Rating: **** (Recommended)
Released November 1970 (US & UK)
While this still has plenty of his lunacy, Mr. Zappa started getting more focused in the 70s. This album certainly has its share of annoying material, more griping about life on the road and such. As if anybody could possible care about his problems as a rock star with loads of loose groupies, the portrait of the struggling artist and all that crap. Fortunately, this also includes some of his strongest instrumentals to date, including the title track, “Transylvania Boogie,” and the brief “Twenty Small Cigars.”
While half of this set is fairly forgettable, the other half makes this more than a worthwhile grab for fans.
The vocal cut “Sharleena” is an excellent addition to the Zappa catalog as well, with Frank returning to doo-wop for inspiration. While half of this set is fairly forgettable, the other half makes this more than a worthwhile grab for fans.
Musicians include Aynsley Dunbar, Ian Underwood, Max Bennett, John Guerin, George Duke, Jeff Simmons, Sugar Cane Harris, and of course the Phlorescent Leech & Eddie (vocals). Classic gatefold by Cal Schenkel.
(author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s)
PS: I’m putting together a list of the best albums ever. Any suggestions?