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Studio Tan Original recording remastered


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Composer, guitarist, singer, and bandleader Frank Zappa was a singular musical figure during a performing and recording career that lasted from the 1960s to the '90s. His disparate influences included doo wop music and avant-garde classical music; although he led groups that could be called rock & roll bands for much of his career, he used them to create a hybrid style that bordered on ... Read more in Amazon's Frank Zappa Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 Oct 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • ASIN: B0000009ST
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 274,553 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Adventures of Greggery Peccary
2. Revised Music for Guitar and Low-Budget Orchestra [Instrumental]
3. Lemme Take You to the Beach
4. RDNZL

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Nov 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Well, I guess this is one that's going to divide the fans, as is apparent from the other reviews. It's also not the place I would recommend to start out for newcomers to Uncle Frank's oeuvre. I think it's an insanely fantastic masterpiece, but then I like Stravinsky, Bartok, and all those heavy duty composers that even the classical heads aren't so sure about, so who's going to care what I think? Still, at this point in his career this was probably Zappa's most earnest attempt to do rigorously atonal, polysynchronous, terpsichorean mayhem, and those with a taste for the truly strange will recognise it for the warped genius it epitomises. But, make no mistake, this is rock'n'roll in only the most rarefied sense. Which is not to say that there are not some great little solos peppered about here and there, both from Frank's excruciated guitar and from George Duke's smooth and luscious keys, but this album is primarily and secondarily about envelope wrenching composition. The fact that Zappa chose to embed the whimsical satire of The Adventures of Greggery Peccary inside such an outrageously ambitious compositional behemoth is further testimony to the limitless elasticity of the Project/Object concept, and the robust veracity of his methodological axiom, `anything, anytime, anywhere, for no particular reason'. If you're OK with Yellow Shark, Perfect Stranger, LSO and the Marx Brothers, then yer gonna love this, otherwise there are about forty seven other Zappa albums you're going to want to hear before getting around to this one. Oh, one more thing, this is one of the few Zappa albums you can play in front of the kids without fear of inducing any of the less subtle forms of delinquency.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By colski on 9 Dec 2001
Format: Audio CD
A wee cracker, which like most of FZ's releases, produces more snippits of conceptual continuity the more times you listen to it. Gregary Peccary, probably the weakest of the 4 tracks still makes me laugh out loud at least twice.
Revised Music.... when that sublime solo kicks in... my god (it's actually a guitar solo that Frank transcribed to be played by the rest of the band at a later date, true Xenochrony at work.
Lemme Take You To The Beach? Absolutely hilarious, frantic, heartfelt, touching even?
RDNZL- a tour de force, solos galore, uplifting, rounding off a neat wee package.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Matt Westwood on 21 Jan 2008
Format: Audio CD
There are two interesting and worthy jazz instrumentals which push their boundaries just a fraction. Those are worth the price of the album on their own. There is a surf-pop pastiche which is actually quite listenable and thankfully nice and short. Then there is the utter waste of effort and 20 precious minutes of your time that is The Adventures of Greggery Peccary, which is even worse than the excesses of that abominable Nanook.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 25 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Music Concrete at its finest 14 Dec 1999
By "bluesman@mailcity.com" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
To call Zappa's music orchestral jazz is innacurate and misleading.The music on Studio Tan is much closer to Western 20th centuryclassical music than jazz. I would venture to call it post-jazz classical music (informed by jazz, while continuing to push the limits of classical music). The Adventures of Greggery Peccary is one of Zappa's greatest achievments. Although Greggery Peccary is often abstract, dissonant, and disjunct, it is quite pallatable. Studio tan is overflowing with the rhythmic energy and melodic inventiveness that Zappa is famous for. The melodies are a prime example of Zappa's post-atonal melodic style. Although only vaguely tonal (closer to the atonal side of the tonality continuum), the melodies sound catchy and somehow intuitively right (a description which calls to mind the melodic style of Thelonius Monk). ...For every famous band, there are 1,000 bands just as good playing in a garage somewhere that you will never hear ("product of the media" famous bands are obviously not chosen for musical talent, but for "more marketable" features such as sex appeal). There was, however, only 1 Frank Zappa. One more thing, the version of RDNZL on this release is OK, but I prefer the live versions of this one (such as can be heard on You Can't Do That On Stage [Vol. IV?]).
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Look out, here he comes again... 7 April 2004
By Patrik Lemberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
"The Adventures of Greggery Peccary" is a musical masterpiece; one of Zappa's most coherent, yet polygonal and well performed pieces considering its length (20+ minutes). The studio sound of the whole album is clear, and the stereophony is sharp - it is quite amazing that this material was recorded 1974-1976. Something I find exceptionally impressive is the variation and accuracy of sound-effects on "Greggery." Ensemble Modern has recently recorded a (very well performed) version of this piece, but the version on "Studio Tan" is certainly what will stay closer to heart to dedicated Zappa fans. On both "Greggery" and "Low-Budget Orchestra" five musicians perform; Zappa, George Duke, Chester Thompson, and Bruce and Tom Fowler, so especially on "Greggery" a lot of overdubs have been recorded, but it's not noticeable, the piece doesn't contain one note too many, everything makes perfect sense even if you might not understand it technically or theoretically, hence "musical masterpiece." "Low-Budget Orchestra" and "RDNZL" aren't far from masterpieces, either. Influences from Stravinsky clearly predominate "Low-Budget Orchestra," and the sped-up percussion (played by Zappa) towards the end of the piece reminds a lot of the percussion from the "Uncle Meat" days, which was actually when this piece was written. "Lemme Take You to the Beach" cracks me up - it's a very funny, short, and uplifting piece, needed to reveal even further aspects of Zappa's compositional vocabulary. Without this track the album wouldn't be the same. It's the only song where Chester Thompson and George Duke aren't featured; they're replaced by Paul Humphrey and Eddie Jobson (Davey Moire sings, Max Bennett plays the bass, and Don Brewer plays the bongos.) "RDNZL" is simply amazing - very much so from a compositional point of view. James Youman is featured on bass, and Ruth Underwood on percussion. "Studio Tan" is one of the discs you will need to some day be able to fully appreciate all sides of Frank Zappa, the Composer.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Don't give away your vinyl or early CD copy! 8 July 2000
By Nocturnal Gregarious Wild Swine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
One of Zappa's best - incredible writing and performing. But beware - the remix for CD has dramatically changed the balance of instruments, particularly in "Greggary Peccary." If you grew up on the vinyl version as I did, you may find yourself missing the old mix. On the plus side, there is an additional half minute of material at the end of "Greggary Peccary" which brings it to a great conclusion, rather than the abrupt fadeout on the original mix. Still, I miss my vinyl & my early CD edition!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Zappa's greatest record 24 Aug 2000
By TUCO H. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
'The Adventures of Greggerry Peccery' is probably Zappa's most mind blowing excursion into musical theatre. It is an endlessly creative panorama of soundscapes satirizing certain kinds of 'business tycoons.' In case you're wondering, all this stuff was composed and written down; this isn't some kind of off the cuff improvisation. It can be performed by any ensemble of musicians able to play it (though no one can replace Zappa's personality which is the main feature). Zappa's band is probably his greatest ever, featuring George Duke, Chester Thompson (later of Weather Report and Genesis), Eddie Jobson (of Roxy Music and U.K.) and Ruth Underwood among others.
The second 'side' features two of Zappa's most brilliant rock 'n' roll instrumentals and one of his most hilarious song parodies. There isn't anything self-indulgent in the solos Zappa takes here; everything is economically constructed and magnificent.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Brillant 21 July 1999
By Daniel McInnes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I completely disagree Andy Gills comments about Studio Tan not being humurous, I think it's one of Zappa's funniest. The Adventours of Greggary Peccary is my absolute favourite zappa song of all time.
But..... All of theese songs appear almost identically on the Lather album so if your willing to fork out a bit more get that instead.
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