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Sheik Yerbouti (digitally remastered) / Vinyl record [Vinyl-LP]


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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

  • Vinyl
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Import
  • ASIN: B007IOABL4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 July 2000
Format: Audio CD
If you want to know what Zappa was up to in the middle of his career, this is a good place to start. Good tunes, ace guitar licks, savage humour and absolutely first rate musicians. This is probably as close as he got to producing a mainstream rock album and if you're put off by endless discordant guitar solos, you won't find (too many!) here.
However, if you're sickened by pornographic lyrics... don't buy it! There's some weird stuff here... not as weird as he was capable of but weird enough. However, if you can forgive Frank his obsessions, buying this CD could be the start of a beautiful relationship. No one plays guitar like him and he ruthlessly got the best out of his musicians. The depth of his subject matter is what attracted me to Frank Zappa. Apart from songs about exotic sexual practices [Jones Crusher, Broken Hearts, Bobby Brown], he was a keen commentator on American life [Dancin' Fool, Flakes].
He recorded an amazing amount in his time and you will find the musical themes laid down here repeated in his later work. If you like this, the next ones to go for are the 'You can't do that on stage anymore' series... there are six of them! This is not the artist for obsessive compulsive collectors of recordings! His own catalogue will bankrupt you and you'll have to sell your kidneys...
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 Jun 2002
Format: Audio CD
This album of mostly humorous, melodic and powerful rock songs was recorded during the height of the disco era. It doesn't only satirize the disco culture as in "Dancin' Fool," but also deals with other, more controversial subjects in a politically very incorrect way, always with amusing results. I might have been offended, for various reasons, by "Bobby Brown Goes Down," but instead it's my favorite track on the album. I love Zappa's unconventional sense of humor! The music is very accessible, although there are a couple of more experimental pieces too. Recommended for those who love intelligent rock music and are sufficiently open-minded. It's right up there with Weasels Ripped My Flesh, Joe's Garage and You Are What You Is.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jay on 26 Sep 2006
Format: Audio CD
There is a difficulty in recommending Frank Zappa's music: it does not lie in the quality - it's all good - but in the shere variety of it. It's possible to be an ardent fan of some of Zappa's work, only to find the rest of it inaccessible or just simply not your cup of tea. Sheik Yerbouti may be a difficult album to recommend - paradoxical as this may sound - due to it's fairly straightforward nature. There is nothing particularly avante-garde or virtuoso about this record (in comparison with many of his other albums) and therefore may fly against the expectations of some first time listeners. At the very least, though, this album gives a balanced picture of his varied output and like all his records it is indefinably yet unmistakably Zappa.

One recurring theme of Zappa's music is humour and the impression you get from listening to him is a refusal to take anything seriously. This extended not only to the lyrics/subject matter and the presentation but even the notes themselves - Frank Zappa made funny music. On virtually all of Zappa's albums there is a guitar line, blast of trumpet, vocal harmony, etc that sounds odd, unfamiliar and often funny. This image as a musical humourist is abundant on Sheik Yerbouti. Whether it be the overblown fanfare of 'Flakes' or the caustic lyrics of 'Broken Hearts are for Assholes' the humour is always evident and rarely subtle.

It is particularly the lack of lyrical subtlety that may cause some listeners to have a problem with the album. It forces criticisms of it being of novelty value only. I disagree. If a song is merely a novelty then it wouldn't stand repeated listening unlike the songs collected here. Why do they?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Derick Holcombe on 29 Jan 2008
Format: Audio CD
The other reviews of this wonderful record concentrate on the songs which are indeed very good, with vulgar lyrics and great melodies which you will be humming for evermore.

However, there is so much more to enjoy as well. For starters, the album contains guitar playing up there with Zappa's best; Rat Tomago and The Sheik Yerbouti Tango are superb guitar solos and the magnificent twelve minutes that is Yo' Mama builds and soars to a massive climax, (sorry, there is no other way to describe it), accompanied by Tommy Mars only slightly overblown keyboards.

Some of the vocal and musical arrangements are stunning too. Apart from Yo' Mama, Bobby Brown, Dancin' Fool, Jewish Princess and the oft overlooked Wild Love are sooo good.

The band providing the basic live tracks was an excellent one, but almost all the songs benefit from having been heavily overdubbed, in the studio - a fact Zappa openly admits in the booklet notes.

Finally, even though City of Tiny Lights is my least favourite Zappa song, any album that has an impression of Bob Dylan moaning about his car not being fixed on time has got to deserve five stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Franz Bieberkopf on 5 Aug 2009
Format: Audio CD
Between 1976 and 1979,FZ and Warner Bros were in a state of intermittent war,most obviously when they butchered the "Live in New York" album."Sheik Yerbouti" was the first post-Warners album.
Lots of this was originally on "Lather",though these versions are different(with the exceptions of the spoken word intervals).Highlights are two great guitar solos recorded in Berlin,"City of Tiny Lites","Yo Mama"and "Dancin' Fool" which I remember being played on Radio One in 1979,almost a hit.
If you get this,try and get "Lather" too,so you can hear large chunks of this in it's original context.
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