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Old 03-10-2021, 09:49 AM   #199 (permalink)
Born to be mild
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Album title: Chunga’s Revenge
Artist: Frank Zappa
Nationality: American
Label: Bizarre/Reprise
Chronology: Third
Grade: C
Landmark value:
Tracklisting: Transylvania Boogie/Road Ladies/Twenty Small Cigars/The Nancy and Mary Music/Tell Me You Love Me/Would You Go All the Way/Chunga’s Revenge/ The Clap/Rudy Wants to Buy Yez a Drink/Sharleena
Comments: And from the sublime to the…? Well, perhaps, but the last Zappa album was not half as bad as I had expected, so who knows? Maybe this one won’t rip out my guts and wear them for a headband. Here’s hoping. We have an instrumental to kick us off, and while it’s not great it’s not terrible. Actually I take that back. It’s pretty decent, a very enjoyable boogie, then “Road Ladies” is the first vocal track (hold on to your headbands!) with some really crazy organ, the usual sound effects going on, then it seems to develop into (gasp!) a straight forward slow blues tune. Nice.

The second instrumental, “Twenty Small Cigars” has a nice breezy, lazy feeling to it, sort of soft jazzy piano driving it, while the longest track at nine minutes plus, “The Nancy & Mary Music” is pretty free jazz all right, even including a drum solo. Yeah. Turns fairly bluesy after the second minute though. Oh, my mistake: two drum solos! Is this live? It sounds like either it is, or they’re trying to make it sound like it is. Okay yeah, it says it is, from one of the Road Tapes apparently. It’s a jam basically. I like jam on my bread but not necessarily in my music. Much of the rest seems to be your basic blues, with “Would You Go All the Way” retaining a kind of gospel/soul feel with some very warbly organ and ensemble vocals.

Two more instrumentals then, the title track a kind of psych workout with jazz overtones in the horns used, while the much shorter “The Clap” seems to focus mostly on drums and silly sounds, then it’s back to the thirties for “Rudy Wants To Buy Yez a Drink”, which again is pretty silly, and the album ends on “Sharleena”, a sort of soul/doo-wop ballad.

Favourite track(s): Transylvania Boogie/Twenty Small Cigars
Least favourite track(s):
Overall impression: ‘s all right but I don’t see what it has to do with prog rock. Very much a blues/psych thing with some jazz thrown in. At least it didn’t make my ears bleed, always something to be grateful for.
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