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Best Frank Zappa guitar solo?

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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-05 10:47 PM
Original message
Best Frank Zappa guitar solo?
Difficult to choose one, but if I were forced, under gunpoint, to choose just one Zappa track that included and/or was a guitar solo, I think I would go with "Outside Now" from "Broadway the Hard Way". But I'd have a big dilemma, cuz I'd also want "Yo' Mama" from "Sheik Yerbouti" (and I realize that's a couple solos strung together, but even so, I will consider it one solo)

And then there's the "Watermelon in Easter Hay" from "Guitar" and "Son of Orange County" from "Roxy and Elsewhere" - it's short, but holy shit, it's an insane one!

And then the solos from "Inca Roads" and "Stinkfoot" on YCDTOSA Vol. II

And "The Evil Prince" from YCDTOSA Vol. IV.

And "Carolina Hardcore Ecstacy" on YCDTOSA Vol. III

And how could we forget the incredible solo on "Torture Never Stops" from YCDTOSA Vol. I - shit!

And "The Deathless Horsie" and "five five FIVE" from "Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar"

And leave us never, ever forget "Black Napkins".

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flowomo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-05 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
1. have you seen the video clip of Zappa on Steve Allen in 1963?
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-05 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. With the bicycle? I have that one!
Steve Allen was a total idjit in that clip, which surprises me, since he was otherwise such an incredible guy.
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flowomo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-05 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. yes, that one. What a trip!
and you've got to keep Allen in context of his time on that one. Zappa wasn't exactly himself then either -- and he seemed to enjoy playing along. He needed the exposure and certainly got it!
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-05 11:03 PM
Response to Original message
2. Without Googling, I would be worthless!
It must be really something to have a brain. Thanks to Google, I can almost function like a "real" human.

But I can hear his guitar clearly. I just can't put a song and an album to it.

But all is not lost. I do feel a sensation. A sliver of mental capacity. And I'm hearing the lyrics- "his name is Bobby and his head looks like a potato." And if I'm right, there's a killer guitar riff or two on that.

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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-05 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. SAN BERDINO!
One of my very favorites. :thumbsup:
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-05 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Yes!!! Good track!
I always have a hard time deciding what my favorite Zappa album is and it's usually between Freak Out and One Size Fits All.
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-05 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Evelyn, A Modified Dog
Ponders the significance of panchromatic resonance and other short-person behavior.

Arf! She said.
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-05 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Just George Duke
Viewed the quivering fringe of a special doily.

I forgot that tune. That was actually considered Zappa's post good years. But I loved that album.



George Duke is so underrated. I've got an album of his called Faces in Reflection from 1974. Unbelievable.
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-05 01:29 AM
Response to Reply #13
30. Saw Zappa w/ Duke. Very good show. Great era as it turned out
I used to think the 70's sucked. God it would be heaven now in these times.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-05 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. For the most part, the 70s were awful, but Zappa's bands in the 70s
were the best he ever had, except perhaps for the '88 band.

But the 70s for Zappa - wow! Fucking beautiful music.
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-11-05 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. The Po-Jama People are boring me to pieces
I feel like I am wasting my tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime...
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-05 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. He got slobbering drunk at the Palaminoooo.
And then I realize there are way too many for my little brain. Now I want to pull out my vinyl and listen.

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evlbstrd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-05 11:04 PM
Response to Original message
3. Ya see what you've gotten yourself into?
There is just no way to choose one.
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-05 11:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. The Ocean Is The Ultimate Solution
From 'Lather'.

Or "Rat Tomago" from 'Sheik Yerbouti'.

Or the solo from my namesake on 'Overnite Sensation'.

Or "Sinister Footwear #3" from 'You Are What You Is'.


(and I hope your big dilemma isn't about your Big Leg Emma)
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-05 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
6. My personal fav is "The Ocean Is The Ultimate Solution"
It's on Studio Tan, the Lather album, and Guitar.

Some of my other favorites:

"Cucamonga" from Bongo Fury

"The Deathless Horsie" from You Cant Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 1

"Zoot Allures" from Zoot Allures

"King Kong" from Uncle Meat

"Variations On The Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression" from Shut N Play Yer Guitar Some More

"Black Napkins" from Make A Jazz Noise Here

"That Ol' G-Minor Thing Again" from Guitar
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-05 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. And of course, this is the cool part -
I prefer the Zoot Allures from "Does Humor Belong in Music" and the "Deathless Horsie" from SNPYG.

:-)

Also, the last solo - the one he did with the shitty guitar that wouldn't stay in tune that he bought to use after losing everything in the fire - in the King Kong version from YCDTOSA is truly beautiful, and, IMO, better than the one on the original album.

And I love the Variations on the Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression solo!

Another one from Guitar that I positively love is "Winos do Not March" and the live version of "Them or Us" which has a different name on that album, but I can't remember what it is.
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-11-05 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Another one of my favs from Guitar
Is the live version of Watermelon In Easter Hay. It blows the Joe's Garage version out of the water!
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-11-05 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Absolutely!
Edited on Fri Nov-11-05 12:17 AM by Rabrrrrrr
that's in my top list, as mentioned in the OP.

WAY better than the original album.

In terms of Zappa actually pouring out his emotion, we get Watermelon and Black Napkins, and then the Outside Now version from Broadway the Hard Way that I chose as my favorite. I don't find any other version of Outside Now to have emotion, though - just the Broadway version. But, that was at the end of the Reagan years, and I think Frank realized just how close America was to actually making music - at least, non-state-advancing propagandistic music - illegal.

I don't think Zappa played from the heart of his emotion very often - in fact, I would say it's only those three - but when he did, it was total HOLY SHIT good!
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-11-05 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. I wish we'd get more live Zappa DVDs...
Unfortunately all I have to go by the greatness of his concerts are the Baby Snakes and Does Humor Belong In Music DVDs.

I mean, I'm sure in the 80's he taped a shitload of shows to combat the bootleggers. Maybe we could start one of those petition things to convince Dweezil to look in the Zappa archive and release some of those!
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bbernardini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-11-05 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
18. "Watermelon", and an oft-overlooked classic, "Any Kind Of Pain"
The solo on "Any Kind Of Pain" is absolutely perfect in every way. (Admittedly, it was edited slightly from the original solo.) Hell, Mike Keneally played it note for note when they did it for the "Zappa's Universe" shows, so you know it's good.
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-11-05 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. What album is that on?
I have some 70 Zappa albums and that song isnt listed in my library.
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bbernardini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-11-05 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Broadway The Hard Way
My first exposure to Zappa, so the 1988 band is still my favorite, plus it introduced me to the amazing Mike Keneally.
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-11-05 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. That's one of a few that I dont have!
I also dont have Fransesco Zappa, London Symphony Orchestra, Playground Psychotics, or Mystery Disc.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-11-05 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. Yes, that's a seriously good solo as well!
And one of his best bits of lyric writing as well, "Any Kind of Pain".

And that song is a rarity for Zappa as well - it's almost, dare I say it?, pretty.
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m_welby Donating Member (508 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-11-05 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
22. there's a live version of my guitar wants to kill your mama
...thats just incredible.

black napkins too!

don't think this really counts as guitar solo but 'village of the sun' (from Roxy and Elsewhere) is audio ecstasy .

It is impossible to choose really. Even more difficult since I've seen him live 6 (or was it 7) times through the 70's and 80's.

I've seen him play an unbvelievable version of whippin' post live that blew away the original, does it count if Frank didn't write it?


Of course some of it is rather hazy, but still.



God, I miss him.
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deutsey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-11-05 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
23. "Keep it Greasy" and "He Used to Cut the Grass"
Joe's Garage Acts II and III

I've always loved his guitar work on these songs.
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Squeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-11-05 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
25. Dunno if it's exactly my favorite
but I've always loved the solo in "Dog Breath Variations," just when the pseudo-baroque wind ensemble gives way to the band, and Frank starts out with this perfect double-stop bend-and-relax, three times in a row.

I also liked his solo in "Dumb All Over," which you can't get any more-- when he remastered all the LPs for CD, he edited out the vamp at the end of the song (which ended side three of the LP) so he could run it directly into "Heavenly Bank Account," to preserve continuity.

I like "Willie the Pimp" a lot too (the Hot Rats version).
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stalphonzo Donating Member (13 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-11-05 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. i dunno
Edited on Fri Nov-11-05 05:41 PM by stalphonzo
but one of my all time fav zappa guitar solos is black napkins off of the zoot allures album. I also love the blues feel in the illinois enema bandit. on zappa in new york album.


well gotta go and pop in a cd now( ;))
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-11-05 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. And Black Napkins was one of Zappa's faves as well
That one and Watermelon in Easter Hay.

Someone else posted here a while back that Frank requested that after he die, no one play those two songs live again.
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Celeborn Skywalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-11-05 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
28. I would say
"Watermelon in Easter Hay". That is, to me, his most beautiful piece.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-05 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. And I find it interesting that the solos considered the most beautiful -
or, perhaps one could say, the most emotional - such as Watermelon, Keep it Greasy, Outside Now... are all from Joe's Garage, the musical about a government that makes music illegal.

Which speaks much about Frank's love and passion for music, that the one thing that could drive a significant emotional musical response from him was contemplation of the loss of music.
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lovelaureng Donating Member (434 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-05 04:51 AM
Response to Original message
32. I'm not a huge Zappa fan.
I only know a tiny bit of his music. I like "The Son of Mr. Greenjeans Jr.".
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-05 05:00 AM
Response to Original message
33. "Scumbag"
on the live recording with John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band, from the Sometime in New York City double album.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-05 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Wow! I'm not familiar with that album at all!
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