Friday 24 March 2017

What we're listening to: Frank Zappa 'Joe's Garage'

We've blogged about Frank Zappa's excellent 'Overnite Sensation' Album before and indeed, his 'Apostrophe' Album is also considered among his best work by most.

'Joe's Garage' for us anyway, is another classic.

For some people Zappa is seen as almost 'comedy' and 'sexually vulgar' but that's not to understand the genius that he was. And this record shows that genius so don't let pre-conceptions get in the way of great music. Never.

From 1979, this tells the story as to how the Government was killing/censoring music (remember those 'Explicit Lyrics' stickers?) through the voice of a character called 'The Central Scrutinizer'. It's the story of Joe, forming a garage rock band and it's often referred to as a "Rock Opera'.

"Catholic Girls", rude as it is, criticises the Church (and Scientology later). "Crew Slut" is, as it says (!), about groupies. "Wet T Shirt night" is what it says and the opener, "Joe's Garage" sets the scene. "Lucille has messed up my mind" is almost Doobie-ish (you'll hear it on the link below). But they're excellent tracks. Trust me.

"Watermelon in Easter Hay" (on the extended box set) is considered Zappa's masterpiece and greatest guitar solo. It's really lovely and Zappa himself, thought it was his best song.

Funny enough too, most people see Zappa as being part of a drug culture. He wasn't, he never did drugs and wouldn't allow drug users into his band - rather, it was booze - and he started as a Classical musician (!). There you go. Pre-conceptions. 

'Rolling Stone' have him at number 22 from the top 100 guitarists of all time. 

Now it does take a bit of getting used to but Zappa will repay it. It's really excellent and if you're looking for something you haven't heard before, start here.

He died in 1993.

Previous "listen to's" you'll also find on this blog (you can search them in the Search top left on the Blog)
......Joni Mitchell 'Blue': Steve Gibbons 'Caught in the Act': Elton John 'Tumbleweed Connection': Elton John 'Honky Chateau': Gallagher & Lyle 'Breakaway': Warren Zevon 'Excitable Boy': Donald Fagen 'The Nightfly': Supertramp 'Breakfast in America': George Michael 'Listen without predujice': Radiohead 'The Bends': Beyonce 'Lemonade' Album of the year 2016: Oddisee 'The mix Tape': Soul 11 Soul 'Club Classics': Jennifer Warnes 'Famous Blue Raincoat':Art Garfunkel 'Watermark': REM 'Out of Time': Van 'Keep me Singing': Frank Sinatra 'Songs for Swinging Lovers': Al Stewart 'Year of the Cat': Stevie Ray Vaughan 'Texas Flood':Frank Ocean 'Blond': Jimmy Buffett 'Son of a Sailor': Marc Cohn 'Marc Cohn': Bill Withers 'Complete Sussex and Columbia': Hendrix 'Electric Ladyland': ABC 'Lexicon of Love': Rickie Lee Jones 'Rickie Lee Jones': Billy Joel "Glass Houses": Rodriguez "Cold Fact": Prefab Sprout 'Steve McQueen'; Chet Baker 'Live 64-79'; The Stone Roses 'Stone Roses'; Joe Jackson 'I'm the Man'; Oasis 'Morning Glory'; Bob Dylan 'At The Budokan'; Van "It's too late to stop now Volume 2/3/4"; Air 'Moon Safari'; Talking Heads 'Stop Making Sense'; Lynyrd Skynyrd 'One for the road'; Marvin Gaye 'Whats Goin on'; Mercury Rev 'Deserters Songs'; Dave Matthews 'Crash'; Beyonce 'Lemonade'; Prince 'Sign O the times'; Daft Punk 'Random Access Memories'; Amy Winehouse 'Back to Black';Police 'Outlandos D'Amour'; Michael Jackson 'Off the Wall'; Carole King 'Tapestry'; Beatles 'Red Album'; Sex Pistols 'Never mind the Bollocks'; Sam Cooke 'Live at Harlem Square'; The Doors 'LA Woman'; Thin Lizzy 'Live & Dangerous'; Kendrick Lamarr 'Butterfly'; Aretha Franklin 'Amazing Grace'; Clapton '461'; Massive Attack 'Blue Lines'; The Clash 'London Calling'; Chris Isaak 'At The Filmore'; Bob Dylan 'Street Legal'; Bad Company 'Straight Shooter'; Jackson Browne 'Love is Strange'; Lou Reed 'Transformer'; Steely Dan 'AJA'; Stones 'Black+Blue'; Stephen Bishop 'Careless'; Nils Lofgren 'Night after Night'; Mike Oldfield 'Tubular Bells'; Neil Young 'Harvest'; Led Zep '4'; David Bowie 'David Live'; Van Morrison 'It's too late to stop now'; Wings 'Band on the Run'; Rod Stewart 'Atlantic Crossing'; Ryan Adams 'Heartbreaker'; Santana 'Essential'; Bob Dylan 'Desire'; Roxy Music 'For your pleasure'; Bob Marley 'Legend'; Stephen Fretwell 'Magpie'; James Taylor 'Sweet Baby James'; Deep Purple 'Machine Head'; Springsteen 'Darkness on the edge of town'; Leon Bridges 'Coming Home'; Eagles 'Hotel California'; Jungle; Aretha 'Soul Queen'; Neil Young 'After the Goldrush' ; Zappa 'Overnite Sensation'; Fleetwood Mac 'Rumours'; Keith Jarrett 'Koln Concert'; Doobies 'Southbound'; Stevie Earle 'I feel Alright'; Tom Waits 'Closing Time'; Pink Floyd 'Dark Side'; Van Morrison 'Moondance'; Eric Church 'Caught in the Act'; Randy Newman 'Little Criminals'; Elton John 'Madman across the water'; Patti Smith 'Horses'; Doobies 'Captain and Me'; Steely Dan 'Can't Buy a Thrill'.