http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/7de3c94e08ead94fd1bdd27180f591d4179b4363.jpg Zappa/Wazoo

Frank Zappa


Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 4 0
December 13, 2007

The big brass band that Frank Zappa briefly took on the road in 1972, just before the release of his instrumental LP The Grand Wazoo, was an army of twenty out for serious business. "Nobody sings," Zappa wrote at the time. "Nobody dances. They just play music." They didn't do it often enough. This two-CD set, the whole of a previously unissued concert in Boston, combines the complex, blaring tension of Zappa's written scores and round robins of directed improvisation, with Zappa soloing on guitar with unusual, groovin' restraint in "The Grand Wazoo (Think It Over)." "Big Swifty," from 1972's Waka/Jawaka, opens with dervish woodwinds and elephant-stampede trombones, then hits and stays in high flash-your-chops gear. There is also a half-hour of the oratorio "The Adventures of Greggery Peccary" minus vocals, a plus that emphasizes the will and imagination of Zappa's composing and the fearlessness of the hot cats under his baton.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Road to Nowhere”

    Talking Heads | 1985

    A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

    More Song Stories entries »