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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:46 pm 
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feetlightup wrote:
jaypfunk wrote:
Frank Zappa and the term overrated NEVER belong in the same sentence.


I agree completely. That's why I was careful to redefine the word in my reply. Really, every release has plenty to love. He never put out "crap" or mere "product" EVER.

Anyone who is a full on Zappa fan would not consider anything of his as crap. Zappa may be my favourite composer/musician, but I still have preferences in what I listen to and I rarely set my iPod to shuffle mode. I don't think Joe's Garage is a bad album and I still listen to it, but not as often as I listen to Waka/Jawaka, Grand Wazoo, One Size Fits All or Broadway The Hard Way for example, so it's in that sense that I think Joe's Garage is overrated. I'm surprised that so many people choose it as a favourite rather than albums like those. And, On The Bus is one of my favourite Zappa guitar solos.

Anyway, if you look above you'll see that JayP is the only one who has mentioned them both in the same sentence as a kind of paradox, so I he think he was making a clever joke rather than commenting on the thread.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 1:46 am 
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I must admit that I agree about Joe's Garage. I find it underwhelming, yet it's clearly a favorite for many. Worse still, it reworks several early compositions that used to be more interesting: "My Guitar" (aka "Central Scrutinizer"), "Stick It Out" (1971 "Sofa" suite leftover) and "Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up" (I prefer the original Jeff Simmons version). Even some of the newer material can be heard in versions I find preferable: FZPTMOFZ "Watermelon" and "Outside Now Again" on The Perfect Stranger.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:12 am 
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polydigm wrote:
BillyDaMt wrote:
feetlightup wrote:
The problem with this question is that the minute I think an album's overrated, I go back and listen to it, and notice good points about it that I hadn't noticed before. So my answer here isn't absolute, but.... my personal pick for "overrated" (defineds as "most fans seem to like it a lot more than I do") is Joe's Garage. I think the concept is relatively half-assed, and there's only a few songs on there I listen to much (Catholic Girls, Crew Slut, Stick it Out, Watermelon, Packard Goose). I'll take Thing Fish over this one any day.


You sir, are wrong. :wink:

Hey Feets, I'm happy to be wrong with you. But, come on Billy, there's no room for the word "wrong" here. Similar to what Papa says about Hot Rats, ever since I've been cruising this forum, I've been surprised about how many people think Joe's Garage is one of Zappa's best. I've never thought it was, so I think that qualifies it as overrated.


Yeah, how can I be WRONG when I FEEL SO RIGHT?? OH YEAH!
:wink:

Seriously though, I realize that Joe's has a lot of redeeming qualities, but like Polydigm, I'm a little surprised at how many people cite it as their favorite. I'm listening to it at my desk again right now, giving it another listen. "Token of My Extreme" is on... ehhh...

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 Post subject: am i alone here?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:05 am 
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or is it that I just don't say anything controversial - am I the only one who thinks Thing-Fish is Frank's worst project (accepting the fact that Francesco Zappa is a waste, but not a Zappa-composed project).


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:58 am 
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My_Name_Is_Fritz wrote:
jaypfunk wrote:
Frank Zappa and the term overrated NEVER belong in the same sentence.


Yeah, because of the concept of the BIG NOTE the question is irrelevant imo.

If that's your opinion, then do you think that there are no masterpieces either, besides the entire catalogue being a masterpiece? Doesn't several micro realites exist simultaneous with the macro reality of the concept of the big note?

Is Uncle Meat equal to Just Another Band from LA?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 6:13 pm 
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Crudblud wrote:
grand_wazoo wrote:

For my money 'You Are What You Is,' 'Them Or Us' and 'Thing-Fish' are the most overrated.
I used to think You Are What You Is was overrated until I listened to it on a long car ride one day (by the way, Lather is the PERFECT album for long car rides) and I could just sit and listen to the music and the lyrics, and the way the songs were connected. It's Zappa's best rock album of the 80's granted, with little competiton (Ship Arriving Too Late, The Man From Utopia (his worst album) and Them Or Us). As far as Them Or Us, I think it was a good way for Frank to end his career in rock music. Not his best, but diverse, interesting, and well written. Thing Fish is pretty stupid, but at least funny in parts. I didn't realize it rated high.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 6:14 pm 
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And my vote is Weasels Ripped My Flesh. Like a lot of it, but never really got into it.

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 Post subject: Re: Overrated
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:03 am 
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tweezers wrote:
i hate to say ths, but Thing-Fish is my choice. He recycled a number of songs that were good in other forms, changed some words to make what is essentially a confused statement on race relations -

And the bit about fucking the briefcase - pleeeeez!


Out of all the things in Thing Fish, I really wouldn't put 'race relations' as something dealt in it at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Overrated
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:26 am 
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FeralCats wrote:
tweezers wrote:
i hate to say ths, but Thing-Fish is my choice. He recycled a number of songs that were good in other forms, changed some words to make what is essentially a confused statement on race relations -

And the bit about fucking the briefcase - pleeeeez!


Out of all the things in Thing Fish, I really wouldn't put 'race relations' as something dealt in it at all.


Except maybe indirectly.. via the Kingfish dialect references. But the focus of the opera really deals with a parody of the Broadway Musical and the Planet of the Baritone Women. The latter makes me wince a bit, but I gotta admit, it's effective, and I love the ThingFish album.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 11:47 am 
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The problem with this question is that I don't think Zappa's work should be evaluated according to albums. FZ himself thought of all of his albums as "one big album". This is perhaps one of the reasons why magazines such as Rolling Stone tend to dismiss most of his work after Hot Rats, as they don't tend to resolve or close themselves off into a self contained statement. Nevertheless, if I had to choose a least favorite, it would be Them or Us, even though I like all of the songs. I think FZ dropped the ball on this one with the mix, ruining the basic tracks (most of which are from live performances). Am I the only one that thinks the bass and drums sound strange?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:52 pm 
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FZ did not think of his career in the form of discrete 'albums', but he was a pragmatist and made specific statements through albums - or appealed to different buying sectors.

To FeralCats - yeah, the voices and the whole Mammy-Nun concept was a swipe at the superficiality of how blacks have been portrayed. I agree that it was a send-up of Broadway. I just think that it wasn't very good. I have listened to it several times and agree that there are musical parts that are not re-hashes and are very good. But, everyone has an opinion, and I think that Thing-Fish is mediocre.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 1:07 pm 
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bcg wrote:
...I think FZ dropped the ball on this one with the mix, ruining the basic tracks (most of which are from live performances). Am I the only one that thinks the bass and drums sound strange?


Agreed. In fact, I believe I stated this when the forum first started nearly five years ago (we need a "Fifth Anniversary" thread soon, guys!)! And the sound of the drums is the ONLY down side to this album, as far as I'm concerned.

But I still love Them Or Us and think it's his fourth best '80s studio album (with, You Are What You Is, The Man From Utopia & Ship Arriving..., being the first, second and third), even though I know there's some live material mixed in, as with just about every FZ studio release...

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 2:10 pm 
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We're Only In it For the Money i can't sit and listen to.

I know someone said it was cool for the 60's and what he did, but i dont find it all entertaining, it has its highlights but easily one of my least favorites.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:27 am 
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evitageN wrote:
We're Only In it For the Money i can't sit and listen to.

I know someone said it was cool for the 60's and what he did, but i dont find it all entertaining, it has its highlights but easily one of my least favorites.


I didn't really get it at first either, but then I listened to it with headphones and heard all the things that were going on and how it all flows together. Now I have a different appreciation for it.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:10 am 
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evitageN wrote:
We're Only In it For the Money i can't sit and listen to.

I know someone said it was cool for the 60's and what he did, but i dont find it all entertaining, it has its highlights but easily one of my least favorites.


Yeah, I felt the same way the first time. I think hearing those songs in other contexts helped me enjoy the original more.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:16 pm 
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i couldnt listen to it the first time i heard it...but then i looked at the CD and realized i had the SHITTY REMIX VERSION!!! and so i got the original and now i love it...

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:37 pm 
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WOIIFTM seems overrated at first, but listening to the pure MELODICISM of the album (I insist it's his most melodic album: how often did he use melodies from this album in live concerts, in medleys?) the quirky arrangement ideas and the great lyrics which just DESTROY the idea of hippies and flower power. Am I the only one who feels a tingle go up the spine when it goes "Flower power sucks-ucks-ucks-ucks-ucks-ucks"? The only problem I have is with The Chrome Plated Megaphone Of Destiny. Irritating noise that doesn't fit in with the album, even if it even ends well, with a great parody on the sustained piano chord that ends Sgt. Pepper. I think that album is really tied to it's time in the way it dismisses the popular movement at the time, and perhaps needs to be listened to with that historical context. Even though, the great melodies can entertain.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:04 pm 
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I'm not really sure I'd neccessarily call it his MOST melodic album-- Uncle Meat has just as many iconic melodies, and better arrangements (my opinion, that, but for sheer number and variety you've gotta give it to UM.)

I'm always really surprised that people don't like 'The Chrome Plated Megaphone". I think it's one of his best early tape pieces.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:38 pm 
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FeralCats wrote:
I'm not really sure I'd neccessarily call it his MOST melodic album-- Uncle Meat has just as many iconic melodies, and better arrangements (my opinion, that, but for sheer number and variety you've gotta give it to UM.)

I'm always really surprised that people don't like 'The Chrome Plated Megaphone". I think it's one of his best early tape pieces.
I understand what you mean about the sheer number and variety. To my ears the quality of the melodies on we're only in it are better. But Uncle Meat is genius too. Really, the whole period from Freak Out to Burnt Weenie has rarely a bum moment for me.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:54 am 
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FeralCats wrote:
I'm not really sure I'd neccessarily call it his MOST melodic album-- Uncle Meat has just as many iconic melodies, and better arrangements (my opinion, that, but for sheer number and variety you've gotta give it to UM.)


Yeah, Uncle Meat is the shit! But WOIIFTM is his best display at POP melodicism. Zappa always cared about melodies, just that he wasn't as myopic about the definition of melody as most people to whom melody=simplistic three minute pop song trappings. "Music For Low Budget Orchestra" is rife with excellent melodies, in the modern classical style. WOIIFTM shows that FZ could compose original pop music with unique melodies as well.

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I'm always really surprised that people don't like 'The Chrome Plated Megaphone". I think it's one of his best early tape pieces.


Not so surprising to me. Average rock listener always feels aversion when a rock musician attempts at avant-garde music. Sure, "Revolution 9" not that solid, but for most people the bottom line is: regardless how well you do your Stockhausen, this does not sound like "good music" (read: something they can tap their feet to), but more like "self-indulgent noise" (read: too challenging for their short attention spans).


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 3:27 am 
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I think "Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny" is an excellent closer for WOIIFTM. It really lends the whole album a creepy, sinister tone that would not have otherwise been there. It's kind of saying, "Well, all those other songs were all in good fun, but let's take a glimpse at where this world will end up if we let it."

I still haven't read "In the Penal Colony" by Kafka. But I have heard a Shelley Berman routine called "Franz Kafka on the Telephone".

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:11 am 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
Not so surprising to me. Average rock listener always feels aversion when a rock musician attempts at avant-garde music. Sure, "Revolution 9" not that solid, but for most people the bottom line is: regardless how well you do your Stockhausen, this does not sound like "good music" (read: something they can tap their feet to), but more like "self-indulgent noise" (read: too challenging for their short attention spans).
That's not it for me. It just doesn't fit in with the rest of the album, as far as I'm concerned. And I have heard better avant-guard pieces from Zappa himself, such as much of Lumpy Gravy, and most of Weasel's Ripped My Flesh. :twisted:

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SonicDeath10 wrote:
That's not it for me. It just doesn't fit in with the rest of the album, as far as I'm concerned. And I have heard better avant-guard pieces from Zappa himself, such as much of Lumpy Gravy, and most of Weasel's Ripped My Flesh. :twisted:


Sorry if you felt like I was lumping you in with those average rock listeners. Merely suggesting why I think "Megaphone of Destiny" is, in general, unpopular compared to FZ' melodic works.

"Lumpy Gravy" is indeed quite a trip. Unfair that it's mostly lumped (no pun intended) in with "Metal Machine Music", "Two Virgins" or other "projects" where a rock star just makes a lot of noise to pass it off as "avant garde art". This is an ultimate manifestation of Zappa's non-conformist spirit and also a bold re-definition of music composition as we know it. And bulk of it is genuinely enjoyable too.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:54 am 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
SonicDeath10 wrote:
That's not it for me. It just doesn't fit in with the rest of the album, as far as I'm concerned. And I have heard better avant-guard pieces from Zappa himself, such as much of Lumpy Gravy, and most of Weasel's Ripped My Flesh. :twisted:


Sorry if you felt like I was lumping you in with those average rock listeners. Merely suggesting why I think "Megaphone of Destiny" is, in general, unpopular compared to FZ' melodic works.

"Lumpy Gravy" is indeed quite a trip. Unfair that it's mostly lumped (no pun intended) in with "Metal Machine Music", "Two Virgins" or other "projects" where a rock star just makes a lot of noise to pass it off as "avant garde art". This is an ultimate manifestation of Zappa's non-conformist spirit and also a bold re-definition of music composition as we know it. And bulk of it is genuinely enjoyable too.


http://starling.rinet.ru/music/frank.htm#Gravy

Here's an example of one such review. Makes my blood boil.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:07 am 
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Hahaha good old George. Even if I don't agree with him that often, he introduced me to some cool stuff. And I didn't really think you were lumping me in with that group of people, I was just commenting on what I didn't like about it. :)

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