Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Frank Zappa - Hot Rats (1969)

This is one of my favorite Zappa albums -- which is possibly more of a testament to my jazz leanings than anything else -- but I really never tire of this one. Ever. What's to tire of? "Peaches En Regalia" never gets old -- no matter how many times I play it (that interjectory acoustic noodling always makes me happy.) It's one of Zappa's most inventive songs -- or at least, an excellent showcase of his dazzling compositional variety; and besides, it strikes just enough of a silly tone to distinguish him from the Mahavishnu, for example. (That and I prefer Zappa over McLaughlin anyway.) "Willie The Pimp" (a blues-drenched jam featuring the aural gruffings of Captain Beefheart and some tasty violin) "The Gumbo Variation" (a crazed sax/guitar noodlefest) and "Son Of Mr. Green Genes" are the three longest pieces of the record. Besides "Peaches," these represent, I think, a sort of loose musical centerpiece for the album. "Little Umbrellas" is okay -- not really amazing. "It Must Be A Camel" is fairly blah for me; once "Gumbo" ends, I usually forget this one. Other than that, "Peaches" and the three aforementioned longer jazz pieces will undoubtedly keep you occupied for most of the 47 or so minutes of this fantastic record. Oh, and besides Beefheart's appearance, this all instrumental. B+


Master Cianan said...

A comment... yep, I like this record.

You happy?

Although I have always had a soft spot for apostrophe/overnight sensation. You know, st. alphonso's pancake breakfast, zombie woof, bla bla good stuff. Hot rats is good too.

The Mad Hatter said...

Yeah, I'm happy. You shit FZ for musical breakfast; I expect you to say something about him. I love Apostrophe about as much as this one, too, but I can't stand Overnite Sensation. He's got some wildly varied stuff, musically and quality-wise.

Master Cianan said...

Ah, what's to say that hasn't been said already? Frank rules, except that awful shut up and play yer guitar nonsense. That stuff's unlistenable. The rest is gold, mostly of the 24K variety, but some 14K as well. What can't you stand about overnite sensation? It's good!

The Mad Hatter said...

I do like "Variations On The Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression." But yeah, total uninteresting wankfest otherwise.

Overnite Sensation. Hmmm. I don't know man; the songs I do like -- "Dirty Love", "I'm The Slime" and "Camarillo Brillo" are good, but not great, and everything else just fucks with my musical equilibrium. I feel unsettled in a jarring kind of way when I hear it.