12 May 2013
Frank Zappa - Sheik Yerbouti
This is where I came in with Zappa - and that is a slight story in itself. Many moon ago when I was a young late, one of my mates gave me a tape of a John Peel show. One of the songs on the tape which was never introduced or confirmed who it was by just haunted me. All I had to go on was that it was a humours’ song about a man who wanted a sweet little Jewish princess. For years I was hunting for who this was, and it was before the interlink was in the hands of us lesser mortals. Then many moons later, around 7 years ago I was at Mr Chaney's place and he put on an album by Frank Zappa - at that point someone I had wanted to hear but never got an album. So the album was being played and I was enjoying the song and then it got to track 16. The exact response to the song - which is down in history as the following - was this - I have been looking for this song for ages!!!!! I had the biggest stupid grin on my face and my love of Frank Zappa started that moment.
Now some people will view this album as very offensive due to songs such as "Bobby Brown Goes Down", "Jewish Princess" and "Rubber Suit" - the thing here is that the tongue is very firmly in the cheek region of the mouth. This is very satirical, very cheeky and an amazing piece of humour which takes no prisoners’, everyone is up for mocking and there is a level playing field. This is Zappa's most successful release in America as well; it dented the charts and had a few hit singles. One of them "Dancing Fool" (a satirical piece about one of Zappa's most hated musical genres - disco) every now and then creeps back into the German top 40 as it is still being purchased over there. Given that this album is a live album as well (there is a few songs which had solos from other concerts placed over the originals, and a few background spoken word tracks) the sound and recording is amazing to say the least.
Is there any draw backs to this album. Well, it is one of the more easy albums to get into for Zappa and this might seem weird for a drawback, but when you get into Zappa's more challenging pieces it is sort of weird to go back to something that is almost gentle on the soul. But this is really not a problem in anyway shape of form. The solo, the songs, the bass, everything about this album is just wonderful. I still cannot believe this is a live album, it just seems too high a quality; but then again it is a sign of the quality of the players around Zappa at that time. I have been avoiding this one to review due to my bias on it, but I just had to do it. If you want an easy place to start with Zappa and you have a sense of humour I would start here.
10 out of ten - This is proof that there is a God
There are a few different versions which you can purchase from Amazon here
You can visit the Frank Zappa website here
You can listen to the album on Spotify here
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