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 Post subject: King Kong
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:25 pm 
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i just wanted to start a thread to discuss everyones thoughts on the many versions of King Kong that zappa played throughout his career.

while i like the original version on UM, my favorite version is the 1970/11/15 university of maine version. its a free form jam, with all the members getting solo sections, and it is a carefully planned song at the same time! just great from start to finish.

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:35 pm 
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I like the way it was played while the 1988 tour. But my favourite version is the one on YCDTOSA Vol. 3. Great guitar on the 1971 source and funny stuff from 1982

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:07 pm 
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My favorites of the officially released are the original UM version (Moterhead's solo ROCKS), and the excellent arrangement used by the 1988 band. Also, Kurt plays a mean solo that explores the the main theme in a very funky fashion.

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:30 pm 
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what is the 2nd part of king kong? its not the main riff, the mothers played it on the beat club 1968 tv show

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 3:05 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p6yUvQBXSY

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:55 pm 
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Is that 1968 BBC footage available anywhere?

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:18 am 
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manichispanic wrote:
what is the 2nd part of king kong? its not the main riff, the mothers played it on the beat club 1968 tv show

Try Ahead Of Their Time as well.

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:46 am 
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I like the Ahead of Their Time version best from the official releases. It's dynamic, and probably still relatively fresh.
The YCDTOA 3 version IMO doesn't benefit from the cut/paste approach, and all the 'hilarity' doesn't add anything.
I like the UM version but never thought that it needed the track divisions.

Kong is in my top ten fer sure


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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:18 am 
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Mr_Green_Genes wrote:



the part at 2:18 is the part i'm talking about. just a variation of the king kong riff?

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:14 pm 
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manichispanic wrote:
Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
the part at 2:18 is the part i'm talking about. just a variation of the king kong riff?
The main King Kong riff, albeit a great melody, is not a very substantial composition on it's own. As a composer I imagine that from the time he wrote it FZ would have come back to it several times wanting to develop it further and ultimately he did some time in 1968. What I find interesting is that Uncle Meat was released in 1969 and that doesn't have a version with the new material that they were already playing live at least by October 1968 which appears on Ahead Of Their Time.

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:55 pm 
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The studio bits had already been recorded earlier that year...

That ultra-fast '77 version's rhythm track in Baby Snakes is a treat. Yum! :)


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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:19 am 
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the jean luc ponty version on the album of the same name is very nice as well.

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:49 am 
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A cool idea would be for the ZFT to create a box set package of numerous versions
of KING KONG (maybe in chronological order) with a full text outlining the history of this very important
composition. (Hell, even John and Yoko stole it and renamed it JAM RAG)

Most versions are EXTREMELY DIFFERENT so it would be a fascinating listen!

One only has to hear the re-released complete Funhouse sessions by the Stooges
and any Miles Davis complete box sets to see that this may be a good idea.

Heck, the "FZ Plays FZ" cd sort of touches on this potential...

What do you think people?


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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:43 am 
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Babe Ruth did a cool version of King Kong on their album First Base.

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:57 am 
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I absolutely love watching the Mother's performing King Kong at the BBC from 1968. Such good sound quality too.
I don't think I have a favourite and the main melody is one of those that it always going round in my head. Despite what I just said, here are my favourites in no particular order:

BBC sessions '68
Royal Festival Hall (Ahead of their time)
Lumpy Gravy
Uncle Meat
Jean-Luc Ponty (love this whole fucking album)
Tis the Season to be Jelly. Particularly love Mundi's jazzy style, Zappa's funky as fuck wah, Underwoods solo and that huge loud bassoon (or whatever it is) that comes in much later, played I guess by Sweetpants. Boy did that scare the bejesus out of me the first time I had it on loud...

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 Post subject: King Kong
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:25 pm 
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Section 8 Take 22 from the third disc of Lumpy Money is a lot of fun for me.

I like all the official versions I've heard.

The middle part, makes it's 'debut' in tapes on the 'Ann Arbor' 67-12-03 tape. Though there are many disputes as to the actual date, and though there are up to three tracks called King Kong on many collections of these same tracks (like the old Pigs&Repugnance boot), it is here where that 'middle part' is played fully fledged and played as a composed construction and integrated into the comp as a whole. So if the date on this (12-03-67) is reasonable, and the spring 1967 sessions for the stuff on Lumpy Money is accurate, then Frank seemed to add that middle part to KingKong sometime as early as apr-dec'67.

The one on Ponty's record doesn't have the middle construction but P's violin solo in the middle approaches the melodic line, imo.

The YCDTOSA 3 version is fantastic for the guitar solo alone with that John Mayall guitar that Frank said would not stay in tune. Always fascinates, showcases Frank on-the-ball with a new instrument and in that creative moment. Something that *I* feel the official releases don't showcase often enough.

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:05 pm 
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polydigm wrote:
manichispanic wrote:
Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
the part at 2:18 is the part i'm talking about. just a variation of the king kong riff?
The main King Kong riff, albeit a great melody, is not a very substantial composition on it's own.


It feels good, it feels great, that is more than enough for me...

PS. Although I see your point in the context of the full quote...

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:40 pm 
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It's better than Peaches, I'll tell you that.

(Still holding a grudge)

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:47 pm 
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Since King Kong is part of The Big Medley, I'll say that for a variety of reasons, I enjoy listening to Trick or Treat more that I do Ahead of Their Time.

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:50 am 
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I believe they played the second theme separate from King Kong in the Copenhagen 10/1/67 show.


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 Post subject: my brain's a sieve
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:32 am 
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pbuzby wrote:
I believe they played the second theme separate from King Kong in the Copenhagen 10/1/67 show.


You're totally right and as a separate discreet item, too, outside of KK! Right there in between Absolutely Free and Toads. I even wrote this down a couple years ago because I wanted to remember it :roll:
So he must have tried that as a kind of bridge in KK in the months oct-dec67...
I'll listen to Copenhagen again

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:14 am 
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I like Jean Luc Ponty's version

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:23 am 
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Shielding myself from flying tomatoes while I type this...

I like ZPZ's renditions better than any on the official Frank releases. The Chicago 10/17 version is incredibly well done and energetic, although I think it grinds to a halt there for a minute or two when TJ solos. I'm sure he's a fine guitarist, but it just didn't flow.


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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:32 pm 
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GreenHocher wrote:
Shielding myself from flying tomatoes while I type this...

I like ZPZ's renditions better than any on the official Frank releases.
The Chicago 10/17 version is incredibly well done and energetic,
although I think it grinds to a halt there for a minute or two when TJ solos.
I'm sure he's a fine guitarist, but it just didn't flow.


I think the inclusion of Thirteen is absolutely on the money.
To each there own but from my perspective TJs 8 finger guitar work
could not have been any more on the money and the orchestral flow
of the entire band as conducted by DZ is 100% Frank Zappa King Kong
even if there is a post Pound For Brown maneuver composition included in the middle.
It's a hybrid version on overdrive.


May I suggest seeking the path to the sudsy yellow nozzle of
......The Big One Oct 31,1978

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 Post subject: Re: King Kong
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:13 pm 
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ZPZ's version was bad ass when i saw them last summer. their keyboardist was amazingly good.

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