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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:46 am 
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Asolutely, Beethoven transformed music. His later music is very important in the development of the art as a whole. While battling (and losing to) tinnitus, no less.
TOU is a pretty decent output. My least favourite song is Truck Driver Divorce though, it's the vocals that really get on my nerves. Frank also shows the Fatherly Love syndrom, the same syndrom that gave the otherwise lovely Alien Water Kiss by Steve Vai one and a half minute of ear bleed that destroys the album. TOU has it more than any other Frank album in Dirty Frogs and the DZ solos. Though I still prefer those much over Ya Go Yakk. Or Les Claypool's wailing kiddies. What WERE these otherwise wonderful musicians thinking?

C'mon. In France is really funny. If you've ever had a case of gastric distress on a French highway and were forced to use a stand loo, you'd know they cannot be bashed enough. I love Planet Of My Dreams... ah... male falsetto... Whippin' Post is fantastic! Be... In My Video... gosh how the early MTV hosts must have suffered with those cheesy films repeated over and over. MarqueSon's Chicken... perfection. 6/8 time signature, that's what gets the girls.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:08 am 
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Really enjoying this thread, I got into FZ in 1982 & the first release I bought "New" after aquiring everything else up to that point was "The Man From Utopia", I loved it at the time & still do, I just saw it as a continuation of FZ's career, however I was bitterly disappointed with Them Or Us, Thing Fish & Meets the MOP, mainly because Frank finally did seem to be running out of ideas, especially on Thing Fish with all the recycled tracks, & using up other old tracks on some of the other albums, but a big issue for me was, as a lot of folks here have pointed out was/is the sound of those releases, I guess it is sterile & very trebly & wasn't very warm, I suppose it was just the way he did things at the time, progress..........

But here's the great thing, all of a sudden 30 years later all of the above releases have suddenly "clicked" with me & I can't get enough of listening to 'em, I think that having got into FZ around that time I had such high expectations of any new release that I was bound to be disappointed, I'm not anymore, I'm just glad he did them & I have them, another part of the FZ jigsaw puzzle.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:10 am 
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I love that album. As I said the only song I dislike on it is Ya Hozna. For what it is, it is just too long.

Anyone know where I can hear the original TMFU mix without trying to find an original vinyl? I hear it is completely different and much much better.

PG wrote:
But here's the great thing, all of a sudden 30 years later all of the above releases have suddenly "clicked" with me & I can't get enough of listening to 'em, I think that having got into FZ around that time I had such high expectations of any new release that I was bound to be disappointed, I'm not anymore, I'm just glad he did them & I have them, another part of the FZ jigsaw puzzle.


Definitely. Where I heard his 80's output was sub-par from a few sources and especially certain parts of this forum I was put off listening to them. When I first heard all the output I didn't get into it but I think it was because I was just being negative and had other opinions in my head.
Now I'm listening to it all fairly often. The 70's stuff is still my fav period, especially 72-75 and 77 live stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:27 pm 
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I was rating Zappa against his own discography. If I was rating SATLTSADW against everything I have ever heard it would get at least a 6. All Zappa is quality.



NuclearProstate wrote:
I don't think Any Downers is a great song in any form. All the 75 versions I have heard don't have much going on. Maybe I'm listening to the wrong ones?

Vancouver is the one. I like the song because Zappa is sort of dumbing down his guitar solo (to fit the song concept) which somehow makes it one of his most brilliant. Plus, the lyrics make me laugh a lot. The whole concept is funny. In Vancouver it goes on a long time and meanders purposefully before going into the Canadian Customs routine which I love and consider part of Any Downers. Of course, I have idiosyncratic tastes. I like the way nothing much happens yet he drags it out.


I should probably point out here that the line up in Vancouver is one of my least favorite line ups of the 70s. But it's still great.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:06 pm 
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On another note, but still pertaining to this thread...

...in the US, FZ's 80's titles started to average about 50,000-75,000 units each. His 70's titles (or even '60s titles) on the other hand, were averaging about 250,000 units each. Worldwide, sales of FZ's 80's titles suffered a similar fate. This had a significant impact on his concert demand, which started to stagnant in most markets by 1981, peaking in 1980 at $50,000+ per night in the US and $75,000+ per night in the UK/Europe. There were a few markets that already peaked by the mid-70s (LA, Richmond/Norfolk, VA, North & South Carolina, etc.) and even a few that continued to increase into the 80s (Vancouver, Seattle, Pittsburgh, London, Rotterdam, etc.). But I firmly believe to this day, that if FZ's 80's titles had sustained his 70s titles' average, his concert demand would've continued to increase in just about every market...

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:07 pm 
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Are ticket sales impacted by album sales or are they just a reflection of the same thing: the state of the performers popularity at that time? And if ticket sales are impacted by album sales, than what were the album sales impacted by? The quality of the music? If so, what impacted the quality of the music? If not, were album sales impacted by consumer disinterest? If so, what caused the disinterest? More entertainment alternatives? Ticket prices? The panty rap? Questions, questions, flooding in to the mind of the concerned consumer....


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:16 pm 
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I wonder why the pop culture phenomenon/success of 'Valley Girl' didn't result in bigger album/ticket sales? It sure got my attention in Frank started. I know I was a child of the eighties, twelve or thirteen when SATLTSADW came out, but when I borrowed my brother's copy, I had a revelation of sorts listening to it. I must have worn that copy out. I had thought I might pick up the keyboard like my mother, classically-trained as she was, but hearing the scorched-earth guitar solo of the title track lit me up like nothing I'd ever heard before, and changed my mind about what instrument I wanted to learn....


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:30 pm 
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Disco Boy wrote:
On another note, but still pertaining to this thread...

...in the US, FZ's 80's titles started to average about 50,000-75,000 units each. His 70's titles (or even '60s titles) on the other hand, were averaging about 250,000 units each. Worldwide, sales of FZ's 80's titles suffered a similar fate. This had a significant impact on his concert demand, which started to stagnant in most markets by 1981, peaking in 1980 at $50,000+ per night in the US and $75,000+ per night in the UK/Europe. There were a few markets that already peaked by the mid-70s (LA, Richmond/Norfolk, VA, North & South Carolina, etc.) and even a few that continued to increase into the 80s (Vancouver, Seattle, Pittsburgh, London, Rotterdam, etc.). But I firmly believe to this day, that if FZ's 80's titles had sustained his 70s titles' average, his concert demand would've continued to increase in just about every market...


What was the average for the 82 tour as it was his biggest? Also the 88 tour had sold out arenas so what about that? This is all very interesting. Maybe the mass market thought his live stuff would be too experimental with too much synclavier?

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:24 am 
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BBP wrote:
Asolutely, Beethoven transformed music. His later music is very important in the development of the art as a whole. While battling (and losing to) tinnitus, no less.
TOU is a pretty decent output. My least favourite song is Truck Driver Divorce though, it's the vocals that really get on my nerves. Frank also shows the Fatherly Love syndrom, the same syndrom that gave the otherwise lovely Alien Water Kiss by Steve Vai one and a half minute of ear bleed that destroys the album. TOU has it more than any other Frank album in Dirty Frogs and the DZ solos. Though I still prefer those much over Ya Go Yakk. Or Les Claypool's wailing kiddies. What WERE these otherwise wonderful musicians thinking?

C'mon. In France is really funny. If you've ever had a case of gastric distress on a French highway and were forced to use a stand loo, you'd know they cannot be bashed enough. I love Planet Of My Dreams... ah... male falsetto... Whippin' Post is fantastic! Be... In My Video... gosh how the early MTV hosts must have suffered with those cheesy films repeated over and over. MarqueSon's Chicken... perfection. 6/8 time signature, that's what gets the girls.



I've got my pedant's hat on.

You mean 'Alien Love Secrets' (the album), that contains 'Ya-Yo Gakk', the baby sound tune, which actuall grew on me after I had a baby boy.
'Alien Water Kiss ' the tune, is from P&W. You know. That weird soundscape thingy, near the end.

I'll take the hat off now.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:05 am 
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Thank you. I'm lousy with titles when they're not actually mentioned.
(takes 100 lines)
Fact is: every once in a while, you meet or hear of a little kid that warms your heart. Every day however, you meet a little brat who makes you forget all your pacifist vows and whip out your flame thrower.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:40 pm 
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I believe there was a surge of popularity following 'valley girl', followed by a return to normal when those new fans saw him live and heard stuff like (for example) 'stick it out'.
I also bet there were a few post 'vg' attendees who thought FZ was a girl.
TT

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:01 pm 
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After "Valley Girl" Zappa didn't tour in America until two years later. I don't know if it was a hit quickly enough to increase ticket sales in Europe.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:38 pm 
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Zappa played the civic center in Hartford, CT on Oct.24, 1980. He sold 11,958 tickets. Four years later Zappa played the New Haven Coliseum in CT. He sold 5,375 tickets. For me, those 4 years between are exactly the years where I think Zappa's music gets soft. Therefore, I associate the smaller audiences almost entirely with Zappa's material, band and record production at that time. And maybe Zappa wanted his audience to shrink. Keeping things small is usually better. It doesn't get co-opted as quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:08 pm 
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Frank didn't want his audience to shrink. That's ridiculous. Frank's audience just shrank a bit in the '80's as most rock acts of the late '60's and '70's did. Most record buyers of any era or genre are in their teens or '20's. As folks get older and they have more responsibilities buying music becomes a lower priority even with people who still love music.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:57 pm 
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KUIII wrote:
Frank didn't want his audience to shrink. That's ridiculous. Frank's audience just shrank a bit in the '80's as most rock acts of the late '60's and '70's did. Most record buyers of any era or genre are in their teens or '20's. As folks get older and they have more responsibilities buying music becomes a lower priority even with people who still love music.

I have no idea what Frank wanted.
Anyway that was an afterthought. Point was: his audience shrank as the bands got softer.

Certain iconic 60s bands were making more money in the 80s than they were in the sixties. The stones and the dead, for example, were raking it in in the 80s.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:07 pm 
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Frank would have loved some of that '60's icon money as well. It just wasn't meant to be for him. He obviously had a smaller audience from the beginning than the Stones and the Dead were just some kind of strange phenomenon that just picked up more steam in the '80's. One thing the Stones, the Dead, and Frank all had in common was that they wanted to be paid.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:27 pm 
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KUIII wrote:
One thing the Stones, the Dead, and Frank all had in common was that they wanted to be paid.


Jerry Garcia has stated that he would not have minded a little shrinkage in his audience.
I don't think Zappa would be too effective playing football stadiums. I don't believe he wanted that. Why would he spend all his money on stuff like LSO?


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:28 pm 
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NuclearProstate wrote:
Disco Boy wrote:
On another note, but still pertaining to this thread...

...in the US, FZ's 80's titles started to average about 50,000-75,000 units each. His 70's titles (or even '60s titles) on the other hand, were averaging about 250,000 units each. Worldwide, sales of FZ's 80's titles suffered a similar fate. This had a significant impact on his concert demand, which started to stagnant in most markets by 1981, peaking in 1980 at $50,000+ per night in the US and $75,000+ per night in the UK/Europe. There were a few markets that already peaked by the mid-70s (LA, Richmond/Norfolk, VA, North & South Carolina, etc.) and even a few that continued to increase into the 80s (Vancouver, Seattle, Pittsburgh, London, Rotterdam, etc.). But I firmly believe to this day, that if FZ's 80's titles had sustained his 70s titles' average, his concert demand would've continued to increase in just about every market...


What was the average for the 82 tour as it was his biggest? Also the 88 tour had sold out arenas so what about that? This is all very interesting. Maybe the mass market thought his live stuff would be too experimental with too much synclavier?


The '82 tour wasn't his biggest. His demand peaked in about 90% of markets in 1980. Like I said, his concert demand stagnated after 1980 in the vast majority of markets - and outside of a handful of exceptions I already went over, the '88 tour was no different.

downer mydnyte wrote:
Zappa played the civic center in Hartford, CT on Oct.24, 1980. He sold 11,958 tickets. Four years later Zappa played the New Haven Coliseum in CT. He sold 5,375 tickets. For me, those 4 years between are exactly the years where I think Zappa's music gets soft. Therefore, I associate the smaller audiences almost entirely with Zappa's material, band and record production at that time. And maybe Zappa wanted his audience to shrink. Keeping things small is usually better. It doesn't get co-opted as quickly.


But you're forgetting a few major factors above.

One of which is that attendance does NOT = demand. Ticket sales gross = demand. So if demand is stagnant, attendance will only decrease if ticket prices do as well. Lower attendance does not necessarily = lower demand.

Another factor is that there were only 2 New England shows in the fall of '80. So the Hartford show had a sales boost from skipping a good chunk of that region. Whereas, there were 7 New England shows in the fall of '84. So the New Haven show represented only part of the demand in that region. And hence, if there were only the same 2 New England shows in the fall of '84 as there were in the fall of '80, the New Haven show would've had relatively the same demand as the Hartford show.

In most cases after 1980, Zappa's concert demand wasn't decreasing, it was stagnating...

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:37 pm 
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Disco Boy wrote:
One of which is that attendance does NOT = demand. Ticket sales gross = demand. So if demand is stagnant, attendance will only decrease if ticket prices do as well. Lower attendance does not necessarily = lower demand.

Well, sure.

Disco Boy wrote:
there were only 2 New England shows in the fall of '80. So the Hartford show had a sales boost from skipping a good chunk of that region. Whereas, there were 7 New England shows in the fall of '84. So the New Haven show represented only part of the demand in that region. And hence, if there were only the same 2 New England shows in the fall of '84 as there were in the fall of '80, the New Haven show would've had relatively the same demand as the Hartford show.



So his overall ticket sales in '84 were no less than in '80?


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:41 pm 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
So his overall ticket sales in '84 were no less than in '80?


Outside of a few exceptions, yes.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:16 am 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
KUIII wrote:
Frank didn't want his audience to shrink. That's ridiculous. Frank's audience just shrank a bit in the '80's as most rock acts of the late '60's and '70's did. Most record buyers of any era or genre are in their teens or '20's. As folks get older and they have more responsibilities buying music becomes a lower priority even with people who still love music.

I have no idea what Frank wanted.
Anyway that was an afterthought. Point was: his audience shrank as the bands got softer.

Certain iconic 60s bands were making more money in the 80s than they were in the sixties. The stones and the dead, for example, were raking it in in the 80s.


So the Stones and Dead's music got better in the 80s?


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:58 am 
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1984 did mark the first FZ tour in a long time where he played clubs (aside from the one off at Mudd Club in 1980), the Vogue in Indianapolis and the Newport Music Hall in Columbus. Never got around to giving the audience tapes from any of those a close listen but I understand he enjoyed playing the Vogue.

In the case of Columbus he returned to Vets Memorial (same venue he hit in most of the 70's and early 80's tours) in 1988.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:36 am 
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Maybe I'm wrong on this one, but wasn't 1984 FZ's longest consecutive touring stint (6 months)?


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:02 am 
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I can't remember where, but somewhere FZ said that already with the '84 tour his expenses were bigger than his income, so he lost some money. Of course not as much as the '88 debacle, but a loss nonetheless. Anyone know any better?

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:38 am 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
I can't remember where, but somewhere FZ said that already with the '84 tour his expenses were bigger than his income, so he lost some money. Of course not as much as the '88 debacle, but a loss nonetheless. Anyone know any better?


FZ said he lost money in both 84 and 88. Scott Thunes countered in a separate interview that the loss represented a tax write-off.


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