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 Post subject: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 6:53 am 
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So I have been a casual Zappa fan for a few years. Listening to his more crude and poppy/hard rock music on youtube and all that good stuff. About a 4 months ago I found myself suddenly obsessed and reading and researching the man himself and what he was like and what he did against congress. Seeking out documentaries and all that. It spurred me on to really dive into his discography.

As his discography is daunting I needed a place to start so the first album I got was Apostrophe(') and I enjoyed it lots, mostly listening to it at work (I spent my life there, only chance I get to listen to work).

Now I own:

Absolutely Free
Hot Rats
Burnt Weeny Sandwich
Over-Nite Sensation
Apostrophe(')
Roxy & Elsewhere
Sheik Yerbouti
The Yellow Shark

I am going to buy Joe's Garage (I,II,III) tonight. But I ask the question, what next for me? I'm thinking Zoot Allures, YAWYI & WOIIFTM.
I'm still unsure if I should dive into his 80's material yet because I know it is a very mixed bag.

:mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 1:31 am 
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Well done getting in franks music , you got a few albums to catch up on tho :D


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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 4:55 am 
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Zoot Allures, YAWYI & WOIIFTM are ALL great albums, very different one to other.

Here are my suggestions to choose your next albums:

1 Fill all empty spaces in chronological order starting from FREAK OUT!

2 Choose random following your instinct (don't undervalue this possibility)

3 Avoid compilations (only exceptions Mothermania and Have I Offended Someone?)

4 Looking the albums you already have, you should get as soon as possible ONE SIZE FITS ALL, one the best FZ creative peaks, imo

5 The eighties period divides the fans: someone loves them, someone hates them... it's too way personal...
...anyway TINSELTOWN and SHUT UP have all late '70 material: start from those ones, you can't go wrong

6 From posthumous material my fav is LEATHER, another absolute masterwork made in the middle '70 (attention: the old edition with the cow on the cover has few more material than the newest)


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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 5:20 am 
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Everybody is going to have different views. Based on what you already have I'd say, initially get;

Freak Out
WOIIFTM
Weasel Ripped My Flesh
Chungas Revenge
Fillmore East, 1971
LSO
Boulez Conducts Zappa

And then get some more of the hardcore shit, like;
Lumpy Gravy
Uncle Meat
JABFLA
Waka/Jawaka
The Grand Wazoo

Some of those aren't hardcore at all but hell, that's how I first thought - an initial list and then more to get after you have bought those

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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 11:52 am 
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So as I said I got Joe's Garage. I also purchased You are what you is.

After being so thrilled with R&E I think I'll get One Size Fits All next. I've heard most of the songs on it and it is fantastic. Perfect mid-seventies Zappa.

Definately gonna get Weasels, Uncle Meat & Zoot Allures when I get paid too.

I have heard that Cruising with Ruben & The Jets was butchered when it came out on CD and the 2012 re-issue was no better. I looked up Greasy Love Songs and the CD in England is very very pricey.

The only reason I haven't got WOIIFTM yet is because I heard the CD version was butchered. Is the 2012 version any better?


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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 2:08 pm 
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I'd say that Boulez Conducts Zappa is some hardcore shit :roll:

Some suggestions:

WOIIFTM
One Size Fits All
Sleep Dirt (no vocals)
Shut Up N play yer guitar
The best band you never heard in your life...

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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 4:17 pm 
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I reccomend sprinkling in a YCDTOSA 1-6 every 3rd purchase and buy them cronologically, and at some point get Lost Episodes... :smoke:


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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 8:26 pm 
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Make A Jazz Noise Here
The Helsinki Concert


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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 8:40 pm 
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Go for BONGO FURY as a great mid seventies document
complete with the good Captain Beafheart!
This release is a good one for newbies 'cause for the most part it's pretty bitchin!

LEATHER is another masterpiece! .....from the seventies...
It's a great overview of most of his styles. Pretty much all of it is represented here.

SLEEP DIRT (no vocals) is another masterpiece of rock composition and straight jamming!

WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH - Jump right in!!! if you like this avant garde stuff you'll like anything!!


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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 1:32 am 
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NuclearProstate wrote:
The only reason I haven't got WOIIFTM yet is because I heard the CD version was butchered. Is the 2012 version any better?
You have to be careful using a word like butchered. I would guess that the majority of us are into FZ because he was first and foremost out of the ordinary. He liked juxtaposing things that ordinarily weren't considered to go together in any established musically thematic way, so he pushed the boundary of thematic relationships in musical composition. Some critics accuse him of being a copy and paste composer, but he was an accomplished composer, who wrote the vast majority of the bits that he juxtaposed, so cut and paste from his own writing yes but rarely copy.

It's a pretty critical claim to say he butchered WOIIFTM. It was his own music and he felt free to do what he liked with it. I like the reworked WOIIFTM. It has much better separation of instruments just for starters. Considering Zappa's own words, "What kind of a Guru are you anyway? ... Don't you know? You could make more money as a butcher.", I think he'd be rolling in his grave being accused of butchering his own music.

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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 3:16 am 
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Plook wrote:
I reccomend sprinkling in a YCDTOSA 1-6 every 3rd purchase and buy them cronologically, and at some point get Lost Episodes... :smoke:


Plook speaks 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 4:38 am 
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polydigm wrote:
NuclearProstate wrote:
The only reason I haven't got WOIIFTM yet is because I heard the CD version was butchered. Is the 2012 version any better?
You have to be careful using a word like butchered. I would guess that the majority of us are into FZ because he was first and foremost out of the ordinary. He liked juxtaposing things that ordinarily weren't considered to go together in any established musically thematic way, so he pushed the boundary of thematic relationships in musical composition. Some critics accuse him of being a copy and paste composer, but he was an accomplished composer, who wrote the vast majority of the bits that he juxtaposed, so cut and paste from his own writing yes but rarely copy.

It's a pretty critical claim to say he butchered WOIIFTM. It was his own music and he felt free to do what he liked with it. I like the reworked WOIIFTM. It has much better separation of instruments just for starters. Considering Zappa's own words, "What kind of a Guru are you anyway? ... Don't you know? You could make more money as a butcher.", I think he'd be rolling in his grave being accused of butchering his own music.


To NuclearProstate, it's clear that Polydigm (with all due to respect) didn't answer your question really, so I'm going to say that the only thing you should watch out for is that WOIIFTM CD is not paired up with Lumpy Gravy: it is ironically on that two-fer only (as well as the version from the Old Masters LP boxset) that WOIIFTM, objectively speaking, suffers under the historical revisionism that FZ indulged in way too much. The 1995 and 2012 CDs both contain original rhythm tracks.

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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 11:44 am 
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I'm going to be more controversial I suspect, but I recommend buying them in random order as best you can. When I first got into zappa there were no ryko CDs, so I pretty much bought whatever I came across in the shops or record fairs, mostly vinyl. So my first purchase was thing fish, and I loved it, then I bought the best band you never heard and loved that too. My brother had told me that all zappa's good stuff was from the mid 70s so I guess part of me wanted to prove him wrong! But there is good in everything he released if you listen hard enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 12:42 pm 
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Yes, since you WILL buy all the albums eventually, it makes sense to me to start at the beginning and buy in order. How could you go wrong?

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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 12:59 pm 
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Seems if yer gonna get em all anyway, why get all the best first? Is it all downhill after that? ;)
Maybe just to buy a few, then save money and not get em all? :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 1:01 pm 
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Well pondered, RK...
In my case, I pretty much bought as I found them... they were much rarer here back then and it was like treasure hunt...

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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 1:19 pm 
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Me too, GG. If I found FZ in the used vinyl bin in the 80s, I didn't think whether to buy it, I'd think whether I'd ever see one again! Now, we have ebay...

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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 3:19 pm 
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I can't believe that no one has recommended "Live in New York."

God damn it such a good album.

BLACK PAGE!

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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 3:36 pm 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
... it's clear that Polydigm (with all due to respect) didn't answer your question really, so I'm going to say that the only thing you should watch out for is that WOIIFTM CD is not paired up with Lumpy Gravy ...
With all due respect to Ed Organus Maximus, I was answering NuclearProstate's question. He wants to know what to get next and I'm saying that FZ's reworked WOIIFTM is not one to avoid. View it as a different album if you like, but it is a work of Frank Zappa and not everyone's opinion of it is the same.

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 Post subject: re: zappa starter set
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 6:31 pm 
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polydigm wrote:
...FZ's reworked WOIIFTM is not one to avoid. View it as a different album if you like, but it is a work of Frank Zappa and not everyone's opinion of it is the same.
agreed, and if you're not intimately familiar with the album, it may sound equally as good [or bad]






gz wrote:
frank made albums with a razor blade, which was one of his tools as a composer; there's billions of edits across the catalog

wm s burroughs wrote:
when you cut into the present, the future leaks out


start at the beginning, get them in chronological order of the original release; no more than 1 or 2 per month

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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 12:06 am 
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polydigm wrote:
Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
... it's clear that Polydigm (with all due to respect) didn't answer your question really, so I'm going to say that the only thing you should watch out for is that WOIIFTM CD is not paired up with Lumpy Gravy ...
With all due respect to Ed Organus Maximus, I was answering NuclearProstate's question. He wants to know what to get next and I'm saying that FZ's reworked WOIIFTM is not one to avoid. View it as a different album if you like, but it is a work of Frank Zappa and not everyone's opinion of it is the same.


My take was that "butchering" meant nothing else than adding new rhythm tracks on a vintage LP. So clearly, the OP missed out on whether or not all of WOIIFTM CDs had the new bass and drums, so that's what my reply was all about. It's fine for you to defend one of FZ' most controversial artistic decisions, but never forget that it was precisely that: controversial. Which means many Zappaphiles hated the decision of nixing Roy Estrada and Billy Mundi (JCB didn't apparently play a single original drumbeat on that one and his contribution was limited to the "Indian of the Group" welcome) from the album and replacing the authentic original Mothers with session musicianly players from the early 80s. The Beatles fans could've and would've been equally pissed off with the hypothetical addition of, say Victor Wooten and Steve Gadd on Sgt. Pepper. But maybe it IS an iconoclasm if you set out to do in rock music what George Lucas did in the film industry.

Zappa's perfectionist tendencies did unfortunately exacerbate as time went on. This is indicated by how sterile and soulless the mix of "Moggio" on TMFU is compared to its original incarnation on the never-released Chalk Pie 2LP.

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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 7:49 am 
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Maybe 'butchered' was the wrong word to use. But yeah what I did mean if it was edited heavily to make it different from the original release. Not necessarily the mix but different rhythm sections. As a new Zappa fan, or one who has just got into him majorly I would really prefer to listen to the original mix of the albums to experience how it was when first unleashed to the world.

Saying that I do have the Ryko versions of Apostrophe(') but from what I know it isn't different to the original version. I do also have the Ryko version of HOT RATS. I do prefer it even after listening to the original mix, it is a bit more vibrant to me and the extra time added to Gumbo Variations is much welcomed by me.

So, WOIIFTM, get the 2012 version?

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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 8:49 am 
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Yeah, get the 2012 version, or failing that, the 1995 CD re-issue shall also suffice.

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 Post subject: Re: Zappa starter set
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 9:10 am 
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Is there any other albums I need to be careful of when buying? Radically different mixes and rhythm sections?
Is Greasy Love Songs the best way to hear CWRATJ on CD?

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 Post subject: re: zappa starter set
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 9:27 am 
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nuclearprostate wrote:
Is there any other albums I need to be careful of when buying? Radically different mixes and rhythm sections? ...

sleep dirt; start with the instrumental version, no vocals

ziny; in addition to the usual cd vs lp variations in sound quality, mixes, timings etc; the original vinyl has fewer tracks with a different track order ... totally different album

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