50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time

From the Court of the Crimson King to the Comatorium

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Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, 'One Size Fits All' (1975)
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18. Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, 'One Size Fits All' (1975)

Before Frank Zappa released One Size Fits All, he bragged to reporters, "You could actually dance to this record." Consider the source. Although the album certainly rocks (occasionally), it also brims with the jazz and prog benchmarks of Zappa's career: goofy time shifts, squeaky keyboards (by George Duke), atypical rock instrumentation (fretless guitar, marimba, flute, vibraphone) and far-out lyrics like, "'Arf,' she said." Wild jams such as "Po-Jama People" and the shimmery, stuttering "Andy" are the pinnacle of Zappa's art-rock experimentalism, while the herky-jerky "Inca Roads" contains one of the main Mother's most jaw-dropping guitar solos. Future Zappa "stunt guitarist" Steve Vai called hearing One Size Fits All a turning point in his life, referring to "Inca Roads" as an "unprecedented masterpiece" in 2011. "[It] gave me a new reason to live," he said. K.G.

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