Double Zappa |FZ| 1973-74

Over Night Sensation (left) Apostrophe (right)

Throughout the years 1999 to 2003 or so, I collected and devoured just about every official Frank Zappa release. It’s time to let it out of the brain, and hopefully you can use these posts as an introduction to this man’s incredible body of work.

I’ve found that FZ albums tend to come in two’s, so here’s our first double shot of Frank. These years contain his most commercially successful works and act as a fast and bulbous starting point.

Over-Nite Sensation (1973)
Zappa liked a tight band. The players on Over-Nite Sensation (notably featuring George Duke, Ruth Underwood, and the Fowler Brothers) would comprise the cleanest and strictest sounding rock ensemble yet. Nothing shows this more than the insanely detailed changes and synth, horn, and melodic percussion runs to one of my early favorites, Zomby Woof. The gnarly guitar lick and morally condemning lyric to I Am The Slime kinda says it all about his classical/satirical approach to rock music. And the succinct guitar solas throughout this record are both introductions and solid proof of his out-of-this-world modal guitar mastery. Dinah Moe Humm and Montana are bona fide Zappa classics and I remember even steadfast Zappa haters admitted to liking Camarillo Brillo.

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“Camarillo Brillo”

:) Vinyl Search | Over Nite Sensation @ eBay ]
:D CD Reissue | 1995 | Over-Nite Sensation ]

Apostrophe (‘) (1974)
Zappa had the extraordinary ability to create unheard new sounds, rhythms, and textures with each of his bands. The opener to Apostrophe, well known favorite Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow, has one of these rare grooves. Turned up loud it’s this killer double guitar riffing that alternates with a fantastic disco hi-hat rhythm. Without changing time signature even, this groove still manages to entrance me today. See, it’s not the goofy, sometimes embarrassing lyrics and jokes tucked away in every Zappa piece that I seek out (though strangely comforting they are); it’s the treasures of complicated movements and studio /conducting genius that made Frank Zappa the transcendental composer and producer we know him as today. Get this one for a perfect development from Over-Nite Sensation, featuring even zanier movements, and of course that sick guitar lick on the title track.

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“Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow”

:) Vinyl Search | Apostrophe @ eBay ]
:D CD Reissue | 1995 | Apostrophe (‘) ]

Note: serious fans won’t want to miss the new Classic Albums Series DVD: Apostrophe / Over-Nite Sensation.

Apostrophe (‘) Trailer 1974

[youtube]http://youtube.com/watch?v=7sBSqKeiuZk[/youtube]


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6 Comments.

  • Uncle Nicky

    YEa ZaPPa !!!! I think I need a little more zappa in my life! Thank you RS.net for letting me realize this!

  • “it’s not the goofy, sometimes embarrassing lyrics and jokes tucked away in every Zappa piece that I seek out (though strangely comforting they are); it’s the treasures of complicated movements and studio /conducting genius that made Frank Zappa the transcendental composer and producer”

    ABSOLUTELY agreed!
    PERFECTLY accurate!

    It’s unfortunete that many people out there who do not understand music at all have this wrong and mistaken vision that Frank Zappa was just some kind of weirdo.

    What’s so great about Zappa’s post Mothers music is his way of concealing those complex musical ideas by using goofy lyrics, thus making it easier for the common man to listen to his complicated music. Yet at the same time, the words and music often go together as one.

    He even foresaw the advent of downloadable music back in 1980’s.
    Frank Zappa was a true genius!

    Brendan, thanks for sharing his greatness here on the Rising Storm!

  • Anonymous

    oleeeeeee

  • zappahead

    I just happened along , to your website. I dont really know what to add as youve summed up the album reviews…..immaculately.I dont think I can add anything to it other than, Im a big fan of frank and have followed his career since the beggining and every album…has something new to listen to. Thanks for letting me express my meager feelings on here and keep up the excellent work and service that you do…All the very best….cheers…..Iain.

  • Len Liechti

    Last night I caught the TV programme on the making of these two albums, which were actually recorded at the same time. I’ve been into early Zap for a long time but this introduced me to the mid-term works, and they’re equally stunning. The show was followed by a concert featuring Dweezil Zappa at the Roundhouse earlier this year to celebrate what would have been Frank’s 70th year, playing some of his old man’s classics with a tight outfit including some of the original performers guesting. Frank Vincent must be a hard act to follow, but it has to be said that Dweezil as a guitarist would make his papa proud. I may just have to investigate some of the Son’s original recordings.

  • Conrad VonSchmeckel

    Just now visiting these pages for the first time, and quite enjoying the album pairings. I guess you have stopped updating these pages? I guess I was hoping for some reviews on some “newer pairings” (e.g. Shiek Yerbouty/Joe’s Garage, et.all.). Hopefully, you will return to add to the excellent reviews posted here. I’m sure you have exposed a new generation to the work of the greatest composer of the 20th century. Music is the best! Thanks.

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