I've always had this idea that Frank Zappa was an artist one can't just dabble in. And since I wasn't heretofore ready to obsess over him yet, I never listened much. Recently I've recognized this deficiency in my musical education and decided to rectify it. So I bought Strictly Commercial which came in the mail today, and I'm listening now.
Now, I usually don't cotton to "Best Of" compilations unless I already have everything the artist has made and there are songs on the Best Of that I can't get anywhere else. But FZ's catalog was so overwhelming that I needed somewhere to start, and I decided to make an exception and buy Strictly Commercial.
[youtube="BnZrbFL9ImM"]Peaches en Regalia[/youtube]
Peaches En Regalia--This is my favorite so far. It's just so off the wall and bizarre while still remaining tight and clean. The arrangement is really mouth-watering, too. I read somewhere that he thought of himself as a composer, but noticed at an early age that all of the most successful composers were dead, so he channeled his talent into rock of a sort, instead of orchestral music.
[youtube="q2wgxwdPYFE"]Don't Eat the Yellow Snow[/youtube]
Don't Eat the Yellow Snow--My kids love this song. They especially love the part about the dog-doo snowcones.
[youtube="7gT0VeRAGbE"]Willie the Pimp[/youtube]
Willie the Pimp--This isn't on Strictly Commercial, but it's the reason I decided to get into FZ now. The last time I saw my brother (a long-time Zappa fan), he played this for me and we just jammed out Asheville-style to the guitar solo. Now, I must protest that I am not normally a fan of guitar solos or shredding. I think it's mostly silly. But a handful of people are allowed to solo all they like--Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and maybe a few more I can't think of right now. I had to add FZ to that list as well.
Any Zappa fans here who can give me some pointers on what to check out next, any info about him, etc? For some reason, I am constantly reminded of Martoon when I listen, so I would love to know if you're a fan. Others too, of course.