One thing I see all the time, is when people review volume 5 of "You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore," (or any, for that matter), and think that Zappa's comment in the sleeve notes in the series about the original Mothers' talent, compared to later bands, is supposed to show a lack of ability and talent on the part of the original band. This is glaringly wrong. To parse this quote: 'Great care has been taken throughout to ensure the best audio quality, however early selections of historical interest performed by the original Mothers Of Invention, though not exactly "hi-fi," have been included for the amusement of those fetishists who still believe the only "good" material was performed by that particular group.' This is his gift to fans of the original band. He was aware of a segment of his fan base that still prefers the early material.
"Hopefully, comparisons to recordings by the later ensembles will put an end to that particular misconception." This only means that one of his favorite ensembles, the 1982 touring band, is a good contrast to the old material. If he didn't like any of it, there would be as little of it included here as possible. Disc one is a cross section of the early players, not just the performances, but the attitude of that particular band. Jim Black singing on the tour bus like some drunk ready to be thrown out of a bar, is an anthropological recording, a statement of how the guys carried on in those days. Not a spotlight of "talent," but more, what they were about. And FZ's disparaging comments about the original Mothers notwithstanding, they were one of the best bands to perform, in a studio, or on stage.
Disc Two, is a cross section of performances by the 1982 band, which, he has said numerous times, played "beautifully." Hearing this disc, is almost like attending a single live performance by this particular band. Pretty representative of a typical early 80's show. Some commercial material ("Dancin' Fool"), extended jams ("A Pound For A Brown"), displays of the bands individual chops ("RDNZL"), and my particular favorite part of the disc, "Geneva Farewell." Some idiot threw something onto the stage, and if you follow Frank Zappa's live performances, even casually, you'll notice he always stressed, "Don't throw stuff onto the stage," this was a common announcement he made from the stage at his shows. So, at this point, he says, "Okay, if you throw anything else onto the stage, the concert's over." You then hear a translator plead to the audience what Zappa said. Then the moron in the audience doesn't take him seriously, and throws something at him anyway. The response? "Houselights! The concert's over." And I hope the people in the audience taught this guy a lesson.
I'll review the other volumes of this series as time and circumstance will allow, but I chose this one first, mostly because of what I saw in reviews about the Mothers on Disc 5, and misconceptions about the comments about misconceptions concerning the early band. If this makes any sense. :-)
Also: A reference to FZ's solos on "Underground Freak Out...". The guitar solos in question, are Lowell George's. Zappa conducted the band here, like an orchestra.