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 Post subject: The Top 60 Zappa Songs
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:38 am 
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Last summer I discovered Frank Zappa's music and my life was changed forever. I found something so innovative, and so different that it was shocking. Anyway, this tournament will be divided into 6 tiers according to quality: but, not all of them will have 10 songs. Here is all I ask for in this topic:

1) Feel free to comment on whatever you want. Agree, disagree, whatever. Just don't bash anyone about their opinion.

2) Feel free to predict what songs are coming up. That's half the fun of the whole thing.

Finally, you might ask why not make it 50 songs? I was originally going to, but I had trouble narrowing it down. So yeah, enjoy and hopefully this won't take me that long. I'll probably post some songs sometime today or maybe tomorrow.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:41 am 
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60. Can't Afford No Shoes (One Size Fits All)
A great song off of one of my favorite Zappa albums. This song starts with a very bluesy guitar and piano. There are also some great vocals by Napolean Murphy Brock. Zappa's vocals are also pretty energetic on this track. Terrific piano from George Duke as usual. The chorus is very catchy and is backed by the piano very nicely. Zappa attacks the U.S. economic state in this song. There is a nice blues guitar solo in this song, but it is strangely very un-Zappa like. It sounds very different from many of his disjointed style solos. It ends with a terrific lick by Zappa that is better than anything in the entire song.

Favorite part/lyric: "Went to buy some cheap detergent, Some emergent nation, Got my load" and the blues lick and the end of the song.

59. Keep It Greasy (Joe's Garage)
This song starts of with some fantastic drumming by Vinnie Colaiuta. The different time signatures adds a whole new component to the song and gives it a very quick feel. The duet of Zappa and Ike Willis works very well during the chorus. Another satirical song, but in this one Zappa attacks the "different" ways of pleasure. A very nice standard solo from Zappa. It sounds very spaced out and distant. It starts of very slow but quickly builds up speed. Meanwhile, the band continues to vamp the main part of the song. This an example of when a vamp in a song is actually just as tough as the solo itself. I can't stress enough how great Colaiuta's drumming is on the track.

Favorite part: The main Keep It Greasy vamp and Colaiuta's drumming. The odd time signatures are also very nice (a trademark of Zappa's music).

58. Dumb All Over (You Are What You Is)
These satirical songs just keep piling up don't they? Zappa has a rap-like rant against religion in a distant vocal track. The band continues to vamp and Zappa continues to rant. While I don't agree with his opinion, I have to give him credit for his argument. This is one of his most biting satirical tracks. He leaves no stone unturned and goes all out in his efforts. He also attacks TV evangelists and their "blond wives." Right at the end, Ray White's vocals come in and Zappa takes a very short guitar solo.

Favorite lyric: "You can't run a country, By a book of religion, Not by a heap, Or a lump or a smidgen, Of foolish rules, Of ancient date"


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:37 am 
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57. Sleep Dirt (Sleep Dirt)
A great guitar instrumental by Zappa. One of the most beautiful guitar tracks that has ever graced one of his albums. It sounds like it would be played a funeral or something of the sort. There is one guitar playing arpeggios and the other is playing an amazing solo. It's very touching and the acoustic tone gives it a very lush sound. This song has no lyrics and it's for the better. Lyrics would absolutely ruin the guitar solo. It tells a story by itself, there is no use for words. One of the few fully acoustic Zappa songs that I can think of off the top of my head. There is something beautiful but yet haunting about this track. Sleep Dirt is very underrated as an album too.

Favorite part: None. Unless I can pick the whole guitar solo :)

Well, that's it for now. This may take some time, but be patient. Feel free to comment and critique. I'll post some more songs in the next few days.

56. Let's Make The Water Turn Black (Were Only In It For The Money)
Ahh, our first track from WOIIFTM. This song starts with some terrific piano backed by guitar chords. This song is very catchy, and it's pretty short. The typical WOIIFTM song, with great lyrics. This songs tells the story of childhood friends. It's nice and catchy. WOIIFTM is an amazing album and I recommend it to anyone who hasn't heard it. One of Zappa's best.

Favorite lyric: "We see them after school in a world of their own, (To some it might seem creepy what they do . . . ), The neighbors on the right sat & watched them every night,
(I bet you'd do the same if they was you)"

55. Lonely Little Girl (Were Only In It For The Money)
This song starts off with a great riff. It's very very short (about half the size of #56). This song has better lyrics than #56. I think that the vocals on this track are very enjoyable. Near the end there are some lyrics from many other songs from WOIIFTM. The song ends with a high ascending guitar lick. There really isn't a whole lot that you can write about a 1 minute song so that's it.

Favorite part/lyric: The opening riff/the lyrics from What's The Ugliest Part of Your Body?

54. Regyptian Strut (Sleep Dirt)
Ahh, I told you that Sleep Dirt was very underrated. What a great song this is. It opens up with an amazing horn section that starts the song of very nicely. Then there is a layed back section with some more horns and some bass. I really like Zappa's jazz song and there are sure to be some more before this list is over. There is some great percussion playing on this song too. You can even here some piano. If anyone likes jazz in anyway or in specific jazz fusion, check this track out. There is a very nice section of heavy brass and bass that has ascending licks and a constant almost blues like bass riff. Then there is a much slower section with some type of weird sounding drums in the background. Bruce Fowler does great job on this track, his playing is spectacular.

Favorite part: Starts around 2:26 into the song. Great section.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:29 pm 
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This list was started on a non-Zappa board, so I explained some stuff that most of you will know. Anyway, please comment, critique and predict.

53. Tell Me You Love Me (Chunga's Revenge)
This song starts off with a great riff by Zappa and some good vocals. Zappa's guitar tone is menacing. Aynsley Dunbar has some great drumming on this track. The chorus is very catchy and also simple. Ian Underwood tears it up on the pipe organ. There is a very quick guitar riff near the end of the song which sounds incredibly difficult. After the chorus is done again, the same riff is played on the pipe organ (maybe?). The great thing about this song is that the lyrics are insanely simple, but yet the song is great.

Favorite part: The opening guitar riff OR The ending guitar riff. Can't make up my mind, lol.

52. WPLJ (Burnt Weeny Sandwich)
One of the best Zappa album openers of all time. Zappa's great vocals are backed by Janet Ferguson going "dit-dit-doo-wap" This song falls into the doo-wap like section of Zappa's repertoire. It's really catchy and there is some nice brass playing the background. While I often prefer Ike Willis or Ray White singing during Zappa's songs, Frank's voice fits perfectly for this song. This song comes from probably one of my favorite Zappa albums of all time. I know that it's at least in the top 5.

Favorite lyric: "I went to the store when they opened up the door ,I said: "Please please please gimme some more,"White Port & Lemon Juice, White Port & Lemon Juice, White Port & Lemon Juice, Ooh what it do to you!"

So, that's the end of the first tier. The second tier consists of songs #51-44. Hope you enjoy it.

Here is something that I came up with a couple of days ago, and I'll continue to do this between tiers.

FZ's top 5 Drummers

5. Chad Wackerman
Spotlight album: Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers of Prevention

4. Jimmy Carl Black
Spotlight album: Were Only In It For The Money

3. Aynsley Dunbar
Spotlight album: Chunga's Revenge

2. Terry Bozzio
Spotlight album: Sheik Yerbouti

1. Vinnie Colaiuta
Spotlight album: Joe's Garage

Some of the next tier will be up soon!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:27 pm 
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Okay, here comes all of tier two.

51. Valarie (Burnt Weeny Sandwich)
Ahh, another doo-wop song. Zappa does them perfectly. Coming off the heels of a great live track, Valarie slows the pace down with a conventional love song. Zappa has some great vocals on this song. Bunk Gardner, Ian Underwood, and Motorhead Sherwood do play some great woodwinds in the background. There is some great reverb keyboard going on the background. It gives the track a very spaced out feel. A great end to a great album.

Favorite lyric: "Although you don't want me no more, Oh, but it's alright, it's alright with me,
'Cause you know, you're gonna want me some day, Oh you will want me, and I'll run away"

50. Aybe Sea (Burnt Weeny Sandwich)
Two BWS songs in a row! This short instrumental is nothing short of amazing. Ian Underwood is his usual amazing self playing a killer harpsichord, while Frank jams on the guitar in the background. Underwood also plays some nice piano in the background as well. But, the piano solo in this song is great too. I've always admired Underwood's piano skills, and I don't think that he gets enough credit for it because he also plays many other instruments.

Favorite part: From 1:31 to 2:10.

49. Sharleena (Chunga's Revenge)
Wow, another doo-wop song? Yes, another doo-wop song. I really like all of these songs, but I know that they don't stand a chance to some of the songs on the other tiers. So, this is the perfect place to put them. I've always liked the bass riff from this song. It's really simple but yet nice. The vocals on this song are outstanding and very emotional. There is also some decent guitar licks from Zappa in this song. You know what I've noticed? Most of these songs so far haven't featured solos from Zappa. Well, that will change soon. The many different vocalists on this track make it simply amazing. They form a great harmony as well.

Favorite lyric: "But nobody 'round here seems to know, Where my Sharleena's been" or "I would be so delighted, If they would just, Send her on home to me"

48. Doreen (You Are What You Is)
Now, I guarantee that this is the last doo-wop song. I'm serious this time. It's also by far the best. Ahh, one of my favorite Zappa vocalists, Ray White. Such a powerful voice. He can notes that nearly no one else in Zappa's band could. If my ears aren't failing me, I think Zappa is singing some backup vocals too. Zappa tears it up with a solo in this song while Ray White is still wailing away. So breathtaking. I saw Zappa Plays Zappa live last year, and I have to say, Ray White can still sing today just as good as he could before. I'm sure he'll be near the top of my FZ's top vocalist list. This track is imo the best on YAWYI. Nothing else even comes close.

Favorite part: The duel of Ray White's vocals and Zappa's guitar solo. If someone hasn't heard this, than you haven't lived.

47. Magic Fingers (Halloween)
This song starts with a monster marimba riff. How often do you here that, lol? This is very catchy and hilarious. I was amazed at how funny some of Zappa's music was when I first started listening to it. About midway Zappa's vocals come in, and there are tons of funny lines. A great song from a great live album. There are some odd time riffs that are great. A staple of the Frank Zappa music style.

Favorite lyric: "Open up your pocketbook, Get another quarter out, Drop it in the meter, mama, Try me on for size"

46. Cruising for Burgers (Uncle Meat)
Maybe this will stir up some controversy, but oh well. A lot of people love this song. It is great, but I think that it is a tab bit overrated. This is song is very weird and eccentric, and it fits the style of Uncle Meat. Zappa has some nice lyrics in this song, and there is some blues guitar playing in the background. Jimmy Carl Black has some nice drumming on this track. A classic, but there are many tracks that are better from Uncle Meat. Great flute playing on this track too.

Favorite lyric: "Gotta do a few things, To make my life complete, I gotta live my life, Out on the street "

45. Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance (Were Only In It For The Money)

A great, insanely catchy tune off of WOIIFTM. Zappa has some great guitar playing as well. The lyrics are what sets this song apart. The satire of the hippie movement in this song is crisp and fresh. It's absolutely hilarious. But, again there isn't a whole lot that I can write about a 1 1/2 minute song.

Favorite lyric: "There will come a time when every evil, That we know will be an evil...THAT WE CAN RISE ABOVE"

44. The Uncle Meat Variations (Uncle Meat)
Now, here is a great track from Uncle Meat. You have the great riff from Uncle Meat with all kinds of extra goodies. Some great harpsichord playing in this one. The part with the swirling harpischord is absolutely sensational. It's amazing how these musicians can play these songs with such relative ease when the music is so difficult to play to begin with. There are some weird sounding horns in this song, not quite sure what they are. Maybe a tuba? There is some opera sounding vocals in this song that mirror the pattern of the Uncle Meat riff. Really neat stuff. Then the song speeds up. Panic ensues, lol. Well, not really. There is just a great mini Zappa solo that takes hold of the song and refuses to let go. Probably the best guitar solo on all of Uncle Meat. I thought about putting this song much higher, so don't feel bad if you absolutely love it.

Favorite part: Zappa's mini guitar solo.

Well, that ends tier two. I'll do another one of the top five FZ players by instrument tomorrow. Then we will move on to tier three which consists of songs #43-34. My reviews will probably start to double in size pretty soon. Until then, rock on and remember, MUSIC IS THE BEST!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:31 pm 
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These all suck hard. You should be ashamed. I wouldn't let my dog listen to that.

Carry on.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:01 pm 
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I wanna see what you put as #1, better be Peaches, prolly will be since it's your user name

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:48 am 
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The reason that I'm putting up this list this quickly is because most of it already done. I'm just copying this from another site that I already posted most of it on.

Anyway,

Hello everybody. Here is:

FZ's top 5 bassists:

5. Scott Thunes
Spotlight album: Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers of Prevention

4. Max Bennett
Spotlight album: Hot Rats

3. Tom Fowler
Spotlight album: Over-Nite Sensation

2. Roy Estrada
Spotlight album: Were Only In It For The Money

1. Patrick O'Hearn
Spotlight album: Sheik Yerbouti

Tier three will be up sometime in the next couple days.

Well, I'm back people. Here goes some of tier three.

43. Holiday In Berlin, Full-Blown (Burnt Weeny Sandwich)
Man these songs from BWS are going quick. This is another great one from one of my favorite FZ albums. A great instrumental that features nice woodwind from Ian Underwood. This song incorporates many different instruments and is nothing short of terrific. Motorhead Sherwood's sax playing really fits well with the feel of the song. I really feel that this album is severely underrated by Zappa's fans, and I'll even go as far as to say that it is better than Uncle Meat. Art Tripp has some decent drumming on this track. There is also a really nice live Zappa solo thrown into this musical frenzy. The live track of the solo is actually from 1969, and it's great to hear some live stuff from that era. There really isn't a whole lot of it that you can find. Roy Estrada does a very nice job keeping the pace of the song going with his simplistic yet catchy bassline. I think I could listen to BWS and never get tired of it. It has the perfect mix of everything Zappa. Some doowop, and tons of instrumental madness. While Zappa's solo is nowhere near the complexity of feature years, it is still interesting and pretty good.

Favorite part: The live Zappa solo.

42. I Ain't Got No Heart (Freak Out!)
Ahh, the first song from Freak Out! And what a great one to start with! This song is soo catchy and the vocals are amazing. The duet of Ray Collins and Zappa is amazing. Zappa lays down some nice licks during the verse too. Freak Out! consists of many great, short pop songs. This is one of the most entertaining of these songs. The saxophone in this song really fits in well. That's one of my favorite things about Zappa's music. He combines rock with elements of jazz, and the result is great. This song ends with some epic saxophone notes and guitar playing.

Favorite lyric: "I sit and laugh, At fools in love, There ain't no such thing, As love, No angels singing, Up above today"

41. Oh No/The Orange County Lumber Truck (Weasels Ripped My Flesh)
I combined these two short songs into one because they basically flow right into one another. Maybe this is cheating but oh well. Oh No features great vocals from Ray Collins and some nice drumming from Art Tripp (just like the last track). Zappa attacks love in this song, but the song is still extremely pleasant sounding. I know this is getting repetitive, but once again, great playing by Ian Underwood. Zappa also has some decent guitar playing in this song. It is very catchy but maintains the Zappa style. Then the song goes into the great instrumental that is OCLT. Zappa rips into this song with some monster licks, and there is some really great vamps by Underwood and Bunk Gardner. It sounds like this song could have lyrics with it, but it sounds great just as an instrumental. These two songs have always been the highlight of WRMF for me, but there are some other good tracks too. About halfway through, Zappa comes in with some more guitar playing, this time through a wah-wah pedal. This part might even be better then the guitar playing in the beginning of the song.

Favorite part: Zappa's 2nd solo in OCLT.

40. Pick Me, I'm Clean (Tinseltown Rebellion)
A very underrated song with nice vocals from Ray White and Ike Willis. This also features Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, and we all know how I feel about his guitar playing. This is also one of the few times we find a song in which both White and Willis sing. Bob Harris has some nice trumpet playing on this song that really goes unnoticed if you just listen to the song once or twice. He also does a decent job on the keyboards. Colaiuta's drumming during the "oh yea, check out my band aid" part is fantastic. Then Zappa rips into a solo and Colaiuta does much more than vamp in the background. Zappa's solo in this song is very entertaining and lively. About midway through his solo, there is a breakdown that sounds like it's in an odd time signature. That's what makes Zappa's songs interesting. Those little quirks like that keep me coming back time after time. What's amazing about this song is that the two halves are from completely different dates. I wouldn't have noticed it if I hadn't looked at the Zappa wikipedia. Don't think I'm pulling all of this information from my head, lol. I know a lot about Zappa, but not that much.

Favorite part: Zappa's solo.

39. Black Napkins (Zoot Allures)
Man, there must be a lot of great songs coming up if this is #39! One of Zappa's most famous (and rightfully so) guitar solo full songs. So much emotion is put into that bend that it's amazing. Every time I hear that bend it gives me goosebumps. This song is nothing but four pure minutes of Zappa shredding up the guitar. Bozzio has some decent drumming on this track and really gets into it. I hate it when players just settle for the normal vamps on songs. I like when people take there own little mini solos behind the main soloist (is that a word? haha). Well there isn't really a whole lot I can say about this song, you have to hear it for yourself. I know that there are many great versions on youtube. Roy Estrada keeps an equally energetic bassline going behind Zappa's musical madness. Near the end, the pace of the songs changes and there is a little interlude and the guitar solo slowly fades out into the background.

Favorite part: The opening set of bends in Zappa's guitar solo.

Well, this is where the list starts to get really, really fun. I'm now halfway through the third tier, so there are still five more songs in this one alone. Remember, keep commenting on this list. Anything you have to say. It's one of the main reasons that I'm doing this. If just one person takes a look at this list and listens to Zappa's music for the first time, I'll be happy.

Anyway, there should be some more stuff in the next day or two!

Here is the rest of tier three.

38. Strictly Genteel (Orchestral Favorites)
I originally had this song higher, but I moved it down to move another one up. I'll let you know when that song comes up. This song starts with some great piano playing and it is really an orchestral masterpiece. Zappa used to end a lot of his shows with this track, and you can tell why. It has a very culminating type feel to it, kind of like a celebratory song. Stacked with various types of horns and saxs, there is a real big band type feel to the song. The music soars and then is brought back down to a slower and quite pace, only to soar up again. I always thought that this song would be TREMENDOUSLY better if it had solos in it. I mean, the theme is great, but I think a solo or two would make it a #15 song for me. The Wazoo band does a great job on this one. While it doesn't match up with half of the stuff from the other Wazoo albums, it's still great.

Favorite part: The main theme.

37. Po-Jama People (One Size Fits All)
A great Zappa track that no one ever talks about. This song begins with a scorching Zappa solo which is vamped by George Duke's equally entertaining piano playing. This song has a very funky feel to it, and that leads me to believe that Duke had a major influence on this song. Zappa's vocals backed by Duke's great piano playing. The chorus is outstanding and easily the best part of the song. Ruth Underwood plays some great percussion on that part of the song. Then, Zappa rips into another solo, which easily trounces the first one. Chester Thompson has some very active drumming during his solo, and than Duke begins to take what I like to call a vamp solo. Zappa's tone of the guitar in this song is great. Zappa and Duke go back an forth jamming away. There may even be some parts where Duke's improv (imo) is better than Zappa's. There both really great and it's nice to hear them solo at the same time. These solos last for several minutes but never run dry. Actually as I'm listening to this, I must admit, Duke destroys Zappa on this song. Wow, that's some funky piano playing. But it's the combination of the two that matters, right? Then Napolean Murphy Brock comes in and sings a duet with Duke. Nevertheless, this is a fun and very lively track which never gets old.

Favorite lyric: "Wrap 'em up, Roll 'em out, Get 'em out of my way"

36. What's New In Baltimore (Meets the Mothers of Prevention)
What a great riff developed by Zappa and Vai. Great use of harmonics that fits right in with the marimba playing. I've always like the live improv that they would do on this song, with the answers to "What's New In Baltimore?" Really funny stuff. Chad Wackerman has some nice drumming on this track, and I think that he is one of FZ's drummers that many people overlook. Bobby Martin and Tommy Mars' keyboard playing adds a lot to this song. It's an instrumental frenzy. Right as it appears to be going to the brink, Zappa comes in a rips this song a new one :). Zappa's solo starting two minutes into the song is simply breathtaking. Easily the best song off of this album. No other song even comes close imo. Scott Thunes bass chugs along as Zappa continues to solo. One of Zappa's best studio solos of all time, easily. Who knows what kind of places this solo would have went if it just kept going on.

Favorite part: Zappa's solo, easily.

35. Cleetus Awreetus-Awrightus (The Grand Wazoo)
This track is the definition of underrated. And I said that Duke's playing on Po-Jama people was spectacular. This one blows it away. It's all of the beauty of the Wazoo band mixed with Duke and Zappa. Zappa lays down a nasty distortion lick that really contrasts the feel of the song. Duke's keyboard playing on this song is steady and amazing. It's easily the most unique Wazoo song ever. Then, George gets his solo. Wow, who knew that things like that could be done on a piano? He continues to play away while Ernie Watts takes a decent sax solo. Then the band comes back in and we here that classic Zappa lick again. If that wasn't enough, Zappa sings the main theme too. This appears in many of his songs, and it will be in a few later on in this list. It's a trademark of Zappa.

Favorite part: Duke's keyboard solo.

34. Joe's Garage (Joe's Garage)
One of Zappa's lyrical masterpieces. These lyrics stick in your head forever and ever. Ike Willis vocals wail out the beginning of the story of a young rocker named Joe. Complete with aspirations, a rise to stardom, and the inevitable downfall, this song has everything. Then Zappa comes in and starts singing. This song might just be the catchiest Zappa song that their is. Some decent guitar playing on this one from Zappa, but the multi-layered vocals steal the show. It's the little things that make this song great. The little go-go bar part, the "bend the string" part, etc. I especially like the outro by Ike Willis. "I guess you only get one chance in life to play a song" rings out so true. It's what every aspiring rock star dreams off: one moment of stardom.

Favorite lyric: "We could jam in Joe's Garage, His mama was screamin', his dad was mad, We was playin' the same old song, In the afternoon 'n' sometimes we would, Play it all night long"

Well, that's some good stuff, lol. Tier four, consists of songs #33-22, and it will be up sometime after I do another of FZs best. I'm thinking vocalist this time :). Well, as always, comment and critique.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:18 pm 
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FZ's top Vocalists

5) Captain Beefheart
Spotlight album: Bongo Fury

4) Ray Collins
Spotlight album: Freak Out!

3) Napolean Murphy Brock
Spotlight album: Roxy & Elsewhere

2) Ike Willis
Spotlight album: Joe's Garage

1) Ray White
Spotlight album: Zappa In New York

Tier four is on it's way.

Hello, everybody, here it comes!

33. Village of the Sun (Roxy & Elsewhere)
Zappa's song dedicated to a town near his hometown of Lancaster, CA. It's called Palmdale. It's also as song about raising turkeys. Doesn't this sound great? I really like Napolean's vocals on this song and there is a very active bass line by Tom Fowler. This song is very catchy and there are some neat chord progressions too. The bridge in this song is tremendous. Walt Fowler has some trumpet fills and there is all kinds of crazy madness. One of the things that I like about Roxy is it's big band feel. Most of the songs feature many types of saxs, trumpets, etc. It's great. I think I can here some marimba by Ruth Underwood in the back too, but I'm not sure about that. But, when compared to most of the other Roxy songs, this one isn't anything (foreshadowing?)

Favorite part: The bridge w/ the lyrics "little Mary"

32. Cosmik Debris (Apostrophe (') )
A classic little jazz tune by Zappa. It's one of his most popular and there is a reason for it. Zappa's vocals are very enjoyable, and there is a nice jazzy keyboard part playing in the middle of a song. Then the chorus hits, and some of female backup vocalists come in. I've always liked this song for it's laid back feel. That's how it comes of to me. A nice bassline from Tom Fowler in this one. I think this is a good time to introduce something that is another staple of FZs music. Conceptual continuity. "With the oil of Afro-dytee. An' the dust of the Grand Wazoo." These lyrics features the future name of an album by Frank Zappa. He always kept phrases like this going in his music, and it's amazing how much you can pick up if listen closely. Zappa's solo in this song is great, and it has a really bluesy feel to it. The end of his solo with the wah-wah is great. The end of this song features some of the most fun Zappa lyrics of all time. It was one of my first favorite Zappa songs, and it still has a special place in my heart.

Favorite lyric: "The price of meat has just gone up, An' yer ol' lady has just gone down . . . "

31. I'm The Slime (Over-Nite Sensation)
This song opens with a bang. One of the most powerful Zappa solos of all time. Then the song breaks into the very catchy riff, which is mirrored by keyboards and saxophones. There isn't really a whole lot of singing in this song, it's more like speaking. Zappa goes on a satirical rant about TV and it's destructive ways. I really like the live version on Zappa In New York as well. I like the part where he says "Take it away Don Pardo!" Great stuff. It amazes me that this song is at 31. There must be a lot of great songs left :). In the chorus the female voices take over and they are sure powerful. Then Zappa rips into a new solo, which is about three times better than the opening solo. This song was also one of my original favorite FZ songs. Zappa continues to solo and the song slowly fades away.

Favorite part: Zappa's second solo.

30. Wet T-Shirt Nite (Joe's Garage)
One of my favorite Joe's Garage song. This one is lively and always a treat. The combination of guitar and percussion in this song is great. Ike Willis has some great vocals and there are some great in between breakdowns. The first one is pretty simple, but on the second one Zappa's composer roots show through. It's very complex and weird sounding, but that's what's great about his music. I would sure have to hate to play that riff on the marimba. Sounds nearly impossible. Zappa's fellow musicians were EXTREMELY talented, and it could even be argued that some were even better than Zappa himself. The second part of this song is merely a dialogue between Mary and Buddy Jones. It would take me a lot more than one post to explain the scheme of Joe's Garage. So I'll pass on that for now.

Favorite lyric: "Looks to me like something funny is going on around here, There are people laughing and dancing an paying entirely too much for their beer, And they all think they’re clean outta sight, And they’re ready to party cause the sign out front says it’s Wet T-Shirt Night"

29. RDNZL (Studio Tan)
A great wacky instrumental that starts out with some hectic keyboard playing. Then it reaches a frenzy, and goes back down to a calm state. Then we hear some regular piano playing by George Duke. The marimba kicks and plays a lick and then it's back to the piano. Most of this song is just back and forth between George Duke and Ruth Underwood. Now that's my kind of music! George starts to play a funky vamp and there is a little drum solo by Chester Thompson. Then Zappa finally makes an appearance in the song with an energetic guitar solo. Duke takes a vamp solo in the background of the music which is great. Then the solo culminates with a riff combo between Duke and Zappa.

Oh but wait, it's not done quite yet! Zappa rips in even more and pulls out some really nasty licks. Then the solo ends and the song goes back to it's normal ways. The fun isn't done yet. There comes a section with some kind of "scary" music, that you would have to here to understand what I mean. Then a section comes up with piano that sounds like it is supposed to be played with vocals over top of it. Then George breaks it down for us! The funk master brings it all out in this one. Man, does it get any better than this? Wow, that's some funky stuff. Then there is some heavy synthesizer and drum breakdown. The song ends with a weird piano part that gives way to some very pretty ending piano.

Favorite part: The George Duke solo, easily.

28. Uncle Meat (Uncle Meat)
Wow, I don't know if I can recover after RDNZL. I think I forgot how good that song was! Here is a song that starts off an amazing album. The song starts with some great harpsichord playing by Ian Underwood. The theme of this song is tremendous. It's so difficult and complex. Zappa was truly a composer at heart, and this shows it. About midway the drums become much more prevalant there is some kind of weird woodwind. Maybe piccolo? Then there is an electrical piano breakdown that gives way to some weird noises. If you want to listen to Uncle Meat, you'll have to get used to that, haha. The theme alone makes this song this great.

Favorite part: The main theme.

Well, I'll think I'll take a break now, lol. Anyway, this tier has 6 songs left, and most likely they'll be put up tomorrow. Rock on!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:16 pm 
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Let's get right to it.

27. Willie the Pimp (Hot Rats)
Now isn't this a loaded song? You've got Beefheart, Sugarcane, and the regular Zappa awesomeness all rolled into one. This song starts with a violin riff, and then the listener receives a rude awakening from the Captain. The first time I heard this song I was like wow. I think Beefheart has one of the most shocking voices off all time besides Tom Waits. Both friends of Zappa though. During the chorus Zappa comes in and begins his solo. It's one of the longest that comes to mind from his catalog of studio material. It's got some very great moments, like the monster turnaround. Maybe some of you know exactly what I'm talking about. A nice bassline from Max Bennet in this song. John Guerin, a Zappa drummer that I've never heard of (lol), does an alright job, but it's nothing spectacular. Just as I type here comes that turnaround, then Zappa goes back off to the rest of his solo. Then the actual band comes back in and plays the regular riff again.

Favorite part: The turnaround in Zappa's solo (3:53-3:40).

26. Imaginary Diseases (Imaginary Diseases)
What a great jazz number we have here! Petit Wazoo at it's finest. A wide selection of horns, trumpets, saxs, etc. play the main theme, which is nothing short of spectacular. Jim Gordon does a nice job drumming, and then after the theme is repeated Zappa's guitar enters the song. Then we're off. A stunning, mind-blowing solo by Zappa that words can't explain. This one if very fast and extremely complicated. I've tried to transcribe some of Zappa's stuff before (because I actually play guitar myself), and it's so incredibly hard. Very technical. This song like Willie the Pimp also features another extremely long solo. So, there isn't really I whole lot I can write in detail about a solo. Dave Parlato has a nice active bassline (I know I say that phrase on nearly every song) in this one, and I really think that things like that add so much to the song. I can't stand when bass players just play the bare minimum. Get involved! Don't just stand there and play the same two notes the whole song, haha. After Zappa's solo, the band returns to the main theme, just like Willie the Pimp.

Favorite part: The main theme.

25. Trouble Every Day (Freak Out!)
One of the best songs off of Freak Out! and a great anthem about U.S. life. Some blues type guitar from Zappa and some nice vocals. But, the best thing about this song is the lyrics. There great and they have a very quick, almost rapping feel to them. One of my friends claimed that Zappa invented rap. While I don't know about that, this song certainly has that type of feel. Zappa talks about TV, sports, and racial tensions in this song. A great satirical masterpiece. He really focuses on racial relations as the main point in this song though. The classic line "Hey, you know something people?, I'm not black, But there's a whole lots a times, I wish I could say I'm not white." That is some really biting satire. Ray Collins has some neat harmonica work on this song, and as the song nears it's end, it speeds to a very fast pace.

Favorite lyric: "I mean to say that every day, Is just another rotten mess, And when it's gonna change, my friend, Is anybody's guess"

Well I'm going to wait until later to do the other 3 songs from this tier. They'll be up in the next couple days.

24. Andy (One Size Fits All)
Now this is a song that has it all. It's very underrated too. Some distorted bass from Tom Fowler starts the song and than Zappa comes in with a nice little riff. But in the background, Chester Thompson is playing a great drum beat. Then Napoleon Murphy Brock's vocals come in and rock the house. This might just be my favorite song that he does. Fowler does a really great job on bass during this song. But then the breakdown. Such great timing, and I must admit this might be Chester Thompson's best drumming song. Duke jams away on the keyboards, and then Ruth comes in with her great marimba playing. Then a nice slow part arises in the song, and Thompson's drumming is simply amazing. Then Zappa comes in with a great short solo. Then the hilariously fast vocals of Brock come back, haha. Then the jamming ensues. Duke plays a very funky section on they keyboard, and the song finally hits it's stride. The song ends with a great keyboard section by Duke, and another guitar solo by Zappa.

Favorite lyric: "Have I aligned, With a blown mind, Wasted my time, On a drawn blind"

23. Invocation & Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin (Absolutely Free)
How about some Absolutely Free! Great stuff :). Bunk Gardner has some great woodwind playing to start this song, and then those phrases are mirrored by the bass. Then Zappa whips it out (let's see if anyone catches this reference, haha). It's nice to hear some early Zappa soloing, because his style really developed a lot over the years. But, this solo isn't anything to laugh at. Then the solo shifts over to Bunk Gardner and he plays some really amazing stuff. Then Gardner and Zappa start to duel, exchanging riffs and bringing the song to a petulant frenzy (another little reference). Meanwhile, Ray Collins jams away with the tambourine. Nothing too sophisticated, but it's a neat little bit of info. This jam goes on for quite awhile, and is one of the major highlights of AF.

Favorite part: The intro.

22. The Illinois Enema Bandit (Zappa In New York)
Now we have come to my favorite Ray White song of all time! Well anyway, this is the story of Michael Kenyon, a robber who decided to give his female victims injections of enema before he robbed them. Yeah, a typical Zappa song. But anyway, Ray White is simply amazing on this song. I could listen to the vocals of this song forever. Ruth Underwood has some nice fills during this song, and Zappa adds some killer guitar licks underneath Ray's vocals. Terry Bozzio has some decent drums in this song too. Then Zappa's solo comes. It's very laid back and it's one of my favorite studio solos. This solo is great and the cool thing about it is that it isn't super fast. The bands slow vamp behind his solo really helps slow the pace down. I can't help but smile when I listen to this song. That might sound funny or make me look bad, but oh well. It's just this pure type of Zappa humour that is priceless. Who else would write a song about something like this? Furthermore, who else could write this good of a song about a topic like this. After his solo, Zappa comes in and shares some vocals with Ray White. I'm pretty sure that Bozzio does the vocals for Micheal Kenyon, and they are hilarious. Then this song reaches it's pinnacle. The duet of Zappa and Ray White leaves me speechless. As if that wasn't enough, Bozzio's drums continue to get louder and louder and louder, until it sounds like your ear drums are going to break. Then Zappa throws some nice licks on top of this all. Wow, what a song.

Favorite lyric: "Are you guilty? Bandit, did you do these deeds?, Come on, now!, He said: "It must be just what they all need..." "

Well, there are just two tiers left. I'll most likely put up some of the next one tomorrow, and we will draw closer to the end. The second tier includes songs #21-12.

Oh yeah, I'd also like to mention that there will still be a FZ's best in between the third and second tier. But, this one is going to be a little different...


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:29 pm 
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FZ's top 5 Musicians

5. Vinnie Colaiuta
Spotlight album: Since I said Joe's Garage already, I'll now say Buffalo

4. Don "Sugarcane" Harris
Spotlight album: Hot Rats

3. Ruth Underwood
Spotlight album: Roxy & Elsewhere

2. George Duke
Spotlight album: The Grand Wazoo

1. Ian Underwood
Spotlight album: Uncle Meat

Well, I just might get around to putting up some new songs tonight.

21. San Ber'dino (One Size Fits All)
The classic story of Potatoheaded Bobby. One of the first few Zappa songs that I heard, and it's still a great song even though I've listen to it some many times. This song is just a monster. It has the classic Zappa fills in between lyrics, and the combo of guitar and harmonica is great. Chester Thompson's drumming is pretty good on this track, but he has better songs. I like the blues feeling of this song, and the fills were the main thing that caught my attention when I first heard this song. It was so new and crisp, something that I had never heard before. There are many different people on vocals during this song: Zappa, Duke, Brock, and one of Zappa's idols, Johnny "Guitar" Watson. Zappa has a nice guitar breakdown (I don't think that you can really call it a solo), and the harmonies on vocals add a nice touch to the song. Watson's vocals are great at the end, while Duke and Zappa jam away on their respective instruments. This song was inspired by Zappa's stay in prison. To quote the Zappa wikipedia outlet (which quotes The Real Frank Zappa Book):

"We were supplied with one razor blade per day, and one small shower stall at the end of the cell block for forty-four men. The scum on the shower basin was about four inches thick. I didn't shave or take a shower the whole time I was there."

Favorite lyric: "Best-est way that, They can feel-o, Out on the highway, Rollin' a wheel-o"

20. Cheepnis (Roxy & Elsewhere)
Combining Zappa's love for monster movies and Stinkfoot-like poodle wackiness, Cheepnis is often cited as a top song from many Zappa fans. Or at least that's what I see from my experience. This song starts with a tangent from Zappa talking about cheap monster movies. It's some pretty funny stuff. A lot of this song is actually taken up by this speech, but the music that we get is spectacular. The horns and saxs in this song are great, and they are mirrored by the marimba. Then Brock's vocals come in and so does Zappa's guitar. This song is funny but the music is very "serious". It's actually pretty complicated and difficult (especially later in the song). Zappa has some nice fills while someone sings some very high-pitched vocals. I'm not sure who this is (maybe someone can help me out on this one?). Then the song gets really interesting. The pace picks up and then slows back down. Then it's back to the main section again. Then the "horrible eye" section comes in and then back to the chorus.

Favorite part: The "Go to the shelter" section

19. Yo' Mama (Sheik Yerbouti)
Maybe I shattered some top ten hopes here? Anyway, this song is great, and the cool thing about it is that it's live. The song opens up with Bozzio playing drums and then some slow, soft arpeggios. Zappa's vocals then come in and he satirizes lazy people. I've always liked the chorus of this song, and it has a really neat lick in the middle of it (0:59-1:00). Zappa has a lot of great choruses, but this one was always neat to me. When it comes time for the chorus to happen again, the same chords are played, but this time by some type of synth. Then everybody's favorite part of the song comes up. The Zappa guitar solo. The EPIC LIVE Zappa guitar solo. Many say that this one is his best solo, and it deserves all the praise that it receives. It's one of his more straight-edged solo's for the first part, but then it moves on to the usual Zappa sound. A neat little thing that I just noticed recently about this solo is the bass playing in one section. Around 5:29 into the song, Patrick O'Hearn starts playing this swirling bass riff. It's really cool and it's something that I just realized. This is also one of Zappa's longest studio solos that I can remember.

Favorite section: It pretty much has to be the solo, doesn't it? (haha)

18. Pygmy Twylyte (Roxy & Elsewhere)
While this song is very short, it sure packs a strong punch. It opens right off with a duel guitar and marimba riff. Then the bass comes in and then the guitar goes off. Zappa plays some of my favorite guitar phrases in that section. Brock does a pretty good job on vocals during this song, and the lyrics are great. There funny and I think that his voice is the perfect fit for the lyrics. The trumpets and saxs also play the main theme, which just adds to the greatness of this song. Now, I'm on my second listen (because it's so short), and I must admit that the drums are pretty good in this song. That's something that I never really payed a whole lot of attention to before.

Favorite part: The main theme.

17. Eat That Question (The Grand Wazoo)
This song starts with a mind blowing keyboard section by George Duke. The sheer speed and talent of it is insane. Then it slows down, and the main theme finally takes form. Then the drums come in, and the guitar starts to play the same theme. I thought about putting this song higher, btw. Then Duke comes back in for the kill. This keyboard solo is so great. There are plenty of highlights from this mammoth solo. This is a terrific song to listen to if you want to see just how talented George Duke is. Aynsley Dunbar's drumming is a lot better than what I've heard from him before too. Then Zappa's solo comes up. It's very distorted and has that "I'm the Slime" type tone. It's really awesome to hear that type of solo on top of a jazz song. The song crawls to a halt and then a slower version of the theme is played on the guitar. Then the song burst open. It reaches it's high point, and lots of saxs and trumpets blare away. There are also some woodwinds in the song as well. Sal Marquez also has the neat "toot" sound from playing brass.

Favorite part: Got to go with George Duke's solo.

16. Carolina Hardcore Ecstasy (Bongo Fury)
This song begins with a swirling sounding guitar and a nice little riff. Then Zappa and Brock's vocals come in and tell a very strange story. This song is very funny and really catchy. Zappa takes shots at The Doobie Brothers and The Who in this song, and gives the listener some very "interesting" images. George Duke has some great piano playing during in this song, and the harmonies on the vocals are terrific. Bozzio's drumming on this track is decent as well. Bruce Fowler's trombone adds some nice touches to the vocals in the song, which is a cool tiny addition to the song. Then comes another one of my favorite Zappa studio solos. This one is sooooo good. It just feels so perfect and riveting. So much emotion and the rhythm is very complex. Bozzio's drumming during the song seems to be at it's best during this section. It's a lot more "normal" than most of his solos. but it still has that fresh Zappa tone.

Favorite part: Zappa's solo.

15. Watermelon In Easter Hay (Joe's Garage)
I'm about to go into guitar overload here! The concept of this song is great. Joe's Garage is soo interesting and the plot is very deep. Since there really isn't a whole lot I can write out in words about a guitar solo, I figure I'll at least describe some of the situation in this spot. Joe, a rock and roller, was stopped by the cops from playing, gets and STD, goes to the church of Appliantology, gets arrested again. By the time he gets out of jail, the world has drastically changed. Music is now banned and Joe's aspirations of being a rock star are destroyed. All that he is left to do is "imagine" what his guitar sounds like. This song is what he hears in his "imagination." And boy is it one beautiful guitar solo. In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's the most "beautiful" guitar solo that Zappa ever did. The song starts out simply with guitar arpeggios and very slow drum beat. This "imaginary vamp" is interrupted by an astounding bend. It sounds as if Zappa picked the greatest note he could find and just threw it out there. Zappa gets tones out of this custom strat that are otherwise impossible to get. Through the guitar playing you can feel the agony and despair that Joe is going through because of his absence from music. That must sound extremely corny, but you have to hear it to know what I mean. That's all this song is: one big guitar solo.

Favorite part: The opening bend.

14. Hungry Freaks, Daddy (Freak Out!)
And here we have the best song from Freak Out! This song starts with a great riff by Zappa and some biting lyrics. These satirical lyrics always hit home for me, and they are truly some of his best. Zappa's solo is great and it's got that raw feeling to that I like. It's distorted and while it's simple it's a "classic rock" solo. You don't here that often about Zappa's music. But, this was his first album, and the first song from that album. I feel that this song sums up a lot of Zappa's views about government. "Philosophy that turns away, From those who aren't afraid to say, What's on their minds." Zappa was one of those people who certainly wasn't "afraid to say" what was on his mind, and that's what made him great. When he fought with the PMRC, people thought he was crazy, and the media tried to portray him as a bumbling idiot. The government didn't want anyone to interfere with what they wanted, but if there aren't contributions from society, then what's the use of calling this a democracy? Anyway, I'm not going to go on a political rant here, but these lyrics are absolutely superb. Zappa was ahead of his time and had everything down to a tee.

Favorite lyric: "Mister America, Walk on by, Your supermarket dream, Mister America, Walk on by, The liquor store supreme"

13. Muffin Man (Bongo Fury)
Although I can't remember who, someone kept posting and saying that Muffin Man should be #1. It's a great song and it's solo is one of Zappa's best. There are just some songs (imo) that are better. All of these songs are very close in rating, and it was incredibly tough for me to rank them. This song starts with a little bit of conceptual continuity from Joe's Garage. Great stuff. Duke plays some great keyboard while Zappa gives the audience some great humour told from the Muffin Man's point of view. "Some people . . . some people like cupcakes exclusively, While I myself say there is naught, nor ought there be, Nothing so exalted on the face of God's grey earth, As that Prince of Foods . . . The Muffin!" Then it comes. Like a full force train the riff of this song just smacks you in the face. One of the best riffs in Zappa history, this one serves as a great vamp for his solo. There are some lyrics in this song, but most of it is the solo. The solo comes in very quick and it's insanely fast. The rhythm is flawless, and while it has what I like to call a "disjointed" sound, believe me, Zappa's staying right on track. This is another one that you need to hear for yourself.

Favorite part: The solo.

12. Brown Shoes Don't Make It (Absolutely Free)
You can call it eccentric, wacky, or just plain stupid, but the one thing that this song deserves to be called is brilliant. This song is a roller coaster, there is simply no other way to put it. There are several switches in style during this song (I guess you could call it avantgarde) and also some neat instruments. You have violins and viola's galore and it produces a really neat sound. Zappa's vocals on this song are interesting, but there are many other people singing as well. Each section of this song has it's quirks and such, and it would take me about 2 posts to go through all of them. I'll just point out some of the highlights. There is one section that has a driving bass in the background ("a world of secret hungers"), which is really neat. Oh, this song is also satirical. I can't really describe the whole situation in here, but it has to do with politicians and their dirty minds. It even has a lounge piano section which reminds me of America Drinks & Goes Home. I have to admit this song is very weird, and I would not recommend it to someone looking to get into Zappa. You need to have some experience with some of the other stuff first (imo). Zappa also called this song one of the most difficult to play from his catalog.

Favorite part: The "smother my daughter" section.

Well, that's the end of tier one, and that leaves us with only ONE TIER LEFT. Songs #11-1 are coming up soon. To spark conversation without giving anything major away, here is what you can expect.

- A couple very long songs.

- Two albums with multiple songs featured in the last tier.

- I'll probably end up posting these songs two at a time (besides the final song), because the summaries will most likely be VERY LONG.


There will also be a FZs top list coming up, and I'll actually give you the topic. The top five FZ bands (ranked by year).


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:55 pm 
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Location: Fillmore East, 1971
What now, it's been two days!

You better have some mind-blowing songs in that final tier since you've already pulled "Watermelon in Easter Hay" and "Muffin Man" which, too me, contain Zappa best's solos (leaving a spot for "Sexual Harassment in the Workplace" in the final 11 maybe?).


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FZ's Top Bands

5. 1972 (Petit Wazoo)
FZ, Gary Barone (trumpet), Earl Dumler (oboe, sarrusophone), Malcolm McNabb (tuba, horns), Tom Malone (trumpet, brass), Bruce Fowler (trombone, early signs of greatness), Glenn Ferris (trombone, horns), Dave Parlato (bass), Tony Duran (slide guitar), Jim Gordon (drums)

4. 1980
FZ, Ike Willis (vocals, guitar, Dylan), Ray White (vocals, guitar), Arthur Barrow (bass, keyboards), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums, seal calls), Tommy Mars (keyboards, vocals), Bob Harris (keyboards, trumpet, high vocals, cuteness), Steve Vai (guitar, vocals, high energy)

3. 1988
FZ, Ike Willis (vocals, guitar, synth, random noises), Mike Keneally (guitar, keyboards, Johnny Cash), Scott Thunes (bass, bad vibes), Chad Wackerman (drums, looking too young for his age), Ed Mann (percussion, Dylan), Bobby Martin (vocals, keyboards), Bruce Fowler (trombone, dinosaurs), Walt Fowler (trumpet, flugel horn, synth, baseball commentary), Paul Carman (alto, soprano, baritone sax), Albert "Genghis" Wing (tenor sax), Kurt McGettrick (baritone sax, contrabass clarinet)

2. 1978

FZ, Ike Willis (guitar, vocals, disappeared for Halloween shows), Denny Walley (slide, vocals), Arthur Barrow (bass), Vinnie Colaiuta (drum madness, seal calls), Ed Mann (percussion, Bob Dylan), Tommy Mars (keyboard, vocals), Peter Wolf (keyboards)

1. 1974
FZ, George Duke (keyboards, vocals), Napoleon Murphy Brock (vocals, sax, flute), Bruce Fowler (trombone), Ralph Humphrey (drums, small feet), Chester Thompson (drums, gorilla), Ruth Underwood (percussion, goddess worship), Tom Fowler (bass), Jeff Simmons (guitar, vocals, harmonica?)

The lists of the bands is taken from this website: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/turtlestew/wereonly.htm

11. King Kong (Uncle Meat)
The main theme of this song is a jaw dropper. It's so difficult and it's one of my favorites when it comes to FZ. The song opens with a little drum intro and then the theme is played by various different instruments. Guitar, piano, sax, and who knows what else. There are so many instruments in this song, and it gets to the point where it's hard to figure out what's what. Roy Estrada gets a bass solo that is pretty nice in this song, but the main feature is Ian Underwood, Bunk Gardner and Motorhead Sherwood and their devastating saxophones. The band continues to vamp as these three wail away at various different saxs. The Zappa wikipedia lists alto, baritone, soprano, and tenor sax for this song. Don Preston's piano playing is very enjoyable for this song. To tell you the truth, I'm not that big a fan of the reggae version that was done live, but I absolutely love this version. This 18 minute monster is simply one big jam. About ten minutes in, the band returns to the main theme and I must admit that Roy Estrada's bass playing is great on this song. This song really came as a shock to me when first listening to Uncle Meat, because most of the songs are rather short. But, I've always thought of this song as a big jam to make up for the lack thereof (for the most part) during the rest of the album. Zappa actually gets room for a solo in this one too, and it's not too shabby. It's not anything that could even be compared with what he would do in the future, but it's pretty nice.

Favorite part: The main theme.

10. The Grand Wazoo (The Grand Wazoo)
Man with two songs this long, this is quite a marathon. The first couple minutes of this song are mind blowing. This is jazz fusion that rocks. In fact, both The Grand Wazoo and Waka-Jawaka are terrific. Mixing a large orchestra of instruments with Zappa's versatile guitar playing is a tremendous treat. This is the Wazoo band in all of it's glory. Zappa's tone in this song is amazing, and it really is different from most of his other songs. It's got this really cool reverb sound to it. Then the orchestra comes in, the main theme plays, and you have your jazz. Aynsley Dunbar does a nice job drumming during this song. The sound of the woodwinds in this song is stunning. Then we get the guitar solo. WOW. This one is a pure, no boundaries rocker. It's got a very raw and extremely powerful sound to it. The first three and a half minutes of this song make it an instant classic. Then we get Sal Marquez's trumpet solo, I think. I hope I'm not wrong on that. His solo is decent but the vamp behind him is an absolute monster. While most of Zappa's vamps were pretty active, you can do a lot more things with a vamp when you have an orchestra. Zappa uses them to perfection. Man, these two songs are really long. I'm going to be tired after this, haha. The band eventually gets back to the main theme, and it's great to hear it again. Bill Byers' trombone solo is alright, but I think that it's probably the worst solo of the song. But, that's not demeaning at all, because the other solos are incredible. Overall it's a great start to a great album.

Favorite part: The 2nd guitar solo.

There is one song left that I don't think that anyone will expect. I think I hold it a lot higher than most people do. But, we will get there when we get there.

9. Zomby Woof (Over-Nite Sensation)
Wow, there are so many interesting things about this song that I don't know where to start. You have the shocking vocals by Ricky Lancelotti and the terrific sax-percussion combo of Ian Underwood and his wife Ruth Underwood. The riff in this beginning of this song is very fast, and it sounds extremely hard. Zappa sings most of the vocals in the song, and it is backed by a distorted guitar riff. There are terrific fills by different horns and saxs, which is one of my favorite parts of the song. Oh yeah, Tina Turner does backup vocals for this song. And of course you have George Duke with his ever funky keyboard playing. Zappa's guitar playing is ferocious on this track. This song just has everything, it's insane. The weirdest part of the whole song is the "Reety-awrighty, he da ZOMBY WOOF" section. That one blows my mind. I knew some of Zappa's stuff was eccentric, but wow. Then Zappa rips in to a very lively solo. It's very distorted and one of my favorite studio solos (I realize that I have been saying this a lot lol, but there are just so many good solos). During his solo Duke plays a great vamp, and Ralph Humphrey jams away on drums. Then we return to Lancelotti who is backed by Duke's funky playing. Oh yeah, Jeah-Luc Ponty adds some awesome fills to this song as well.

Favorite part: I'm going to go with the sax/woodwind fills in between the vocals.

8. Echidna's Arf (Of You) (Roxy & Elsewhere)
And now we come to best song off of R & E. This song is a masterpiece of composition. The riffs are basically impossible to play by any human being that Zappa didn't have in his band. The time signature is weird, and if that wasn't hard enough, this song is insanely fast. But somehow, Bruce and Walt Fowler can play this licks. The honor goes to them of being almost tortured musically (haha). But the best part of this song is the end. That ending riff blows my mind every single time that I listen to it. It's so fast and it is played with perfect ease. Tom Fowler's bassline during most of the song is very active, and Chester Thompson's drumming is spectacular. This is surely one of Zappa's most difficult tunes, and you need musicians to be at the top of their game to even attempt this feat. It's always been one of my favorite instrumentals by Zappa and it is sure to never lose it's repay value. Well, that's at least until I can play it, which won't happen for a long, long time.

Favorite part: The end of the song. MIND BLOWING.

7. The Gumbo Variations (Hot Rats)
Now this is a great instrumental from a great jazz album. This song outs with a pretty good riff and tambourine. After the main theme is gone, Ian Underwood plays some outstanding sax. He is one of the longest tenured musicians that Zappa ever had, and imo he's also the best. He's so versatile and he seems to be great at so many different things. But, his main skill of saxophone is shown off in the first solo of the song. Max Bennett's bassline vamp is very good, and Paul Humphrey's drumming is decent. The real fun of this song starts when Don "Sugarcane" Harris takes his extremely long, phenomenal violin solo. At the end of Underwood's jam it can be heard starting to come in, and it grabs hold of the song and refuses to let go. While I do enjoy mostly all of Zappa's lyrical songs, the instrumentals are what I really like. Pure, raw jamming. Hot Rats is certainly a great album to go with if your looking for that. His violin playing soars to the point where you don't know if he can go any further. But, he continues to ascend and ascend, developing a mesmerizing style to the solo. There are some great youtube videos of this is your willing to spare 12 and a half minutes of your time. But, then Zappa comes in and takes an alright solo. I would probably say that this solo is better, but Sugarcane's just can't be topped in this song. Also, Zappa had much better solos on this album. Paul Humphrey breaks off into this amazing vamp while Max Bennett gets his turn in the spotlight. Then we are back to Sugarcane, and then, unexpectedly, Zappa jumps in as well. The two duel off, going back and forth, trading lick after lick. The song ends with another nice little section by Sugarcane.

Favorite part: Sugarcane's violin solo.

6. Son of Mr. Green Genes (Hot Rats)
And if the last instrumental wasn't enough! Zappa brings back the ever familiar theme from Mr. Green Genes (Uncle Meat), and turns it into a jazz song. Ian Underwood's playing on this song is spectacular, and Max Bennett continues to amaze me more and more. Just as the theme ends, it hits you. Zappa's MONSTER of a solo. This one is a masterpiece and the vamp by the band is tremendous. Then as Zappa solos, Ian Underwood plays this mysterious vamp solo underneath, and then we get a break with horns and saxs. But don't fear, Zappa is due to come back. Man if you thought that the start of the solo was good! This one comes back with a vengeance. At first it doesn't seem like much, but in a short time it blossoms back into the monster that we began with. Zappa's tone on this song is absolutely ferocious, and it provides a nice contrast to the jazz feel of the song. This one has all kinds of twists and turns, escalating to unthinkable heights. While the solo to Willie the Pimp was great, this one leaps over it easily. The band eventually returns to the main theme, but the damage has already been done, and left behind is the memories of a roller coaster ride of a solo by Zappa. The songs ends with soaring piano by Ian Underwood in particularly majestic fashion.

Favorite part: Zappa's solo.

Oh yeah, I just realized something. There are LOTS of really good songs that should have been on this list that I left off. I can think of a couple off hand that would have been on the list if I thought of them at the time, but I didn't. I'm not going to name them now because I don't want to spoil what is left.

Here is something for all of you to know. In this top 5, I've switched up the songs after some thought. Just a little bit of information for you.

5. Dog Breath, in the Year of the Plague (Uncle Meat)
The best song off of Uncle Meat. Extremely catchy, complicated, and funny are all words that describe this song. Ian Underwood's saxophone in this song blows my mind. The various vocals of the song are funny, but it's also insanely catchy. The myriad of vocals creates amazing harmonies and creates a great vibe. Ray Collins does the main vocals for this song, and you can easily tell his vocals apart from the others. This song proves that a song can be eccentric and also beautiful. That combo makes this one the best off of Uncle Meat. Ruth Underwood (at that time it was actually Ruth Komanoff) also has some great parts in this song. The end is easily the most complicated part of the song, and the sax parts are fantastic. They swirl, come down for a short break, and then return stronger than ever. Roy Estrada has a great bassline for this song (as usual), but it really goes unnoticed with the mad clutter of instruments in the song. There are over three drummers credited for this song, but it doesn't sound like it. I guess they all just play during different parts of the song. The shifts of tempo during this song are great, and that really adds the quality of this song.

Favorite lyric: "Fuzzy dice, Bongos in the back, My ship of love is, Ready to attack"

4. Peaches En Regalia (Hot Rats)
Ooh, this is the point where I get to say how I got into Zappa. My uncle and his brother are both avid Zappa fans and I heard a tiny bit of Catholic Girls (I only heard a few seconds though). I felt compelled to check some of Zappa's music, and I listened to Strictly Commercial, which is a greatest hits. In retrospect, I admit it's almost impossible to assemble a greatest hits album for Zappa, but this album was a great intro for me. I start playing it, and the first song I hear is Peaches En Regalia. I was blown away by the mix of jazz and rock. It was something so different, so fresh, and it took me in from the minute I heard it. The terrific drum intro, and then the storms of jazz. The rhythm of the main theme is great, and really the whole song is just SPECTACULAR. It remains one of my favorites today, because every part of this song is amazing. Zappa's guitar playing is at it's best, and the piano breaks by Ian Underwood sounds impossible. How can that man fit in so many notes in so short a time? If his piano playing wasn't enough, he also plays a mean sax on this song too. The layers of music during this song create a terrific blend of jazz. If I could pick one song to start a Zappa fan out on, it would be this (or maybe San Ber'dino, but that's already past). But obviously, I'm a little biased because it was my first song. Oddly enough, Zappa is listed as playing percussion on this song, and that's something I can't say that I've seen before. Along with everything else, the percussion is great. Ian Underwood has this terrific question-answer type sax riff in the beginning of the song, and wow is it good. I think I'm going to stop before I run out of characters. But really, if you haven't heard this song, listen to it NOW.

Favorite part: The sax prelude to Zappa's solo (0:39-1:03)

3. Packard Goose (Joe's Garage)
Originally, I wasn't that big a fan of this song, but as of late, I can't stop listening to it. Maybe it's the awesome concept of Joe's Garage, the catchy lyrics, or the ever famous "music is the best" section. Or maybe it's a combination of the three. This song starts off with some terrific bass and percussion (I think it's marimba, but I don't want to say that for sure). Then Ike Willis' amazing vocals come in and rock the house. In between his lyrics, Zappa lays down a typical nasty distortion lick. While I don't view this as Zappa's premiere satirical song (that award goes to Brown Shoes Don't Make It), Zappa does a fantastic job attacking the rock journalists. You know that saying "what goes around comes around"? Well, this is just the case. The rock journalists portrayed Zappa as a drugged maniac who was obscene and uneducated (and they still do to this very day). If you do any research at all, you can find out that Zappa hated drugs, was perfectly sane, and was very smart. But, anyway, let's get back to the song. After three minutes, Mary's famous "music is the BEST" speech comes in, and it stands as one of Zappa's most quoted lyrics of all time. Then the song breaks in to a vamp, and Zappa rips into a monster solo. While, I prefer several live solos of Packard Goose that I've heard, this one is nothing to mock. Granted, it's sort of slow compared to most of Zappa's solos, but you can't expect a scorcher on every song. That would cause everything to become dull and redundant. These lyrics continue to get stuck in my head and refuse to let go. It's a great song and the lyrics are sensational. The end of this song features some of the key themes in Joe's Garage, such as the banning of music. Joe decides that he will "just" have to "play" his "imaginary guitar again" which leads into the epic that is Watermelon In Easter Hay.

Favorite lyric: "And keeping peoples dumb (I'm really dumb), Is where you're coming from"

NOW HERE COMES THE BIG SHOCKER!

2. Uncle Remus (Apostrophe ('))
There is something special about this song. There is some kind of emotion I feel when I listen to it that just grabs me and won't let go. From the second I heard George Duke's jaw-dropping piano intro, I knew this song was going to be one of my favorites for a long, long time. George brings out his funkiest playing on this and then the drums lead into the main part of the song. Zappa's vocals great the listener along with backup vocals by Debbie (I can't find a last name here) and Susie Glover. These backup vocals are nothing short of PERFECT. The harmony between their vocals and Zappa's is stunning and angelic. The backup vocals of the female singers in this song is so POWERFUL during this song. It really surprised me during the "I can't wait to my fro is full grown" section. It nearly knocks me back listening to it here right now. Also, I prefer most of FZ's other vocalists to Zappa himself, but his voice is perfect for this song. It fits right and I think it would sound weird if anyone else sung this song. Well, now we get to move on to another amazing section of this song: Zappa's solo. Listen, I know Zappa had better solos, but this one is special to me. I don't know why, and I can't explain the feeling that it gives me. It's just so much energy packed into to such a short span of time, and it never fails to make me feel happy. It's just so lively and well constructed, and Duke's vamp in the background is terrific as usual. Then another verse comes, and the song fades out with an outro solo by Zappa. This one is good too, but it's not even close to the quality of the first one. While this song is only 2 minutes and 49 seconds, it always remains one of my favorites. Just so much energy in such a short amount of time. Actually, to tell you the truth, I really thought about putting this at #1, but I didn't.

Favorite part: Zappa's solo (with Duke's piano intro a very, very close second).

Well, here we go. One song left. What will it be? It will probably surprise most of you. But, I imagine that most people that have listened to Zappa for a good period have probably heard it. Well, it will be up tomorrow.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:49 am 
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PeachesEnRegalia wrote:
36. What's New In Baltimore (Meets the Mothers of Prevention)
What a great riff developed by Zappa and Vai. Great use of harmonics that fits right in with the marimba playing. I've always like the live improv that they would do on this song, with the answers to "What's New In Baltimore?" Really funny stuff. Chad Wackerman has some nice drumming on this track, and I think that he is one of FZ's drummers that many people overlook. Bobby Martin and Tommy Mars' keyboard playing adds a lot to this song. It's an instrumental frenzy. Right as it appears to be going to the brink, Zappa comes in a rips this song a new one :). Zappa's solo starting two minutes into the song is simply breathtaking. Easily the best song off of this album. No other song even comes close imo. Scott Thunes bass chugs along as Zappa continues to solo. One of Zappa's best studio solos of all time, easily. Who knows what kind of places this solo would have went if it just kept going on.

Favorite part: Zappa's solo, easily.

The solo on WNIB is not studio recorded. The basic track is taken from four or so concerts.

http://globalia.net/donlope/fz/lyrics/F ... #Baltimore


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:08 am 
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Regardless of what your #1 is: you left out either Inca Roads OR The Adventures Of Greggery Peccary OR BOTH: and you'd have a DAMN LOT explaining to do why you don't like the song enough to be in your top 65 on either of those.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:59 pm 
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Here it is. The final song (Wall of Text ahead).

Drumroll please...
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1. The Little House I Used To Live In (Burnt Weeny Sandwich)
Early in the list, many of the songs from BWS went very quickly, and I was wondering would catch that this one didn't. This song is an 18 minute monster instrumental that has everything. The song starts of softly with Ian Underwood's tender piano into. This piano intro is one of my favorites, and it's of a total different style than someone such as George Duke. It's soft and mellow, and lacks the funk that Duke brought to the table. But, it's great and it's a beautiful. The amazing thing is that piano wasn't even Ian Underwood's main instrument. That would be saxophone. But if you like energy, just wait that's coming soon. The main theme hits, with Zappa's lead guitar and Art Tripp's drums. This main theme doesn't come close to some of Zappa's themes from other songs, but it's decent. Then the time signature of the song changes, and Don Preston's organ blasts through. Eventually that subsides, and the song slows down again. But it sure doesn't stay there for long! The band breaks out in a very fast version of the main theme, and it is backed by Ian Underwood and Bunk Gardner's woodwinds. Then Zappa's guitar comes through and he shreds the fretboard with only Tripp drumming behind him. But if you think that solo is great, just wait. After Zappa's solo ends, Don "Sugarcane" Harris takes center stage. His violin solo blows away anything else in this song. It's so well structured, and he begins to form his solo. But, soon it breaks loose, and the band begins to vamp behind him. His violin playing starts to soar, far surpassing anything that The Gumbo Variations had to offer. You have to hear this to know what I mean. It's just plain insane. Don Preston has some great piano playing underneath Sugarcane. Jimmy Carl Black's drumming during this vamp is great as well. This solo lasts for quite some time, but it never loses it's steam. Sugarcane's solo gives way to a nice solo by Don Preston. I'm not going to say that it's better than Underwood's piano intro, but it's pretty good. Then it breaks down and Sugarcane comes back into the picture. He takes over the spotlight again, and attempts to out do himself from his earlier solo. He just might do that, even though this one is much shorter than the first. As Sugarcane comes to bring, we find Ian Underwood's harpsichord make a brief appearance. It's sounds great, Bunk Gardner plays some great woodwind to add to the greatness of this section. Then suddenly, the song the organ takes over, and we can here something that sounds like Aybe Sea. Except, this version is much faster. The Zappa wikipedia lists him as doing an organ solo, and if so it's fantastic. I've never heard him do that before. The song ends with a conversation between Zappa and a crazy fan.

FZ: Thank you, good night . . . Thank you, if you'll . . . if you sit down and be quiet, we'll make an attempt to, ah, perform Brown Shoes Don't Make It.
Man In Uniform: Back on your seats, come on, we'll help you back to your seats, come on . . .
Guy In The Audience: Take that man out of here! Oh! Go away! Take that uniform off man! Take off that uniform before it's ****in' too late, man!
FZ: Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform, and don't kid yourself.
Guy In The Audience: . . . man!
FZ: You'll hurt your throat, stop it!


Always good for some laughs.

Favorite part: Don "Sugarcane" Harris' first violin solo.

I hope everyone had as much fun with this as I did. I actually learned a couple things along the way too. Anyway, I figured that it would only be right if I listed some songs that should have been on this list. I forgot a lot of them, lol.

Songs: The Torture Never Stops, The Yellow Snow Suite, Apostrophe ('), Wowie Zowie, Blessed Relief (HOW DID I FORGET THAT, geez), A Token of My Extreme, Sofa #1, Rat Tomago, Big Swifty, Waka-Jawaka.

Please feel free to comment.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:16 pm 
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Also, is it Janet Ferguson singing back ups on WPLJ? Not sure...


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:18 pm 
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..aahh.Apparently it is. Never knew / thought about that. As you were...


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:55 am 
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youre insane... wheres inca roads? i mean JESUS! oh well, few mistakes but very good effort
whos next? XD

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Flea wrote:
whos next? XD

Next up, Trendmonger will list the 10 songs to which he most often listens.

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just plain doug wrote:
Flea wrote:
whos next? XD

Next up, Trendmonger will list the 10 songs to which he most often listens.


...followed by the 10 songs he next listens most often to... :wink:

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PeachesEnRegalia wrote:
2. Uncle Remus (Apostrophe ('))

Contains quite possibly my favorite lyrics of all the songs I've heard on the 30 FZ albums I've listened to so far.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:42 am 
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I would have put more songs off Sheik Yerbouti. My personal number 1 Zappa song is City of Tiny Lights. I wonder if any other members here really dig that song. Since I openly am a fan of the Sheik Yerbouti album (2nd Zappa album I bought), I'd put the Sheik's lineup in the top 5. Did you forget about Florentine Pogen? I enjoyed your comments nonetheless.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:52 am 
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Prospero wrote:
I would have put more songs off Sheik Yerbouti. My personal number 1 Zappa song is City of Tiny Lights. I wonder if any other members here really dig that song. Since I openly am a fan of the Sheik Yerbouti album (2nd Zappa album I bought), I'd put the Sheik's lineup in the top 5. Did you forget about Florentine Pogen? I enjoyed your comments nonetheless.


Oh yeah! I love that song... it brings back beautiful memories...

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I'm not that big off a fan of Inca Roads or Florentine Pogen. I mean, I'm not saying that they're bad, because they're not, but I enjoy some other songs more than them. For example, I'll take Po-Jama People any day over either of those two songs. Just my personal opinion.


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