(out of a possible five)
This is one of those albums that gets ignored for months at a time, buried underneath
those Zappa CD's which somehow manage to make it to the CD player every week or so. Why
this album fails to stay in regular rotation is a mystery, as every time I listen to it, I
find myself loving it all over again. This is a great album. It has a nice mix of songs-
guitar solo vehicles, "serious" instrumentals, done-for-laughs vocal tunes, and
straight-ahead rock 'n' roll. "Transylvania Boogie" and "Chunga's
Revenge" are the heaviest of the tunes, both of them instrumentals, and both
containing a fine Zappa solo. Flo 'n' Eddie pervade five of the tunes, and not once do
they annoy. In fact, their vocals help make the album's closing tune-
"Sharleena"- a bona-fide classic. There is no guitar solo in this early
performance, but that does not detract from this version's perfect pop sensibilities. The
only weak point in the album is the improvisation laced "The Nancy and Mary
Music". This is taken from a '70 "King Kong", and is just a little too
eclectic, and musically all over the map. There are some good moments throughout the
nine-plus minutes, but the parts do not add up to a satisfying whole. "The
Clap", an FZ percussion solo, is also pretty pointless, but it is so short that it
scrapes by without doing any damage. Thus, eight of the ten songs succeed in spades,
creating an interesting blend of Zappa's many flavors. And let us not forget, the
highlight of the entire album-> Duke's outright funky trombone playing. Sweet.
THE LIVE EFFECT
Nine of the ten tunes saw at least one live performance, with several of the tunes
eventually establishing themselves as concert favorites.
TRANSYLVANIA BOOGIE- This guitar solo vehicle never made it out of the sixties. It was
frequently performed as a part of the '68/'69 repertoire, and was an extension of the
"Help I'm A Rock's" from that period. An example of this can be heard on
"Ahead of Their Time".
ROAD LADIES- This song was performed a couple times by the Flo 'n' Eddie band, though it
never made it into the regular line-up. The Fall '74 band did it once as an encore, as did
the Fall '77 band.
TWENTY SMALL CIGARS- Apparently performed live at least once, by the '71 Mothers.
THE NANCY AND MARY MUSIC- This is an excerpt from a '70 "King Kong".
TELL ME YOU LOVE ME- This song never made it in the '70's, only appearing a handful of
times during the Fall '78 tour. It was rediscovered in the '80's where it became a typical
set closer. An example of this can be heard on both "Tinseltown Rebellion" ('80)
and YCDTOSA Volume I ('82). This song was rewritten as "Don't Be A
Lawyer"/"Why Don't You Like Me?" for the '84 tour, and as "Why Don't
You Like Me?", the Michael Jackson version, for the '88 tour (BTHW).
WOULD YOU GO ALL THE WAY?- This was occasionally performed by the Summer '71 band, and was
played once as an encore on the Fall '76 tour.
CHUNGA'S REVENGE- This song popped up every couple of years throughout Frank's touring
career. It originates in late '69, when traces of its theme arose during a typical '60's
Mothers' jam. It reappeared months later during the Hot Rats shows of early '70, where it
appeared in full-blown Monster style. Its first tour-of-duty did not come until '72, when
it became an occasional part of both Wazoo tours. In '73 and early '74, it served as the
closing guitar solo vehicle for the "Mr. Green Genes-> King Kong-> Chunga's
Revenge" medley. It then disappeared until Fall '75 (not counting a heavy tease
during a Spring '75 "Pound for a Brown"), where it then became a saxophone,
keyboard, and guitar solo vehicle. By Winter '76, "Zoot Allures" had entrenched
itself as a post-Chunga's song, and thus the guitar solo was dropped, and a drum solo
("Hands With A Hammer") served as the segue from this into "Zoot
Allures". Sadly, the song then disappeared until 1980, at which point it returned as
a show opening guitar solo vehicle, appearing regularly throughout the '80's.
THE CLAP- Never performed live.
RUDY WANTS TO BUY YEZ A DRINK- This was occasionally performed by the Summer '71 band, was
played once as an encore on the Fall '76 tour, and then again once more on the Fall '77
SHARLEENA- This song actually premiered prior to the album, in the jazzed up version
finally heard on "The Lost Episodes". The song was a regular part of the Flo 'n'
Eddie touring years (as heard on "Playground Psychotics"), before disappearing
until 1981. At that point, it returned as the monster guitar solo vehicle we know and
love, with that role being played in '82 ("As An Am"), '84 (YCDTOSA III) and
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