Friday, 22 May 2015

What we're listening to this week. Frank Zappa's 'Over-nite sensation'.

'Over-nite Sensation' (1973) is probably the definitive Frank Zappa Album although 'Apostrophe' and indeed, 'Joe's Garage' worthy of same breath mention.

Now we hear you. Zappa was crazy. But actually that hides an extraordinary songwriter and guitarist. Really amazing stuff and very different from the mainstream - avant garde really.

His lyrics were fun and yep sometimes racy (like 'Dinah Moe Humm' here) but he was a genius and died at 53 in 1993 (prostate cancer).

He started by writing classical music (a fan of Stravinsky and Varese actually) and Jazz, which you get a sense of in his 60+ Albums. He wrote and recorded classical orchestral albums which few know about. He even worked in Advertising too and jingles were a part of his life but was really a self-trained musician. 

Very anti-drugs too (now bet that surprises you!) actually firing band members who used them. He was actually seen as being too 'autocratic' because the way he ran the band like an Orchestral leader.

Deep Purple's 'Smoke on the water' mentions Zappa playing at Montreaux when a flare from the audience started a fire of their equipment.

But Zappa does take listening and there's no doubt, a bit of time - but worth every minute (great albums should grow on you). Check this Album out too if you get into it.

Anyway, here you go...."she said she was a magic mama"........

It all went down a stormer in here given that he's been largely forgotten by a younger generation. Still, a genius though.

Next week Neil Young.