It is quite an understatement to say that Frank Zappa was adventurous during his lifelong musical career. He was a great creator of quirky, witty music and covered many styles and genres during his time. This is seen as one of his key albums right near the middle of the 1970s. It is also seen as one of Frank Zappa’s best albums and runs for just over half an hour for those with short attention spans. Let’s take a listen to it and hear how it sounds.
We begin with Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow which is an interesting song title, beginning with whooshing wind. The wind is very Pink Floydian. Shortly into it, guitars and beats enter, and a really weird and odd (in a good way) song emerges. There are some very retro melodies here, and the whole thing sounds bizarrely good. It is difficult to tell actually what this song is about, it finishes with the repeated phrase: “Watch out where the huskies go, don’t you eat that yellow snow.” The yellow snow refers to snow that has been urinated on. Very weird.
Next is Nanook Rubs It which begins with some heavy guitar riffs, some interesting vocals and horns to match. Some strange vocals and lyrics indicate that this is a continuation of the first song, which is an interesting project piece. Wild guitar fills then enter to match with this story, this is really cool and quirky, with a touch of humour to this tune. The rolling drums and very Classic Rock style guitars make this piece an excellent listen, and the story here is really weird but comical. Some odd backing vocals then enter, along with horn parts that sound majestic. A really cool piece of music that has class, humour and style that is very, very good. The ending is quite dramatic and funny.
St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast begins with xylophone, weird keyboard sounds and some pounding proto-Disco sounds to enjoy. The piece launches into an awesome musical sounding jig that is hilarious. A really interesting piece of music that sounds clever and wonderful, there are many musical touches that sound top on this tune. Brief but bizarre, it segues into the next track.
Father O’Blivion launches right into it and has some quacky sounding guitars and a sound that is really quick, yet awesome. A really great listen with call-and-response vocals and drums, this is totally unusual and has some great musical efforts and laugh out loud humour on this song. Some computerised beeps then enter, and the story continues throughout. A really interesting and cool listen, it fades out before a brief interlude of xylophone and laughter emerges. Great music.
Next along is Cosmik Debris which begins with some interesting guitar fills and a good amount of playing and murmured vocals over the top. It is a very strange sort of story and sounds a bit like a proto-Disco song that is dirty in a really weird way. There is a lyrical twist to this piece that is really strange and interesting at the same time. There is also a loud and brilliant guitar solo in the middle, just sounding super stellar and amazing, particularly with the wah-wah pedal. It is a nicely structured and bizarre piece of music that has a plot twist here, which is really odd. It makes little sense lyrically and musically but is about a seer/psychic/clairvoyant who is nothing but a money lover, which is fairly true of many in that profession. It ends with Soul backing vocals and drumrolls, good job.
Following is Excentrifugal Forz which is another very brief piece of very 1970s sounding music. A really excellent and great listen, there are some great multitracked guitar solos that sound really awesome and fantastic. Some more scrambled and interesting lyrics are here, along with some futuristic sound effects and lyrics indicating that state of play. Very good.
Apostrophe’ is next, beginning with a bunch of overdubbed guitars and melodies that sound simply fantastic. A really cool listen, complete with some fuzz bass, this is Frank Zappa getting interesting and inventive on this song. An interesting instrumental, it launches into some very Deep Purple styled guitar parts that sound frenzied and awesome. This is no doubt an interesting sounding album that has been very well worked on. This is a good example of how accomplished Frank Zappa and co. were at their art form. A really classy and excellent instrumental, this does sound fantastic. The guitars stop for a drum solo that is really cool for a brief period of time, before launching straight back into the mayhem. A really great piece of sonic craft, these guys knew how to make great music. The phrasing and playing here is on top form, and the whole thing does sound amazing. Good job, it is a totally enjoyable listen from start to finish. Great effort. The guitar riffs are sensational.
Uncle Remus begins with a piano that is quite upbeat and cheerful. It sounds glorious and optimistic, before going straight into another really weird Pop/Rock piece that is quite a reminder of the music of Funkadelic. Another nonsensical song that sounds excellent, this is a cool and eccentric piece of music that is really quite cool. A lively and upbeat listen, it has some pretty amazing guitar playing by Frank Zappa, finishing with some nice female Soul vocals in the background. Brilliant.
The last song on this album is Stink-Foot which begins with a thunderous drum roll and is the longest song on this album. The lyrical story and instrumentation here are really cool and excellent, and the story is really weird, about stinking feet themselves, which is an odd topic. It’s an excellent combination of music and lyricism in such an unusual way that one will likely be very surprised by what they hear. Some Jimi Hendrix like playing is here in the middle, and this piece sounds interesting and intricate throughout. It’s bizarre music at its best and is very strange. It sounds really awesome and discusses the theory behind the album title with a talking dog. A really cool listening experience, this sounds nothing but excellent on a different level. Nice tune, and a cool and expertly delivered piece. The outro is fantastic, with some crazy Gibson SG guitar fills. A very decent tune.
There is no doubt that Frank Zappa is an underrated artist, and this also is one of his best albums out there to explore. It covers a range of musical expressions, styles and beauty from start to finish. It also sounds really good too, and Frank Zappa’s guitar playing is totally underrated. This is definitely a classic for when the mood for quirkiness strikes, a nicely crafted album.
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