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27
4.6 out of 5 stars
Apostrophe(')
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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2009
Many years ago I was encouraged to 'get into Zappa' and was advised to start here. After all, Frank Zappa produced some pretty opaque music that could bother the uninitiated listener so to get a handle on his style it's best to begin with something fairly straightforward.

So I bought Apostrophe and never looked back. Over the years I've bought around 30 Zappa albums and have derived enormous pleasure from (almost) every one of them.

Apostrophe (') contains some easy to swallow bits of Zappa that show you the way ahead. It's also a damn fine album not least for the title track in which we hear an extended guitar and bass jam between Zappa and Jack Bruce. The sound here is fantastic with both men producing some aggressive, mind blowing improvisations on top of a solid and hooky riff.

Also present is Zappa's unique and bizarre storytelling and some absolutely gorgeous melodies. The track 'Uncle Remus' is something quite outstanding for Zappa in that it has both a moving, soulful tune and a serious social statement. In fact all the track on offer here are good. His guitar parts are also particularly exciting. There's no 'spare' on this album. It's all lean and accurate, concise and to the point.

It comes from a distinctly fertile stage in Frank's career in which he produced some of his finest work - notably the excellent 'Roxy and Elsewhere' album. It was also during this period that he worked extensively with the hugely talented George Duke - and this stuff has George all over it.

Sharp and precise, exciting and funny, this is proper Zappa. The door through which the casual punter can go to achieve further enlightenment if he or she should choose.

Who knows where this album could take you?

Highly recommended.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2000
I now possess something like 15 Zappa albums, and this, though not the "best" I have heard (in terms of desert island status) is probably the best place for new "users" of Zappa to start (believe me, he does become addictive) An engaging blend of story - telling lyrics, restrained to the point you can almost get away with listening in mixed company ( if the urinary habits of husky dogs don't offend your audience)- just cough politely when FZ starts descibing the sexual preferences of Father Vivian O'Blivion. Musically one of the most listenable albums he's done - almost leaning towards the dreaded mainstream, but retaining enough individuality to make it Zappa. The title track is a fuzzy - bassed jam with Jack Bruce, so may appeal to Cream completeists
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2014
I'll refrain from burning your retinas out with a zillion-mile review of the music itself. Of that, I'm sure most visitors to this page will be aware of the contents of the album and have your own opinions of the merits therein. What is important is the question of how the new remaster sounds in comparison to the Ryko release of some 20 years ago. Well, to these ear-like shells, there isn't that much difference. The audio make-over isn't as noticeable as other FZ catalogue entries like 'Hot Rats'. 'Sheik Yerbouti', 'Zoot Allures' &c., so if you're happy with the Ryko edition, hang on to it.
The minus point to the 2012 reissue - and the reason why it's been deducted a star with this review - is the absence of the lyrics. They were there in the Ryko version, and it was very pleasant to have (Frank's wordplay was a joy to read). The excision of the songwords for whatever reason - the price of an extra few centimetres of inlay sheet? C'mon!!! - is a baffler and an annoyance.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2010
I had this album many years ago when I was a teenager. Just bought it again and realised why it was so inspiring all those years ago. Timeless and classic Zappa. It's a must for any Zappa collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Very good music and Zappa is enjoyable and always worth a listen
It would be nice if Amazon would start to pay their fair share of taxes [legal loopholes notwithstanding, no self employed individual would get away with what they get away with] and began to respect their workforce a bit more. At this rate it wont be possible to use them anymore
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on 10 October 2014
Another glorious dollop of crazy brilliance from Mr Zappa, 'Apostophe' (1974) runs only 31 minutes in length but is an album of high quality which leaves this happy listener well satisfied. The eccentric 'Yellow Snow' suite of songs is quite masterful; lyrically amusing and musically crisp whilst 'Cosmik Debris' contains just one of the many sublime Zappa guitar solos peppered throughout this collection of 9 tracks. The title track, lasting 5:50, is worth the 'admission fee' just by itself - this is a full-blooded instrumental rock song which has shades of Hendrix and Cream (hardly surprising given that Cream bassist Jack Bruce is listed as one of 3 writers here). Although fairly short, 'Uncle Remus' is a superb, thought-provoking song; the album's finale 'Stink-Foot' (6:33) is the longest track featured and, once again, Zappa is in fine form with a bizarre story about foot disease!

Providing you like your rock music with a progressive, jazzy feel and you're prepared to listen to the craziest lyrics in the business, then you should really enjoy this sumptuous feast of fun. Highly recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2013
Frank Zappa's extensive output can seem quite intimidating to the uninitiated so here is a little help. I'll make it simple; start with Apostrophe.

Apostrophe is perhaps Zappa's finest album. It features all the essential ingredients from his earlier LPs but the blend is far more palatable. Zappa's voice on this album has a wonderfully deep, rich and very satisfying timbre effectively translating his unique humour and charisma. His lyrics paint such clear comic strip pictures in your mind that it's really worth taking the time to listen to this album properly and watching these pictures pass by your mind's eye.

And friends, if you already love Zappa, look up my recent discovery Discharge Lounge, a very tuneful and humourous live band who have some great recorded work out there too, you'll find them on a site called bandcamp:)
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on 8 June 2013
Certainly one of Zappa's most accessible albums and in my opinion one of his best, 'Apostrophe' just might be the best place to start for newcomers to Zappa's mighty catalogue.

There is a lot to like here, from the delightful sillyness of 'Don't Eat the Yellow Snow', the solid thumping 'Cozmik Debris', the excellent guitar work on the title track and the sheer brilliance of 'Uncle Remus'. Virtually filler-free, one thing the album does lack is slightly more continuity. But as a showcase of some of the many sides of Frank Zappa, this album - and its sound quality - is very, very good.
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on 11 June 2013
I already had the vinyl copy but it sprouted legs and walked into someone else's collection so when I saw the CD Apostrophe(') at the low price I decided to buy it I think it is one of the best albums from FZ it was the first album I heard and since then I have collected around 35 cd,s from Frank Zappa I was so sad to hear of his untimely death at the age of just 52 I think this album is great for someone who has never heard FZ a must have for any budding guitar players I could go on and on but I think you should just go and buy Apostrophe(') and find out for your self
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 24 November 2010
I bought this because I was going to see Zappa Plays Zappa and they had said they were going to play this album in its entirety, so I felt I should get to know it. Although this does not reach the heights of earlier jazz infused albums like the Grand Wazoo or Waka Jawaka or even the more rounded Over Nite Sensation it is excellent none the less if you happen to like Zappa's rather zany brand of eclectic music. There a quite a few laughs along the way too but you sometimes have to wonder where this man was coming from....
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