Apologies for the slightly corny review title but it's pinched from Chris Welch's piece from the 1969 issue of Melody Maker which reviewed Frank's wonderful instrumental masterpiece. The impact that Hot Rats made at the time was huge. One of the first ever 16-track recordings, we'd not heard anything like it before. The brilliant melodies, the beautiful interweaving flutes, clarinets, saxophones, keyboards, percussion and guitar, knitted together with FZ's distinctive, creative arrangements, were quite stunning. I'd hesitate to describe it simply as jazz-rock - but if you're new to FZ, it's a helpful enough definition of what you'll get. In reality, its boundaries spread somewhat wider, from the bluesy Willie the Pimp to the almost indefinable It Must Be A Camel, one of my favourite ever FZ compositions, which is kind of jazzy but has hints of the orchestral Zappa yet to come, notwithstanding the few titbits to be found on Lumpy Gravy. With Hot Rats, we get our first real taste of Zappa the incredible guitarist, from the acoustic coupled with a wah-wah pedal on Peaches En Regalia, through the rocking electric of Willie the Pimp and Son of Mr. Green Genes, to the fat, mellow jazz break on the final track. Yes, out of the blue, as if the rest of the album wasn't enough, we have a guitar hero too! Regarding the comments elsewhere about the mix of the CD, I would agree that it is very different from the vinyl. But words such as "disaster" and "beware" are ridiculous. However, if you only have the CD, then the LP is worth tracking down. Frank remixed almost his entire catalogue to CD in the early nineties, knowing he did not have long to live. I would guess that he was trying to bring the best out of the original master tapes and that must have been a tricky task with only 16 tracks to draw upon, given the complexity of the music. Maybe he fell short of his usual meticulous standard but you do hear things on the CD which were pretty well masked - or completely absent - on the original. Perhaps Dweezil will do another remix sometime - or maybe even re-record it. That said, almost forty years on - and still there is no musician in the world who seems able or willing to do stuff like this - Hot Rats captures the essential FZ and wraps it in a package which remains as accessible and enjoyable as ever.