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Frankly a Cappella [Import]

The Persuasions Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 19.95
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Music

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Photos

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Biography

Last January, we got an email from a singer/songwriter from Canada, Elena Yeung. She said she had a song she would really love to have us record with her. Initially, she wanted us to sing background on it, wasn't really sure what direction to take it as to whether to record it with a band. After listening to the idea we felt the song's melody and lyrics conveyed a powerful message that ... Read more in Amazon's The Persuasions Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 April 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00004RJJ1
  • Other Editions: Audio Cassette  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 367,887 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Lumpy Gravy
2. Any Way The Wind Blows
3. Electric Aunt Jemima
4. The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing
5. Interlude
6. Cheap Thrills
7. Hotplate Heaven At The Green Hotel
8. Love Of My Life
9. You Are What You Is
10. Interlude 2
11. Harder Than Your Husband
12. Find Her Finer
13. Interlude 3
14. My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama
15. Tears Begin To Fall/Mystery Track
16. Mystery Track

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
These guys can really sing, so the band is never missed. It sounds an unlikely pairing, West Coast hippy cynicism and ghetto soul, but it works a dream. Zappa did have heart and soul hidden away under it all, and the Persuasions expose it. I find myself playing this more often than any of the Zappa albums (Hot Rats excepted). Give it a try.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What the heck is this? 21 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Steve Plesa of the Orange County Register writes: "This is a record about which, if you were unfamiliar with the original artist, you would say, if you heard it at a party, 'What the heck is this?'And if you were familiar with the original artist and knew the tunes, you would say, 'WHAT THE HECK IS THIS?'very loudly and demand to see the CD case to prove your ears weren't lying. The Persuasions are among the best a cappella bands ever recorded, and their easy handling of the often complex and challenging Frank Zappa material here is refreshing and reverential, unique and highly amusing. Executive producer Rip Rense, who has written extensively for many publications about both The Persuasions and Zappa, has put together one of those rare combinations where the result is well worth the risk. Voices! Voices rising and falling, careening around corners and harmonizing exquisitely, combining falsetto, tenor and bass in seamless precision, covering diverse FZ tunes such as the brooding 'Any Way The Wind Blows' and the sinister 'My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama.' And when this gospel-based group sings 'The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing,' you conjure a picture of them singing it along the sidelines as the masses queue up trying to make it through the Pearly Gates. Zappa the instrumental composer is also represented here, in the album-opening 'Lumpy Gravy,' a stunning piece of work where the voices capture the notes made originally by instruments, resulting in a rather mad moment of very professional and well-executed silliness. This is much like the FZ live version of 'Stairway to Heaven' in which the horn section took Jimmy Page's guitar solo, note for note. WHAT THE HECK IS THIS? It's an equal blend of sincerity and nuttiness you should buy and play at your next party.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Sing-Along, One of the Best FZ Tribute Recordings 20 Feb 2002
By Sir Charles Panther - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Ah, the ultimate irony, the epitome of unintended consequences. I've been trying subtly and very delicately for a few years now to expose my five-year-old daughter to all manner of music, rock, jazz, classical, pop, world, and she stuns me with her love of the Persuasions singing Frank Zappa.
Such is the lure of this wonderful recording. One of FZ's oldest and most successful proteges, the Persuasions got their start from FZ way back in the 60s. This is their tribute to the man who loved their music and gave them their break.
The choice of "Lumpy Gravy" as the introductory track was truly inspired, expertly voiced and arranged (and it's my daughter's favorite, because it has no words). "Love of My Life" is an absolute delight, a doo-wop lullaby. My other favorites are "Tears Began to Fall," "The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing," and "Any Way The Wind Blows." These three tracks are the more wide-open tracks on the album, with broader, sweeping melodies and harmonies, rather than the tight, technical arrangements of many of the other tracks. This is to take nothing away from any of these; this entire CD is an absolute gem, with all of these covers outstanding. Whether you are a hard-core Zappahead or a novice looking for a point of entry, this recording is a superior addition to your collection.
I only wish the Persuasions could have been persuaded to record a few more tracks, like "Sofa," "Florentine Pogen," "Son of Orange County," "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance," or "Uncle Remus." "Peaches En Regalia," now that would've been an a capella challenge like no other.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Billboard Magazine Loves it 6 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Here's what Billboard Magazine wrote: "In a work of absurdist inspiration worthy of its subject, a cappella heroes the Persuasions offer up a surprisingly soulful collection of. . .that's right, Frank Zappa covers. The vocal quintet---expanded to a sextet for this outing---pays homage to Zappa, who inked them to their first album deal in 1969. The 12 featured songs are a savvy survey of Zappa's legendary catalog of avant-garde rock and jazz, spanning the years 1963-1989. As a bonus, the album features contributions from former Zappa collaborators like trombonist Bruce Fowler on 'Cheap Thrills' and guitarist Mike Keneally on 'My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama.' But The Persuasions, who previously covered Zappa's 'Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up' on 1994's 'Right Around The Corner,' have no problem translating his complex musical arrangements with just six-part harmonies. As evidenced on tracks like 'The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing' and 'Lumpy Gravy' (a Zappa instrumental composition), "Frankly A Cappella" is a novel reworking of a true original. Great Googly-Moogly, indeed."
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They should do another one. 24 Oct 2000
By Leo Lyon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'm a Zappa fan from the '60s MOI stuff. Zappa was an original, and so is this album. The execution is right-on. To do a tribute to someone like Zappa is very tricky business. Classical players and jazz groups have done it, but none of their music is ever as interesting as the real deal. This time, it's different. The Persuasions, streetcorner singers from Brooklyn, somehow managed to put a fresh spin on old Frank. They bring out the wit and weirdness of these tunes in ways Frank's bands didn't. The recording equals Frank's, in terms of production. Amazing. They should do another one.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, weird, beautiful and surprising. 1 Jun 2000
By Mike Ball - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Zappa was a great writer for voices, and an underrated melodist. The Persuasions have revealed these qualities in ways that even Zappa couldn't have done. Their vocal blend is inimitable; part streetcorner, and part elegance. Give someone the blindfold test with "Any Way The Wind Blows." Play it for them, then ask who they think wrote the song. They'll never guess. Yet Zappa was astonishingly versatile, which is part of the reason he had difficulty finding a mainstream audience. He shifted from jazz to R&B to doo-wop to avant-garde and symphonic music---sometimes all in one song! The Persuasions here manage to do it all in one album. This is a tour-de-force for this group, which is saying "thanks" to FZ for having signed them in 1970. The avant-garde touches between the tracks are in the proper spirit, and the Persuasions' treatment of the instrumental, "Lumpy Gravy," ought to merit a Grammy all by itself. Some of the songs weren't my first choices for a cappella treatments, but after I heard them, I see why the band picked them. "Harder Than Your Husband," for instance, was originally an over-the-top satire. The Persuasions somehow give tongue-in-cheek sincerity. . Oh well, this is witty, weird, beautiful, and completely surprising. Bravo.
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