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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 18 October 2012
Originally issued on a 9 track Warner Brothers LP in 1976, now available for the first time on CD remastered from original analogue tapes, and sounding just as good as the original vinyl.

The record has two absolutely stunning instrumentals - "Black Napkins", recorded live in Japan, featuring some unforgettable electric blues guitar playing. Also guaranteed to blow you away is the truly wonderful title track "Zoot Allures", recorded in the studio and sounding just about perfect in every aspect.

"Find Her Finer" features Frank Zappa on vocals and Captain Beefheart on harmonica.

The remaining 6 tracks on the record include the 9.49 minute "The Torture Never Stops" which certainly has it's moments, but will not be to everyone's tastes.

I'm still not sure if the other vocal tracks on this record stand up to repeated hearings but taking into consideration how very enjoyable the essential tracks are, Zappa collectors will have to own a copy. For anyone else with just a passing interest in "Zoot Allures" and finding themselves checking the reviews based on a temptation to buy, the killer instrumental pieces here should help tip the scales in favour of purchase.

* All reviews written prior to September 2012 relate to earlier CD editions.

** Amazon are selling both editions of this album so double check date of issue as listed by Amazon and make sure you are ordering the superior sounding 2012 version and not the 2006 one..
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on 19 December 2009
If you are into heavy, stripped down rock: drums, bass, keyboards and guitar, then this is the Zappa album to start with. Almost "commercial" (apart from the hilarious, but radio-unfriendly lyrics) this is the most easy listening of Zappa's albums, with none of the unusual time signatures and bizarre harmonies of his jazz and / or avante-garde albums. A great buy
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on 19 November 2002
From the moral warnings against dozing through school of “Wind up working...” to the anti-macho satire of “Disco Boy” by way of the Gothic sexual shenanigans of “The torture...”, this is typical Zappa territory: wicked, cynical, moralising, literate black comedy lyrics sung (and in the case of “torture”, growled malevolently) over snidely subversive parodies of rock, pop, jazz and any other musical style the late, great Frank could think of.
If you can’t believe all of American culture is as bland and safe as Hollywood would have us believe, listen to this. It’s wicked stuff of the nastiest sort. Refreshing as an alsatian’s fart after a day in a candy-floss factory.
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on 24 January 2016
A few great tracks on this album. The musicianship is on point and the album is well mixed. It lives up to the high standards expected from a Zappa album.

At the same time half of this album seems to be Zappa ego tripping over some social stereotype. It gets tiresome to listen to and is childish to be honest. The instrumental tracks aren't as interesting or as innovative as on other Zappa albums.

I find myself only listening to two or three tracks and skipping over the rest of them.
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on 30 June 2000
Patrick O'Hearn and Eddie Jobson are both on the cover but neither play on the album. Notice Terry Bozzio's "ANGELS" t-shirt. This is one of the best Zappa albums out, especially Wind Up Working In A Gas Station & The Torture Never Stops.
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on 29 August 2015
A recent purchase of the CD to repalce my old Vinyl led to me playing this mid to late 1970s Zapa album fpr the first time in a decade and it sounds a sgood as ever. The hilarious 'Disco Boy' is as funny as it ever was. and the title track is magical
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on 30 July 2008
Show me your thumb if you're dumb! Here is one of Zappa's hardest LPs to enjoy; it sounds like a perverted clumsy pastiche of seventies pop at its worst. Like Reuben & The Jets ten years on, Zappa seems to want to ape somebody else's sonic world but this time his target's too up close and personal - instead of a loving tribute Zoot Allures sounds like a slick and cynical covers band. Functional yet joyless, in hindsight these recordings sound very 'out of whack' with Zappa's intricate jazz-rock of the time. And yet, and yet: its very awkwardness is a perfectly-timed (1976) poke in the eye at its own context, neatly sidestepping disco and the 'new wave' at the same time as indulging its own knowing bandwagoneering. Frank has his cake and eats it, with flashes of rock genius that give the game away and invite you in on the joke. Zoot Allures stands as a boldly snoopcocked eyebrow graffiti'd over the genteel prog-ery of Zappa's 1970s career and it remains a sweet-smelling, perfectly coiled golden turd laid amongst the jagged gemstones of his back catalogue.
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on 1 August 2009
When this first came out I bought it along with Desire and Hissing of the Summer Lawns on the same day and it like those remains a firm favorite. Like most FZ it has real showstoppers around which there is quality fluff. The Torture Never Stops is a great track which uses FZs voice and his guitar to create a soundstage that endures through repeated listenings and still sounds so fresh. Black Napkins again is a classic. The rest is good FZ.
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on 10 May 2015
1976 recording,when the George Duke/Napoleon Murphy Brock band was no more.
two fantastic instrumentals (Black Napkins and Zoot Allures),and the rest seems to be a Frank Zappa solo album, with Terry Bozzio as the main sideman, with contributions for Donny Vliet (guess who>) and Ruth Underwood.
Great stuff, well worth it just for the instrumentals alone
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on 14 July 2008
This for me is the only stripped down rock record by Frank Zappa and is perfectly put together with Zappa on lead vocals. I think the best song on the album has to be "Find her finer" because zappa is on fine form on lead vocals producing a fine song and all-in-all a fine "Rock Record"

Well Done
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