Frank Zappa Sexual Harassment In The Workplace
Q: I am trying to get into Frank Zappa's music, but have no idea where to
start. He has at least 80 albums. What do all you Zappa freaks recomend as
my first cd of him? I have over $50 to blow, so you can name a few albums.
I absolutely LOVE Primus' stuff (I own all their cd's), so don't just name
the most "commercially accessible" one that comes to mind. I'm not a pop
fan at all.
A: Well, being a Primus fan won't necessarily prepare you for the wonderful world of Zappa any more than anything else, but here's a brief list of my favourites. I've tried to cover a range of his stuff... - Civilization Phaze III (lots of Synclavier stuff along with spoken word bits. Pure genius) - The Yellow Shark. All orchestral, played by the Ensemble Modern. - Waka/Jawaka. Lots of big-band-style jazz arrangements, but still very Frank - Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar. Three CDs of guitar solos, mostly recorded live during 1979-81. The proof that FZ was one of the great improvisers. - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol2. An entire concert, recorded in Helsinki in 1974. The perfect record of one of FZ's best touring bands. - YCDTOSA Vol 5. Disc Two is from the early 80s, and shows just how good Steve Vai was, even back then - The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life. Ditto for the 1988 band. - One Size Fits All. Possibly the best of all the Zappa rock albums. - You Are What You Is. Lots and lots of short, snappy, hilarious songs, most of 'em segued together. The first album I suggest you get is Strictly Commercial. This should give you an idea as to the ground Frank could cover musically. Here you will meet Frank Zappa, Humorist (Montana, Don't Eat The Yellow Snow), Social Critic (Trouble Everyday, Cosmik Debris), and kick ass guitarist and composer (Sexual Harassment In The Workplace, Peaches En Regalia). From the days of the Mothers of Invention, to his Synclavier era is on this cd, which makes it such a great jumping off point. Next, pick up Joe's Garage Vol I, II, & III, and You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol 2, and if you can find it, 200 Motels. The first is Frank's take on censorship in music, with lots of humor, social commentary, and some really great guitar solos. Next is Zappa live in concert...in fact the whole thing was one concert in Finland in 74 if I'm not mistaken. Finally is Zappa's account on how touring can drive even the most sane person to the madhouse. Killer stuff.