Top critical review
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Not so happy together
on 2 April 2015
Unfortunately, this is my least favourite Zappa release and I own around 40 CDs.
This CD consists of 4 albums combined: Sleep Dirt, Orchestral Favourites, New York and Studio Tan, plus a few unreleased things.
Now, I have owned NY for around 20 years and it's one of my favourite releases. However, the versions on this album are ruined by the mix and reverb/echo. Even Don Pardo gets swamped with reverb, and the guitars on Illinois Enema Bandit have unnecessary and un-Zappa-like reverb.
Whilst on NY the songs flow, here they are chopped up amongst the rest of the albums and it doesn't flow. And Black Page #1 has the first half missing entirely.
I have owned Studio Tan and Orchestral Favourites for around 15 years and the songs are pretty much the same here, but mixed up among the others and don't flow.
I hadn't previously owned Sleep Dirt which is why I bought this. The songs are fine but the songs Sleep Dirt and Time is Money are missing from here.
The unreleased songs: Down in De Dew and Duck Duck Goose are great, The Young Sophisticate is a bit simplistic and strangely un-Zappa like and the others have better versions on other releases.
The interludes/links are mostly already used on Sheik Yerbouti and become tiresome on this album.
In summary I don't care whether this was originally intended as a 4 LP set together, the albums work much better seperately.
I'll be buying Sleep Dirt and probably won't listen to Läther again.