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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 8:22 am 
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ursinator wrote:
no problems with the so-called cheesy keyboard sounds (reviewers also often call the keyboards on Tinseltown rebellion sounding cheesy).


Now here's the thing: Yamaha DX7 was the synthesiser that was used on the 1984 tour. It was one of the first portable mass-marketed digital synthesisers and was a real hit at the time. Consequently it went on to define the remainder of 1980s pop music. The most ubiquitous patch in that synth was of course the so-called DX7 Rhodes, this electric piano approximation (which in truth probably mimicked some kind of modified Rhodes sound that could make the sound a bit more chorus-y) was a staple of many a cheesy soft-rock hits, such as "You're The Inspiration" by Chicago.

Plus points to Allan Zavod for still sticking to the real Fender Rhodes and thus avoiding the Sears Rhodes sound from the DX7. :mrgreen: However, that does not mean he didn't use some other questionable DX7 sounds. Since, as noted before, the 1984 tour lacked tuned percussion, all the marimba parts were replicated on DX7. And that's just one example. See, DX7 was actually more commonly used as a preset instrument. It was not so easy to program it oneself. Thus most DX7 users stuck to the factory presets and this really influenced the quality of recorded music at the time. Brian Eno was one of the few DX7 players to actually make the effort to program his own sounds. That marimba factory patch used by Zavod definitely had a pungent aroma of cheepnis to it.

Tommy Mars' keyboarding on Tinsel Town Rebellion is an entirely different matter. Compared to the wild avant-garde knob twiddling of, say Don Preston (or even Ian Underwood circa 1972-73), Mars' replication of solo trumpet on EML Electrocomp 101 and brass ensemble with (I think) Yamaha CS80 was more steeped in symphonic aspirations of prog rock. One thing is certain: if you can't stand Tony Banks' synth sounds for Genesis circa Wind & Wuthering to And Then There Were Three, Tommy Mars' keyboarding in 1980 is no more palatable than that. In fact, it may sound even more grating. Having said that, I think Tommy Mars' keyboarding offends a bit more in terms of what it represents (Zappa's distrust of live horn players and his very belief that technology can save him from egotistical brassmen) than what it actually is: an attempt to synthesise certain orchestral sounds instead of relying on the pesky Mellotron. I can only guess Zappa (nor Mars) never used a Mellotron, because that machine does not allow one to play "St Alfonzo" at the speed of the "Apostrophe" version.

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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 8:54 am 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
And of course, many (indie) rock snobs contend just as much that the only good Floyd was Syd-era Floyd

I'm afraid I must count myself among the (indie) rock snobs, then; I like the music of the later Floyd (particularly "More" and "Meddle") but as I don't think Roger Waters is much of a lyricist. There's little wit in it and it "tries" to hard to deliver a message. For me, it's just clichés grasping at profundities. The best bit of later Floyd, for me, is "The Trial" and Ezrin wrote most of that.
"Vegetable Man" says more about the human condition than anything on "Wish You Were Here".
On the other hand, Funkadelic were pretty versatile.
And I'm sure it's just a matter of what you find to be a cliché.

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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 9:02 am 
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Caputh wrote:
I'm afraid I must count myself among the (indie) rock snobs, then


Or maybe not: what I had in mind was not people like you that are in all honesty not enamoured with Roger Waters' lyricism, but people like Julian Cope, who keep on championing obscure forms of rock music and dismiss the music of DSOTM-era Floyd as "formica-mantras".

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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 10:17 am 
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Disco Boy wrote:
the last time I checked, Funkadelic never included extremely intricate arrangements, time signatures, solos, satire or fusion, etc., in their music


Dude. Let's Take It to the Stage. Buy it yesterday.

Just before Fillmore East June 1971 was released, a local radio station played part of the advance copy they had just gotten. They started with "What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are," and somewhere around "Latex Solar Beef" segued into "Maggot Brain," which I had never heard before. I thought I was still listening to new Zappa.


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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 10:27 am 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
people like Julian Cope, who keep on championing obscure forms of rock music and dismiss the music of DSOTM-era Floyd as "formica-mantras".

But formica's really keen!


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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 12:27 pm 
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I'm Advised already! More More! :)

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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 1:56 pm 
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...hmmm PCM 160 2 - track stereo

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duchamp wrote:
I love Fifty-Fifty, but the rest of OS has always been throw away to me.

No Zomby Woof fer ya?

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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 9:34 pm 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
Disco Boy wrote:
Funkadelic never included extremely intricate arrangements, time signatures, solos, satire or fusion, etc
DB you probably shouldn't speak on Funkadelic since you have no idea what you're talking about.

Hint: There are about 40 albums under about 8 different band names recorded by Funkadelic between 1970 and 1980.
There is no style they didn't play, including satire and country. Intricate arrangements? Check. Weird time signatures/changes? Check. Solos? That's preposterous. Maggot Brain ring a bell?
There's a shitload of compelling evidence out there and I know where to find it so I hope you'll take my word on this.

btw, Zappa offered big money to get pfunk guitarist/vocalist Glen Goins in his band but Goins didn't want to sell the pfunk sound to Zappa.

Shrewnews wrote:
Disco Boy wrote:
the last time I checked, Funkadelic never included extremely intricate arrangements, time signatures, solos, satire or fusion, etc., in their music


Dude. Let's Take It to the Stage. Buy it yesterday.

Just before Fillmore East June 1971 was released, a local radio station played part of the advance copy they had just gotten. They started with "What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are," and somewhere around "Latex Solar Beef" segued into "Maggot Brain," which I had never heard before. I thought I was still listening to new Zappa.


First of all, we're talking about Funkadelic here (and even more in particular, early '70s Funkadelic, since Over-nite Sensation was released in '73). Not Parliament or Clinton's solo material, etc. And again, I essentially only hear a similarity of funk in OS. To me, Funkadelic primarily sound like a naturally funkier extension of Hendrix, with r&b and soul elements thrown in.

Also, I NEVER said they didn't include solos or weird time signature/changes in their music. I said Funkadelic never included EXTREMELY INTRICATE arrangements, time signatures, solos, satire or fusion, etc., in their music, especially like FZ did. In fact, many songs are heavy groove-based jams with mono-tempos. And that's cool. I'm not knocking it. I dig 'em.

Were Funkadelic a cool band with musical diversity? Hell yes. But did they have more musical diversity than FZ? Hell no...

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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 3:30 am 
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 7:02 am 
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"Zomby Woof" is one of the few tracks that I actually think is in its best version on Over-Nite, it's got another great guitar solo, lovely brass from Sal, Bruce and Ian and of course Ruth's fab percussion flourishes. Not so certain how I feel about JLP being mixed way down, Dweezil might rap about how his Dad thought it really inventive to incorporate the electric violin in the brass section, but maybe FZ knew JLP was about to quit his band so he mixed him down (except for a single pluck somewhere early on and a brief passage later on) as a revenge? He did the same thing to Eddie Jobson on ZINY/Lather, he played the violin on "The Black Page No 1", but was mixed down. Someone guessed that perhaps Frank didn't like the fact that Jobson got louder applauses than him for the violin solos on "Black Napkins". No surprise, he just didn't like to share solo time with others that much.

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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 7:45 am 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
ursinator wrote:
no problems with the so-called cheesy keyboard sounds (reviewers also often call the keyboards on Tinseltown rebellion sounding cheesy).


Now here's the thing: Yamaha DX7 was the synthesiser that was used on the 1984 tour. It was one of the first portable mass-marketed digital synthesisers and was a real hit at the time. Consequently it went on to define the remainder of 1980s pop music. The most ubiquitous patch in that synth was of course the so-called DX7 Rhodes, this electric piano approximation (which in truth probably mimicked some kind of modified Rhodes sound that could make the sound a bit more chorus-y) was a staple of many a cheesy soft-rock hits, such as "You're The Inspiration" by Chicago.

Plus points to Allan Zavod for still sticking to the real Fender Rhodes and thus avoiding the Sears Rhodes sound from the DX7. :mrgreen: However, that does not mean he didn't use some other questionable DX7 sounds. Since, as noted before, the 1984 tour lacked tuned percussion, all the marimba parts were replicated on DX7. And that's just one example. See, DX7 was actually more commonly used as a preset instrument. It was not so easy to program it oneself. Thus most DX7 users stuck to the factory presets and this really influenced the quality of recorded music at the time. Brian Eno was one of the few DX7 players to actually make the effort to program his own sounds. That marimba factory patch used by Zavod definitely had a pungent aroma of cheepnis to it.

Tommy Mars' keyboarding on Tinsel Town Rebellion is an entirely different matter. Compared to the wild avant-garde knob twiddling of, say Don Preston (or even Ian Underwood circa 1972-73), Mars' replication of solo trumpet on EML Electrocomp 101 and brass ensemble with (I think) Yamaha CS80 was more steeped in symphonic aspirations of prog rock. One thing is certain: if you can't stand Tony Banks' synth sounds for Genesis circa Wind & Wuthering to And Then There Were Three, Tommy Mars' keyboarding in 1980 is no more palatable than that. In fact, it may sound even more grating. Having said that, I think Tommy Mars' keyboarding offends a bit more in terms of what it represents (Zappa's distrust of live horn players and his very belief that technology can save him from egotistical brassmen) than what it actually is: an attempt to synthesise certain orchestral sounds instead of relying on the pesky Mellotron. I can only guess Zappa (nor Mars) never used a Mellotron, because that machine does not allow one to play "St Alfonzo" at the speed of the "Apostrophe" version.

Speaking of which, when is that Zappa gear book supposed to come out?


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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 8:15 am 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
"Zomby Woof" is one of the few tracks that I actually think is in its best version on Over-Nite, it's got another great guitar solo, lovely brass from Sal, Bruce and Ian and of course Ruth's fab percussion flourishes. Not so certain how I feel about JLP being mixed way down, Dweezil might rap about how his Dad thought it really inventive to incorporate the electric violin in the brass section, but maybe FZ knew JLP was about to quit his band so he mixed him down (except for a single pluck somewhere early on and a brief passage later on) as a revenge?


FZ also had Ricky Lancelotti sing parts that FZ sang live. Perhaps FZ was trying to get revenge against himself?


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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 8:39 am 
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Frank Zappa's studio overdubbing/mixing thing was at times really weird! On the Palladium '76 shows "The Black Page 2" was performed on horns and violin in addition to percussion. And only one synth line (possibly by Ruth, as Ed was on violin). Yet, on ZINY there are reams of keyboard overdubs largely replacing both violin and horns (which only appear mostly in the sleazy New Orleans inspired bit, unique to ZINY). There's even a harpsichord type keyboard for the reprise of the opening motif at 5:10 that overshadows the live violin/vibes combo. It's a great version overall, but not very representative of what was played live.

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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 8:53 am 
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As far as I know Jobson stayed in England after his tour with Zappa ended and formed the band U.K. so he may not have been available to come to L.A. to overdub or repair any flawed parts from that live recording. That is my guess as to why his violin isn't noticeable on "The Black Page." There could be other reasons but there isn't anything about it directly from Zappa or Jobson to my knowledge.


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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 9:01 am 
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If that was the case, then it's quite likely that all the humanly impossible overdubs by Ruth were in fact done on synthesiser! It appears Ruth was playing the synth live when Eddie was on violin. And all the overdubs were split between Ed Mann and John Bergamo on percussion and Ruth on synthesiser. Quite likely Ruth also had enough pianistic skill to play keyboards as well. Maybe she could not play Ian's "Little House" piano bit, but then again, monophonic synths are easier to play than piano.

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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 9:05 am 
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pbuzby wrote:
Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
"Zomby Woof" is one of the few tracks that I actually think is in its best version on Over-Nite, it's got another great guitar solo, lovely brass from Sal, Bruce and Ian and of course Ruth's fab percussion flourishes. Not so certain how I feel about JLP being mixed way down, Dweezil might rap about how his Dad thought it really inventive to incorporate the electric violin in the brass section, but maybe FZ knew JLP was about to quit his band so he mixed him down (except for a single pluck somewhere early on and a brief passage later on) as a revenge?


Let's not forget the splendid work of Ralph Humphrey on drums.


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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 9:12 am 
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Now that I am listening closely, the violin is more audible on the Easy Teenage Black Page than the Hard Black Page. I guess FZ thought the violin part was reasonable, but not good enough to stand on its own, so he might've had some need to reinforce the melody. Hence, numerous keyboard overdubs.

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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 4:18 pm 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
"Zomby Woof" is one of the few tracks that I actually think is in its best version on Over-Nite, it's got another great guitar solo, lovely brass from Sal, Bruce and Ian and of course Ruth's fab percussion flourishes.



I've always felt the same way, but I do love the YCDTOSA version.

On the New York topic....I've always felt like this version of "Torture Never Stops" is the best he released. Don't get me wrong, I love the Zoot Allures version, but for some reason the mix (and this just may be on the RYKO cd I have, I've never heard the vinyl or 2012 remaster) has a very "dry" mix. It kind of reminds me of the vibe Pink Floyd's "Animals" album gives off.

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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 6:21 pm 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
Someone guessed that perhaps Frank didn't like the fact that Jobson got louder applauses than him for the violin solos on "Black Napkins".

Those violin solos on Black Napkins are the only exciting thing I have ever heard Jobson play.

The '84 band sounds like it had no balls.


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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 9:31 pm 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
Someone guessed that perhaps Frank didn't like the fact that Jobson got louder applauses than him for the violin solos on "Black Napkins".

Those violin solos on Black Napkins are the only exciting thing I have ever heard Jobson play.

The '84 band sounds like it had no balls.


And it comes especially apparent when you listen to the "Black Napkins" on YCDTOSA6: the ZINY band bit is lovely, with Brecker whipping it out and then for the last minute, FZ had the unmitigated audacity to edit to the '84 band. Gad, that last bit sounds really horrible!

As for the "BN" violin solos, FZ did know how to bring out the best from his players didn't he?

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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 6:03 am 
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The ZINY band was terrific, and it deserves another release of its own. Unfortunately, the 2012 version of ZINY keeps the same shitty sound of the remaster, plagued with high frequencies and tinny sound. Läther is still the best place to listen to that band, plus that SOLE selection featured in YCDTOSA Vol.6.


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 7:36 am 
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schvanzbass wrote:
On the New York topic....I've always felt like this version of "Torture Never Stops" is the best he released.

Ditto. I love the flute how it gives it a little more ambiance. I'm glad Dweezil did the ZINY version rather than ZA.


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 9:16 am 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
The '84 band sounds like it had no balls.
Never seen any of them naked (only FZ on toilet), but i am sure, they had balls and still have :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 2:16 pm 
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ursinator wrote:
downer mydnyte wrote:
The '84 band sounds like it had no balls.
Never seen any of them naked (only FZ on toilet), but i am sure, they had balls and still have :wink:

"They all got cocks or dicks at least."

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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 2:36 pm 
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tiboudre wrote:
schvanzbass wrote:
On the New York topic....I've always felt like this version of "Torture Never Stops" is the best he released.

Ditto. I love the flute how it gives it a little more ambiance. I'm glad Dweezil did the ZINY version rather than ZA.


It's quite nice isn't it, the flute I mean. But was that played live as well? I'm listening to a live recording of a Palladium 1976 show that's been uploaded to Grooveshark and that flutey ambiance is slightly there, but it's certainly not as prominent in the mix as on ZINY. Another overdub/studio reinforcement?

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