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YCDTOSA VOLUME IV

the This is What We've Been Waiting For tapes


NUMBER OF TRACKS- 34

NUMBER OF OTHERWISE UNRELEASED TRACKS- 11 (Little Rubber Girl, You Call That Music?, Pound for a Brown Solos, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Church Chat, Tiny Sick Tears, Smell My Beard, The Booger Man, Are You Upset?, Johnny Darling, No No Cherry)

NUMBER OF DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT ARRANGEMENTS OF RELEASED TRACKS- 2 (The Evil Prince, The Torture Never Stops)

YEARS COVERED- 9 ('69, '74, '75, '78, '79, '80, '82, '84, '88)


DISC ONE


LITTLE RUBBER GIRL (1/2)- In its actual live context, this song occurs as the coda to the Halloween '78 "Go Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder". It works better in that context, and makes more conceptual sense. Why Frank chose to release it like this (especially considering that there are no live releases of "Go Cry") is somewhat puzzling, but at least it documents a one-time only event. This song can only be found on this Stage release.(1978)

BETTER SELECTION:  Yes. With "Go Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder" intact.



STICK TOGETHER (0)- No reason for this release. This is simply a no-improvement live version of one of Frank's worst songs.(1984)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes.  This song actually contained some really good Frank solos during the waning days of the '84 tour. How about one of those performances?



MY GUITAR (1)- Somehow, the '84 band manages to do this tune justice. Frank's short but energetic solo is the clincher, though.(1984)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes.  The Winter '77 band did a slow, bluesy arrangement of this tune that is much more interesting then the '80's arrangement.



WILLIE THE PIMP (0)- Personal taste rules this vote. I do not like this revamped version of this classic tune. And the segue into "Montana"? Please. Still, if Frank had to release an '80's version of this tune, why not the 5/26 performance with the "Flight of the Valkyrie/Purple Haze" interlude? That was enjoyable.(1984)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes.  The aforementioned performance, or one of the raw "Bongo Fury" tour blasphemies.



MONTANA (1/2)- We start at the Roxy in '73, and then edit to an '84 Ike post-solo.   The solo is good, but apart from that, there is not much here that is not found on the other two releases of this tune. And the edit only serves to highlight just how truly horrible Wackerman's '84 drum sound was.(1973, 1984)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes.  A complete '73/'74 performance, or a funky Xmas '76 version.



BROWN MOSES (1)- Thank you so much for releasing this Frank. Now I do not have to dig out my "Thingfish" album to enjoy this stellar vocal performance. This is the '84 band at its best.(1984)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



THE EVIL PRINCE (1)- Or is this the '84 band at its best? "Thingfish" filler turned into a full-blown Broadway extravaganza. The vocals, the keyboards, the guitar solo-> Frank does no wrong with this one.(1984)

BETTER SELECTION: No.  This is perfection.



APPROXIMATE (1)- A harmless little number, yet enjoyable. Shows the origins of the '88 "Stayin' Alive" spoof, and demonstrates just how tight the '82 band was.(1982)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



LOVE OF MY LIFE (0)- This is one of Frank's great live tunes, but thanks to "Tinseltown Rebellion", we really do not need another version.(1980)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



LET'S MOVE TO CLEVELAND SOLOS (1/2)- Not the entire tune (nor the entire solos), just an Archie Shepp guest solo, a Martin sax solo, and too much Zavod. Nice, but Archie's solo is just not all that inspired. And what can I say about Zavod?(1984)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes.  How about one of the anemic yet interesting Fall'75 performances, or one of the sharper, more deadly '82 specimens?



YOU CALL THAT MUSIC? (1/2)- Not really, but I'll accept your reasons for releasing this. Four minutes of the '69 Mother's making "clank" music, as Sean Gaffney so aptly described it.(1969)

BETTER SELECTION: Um, no.



POUND FOR A BROWN SOLOS (1)- Yes Yes Yes Yes. Wolf and Mars solo. This is what this series should have been about. Amazing solos from amazing musicians from an amazing tour. True, Frank could have released the entire twenty-minute Monster performance, and blown our petty little minds, but he did not, so this will do. And Patrick O'Hearn-> is there a better bass player?(1978)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



THE BLACK PAGE(1)- Probably the one song that deserves to have every single version released over and over again.(1984)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME (1)- Taken from an '88 "Pound for a Brown", this one-time only event displays one of the more spontaneous sides of the '88 band. Ike and Walt do a rather funny baseball play-by-play, and the band runs-through several rather demented renditions of this seventh inning classic. Listen closely and you can pick out Frank's several edits.(1988)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



FILTHY HABITS (1)- One of Frank's way-too infrequently performed classics, menacingly performed by the '88 band. Frank's solo cannot match the intensity of the '70's performances, but the spirit is still there.(1988)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes.  Frank tore this piece to shreds on a nightly basis in the Winter of '76.  One of those performances would have stunned audiences worldwide.



THE TORTURE NEVER STOPS (1)- This tune premiered in '75 as a "Smokestack Lightning" rip-off/homage, documented for the first time with this release. This track is worth being released, but Frank could have picked a better performance. The 4/27 performance from that Spring '75 tour ranks as my personal favorite, wandering off into a healthy 15 minute blues jam, with FZ and Brock toying with the Fall '74 unreleased "Booger Bear" riff. Again, why not include an entire performance, instead of fading out just as the going gets good?(1975)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes. See above.

DISC TWO


CHURCH CHAT (0)- Frank rambling on idiotically. Completely worthless.(1982)

BETTER SELECTION: No. Frank rambling on idiotically just does not get any more worthless than this.



STEVIE'S SPANKING (1)- Yes, in all its heavy metal glory. If you are going to release this song, do not settle for a half-assed version such as the one found on MAJNH. Instead, go for the throat and release a solid ten-minutes of indulgent, pyrotechnic, in-your-face wailing. Eat this, Judas Priest!(1982)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



OUTSIDE NOW (0)- As much as I love this song (especially Ike's singing), this release does not offer anything that cannot be found elsewhere in the catalog.(1982)

BETTER SELECTION:Yes. Release the instrumental version performed in the waning days of the '79 tour.



DISCO BOY (0)- Three officially released versions of this song. Why?(1982)

BETTER SELECTION: No. Never.

TEEN-AGE WIND (0)- Another worthless release.(1982)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



TRUCK DRIVER DIVORCE (1)- Not one of Frank's better TDD solos, but an enjoyable one nonetheless.(1982)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes.  Release a better guitar solo.



FLORENTINE POGEN (0)- The only reason to release another version of this song is to give us one of Frank's great guitar solos which, for some reason, was not included on the original OSFA release. It looks like we might get this solo when the tune starts off way back in '74, performed by the Best Band Some of Us Fortunately Saw in Our Lives (not me, sadly). But then we inexplicably jump ahead to '79, which, as we all know, did not see the guitar solo version of this song. So why release this, Frank? Either give us another solo, or give us one of those ridiculously fast performances from early '74. Hey, I love this song, but this release is rather pointless.(1974, 1979)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes.  A complete "with guitar solo" performance from late '74, or one of the "work-in-progress" versions from early '74 would both be better than this jumble.



TINY SICK TEARS (1)- I cannot listen to this track too often, but its release makes sense. Loosely parodying The Doors' "The End", Frank narrates the tail of your average frustrated teenager over the vamping '69 Mothers.(1969)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



SMELL MY BEARD (1)- Ahhh yes. The Funk of George Duke. Road stories, booger bears, Marty and his "females"- how about an entire disc (or two or three) consisting of nothing but 1974 Booger Bear reports? That would be heaven.(1974)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



THE BOOGER MAN (1)- Is this one hell of a band or what? They performed this kind of stuff on a nightly basis- pure, improvised funk.(1974)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



CAROLINA HARD-CORE ECSTASY (1)- This is one of Frank's better '84 resurrections. It highlights the strengths of the '84 band, with Frank stepping up and providing a fully satisfying solo.(1984)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



ARE YOU UPSET? (1/2)- Not much to this, but it surely does not hurt. It would have earned a full point, but I recently heard a live tape where an audience member screams something at Frank, and he replies with the exact same comeback. So much for spontaneity.(1969)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



LITTLE GIRL OF MINE (1)- Oooh that Ray White.(1984)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



THE CLOSER YOU ARE (0)- My least favorite of the'50's pieces, and not much different than the "Them or Us" version.(1984)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



JOHNNY DARLING (1/2)- I categorize this with the above tune, but since it is not available elsewhere in the catalog, it earns its points.(1984)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



NO NO CHERRY (1)- Why not?(1984)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



THE MAN FROM UTOPIA (1)- Much better than the studio version.(1982)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



MARY LOU (1)- Again, much better than the studio version, and with secret words to boot.(1982)

BETTER SELECTION: No.



TOTAL SCORE- 64.7% (22 out of a possible 34)

Songs earning a 1= 18

Songs earning 1/2= 7

Songs earning a 0= 9


Apart from the near-perfect Volume II (which in my little world would be the favorite set even if it contained nothing but 23 '74 performances of "Stinkfoot"), this may be the most consistently enjoyable volume in the Stage series. It earns the third highest overall rating (only a .1 point behind Volume VI), but is more enjoyable than that later volume thanks to the consistency at which Frank chose rare and/or high-quality tracks for this volume. As high as the overall score is, however, it does not reveal that this Volume contains several performances which rank as the best in the series, and which should have been more indicative of what the rest of the volumes are like. For me, "Pound for a Brown Solos", "Smell My Beard", and "The Booger Man" are three of the best releases of the series, and represent what I think we all would have loved to see more of. Three improvised performances containing inspired and passionate playing displaying a side of live Frank Zappa that is not found much elsewhere in his catalog. To a lesser extent, "Let's Move to Cleveland Solos", "Take Me out to the Ballgame", "The Torture Never Stops", and "Tiny Sick Tears" succeed for these same reasons, and help provide a more complete picture of the many faces of Frank Zappa the touring musician. The majority of the material which comprises the rest of this Volume either represents some of Frank's less frequently performed material ("Carolina Hard-Core Ecstasy", "Filthy Habits"), or live versions of songs which are markedly different or dramatically better than the studio version ("The Evil Prince" the former, "Stevie's Spanking" the latter).


Diseases of the Fans

-who they are and what they are thinking

#1) Sean Gaffney rates this volume a 60.3% (20.5 out of 34)

Songs earning a 1= 16

Songs earning 1/2= 9

Songs earning a 0= 9


The only songs we completely disagreed on (with a whole point difference) were "The Black Page", "Truckdriver Divorce" (which I gave a full point to, he zero), and "The Closer You Are" (which he gave a full point to, me zero)..

#2) Jon Naurin rates this volume a 50.0% (17 out of 34)

Songs earning a 1= 12

Songs earning 1/2= 10

Songs earning a 0= 12


For this volume and for volume 6, Jon had the biggest discrepancy between his scores and the others. Again, Jon was stingier with the 1's than Sean or I.

#3) Scott Maykrantz rates this volume a 58.8% (20 out of 34)

Songs earning a 1= 13

Songs earning 1/2= 14

Songs earning a 0= 7


For Scott's individual song ratings and comments on each song, follow This link


CUMULATIVE SCORE: 58.45%


Onward to Volume V

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