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Where to start with Zappa . . . .

Assorted songs with vocals:

This was co-written with George Duke. Lyrically, it's sort of the last gasp of the earlier idealism mixed with humor before he leaned more cynical. Also, great soloing, probably through a Pignose amp-

I've said before that Joe's Garage is far from my favorite, but I do love a few of the songs, especially this one:

Even though the humor did not always hit the mark, I think it did here:

Even though the song is basically a set up for an epic solo, the song doesn't bother me and the solo is extra epic:

This song is goofy, but not really in the way one would expect coming from Zappa. I think it's great, weird arrangement, too:
Of the earlier, original Mothers records, We're Only In It For The Money is probably the one I listen to most frequently. The lyrics range from wistful and humorous to biting sociopolitical commentary.

vicious take on the SF hippie scene(I'll go to Frisco, buy a wig and sleep on Owlsley's floor):

What's the ugliest part of your body? I think it's your mind:

A song about some goofy kids he knew:

Concentration moon, over the camp in the valley.....

album finale:
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overspill from earlier post with too much media:

dweezil playing Orange County Lumber Truck

incredible instrumental from Lather:

From Hot Rats:

One last thing for tonight. This is one of my favorite live Zappa things I have heard and has only been legitimately released in a heavily edited version. This is simply called Thirteen(for it's time signature) and is a vehicle for FZ and L Shankar to improvise:



Funny you should say that. The first Mothers album I ever got was Absolutely Free---I spotted it in a cutout bin
about a year after it came out. I'd heard about the Mothers and how whacky they could be so my curiosity was
lit. For some reason I played side two first, maybe it was the title of the side-opening cut "America Drinks" that
got to me, but who cares? ;) The whole thing turned out to be great, but if I had to single out one cut it'd probably
be "Brown Shoes Don't Make It," maybe the deadliest single-cut satire Zappa and company ever came up with.

Concentration Moon and Brown Shoes were my two instant likes.

We used to listen to that LP after eating acid. I'm sure that explains a lot about my present personality. Lol.

But seriously, that LP opened my ears to modern classical music and post bop jazz


Gold Supporting Member
There is quite a bit of ground to cover as he was a prolific composer, but I always felt like there was a core sound that was him and for me at least it was an acquired taste, but once it hit, you just keep wanting more. I'd recommend getting the autobiography and reading it, you'll be surprised how much stuff this guy did, and if you listen to either, Overnite Sensation, Roxy and Elsewhere or Apostrophe, enough times chances are you'll get it. Obviously lots of other great suggestions here as well.

Scott Miller

I dunno, music is not like food, where you can acquire a taste. At least, that's my experience. I've never had the experience of thinking "meh" or even "yuck" about music, and then learning to like it. I either respond, or I am repelled, and that's that. I have absolutely no motivation to "get," say, Eberhard Weber. My goodness, there is so much great music out there, I can live without some of it. When I discover something new that I like, such as 1960s Islamic music from Indonesia, it's cause for celebration, my life is enriched, but I'm not going to work at liking music.
On the other hand, one of these days I am seriously going to learn to like Belgian beer. I know I'm missing out on something.

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