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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:15 am 
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Location: Billy, the mountain...
I thinked he peaked in Billy the Mountain :roll:

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:36 am 
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Man! I'd say ,sadly,Frank was heading for another PEAK just as he passed. I mean you could definitely sense that with all of his synclavier work and these last few albums he had hidden away for release post his leaving Earth ....there was going to be a big ,new album that would have made Uncle Meat look old. To me it seemed that he was heading for incorporating all of his serious music with the synth things ,and he'd also made a resurgence into playing guitar once again too. That's the sad part ,he was getting into more and more complex mixtures of all sorts of music and sounds again.

Now don't get me wrong,I LOVE Civilization Phase III,but it's the thing that makes me saddest during listening to it.....the thought of "what was coming NEXT....". We will never know. But ,near this "end" ,he was also getting more and more respect from the general music community too. Many things could have happened.....but ,we all know what did happen.

That's my outlook on it anyway. Add to that that he'd had many "peaks" along his life's trajectory....in each era he made music ,he'd had a unique peak. I don't think there was "just one".


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:29 am 
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I'd say he peaked artistically around '74. His guitar playing didn't start to decline until after the '82 tour, but it declined sharply. His artistic decline was a much slower arc, not really noticeable until albums like Drowning Witch and Man from Utopia.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:37 am 
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His peak will be when all the countries will be unified under one whole planete flag with Sofa as national anthem 8)
edit: so around year 2325

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:42 am 
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Mr_Heartbreak wrote:
I'd say he peaked artistically around '74. His guitar playing didn't start to decline until after the '82 tour, but it declined sharply. His artistic decline was a much slower arc, not really noticeable until albums like Drowning Witch and Man from Utopia.

Drownimg Witch is a real work of heart,All got better after 1973 was guitar sound Effects used 8)

There is a TV interview with FZ where he says after 14 years of playing Guitar he Peaked nothing left too learn if i recall correct.

Btw Eddie Van Halen hear his new stuff there is no more peaking for him :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:39 pm 
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cleon wrote:
There is a TV interview with FZ where he says after 14 years of playing Guitar he Peaked nothing left too learn if i recall correct.

He started playing guitar when he was 18. Interesting that he would release SUAPYG 1,2&3, which featured solo's recorded years after he supposedly stopped learning and years past his supposed peak. Why didn't he compile some solo's from his peak years for those albums? And then later he released the Guitar cd with mostly/all 1980s solo's.

cleon wrote:
Drownimg Witch is a real work of heart

It's one of his most commercial efforts.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:14 am 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
cleon wrote:
There is a TV interview with FZ where he says after 14 years of playing Guitar he Peaked nothing left too learn if i recall correct.

He started playing guitar when he was 18. Interesting that he would release SUAPYG 1,2&3, which featured solo's recorded years after he supposedly stopped learning and years past his supposed peak. Why didn't he compile some solo's from his peak years for those albums? And then later he released the Guitar cd with mostly/all 1980s solo's.

cleon wrote:
Drownimg Witch is a real work of heart

It's one of his most commercial efforts.

Yes he started playing guitar 18 years and FZ never said 1973 i did,Why is too bigger word when speaking for others.
What you bring Commercial up for when record sales got nothing too do with it like you said :P

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:22 am 
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Just listen to side two of Drowning Witch - a short vocal chorus, a part atonal and part pseudo-lounge style verse, some modern classical style music for a rock lineup, a guitar solo in 9/8, another guitar solo in 6/8, some more modern classical music and then a song about a teenage prostitute with operatic vocals. Yep, very commercial.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:37 pm 
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pbuzby wrote:
Just listen to side two of Drowning Witch - a short vocal chorus, a part atonal and part pseudo-lounge style verse, some modern classical style music for a rock lineup, a guitar solo in 9/8, another guitar solo in 6/8, some more modern classical music and then a song about a teenage prostitute with operatic vocals. Yep, very commercial.

He probably means the mixin he is a real pro :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:05 pm 
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pbuzby wrote:
Just listen to side two of Drowning Witch - a short vocal chorus, a part atonal and part pseudo-lounge style verse, some modern classical style music for a rock lineup, a guitar solo in 9/8, another guitar solo in 6/8, some more modern classical music and then a song about a teenage prostitute with operatic vocals. Yep, very commercial.



Which Zappa albums were more intentionally commercial than Drowning Witch? I'm not comparing him to anyone but himself.
Zappa is not commercial to begin with. When looking at his discography, Drowning Witch with it's hit single seems to have been intentionally designed by Zappa to be more commercial than the majority of his discography. Right up there with SY etc....
cleon wrote:
He probably means the mixin he is a real pro

Your jealousy actually elicits my sympathy for you. Trust me, mixing gets pretty boring when you do it all the time.
cleon wrote:
:wink:

Your overuse of the smileys is both nauseating and condescending. :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:39 am 
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There were several peaks, but I don't think he ever 'peaked'.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:07 am 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
When looking at his discography, Drowning Witch with it's hit single seems to have been intentionally designed by Zappa to be more commercial than the majority of his discography. Right up there with SY etc....


Hell yeah, maybe there is some undiscovered commercial potential in the stuff like Envelopes, Drowning Witch or I Come From Nowhere :)


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:22 am 
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penguini wrote:

Now don't get me wrong,I LOVE Civilization Phase III,but it's the thing that makes me saddest during listening to it.....the thought of "what was coming NEXT....". We will never know. But ,near this "end" ,he was also getting more and more respect from the general music community too. Many things could have happened.....but ,we all know what did happen.



Maybe we will know - Dance Me This was AFAIK mostly composed after CPIII. CPIII was mostly finished in 1992, with exception of some selections (Dio Fa).


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:38 am 
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brunofulax wrote:
mostly composed after CPIII

I think it's something we can never be sure about: what was when and after what. like: Amnerika is from 1984, FZ said that on N-Lite he worked for 20 years, Reagan in Bitburg is older, too - the fact that it was released in 93 doesn't mean it was born that year.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:39 pm 
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brunofulax wrote:
maybe there is some undiscovered commercial potential in the stuff like Envelopes, Drowning Witch or I Come From Nowhere


Yeah, you guys are right. Zappa had no commercial considerations when putting together Drowning Witch. If he did it would have been all hit singles. Lather, on the other hand, was completely commercial with every song being played on the radio.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:20 pm 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
brunofulax wrote:
maybe there is some undiscovered commercial potential in the stuff like Envelopes, Drowning Witch or I Come From Nowhere


Yeah, you guys are right. Zappa had no commercial considerations when putting together Drowning Witch. If he did it would have been all hit singles. Lather, on the other hand, was completely commercial with every song being played on the radio.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xsj66S6Xuw

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:42 pm 
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balint wrote:
brunofulax wrote:
mostly composed after CPIII

I think it's something we can never be sure about: what was when and after what. like: Amnerika is from 1984, FZ said that on N-Lite he worked for 20 years, Reagan in Bitburg is older, too - the fact that it was released in 93 doesn't mean it was born that year.


At least, we know, the track "Calculus" from DMT was created after Huun Huur Tu vocalists visited FZ (early 1993). Also, most of the music on pre-release CPIII demo and the final version is same - even if we don't know, when it was exactly created.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:56 pm 
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brunofulax wrote:
we don't know, when it was exactly created.

In some cases we do:

- Amnerica is heard on Thingfish (1984)
- Reagan at Bitburd is released on "Blood on Canvas" (1986)
- N-Lite is said to be made in a 20 years period of time (in an FZ interview)
- Buffalo Voice in an early version is on Feeding the Monkies..., recorded in the eighties, too.

And there are peices we do not know about... Etc - sorry, at the moment I cannot give exact sources, but the things above are mostly correct.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:11 pm 
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I don't think he ever did peak. He just kind of kept going along his way.

His guitar playing ebbed and flowed according to how much time and effort he put into it. And I imagine the same could be said for other aspects of his music. When he was dealing with mountains of business bullshit, for example, his music may have suffered.

I find some of his early Synclavier pieces to be sterile and uninteresting. But now I can see that he was fighting his way up a rather steep learning curve. Today I see things like "Little Beige Sambo" and "The Beltway Bandits" more as progress reports along the way to "N-Lite" and "Dio Fa."

A lot of musicians have a definite peak; they come up with that one hit song with a bullet, then fade away and go sell insurance. But Frank Zappa kept making music until he literally couldn't do it any more.

Besides: it's not like he ever said "I'm peaking." Right?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:50 pm 
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balint wrote:
brunofulax wrote:
we don't know, when it was exactly created.

In some cases we do:

- Amnerica is heard on Thingfish (1984)
- Reagan at Bitburd is released on "Blood on Canvas" (1986)
- N-Lite is said to be made in a 20 years period of time (in an FZ interview)
- Buffalo Voice in an early version is on Feeding the Monkies..., recorded in the eighties, too.

And there are peices we do not know about... Etc - sorry, at the moment I cannot give exact sources, but the things above are mostly correct.


Keneally has said he thought FZ composed "Put A Motor In Yourself" during rehearsals before the 88 tour (and it appeared on Synclavier during intermissions in some 88 shows), but there is a bit of it in a 1981 rehearsal tape too. He also mentioned that the 88 band tried to play one piece that became "Navanax."


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 5:28 am 
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I think musically he sagged a bit in the mid 80's, although his '88 band was fun to watch, you could sense some of the magic had disappeared. I believe he would have continued to focus more on his Classical Movements, even if he wasn't battling cancer. It was still fresh in his mind and he was always looking to create that masterpiece. The digital age messed him up, alas his desire to reverb the crap out of all his releases. Frank strikes me as someone who was never satisfied and maybe sometimes over thought situations.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:06 pm 
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Depends on what discipline we're referring to? FZ was a multi-talented guy. He certainly didn't peak as a guitarist early on. How about as a bandleader? Everybody has their favorite era. I'd say The Helsinki Concert was a high point as bandleader/guitarist/composer.

And record producer? Joe's Garage is a great production. But Civilization Phase III is pretty amazing too! And as a composer? He certainly wrote an incredible amount of great compositions by the mid 70s. But I couldn't point to a definite general artistic peak point in his amazing and prolific career.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:30 pm 
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I think The Yellow Shark was a great album, but I've always felt that Frank was at his peak in the 1970s. All of the material he did, really starting with Hot Rats, through Joe's Garage, was simply superb. After Joe's Garage he seemed to change direction a bit, and I am not a big fan of his political songs at all. That stuff is dated now and pretty boring. But I feel the 70's was the decade when he had a ton of energy and creativity and played his best guitar solos.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:31 am 
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Zappa would have peaked in 2012...

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:48 am 
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