Great Rock Albums of 1981: Frank Zappa- Tinseltown Rebellion

 

220px-Zappa_Tinseltown_Rebellion

At this point in time, while we were being treated to all sorts of rock music and the emergence of heavy metal, Frank Zappa was quietly churning out several albums a year. In 1981, he put out three albums and I intend to visit at least one of the other ones as well. However, for me in this year, “Tinseltown Rebellion was the standout album.

Like with the vast majority of his albums, Frank always brings that unique blend of humorous lyrics along with master craftsmen like musicianship. There is plenty of it in this album and the best example is the title track. The song takes the proverbial out of the music scene at the time, (though I still think it’s the case today.) How record companies look more for image rather than substance of music. While the message has a hint of seriousness to it, Frank does it in his usual f*ck you style, which has the listener laughing their asses off throughout the entire song. Many other songs have the same effect, “Love Of My Life” springs to mind as it rips on 50s style teenage love songs. He also reworks some of his older songs like “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” from his time with the Mothers of Invention. As usual, he gets some of the best well known and little known musicians to play with him and he always seems to bring out the best in them. On “Tinseltown Rebellion, guitar legend Steve Vai plays along with some of his regulars like Ray White, Peter Wolf and Ike Willis. So there’s little wonder why the music quality on the album is so high.

Track Listing:

1. Fine Girl

2. Easy Meat

3. For the Young Sophisticate

4. Love of My Life

5. I Ain’t Got No Heart

6. Panty Rap

7. Tell Me You Love Me

8. Now You See It Now You Don’t

9. Dance Contest

10. The Blue Light

11. Tinseltown Rebellion

12. Pick Me I’m Clean

13. Bamboozled By Love

14. Brown Shoes Don’t Make It

15. Peaches III

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa- lead guitar, vocals

Arthur Barrow- bass, vocals

Vinny Coliauto- drums

Warren Cuccurullo- rhythm guitar, vocals

Bob Harris- trumpet, keyboards, high vocals

Ed Mann- percussion

Tommy Mars- keyboards, vocals

Steve Vai- rhythm guitar, vocals

Denny Whalley- slide guitar, vocals

Ike Willis- rhythm guitar, vocals

Ray White- rhythm guitar, vocals

Peter Wolf- keyboards

I have always been a Zappa fan, in fact, I drove some of my marine buddies a little crazy over my passion for his music, although I converted quite a few as well. Frank Zappa has many great albums to his credit; “Tinseltown Rebellion just happens to be among them.

Next post: Rossington/Collins- Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere

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4 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1981: Frank Zappa- Tinseltown Rebellion”

  1. I do not have this one.

    I want this one!

    Like

  2. I owned this once and remember enjoying the musicianship but becoming simply bored by lyrics that, to me, were not alt all funny but seemed to be catering exclusively for misogynist teenage males. Given Frank was well into his 40s, seemed pretty pathetic.

    But then again, I may just be a humourless politically correct leftie wimp. Except that I think is material up to ONS is largely brilliant.

    Hope a differing take isn’t upsetting to you, btw.

    Like

    • A difference of opinion never upsets me, we all have our view on the world. Besides you may have something there. The reason why the title track is my favourite is because it’s not the misogynist teenage male theme. As the 80s progressed, he did get more topical. BTW, I am just as left wing as you in many ways.

      Like

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