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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars

on 6 August 2010
Just a very quick review to back up (in part) the remarks made by the last 2 star reviewer.

Some of the music is a little puerile as already mentioned - Titties and Beer - but then again that's Frank Zappa, and I suspect some people (many) enjoyed these little stage shows which musically probably lead nowhere, especially when you're just listening and not at the concert itself. However, these humorous moments were linked in in a better way as can be heard on 'Live at the Roxy and Elsewhere'.

After saying that I would say that the second CD in this collection has some excellent music, and less comedy routines, and so is more what you're expecting from Zappa, in fact I just bought this as I couldn't find (in my local store) a copy of 'One Size Fits All' which by all accounts is really the one to hear. But, saying all of that if you enjoy Zappa live (some long guitar solos), and great version of 'Sofa' with the Brecker Bros providing the horn section, a stunning version(s) of 'Black Page' (1 & 2) and several other great tracks then you'll enjoy this.

Zappa live (on record/CD) probably let his hair down a little more than in the studio, so obviously what you get is slightly longer guitar solos, blah-blah, and general fun. I agree that the Roxy album is tighter, stronger, and the sound/mix* is better, but if you can find this at a good price then it's certainly worth buying.

If you're a Zappa fan you probably bought this when it was first reissued due to the extra tracks - i.e. the original album was restored by Zappa when he got his contract back, meaning it has more material than the original vinyl edition.

*= the way this has been mixed is VERY live, almost as if you're in the public. However the room where they played seems to be very bright and resonant. They (he) seemed to want this effect, whereas on the 'Live at the Roxy' the sound is very direct - i.e. you don't hear the public so much ...... which makes it clearer, more direct and of course more detail. But, one has to assume this is the way FZ wanted it.
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on 26 November 2005
I saw Frank Zappa play much of this album live at Knebworth in the late 70s and it changed my life. As a student in Cardiff I listened to this with members of my band and discussed the effects on the fabulous fretless bass (Patrick O'Hearn, I think). With fellow musicians, I marvelled at the Brecker Brothers' solos. With other friends I laughed at the impossibly misogynistic "Illinois Enema Bandit" - it would never be tolerated now, and in confusion I tried to understand whether The Great Man's guitar playing was genius or gibberish (FZ is to rock guitar playing what the Toyota Pick-Up is to the Ox Cart). Great tunes, unbelievable playing, jokey lyrics (you could run a T-Shirt shop for a year with slogans lifted from this album), unlike anything you'll ever hear except maybe on another FZ album. I'm always surprised we don't see this alongside the more popular FZ albums - maybe it's the fact that Punky Lazarre (or whatever his name was) sued over the lyrics of "Punky's Whips." I am blessed with a copy of the album that predates its withdrawal and editing. Not a dull track on it, unlike some FZ. If you don't like FZ or hate jazz, you won't "get" this. If your imagination ever leads you to check your uncle's wardrobe for alien artifacts, you will!
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on 14 January 2002
I originally purchased this "LP" back in the 70's but with it's extra tracks and a bit of a clean up, I can't stop playing it now. The cross section of music content and style is breathtaking, as is Mr Zappa's writing skills. From "Cruisin' for burgers" and "The Illinois enema bandit", through to "Sofa" and "Punky's whips". It's wonderfull on modern "hi-fi" and I seem to hear something new each time I play any of the tracks on this double cd. It's a great shame I never got to see him at a live concert, but this album is as close as I can hope for (especially with the headphones on, lights off and a few beers).Great fun!
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on 6 July 2009
The "Zappa in New York" CD is the complete 1977 album (butchered by Warner Bros at time of original release)plus bonus tracks.Some of it-all three versions of "The Black Page","Sofa",the first five minutes of "Purple Lagoon","I Promise Not To Come In Your Mouth"-is fantastic,as are the versions of "I'm The Slime" and "Crusin' For Burgers" in the bonus tracks.However,far too much is infantile-"Titties and Beer","The Illinois Enema Bandit"-some of it is far too long-"Purple Lagoon"-and "Punky's Whips" is virtually incomprehensible 30 years on-how many music lovers of today have even heard of Punky Meadows and/or Angel?
I would advise any Zappa fan to buy "Lather" rather than this,as you'll hear slighly different versions of this material but in it's original context.If you can get a cheap copy of this,all well and good,but you'd be far better off getting "Lather" instead.
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on 26 November 2010
Worth every pound. Zappa & Bozzio on 'Titties n Beer' & 'Punky's Whips'(alternative title!) Topped off with Ray White's vocals on 'Enema Bandit'. It's a diverse set in all. It's Zappa. I love it!
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on 19 January 2013
Sadly gone, sore missed. Thank God that he left behind such a large canon of work, both studio and more importantly live recordings demonstrating the man's musicianship and wit. Some say genius, some say madman; personally I think of him being both and being grateful to have had the continued pleasure of listening to his work. This CD is an excellent example of his playing abilities with his unique brand of humor.
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on 21 July 2013
Bought this for my brother as a present. He's a big fan so loved it. Also other Zappa albums bought as well
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on 25 October 2006
I've never understood people who rate this album. I love Frank but sometimes he turned out some utter crap. The tracks 'Titties & Beer' and 'The Illinois Enema Bandit' are dim-witted sinkers of the highest order. Big, dumb and adolescent it has the wit of a 15 year old boy pissed on cider. Avoid this one and look elswhere for the man's truly great works.
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