Friday, November 27, 2009

Frank Zappa - "Hot Rats" Vinyl LP

Frank Zappa - "Hot Rats" Vinyl LP (1969 Blue Label Original)
Original Release - 1969

First things first. This is the scariest album artwork I've seen since the days when I was still afraid of the artwork on Meatloaf's "Bat Out of Hell". Now that we have that out of the way, this album rocks!

This is my first experience with Frank Zappa. Of course I have heard of him, the man, the myth, the legend, but this is the first album of his I have had the pleasure of listening to all the way through. "Hot Rats" is Zappa's second full length, after the original Mothers of Invention broke up. For the Mothers of Inventions fans out there, this album does feature Ian Underwood.

This is an album unlike any I have heard before, such a cool and smooth combination of jazz and rock, with extended solos reminiscent of The Dead and Phish. The albums 47 minutes spin by in a flash of violent and erratic jazz stylings, and other-worldly axe shredding that will leave you begging for more. It is important to note that you are listening to history in the making, because "Hot Rats" is the first rock album to use 16-track recording technology that you will most likely hear in the drum work first, since 4 of the sixteen tracks are dedicated to the skins alone.

Another treat on this album is the appearance of none other that Captain Beefheart himself of the bluesy rock song "Willie The Pimp". Captain Beefheart's voice is the perfect match for the chaotic musicianship around him, and with this being the only track on the album with lyrics, you will no doubt remember it for a long time to come.

Since there has been some controversy over the remixed CD versions of these songs, the original LP track listing and length is as follows:

1. Peaches en Regalia..............(3:58)
2. Willie The Pimp..................(9:25)
3. Son Of Mr. Green Genes...(8:58)

4. Little Umbrellas.................(3:09)
5. The Gumbo Variations......(12:55)
6. It Must Be Camel................(5:15)

This was obviously a used copy, although Classic has released remastered editions in 150 gram, and 200 gram variations that I hear are quite good. The vinyl is black, and in excellent condition for its advanced age. The sound quality is terrific, considering I have had it cranked and have heard nothing close to a hiss or pop, and in-between songs the vinyl is very quiet.

This movie for your ears was produced & directed by F.Z.

Eat your heart out Tipper Gore.

Album - A

Vinyl - A-

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