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on 21 January 2003
This is awesome stuff. Two hours and ten minutes of intense and relentless fret abuse. No vocals, no tunes, just guitar solos and nothing else.
"Guitar" was more than good enough when it was first released in 1988, but this expanded edition with extra tracks is a considerable improvement on the original. The material is culled from live performances recorded over a five year period (1979 to 1984), and from the opening chords of "Sexual harassment in the workplace" (the album also features some of Frank's most creative titles) it just builds and builds with no pause for breath.
Although the sound isn't always 100% perfect, I much prefer the raw spontaneity of "Guitar" to the more refined approach of its predecessor "Shut up and play your guitar", which seems positively weak in comparison. Frank didn't recommend it for children or Republicans, but to the rest of us this is one of the truly essential Zappa albums.
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on 23 January 2004
You might think that 132 minutes of guitar solos would get boring after a while, but when the soloist is as imaginative as Frank Zappa, there is no problem. He viewed every solo he ever played as a chance for spontaneous composition, and this set shows how good he was at doing just that. Recorded live from 1979-84, the double CD contains 32 solos (not 16, as shown above - that would be the vinyl tracklist). Most of them were played on FZ's yellow custom Strat, which provides plenty of opportunity for heavy Floyd Rose tremolo action. If you are a guitarist, you will love this album - as a player, Zappa has no peers other than Hendrix.
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on 6 May 2000
This double cd of guitar solos shows how varied Frank is. I would insist on all Zappa fans to get a copy. I just wish there were more of this type of cd to be released. Go and buy this, you won't ever look back.
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on 17 May 2009
Even Zappa's own musicians got bored of his endless guitar noodlings. There were many occasions when Frank would just meander on and on, never really achieving the instrumental nirvana he was looking for. This simple fact put me off this album for years since I assumed that the majority of these 32 guitar solos would be crushingly indulgent and dull. After all, during his guitar solos the band would drop from the usual complex melodic structures and just groove on a couple of chords whilst he banged away. And be honest - isn't the idea of releasing over two hours of your own guitar solos a colossal conceit?

But how wrong I was. This double CD is actually very good indeed. Each track is both exciting and fascinating in terms of the sounds Frank could wring out of his guitars. He was in awe of Johnny 'Guitar' Watson's guitar "shredding" style. This is how Zappa described it. And on this collection Frank really shreds the hell out of his guitar.

It really helps if you happen to like his music but any enthusiast of proper electric rock or blues guitar will find something to amaze. From the opening track 'Sexual Harassment in the Workplace' on there are some really fine performances. Can the quality remain consistent over two whole discs? Well, yes it can although the edits from track to track are not at all smooth. But this is a minor criticism. Any attempt to mix these tracks to really flow and appear as one would be to compromise the beauty of each. In fact, the way these tracks butt up against each other is a good reason to buy the CD as opposed to download individual tracks as mp3s. The little gaps mp3 players insert between tracks would be just annoying.

So I recommend this album very highly and for all Zappa enthusiasts who might have ignored this release, well, it's not tedious after all.
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on 7 September 2004
This is the second album of live solos that Frank released. Although it does contain some great tracks, notably an unusually conventional 12-Bar Blues ('Sexual Harassment in the Workplace'), I find it to be an overall dissapointing album.
Far superior is Zappa's "Shut up and play your Guitar". This is another 2 cd album of Frank's live solos, and the solos are, generally speaking, more adventurous, inventive and pleasing to the ear than the solos on 'Guitar'.
However, this album does contain some wonderful music. My personal favourite is 'In-a-Gadda-Stravinsky', which has Frank playing the opening Bassoon theme from 'The Rite of Spring' over the riff from 'In-a-Gadda-da-Vida'. The sound quality throughout is excellent, and there's some good drumming from Chad Wackerman, doing his best to fill the clown-size shoes of Vinnie Colaiuta.
In conclusion, this is a good album, worth a purchase for a seasoned Zappa fan, but if you're new to Frank's soloing, then you're better off with "Shut up and play your Guitar".
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on 15 August 2013
I bought the 3 record vinyl box-set that was Shut Up N Play Yer Guitar on first release and it blew me away. Some outstanding examples of FZs playing but mediocre in a few places so I'd give it 9 out of 10 if feeling nostalgic otherwise an 8. He'd already released so many outstanding guitar pieces spread over many albums by then so the bar had been set very high.
By the time I bought Guitar on CD my tastes had changed to a degree but I was still shocked by how little it moved me. Maybe I'd just had my fill by then and had moved on, it's hard to say sometimes.
I'd love to see a multi CD set containing the best guitar tracks from his earlier works; say 60s to 1980 or so. He's such a phenomenal guitar player and I recognise that not everyone likes his songs so a Zappa Guitar Primer culled from his arguably peak period of 60s to 1980 or so would help to spread the word.
What would you like to see on such a Primer?
Obvious ones to me are:

Black Napkins
Packard Goose
Eat That Question
Son Of Orange County & More Trouble Every Day (Roxy)
Watermelon in Easter Hay
The Gumbo Variations (maybe more for the violin solo)
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on 3 July 2009
Top guitar solos. I would like to play my guitar like Frank before my life finish.
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