Frank Zappa was not an easy man to pigeonhole, so I won't. Here is another collection of tunes that are vehicles for Franks ongoing attack on things he considered stupid and pointless - dental floss, small town mentality, the govt, Poodles, all set to the most amazing music that was around at the time, not forgetting his incredible guitar playing.
Talking of guitar playing, the solo set in the middle of Inca Roads, which was taken from a live performance of Inca Roads in Helsinki in 1974(Zappa often road tested songs before committing them to tape in the studio)and edited into this studio version, is worth the price of admission alone. It is stunning.
The 2012 remasters sound fabulous, especially the analogue sourced ones, and this is no exception. The sound is full, clear and not compressed to the teeth, as a lot of remasters are these days. The mixes etc.. are as per the original vinyl release and are shorn of all of the icky digital reverb and strange edits that the Ryko cd versions have dotted through them.
Such a brilliant album! This tends to get overlooked a little bit in favour of the equally brilliant "Apostrophe" and "Overnite Sensation" but on this album there is some of Zappa's finest guitar solos you could ever hope to hear, "Inca Roads" wow! and double wow!! Get this album for those who are new to Zappa and don't know where to start, brilliant musically and clever lyrics, also superb artwork all together make this in the top 5 best Zappa albums ever made.
This was the first Zappa album I heard after borrowing from a record library as a 9 year old (yes it blew my mind but in a good way). I never owned it on vinyl before but finally I do.
If you're here as a Zappa fan there's no point in me reviewing the album here because you've probably already heard it.
If you're considering dipping your toes in Zappa's back catalogue for the first time then this is a really good place to start.
First off the musicianship is first rate. Not only were The Mothers on good form here but there's a fair splattering of what made Frank so influential as a guitar player too. The songs themselves are typical of many that came before (and afterwards) but somehow it all came together so well on this album.
Oh and it sounds so much better on vinyl than the cassette I made as a 9 year old (don't judge we all did it) and the CD I bought in the 90's.
Many would say that the band on One Size Fits All was the best reincarnation of FZ and the Mothers - and that includes Frank himself. Napoleon's voice, George's keyboards, Ruth's percussion, Chester's fantastic drums, Tom's bass, the best of FZ's solos, and some excellent cameos from Johnny Guitar and Capatin Beefheart (not named on the album for contractual reasons). I'd been listening to Zappa since the start, enjoyed them more with Hot Rats, Grand Wazoo and Waka Jawaka, but when I heard this album I was hooked. I immediately went back and got Roxy and Elsewhere, which is a great representation of what this band was like live. But the composition, silly lyrics and the playing on this are the best of any FZ album. So many ideas and styles on one record or in one song like Andy or Inca Roads. Florentine Pogen is my favourite. Don't hesitate, you need this in your collection.
I remember reading a review about this album when it was released 1976, under the banner of "One size fits some", and it had a fairly poor review, possibly by someone whose musical prowess zenith peaked at "The Birdy Song". I bought it anyway on the strength of a previous purchase ; "Apostrophe". A good move. I was totally taken aback by the tight, precise musicianship of this recording. Every musical detail was catered for. I won't blether on too much , but the bluesy guitar and piano intro on "Pojamma People" is superb, as is the guitar solo in the same track. Of course there is the expected Zappa quirkiness on this album, but I think that this is possibly one of his finest recordings. Buy it and make your own mind up.
Bought the vinyl at last, it's only taken me just over 40 years! Got back into Zappa recently by playing his extensive catalogue on Spotify, now on a mission to buy the 7 or 8 of his albums that I always enjoyed, this is my 2nd favourite after Apostrophe. Great package for the money btw, full gate leg cover, record in a lined sleeve and a fabulously pressed disc that sounds incredible. The music is of course what's important here and the album delivers in spades, Inca Roads, Po-Jama People, just superb, surrounding yourself with musicians of the calibre that Zappa did was always going to result in something very very special.
This is the VINYL review. I will not write anything about the music. The sound quality on this LP is amazing. Have many different cd's, they are all blown away by the vinyl version. I have never heard it sound better than this. Highly recommend.
"He lives in Mojave in a winnebago His name is Bobby he looks like a potato" I agree with many of the reviewers - FZ's masterpiece - in that it is consistently BRILLIANT; many of his other albums have sublime moments but One Size is inspired from the first chord to closing bar. Inca Roads, the opener, is also the standout musical work, a showcase of amazing guitar playing, crazy rhythmic variations, silly lyrics and great ensemble arrangements. Like the other tracks it's unclassifiable, just certifiable. The album is almost a pastiche of every style of rock (and jazz) known to man featuring superb and creative musicians all on the same lunatic wavelength. Don't let that, or the word "jazz" put you off - One Size is an incredibly accessible album - once you abandon your pre-conceptions of what constitutes serious rock music. Can't Afford No Shoes, San Berdino, and Andy all flirt with orthodox guitar and piano-led rock n roll but you'd better hold on tight because they twist and bend through wonderful variations and provide a superb platform for some of Zappa's tastiest lead guitar work eg PoJama People. Then, out of left field come Evelyn the Dog - a minute long piece of Zappa silliness with just piano and voice that you can't help smiling at, and Sofa No2, a parody opera piece about, well, sofas, their furnishing and the things that get lost down the back of them, in mock German. You've got to hear these to believe them. Don't be fooled by the silly, rude, puerile humour and surrealism of the lyrics and themes; this IS serious and compelling music that requires, nay demands, many replays. You'd be insane not to buy it.