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Broadway the Hard Way

Frank ZappaAudio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Price: $14.01 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Composer, guitarist, singer, and bandleader Frank Zappa was a singular musical figure during a performing and recording career that lasted from the 1960s to the '90s. His disparate influences included doo wop music and avant-garde classical music; although he led groups that could be called rock & roll bands for much of his career, he used them to create a hybrid style that bordered on ... Read more in Amazon's Frank Zappa Store

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Broadway the Hard Way + Make a Jazz Noise Here + Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 30, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Zappa Records
  • ASIN: B00919V30C
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,421 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable Record From The '88 Tour January 15, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
'Broadway The Hard Way' sometimes suffers some criticism for its abundance of arguably dated politically satirical songs that Frank directed very explicitly to some of the infamous and/or controversial public figures of and around the time, including (but not limited to) Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Jesse Jackson, Pat Robertson, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and of course another of Frank's favorite televangelist targets mentioned below. Rather than negatively dating the record, I think this not only serves as a kind of historical document, but most names and topics can easily be imaginatively substituted and supplanted to current affairs involving dubious public figures of these strange days indeed, too...if one should care to.

All that aside, this is also the same great band, from the same great tour that supplied the sublime Make a Jazz Noise Here and Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life and this fits perfectly well into the trilogy by carving its own niche as the more, as aforementioned, political, comedic and lyrically oriented of the three.
You get some songs exclusive to this recording and a surprising guest appearance from Sting, who, dedicating 'The Police' track "Murder By Numbers" to the then recently disgraced Jimmy Swaggart (who had condemned the composition) goes on to sing the song really well, with Zappa's band killing and Frank soloing with his usual brilliance towards the end; a cool result from an apparently pretty spontaneous happening.

It's fun to hear the reworkings/new arrangements of familiar tunes; "What Kind Of Girl" (sans "Do You Think We Are?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who else could do this but Frank Zappa? June 8, 2014
Format:Audio CD
The best I can describe Broadway the Hard Way is to compare it to comedian George Carlin's albums from the same era. It is not as enduring as his work from the early 1970's. However, just because the words tell of the happenings of the day (in this case the bloated and hypocritical 1980's) doesn't make it any less impressive or enjoyable. I didn't live during the 1960's so someone older would enjoy Freak Out! or We're Only In It For the Money more than I would. But I came of age during the 1980's so I can relate to this. The album's title sums it up. It's just one long Broadway production as only Frank Zappa and his band can do. Naming song highlights would be pointless since this was designed to listen to in one sitting. A fantastic album. If you like Zappa (an admittedly acquired taste) and were a child or young adult from the 1980's that knew what was going on, this is a must own.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Treasure find. July 17, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Some of the best Zappa ever. I love this album. Brilliant in a Zappa kinda way!!!!
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zappa Rules February 10, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you are not one for syrupy and stupid lyrics and music, Zappa is your cure. Put the music on. Shake thoroughly while using.
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