Archive for Zappa in New York

Great Rock Albums of 1979: Frank Zappa- Sheik Yerbouti

Posted in 1978, 1979, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 21, 2012 by 80smetalman

It may have been down to the success of “Zappa in New York,” but whatever the case, in 1979, Frank Zappa put out another live album in the form of “Sheik Yerbouti.” This turned out to be Zappa’s most commercially successful album and I am not surprised at this. As was the case with his previous live album, Zappa has always been brilliant live, just ask anyone who has seen him and while a live album can’t actually truly capture the same feeling as actually being there, this one comes pretty close.

“Sheik Yerbouti” was the first album made after Zappa parted with Warner Bros records and set up his own label, Zappa Records. Not being under the constraints of a corporate record company definitely paid dividends for him with this album. He was free to record what he wanted, even if some prudes out there thought he was being too risque. As a result, many of the songs not only push the boundaries, they shatter them. I still remember the shock/horror I had when I first heard the track, “Bobby Brown,” which is about a man who becomes homosexual. However, after the intial shock, I laughed my rear end off through it. It was the same with “Dancin Fool,” a song that takes the piss out of the 70s disco scene and “Jewish Princess” landed him in some hot water, but if you don’t take it seriously, the song is a great laugh. “Sheik Yerbouti” has some of my favourite Zappa tunes on it.

Track Listing:

1. I Have Been in You

2. Flakes

3. Broken Hearts are for Assholes

4. I’m So Cute

5. Jones Crusher

6. Whatever Happened to All the Fun in the World

7. Rat Tomago

8. Wait a Minute

9. Bobby Brown

10. Rubber Shirt

11. The Sheik Yerbouti Tango

12. Baby Snakes

13. Trying to Grow a Chin

14. City of Tiny Lites

15. Dancin’ Fool

16. Jewish Princess

17. Wild Love

18. Yo Mama

Frank Zappa- lead guitar, lead vocals, arranging, composer

Adrian Belew- rhythm guitar, vocals

Patrick O’Hearn- bass, vocals

Terry Bozio- drums, vocals

Ed Mann- percussion, vocals

Tommy Mars- keyboards, backing vocals

Andre Lewis- keyboards, backing vocals

Peter Wolf- keyboards

David Ocker- clarinet

Napolean Murphy Brock- backing vocals

Randy Thornton- backing vocals

“Sheik Yerbouti” not only marked a major turning point in Frank Zappa’s career, it proved that, given the freedom, he could make music fun. It’s another reason why listening to Zappa was practically a requirement at my high school.

With all the many condolensces pouring in, I would also like to express my grief at the recent passing of Deep Purple keyboard player, Jon Lord. Out of respect, I made sure I listened to the classic “Smoke on the Water,” which he co-wrote. I saw him play with DP mark II in 85 and I was mesmerised by his keyboard solo that night. I only wish I did it more justice in my account of the concert in “Rock And Roll Children.”

Next post: ELO- Discovery

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London


Great Rock Albums of 1978: Frank Zappa- Zappa in New York

Posted in 1978, Humour, Music with tags , , , , on March 23, 2012 by 80smetalman

Thirty three years since my graduation, I remain convinced that it was a mandatory requirment that in order to attend my high school, students had to listen to Frank Zappa. It seemed that practically everybody who attended my school listened to Zappa and I totally understand why, the man was a genius. How else could someone sell so many records when he had practically zero airplay.

This brings me around the this live offering from Frank Zappa. The concerts from which “Zappa in New York” was originally recorded in 1976 and part released in 1977. It was re issued and released in 1978, however, Warner Bros removed the track “Punky Whipps,” which explains why it’s missing from my cassette and re-edited the best track on the album “Titties and Beer.” It was this track that attracted me to the album when an old school friend constantly went around the school singing: “I need a beer and it’s titty squeezing time.”

That song and the album itself typifies Zappa. When you look up the album on Wikopedia, it gives a load of genres, rock, hard rock, progressive rock, humourous music and jazz fusion. Not many artists other than Frank Zappa could infuse all these genres together and make it work so well. The added bonus with this album is that he does on stage in front of a live audience. Is that genius or what?

Track Listing:

1. Titties and Beer

2. I Promise Not to Come in Your Mouth

3. Punky Whipps

4. Sofa

5. Manx Needs Women

6. Black Page Drum Solo/Black Page 1

7. Big Legged Emma

8. Black Page Part 2

9. Honey Don’t You Want a Man Like Me

10. The Illinois Enema Bandit

11. The Purple Lagoon

Frank Zappa- conductor, vocals, lead guitar

Ray White- rhythm guitar, vocals

Eddie Jobson- keyboards, violin, vocals

Patrick O’Hearn- bass, vocals

Terry Bozio- drums, vocals

Ruth Underwood- synthesiser, percussion, overdubs

David Samuels- timpani

Randy Brecker- trumpet

Mike Brecker- tenor saxophone, flute

Lou Marini- alto saxophone, flute

Tom Malone- trombone, trumpet, picalo

John Bergamo- percussion overdubs

Ed Mann- percussion overdubs

Lou Anne Neill- osmatic harp overdub

Don Pardo- narration

Despite of no radio play, Frank Zappa appealed to many different people due to his various styles and more importantly, his use of humour in music. He was and is still a legend among many, especially if you attended Mainland High School in the late 70s.

Next post: Gerry Rafferty- City to City

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle