks would become the norm.

Man From Utopia had the Sprechstimme tracks and Moggio that were started live. Everything else was studio.
Them or Us, loads of stuff were derived from live tapes, some had more overdubs ("Frogs with Dirty Little Lips" was entirely redone in the studio, except maybe for a Steve Vai guitar track), some less (did "Sinister Footwear" have any?).


The title track of Man From Utopia also is an overdubbed live cut. "Sinister Footwear" sounds like to me like it has drums, keyboards and perhaps percussion redone in the studio. On "Frogs" I think the backing vocals of Ray White and Bobby Martin also remained from the live tape, but not much else.

It may be possible to piece together an album's worth of post-YAWYI rock studio tracks (although perhaps not a very cohesive one):

No Not Now
Valley Girl
I Come From Nowhere
Cocaine Decisions
Tink Walks Amok
The Radio Is Broken
Stick Together
Sex
We Are Not Alone
Be In My Video
Yo Cats
and some cuts from Thing Fish


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:29 pm 
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I always viewed TOU as his last studio rock album. I swear he even said it himself. Zappa's best rock album will always be SY ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:38 pm 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
I guess Thing-Fish qualifies as almost entirely as a studio album as only "Clowns on Velvet" was recorded live, but the very fact that it uses recycled material from older albums (incl. a redone Tinsel Town Rebellion cut, also originally live) sort of means it was not a traditional studio album with all new material.


reworked material on TF is reworked and re-recorded so heavily, it can be clasified as a new material - as a part of Conceptual Continuity, putting the same things on different contexts. Also, it in fact, it is the last album with (very lots of) obvious lyrical references to some favourite Conceptual Continuity themes. Since then, FZ turned more to instrumental music and had only one live tour - he focused more on "serious" music and re-releasing his archives. So I would count TF as the last "real" studio "rock" album (well, I see bigger problem with calling TF the "rock" album, than amount of re-recorded material on it), and also as end of his "rock" era in general.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:05 pm 
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I tend to think of the first side of Mothers Of Prevention and its somewhat sentimental final track "What's New In Baltimore?" as the end of Zappa's run of rock studio recordings (although in fact that is an overdubbed live cut) with the second half announcing the new Synclavier period.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:30 pm 
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NuclearProstate wrote:
I always viewed TOU as his last studio rock album. I swear he even said it himself. Zappa's best rock album will always be SY ;)

You're forgetting Overnite Sensation.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:15 am 
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What I'm realising now is that he hasn't got so many rock studio albums. Overnite Sensation, Zoot Allures and YAWYI are the only ones I can think of.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:14 pm 
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wakawazooinregalia' wrote:
What I'm realising now is that he hasn't got so many rock studio albums. Overnite Sensation, Zoot Allures and YAWYI are the only ones I can think of.


Freak Out, Absolutely Free, WOIIFTM, CWRATJ, Hot Rats are entirely studio-based, the other rock albums (Lumpy Gravy would be un-pigeonhole-able as such) before Fillmore East use some live recordings. Waka and Wazoo are also entirely studio, they might be jazz-rock studio albums, but they do qualify. Overnite and Apostrophe are entirely studio. OSFA includes two live cuts out of nine (while Bongo Fury reverses the quota as two studio cuts out of nine, okay, two and a portion of "Muffin Man"). Zoot Allures is studio, apart from "Napkins". Studio Tan entirely studio, as is Sleep Dirt. Joe's Garage is studio, apart from guitar solos isolated from concert recordings. YAWYI is indeed mostly studio.

As per Over-Nite, were it not for "Dinah Moe Humm", I might consider it on par with Apostrophe. Since Apostrophe contains less of these stupid sexist lyrics, that album easily gains the edge. Another factor is that the Humphrey/Fowler/Duke rhythm team had only been together for one to three months when ONS was done, and had just come off from the European tour (see Road Tapes Venue 2) when most of Side One of (') was cut. I definitely hear a lot more excitement and vigour on the Yellow Snow suite than I hear on those autopilot quality funk grooves that are on ONS.

Road Tapes Venue 2 was definitely a revelation! Ralph's drumming had finally started coming alive on the '73 Euro tour and Tom was also shining more and more as an electric bass player. Early '73 shows are only listenable because of high input from Bruce, Ian and Jean-Luc, mostly sidelined on the studio album, but many tunes were simply a bit plodding. "Inca Roads" was basically half the tempo of what it would eventually sound like, "Exercise 4" real slow early '73, but ridiculously fast on September '73!

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:34 pm 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
YAWYI is indeed mostly studio.


Mostly. "If Only She Woulda" and a few other tracks are overdubbed from the April 1980 Tower Theatre shows available on Wolfgang's Vault, and then of course FZ's "Sinister III" solo comes from the Palladium 1978 run.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:51 pm 
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I pretty much consider ONS and (') one album. I always listen to them back to back. I slightly prefer ONS because of Camarillo Brillo, I'm The Slime and FIfty-Fifty. (') has a few too many plotting but CD, UR and SF are all excellent.

Most of Zappa's best stuff comes from live tracks and over dubbed later. It's not my favorite album of his but SY is perfect in that regard.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:00 pm 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
wakawazooinregalia' wrote:
What I'm realising now is that he hasn't got so many rock studio albums. Overnite Sensation, Zoot Allures and YAWYI are the only ones I can think of.


Freak Out, Absolutely Free, WOIIFTM, CWRATJ, Hot Rats are entirely studio-based, the other rock albums (Lumpy Gravy would be un-pigeonhole-able as such) before Fillmore East use some live recordings. Waka and Wazoo are also entirely studio, they might be jazz-rock studio albums, but they do qualify. Overnite and Apostrophe are entirely studio. OSFA includes two live cuts out of nine (while Bongo Fury reverses the quota as two studio cuts out of nine, okay, two and a portion of "Muffin Man"). Zoot Allures is studio, apart from "Napkins". Studio Tan entirely studio, as is Sleep Dirt. Joe's Garage is studio, apart from guitar solos isolated from concert recordings. YAWYI is indeed mostly studio.

As per Over-Nite, were it not for "Dinah Moe Humm", I might consider it on par with Apostrophe. Since Apostrophe contains less of these stupid sexist lyrics, that album easily gains the edge. Another factor is that the Humphrey/Fowler/Duke rhythm team had only been together for one to three months when ONS was done, and had just come off from the European tour (see Road Tapes Venue 2) when most of Side One of (') was cut. I definitely hear a lot more excitement and vigour on the Yellow Snow suite than I hear on those autopilot quality funk grooves that are on ONS.

Road Tapes Venue 2 was definitely a revelation! Ralph's drumming had finally started coming alive on the '73 Euro tour and Tom was also shining more and more as an electric bass player. Early '73 shows are only listenable because of high input from Bruce, Ian and Jean-Luc, mostly sidelined on the studio album, but many tunes were simply a bit plodding. "Inca Roads" was basically half the tempo of what it would eventually sound like, "Exercise 4" real slow early '73, but ridiculously fast on September '73!

The thing is, Freak Out and Cruisin' are doo wop, Hot Rats, Waka and Wazoo are jazz fusion. Joe's Garage and Apostrophe , I forgot. Absolutely Free, well maybe :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:15 am 
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It's almost like he never had a true studio rock album. I find it hard to classify his music. Never really considered ONS and (') rock, but I wouldn't know what to call them. I didn't think Zappa did true rock/hard rock until the mid to late 70's.

I wonder what the '88 band would have been like in the studio.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:36 am 
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Clearly, the term "rock" is simplification. As distinct from "classical" aka "art music" or even "jazz" (hey, did FZ ever even vaguely pigeonhole Hot Rats, Waka and Wazoo albums as jazz-rock? He certainly would've rejected the label "fusion") or in later days "Computer music" (but that's basically an electronic form of "art music"). Uncle Meat is a milestone in progressive rock to my mind. But for some people, prog or anything similar to it is not real rock music. It's a semantic minefield as to what really considers rock music. Does it have to be limited to three chords and the truth? So if you add a fourth chord and put it in 5/4, it ceases to be rock? Questions questions questions, flooding into the mind of foolish music consumers today. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:01 am 
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wakawazooinregalia' wrote:
What I'm realising now is that he hasn't got so many rock studio albums. Overnite Sensation, Zoot Allures and YAWYI are the only ones I can think of.


Black Napkins is part live from his Osaka concert on 3 February 1976.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:02 am 
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NuclearProstate wrote:
I didn't think Zappa did true rock/hard rock until the mid to late 70's.


Once a few weeks ago I was listening to an early Rolling Stones record and was surprised how much it sounded like some tracks from Freak Out.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:02 am 
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pbuzby wrote:
NuclearProstate wrote:
I didn't think Zappa did true rock/hard rock until the mid to late 70's.


Once a few weeks ago I was listening to an early Rolling Stones record and was surprised how much it sounded like some tracks from Freak Out.


It also sounds like that "Who Are the Brain Police" invented the kind of fuzz-tone compatible with certain (mainly underground) metal genres.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:47 am 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
Clearly, the term "rock" is simplification. As distinct from "classical" aka "art music" or even "jazz" (hey, did FZ ever even vaguely pigeonhole Hot Rats, Waka and Wazoo albums as jazz-rock? He certainly would've rejected the label "fusion") or in later days "Computer music" (but that's basically an electronic form of "art music"). Uncle Meat is a milestone in progressive rock to my mind. But for some people, prog or anything similar to it is not real rock music. It's a semantic minefield as to what really considers rock music. Does it have to be limited to three chords and the truth? So if you add a fourth chord and put it in 5/4, it ceases to be rock? Questions questions questions, flooding into the mind of foolish music consumers today. :D

I consider Uncle Meat a collage of: sped-up weird sounding chamber music (most of the album, like Pound For A Brown, Uncle Meat & Variations, Dog Breath Variations, etc.), free jazz, talking, and doo wop, plus some weird things like We Can Shoot You or Louie Louie.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:20 am 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
pbuzby wrote:
NuclearProstate wrote:
I didn't think Zappa did true rock/hard rock until the mid to late 70's.


Once a few weeks ago I was listening to an early Rolling Stones record and was surprised how much it sounded like some tracks from Freak Out.


It also sounds like that "Who Are the Brain Police" invented the kind of fuzz-tone compatible with certain (mainly underground) metal genres.


It reminds me of DOOM metal.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:32 am 
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BBP wrote:
wakawazooinregalia' wrote:
What I'm realising now is that he hasn't got so many rock studio albums. Overnite Sensation, Zoot Allures and YAWYI are the only ones I can think of.


Black Napkins is part live from his Osaka concert on 3 February 1976.

D'oh!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:49 pm 
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Probably the main reason there are few all-studio rock albums in the later years is that FZ decided he played guitar better live. Also he was having his bands play new songs live and it wouldn't have made sense to bring them into the studio if he had a good live version.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:54 pm 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
Does it (rock) have to be limited to three chords and the truth

There's the bozzio factor too. He is the ultimate rock drummer when playing that style.
TT

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:57 pm 
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wakawazooinregalia' wrote:
BBP wrote:
wakawazooinregalia' wrote:
What I'm realising now is that he hasn't got so many rock studio albums. Overnite Sensation, Zoot Allures and YAWYI are the only ones I can think of.


Black Napkins is part live from his Osaka concert on 3 February 1976.

D'oh!


And if you want to stroke the 'stache, there's a nice version of this from Yugoslavia 11-22-75.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:04 pm 
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Philostopher wrote:
And if you want to stroke the 'stache, there's a nice version of this from Yugoslavia 11-22-75.

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Sure it is!

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