Monday, March 22, 2010

Musical Journey Stop 1.1: Frank Zappa - Apostrophe

Apostrophe was released by FZ in 1974. This was his 18th studio album release. How many did he release?(let me Google.....80 albums is the most common answer with 57 alive and 23 after his death. He had success with his single, "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow" which runs right into Nanook Rubs It on the album. Once again the lyrics are as bizarre as Sheik Yerbouti. I understand why Amazon recomended this album after my interest in Sheik Yerbouti. I must admit that he is not my typical music, but ever since I heard Sheik Yerbouti I cannot stop listening and reading about his guy. His music is not something you can just pop in your car on your way to work. You have to almost study it, listen to it several times to absorb everything that is going on. There are several layers of music taking place. What I like about Zappa the most is when he just plays music. His lyrics are great at first when listening to see what he will talk about next(protecting a pet seal while singing about Nanook), but they can quickly lose the "shock" value. What I love most is his guitar. Take Apostrophe for example. He really just plays and tears up the guitar. I love it. Then he moves on to the next song and it is so different, but enjoyable(this would be referring to Uncle Remus).

This album was the one that moved him from cult like status to general mainstream. How can you not find yourself wanting to hear a song called, "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow"? Upon reading about this album many critics say this album along with Over-Nite Sensation are both examples of Zappa going back to Mother of Invention form(I have not listened to enough of the early stuff to comment on this). Once again Zappa hits upon society in his lyrics. The song Uncle Remus(which I had no idea was the name of a character in the Disney film, Song of the South). He questions the civil rights movement and makes it clear(through his bizarre lyrics) that there is still much work to do to bring equality up. What was even more controversial at the time was not his music, but his band as he had women, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Caucasians all together.

Well, after listening to this album four times straight and reading lyrics and researching online this is what I came up with. Take it or leave it, but I am not done with Frank. I have many more albums to discuss because he has now become my little side project on this Musical Journey project(hence the label 1.1 instead of 1.5). I hope you enjoyed and will see you later, alligator.
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