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Chunga's Revenge Original recording remastered

40 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, May 2, 1995
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Frank ZAPPA Chunga's Revenge CD

From the Label

It's 1970, and look what FZ's up to: The band now includes jazz players like George Duke (keyboards) Anysley Dunbar (drums) and Ian Underwood (guitar and keyboards) plus a mysterious pair of singers called The Phlorescent Leech & Eddie -- who, it would turn out, were singers Mark Volman & Howard Kaylan, who'd recently jumped ship from LA pop group the Turtles (they weren't contractually allowed to use their real names at the time).

Opening with the proto-metal instrumental "Transylvania Boogie," CHUNGA'S REVENGE includes tracks like "Road Ladies" and "Rudy Wants to Buy Yez a Drink," the first of many looks FZ would take at the sleazier side of life on the road (which continued in the notorious film, 200 Motels, and on the album, Fillmore East, among others). This is a funny and rockin' set with a number of catchy tunes ("Would You Go All The Way?" and "Tell Me You Love Me") thrown in.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Transylvania Boogie
  2. Road Ladies
  3. Twenty Small Cigars
  4. The Nancy & Mary Music
  5. Tell Me You Love Me
  6. Would You Go All The Way?
  7. Chunga's Revenge
  8. The Clap
  9. Rudy Wants To Buy Yez A Drink
  10. Sharleena

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 2, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Zappa Records
  • ASIN: B0000009S8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,046 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By William Caputo on October 27, 2002
Format: Audio CD
chunga's revenge is, by far, fz's most underrated album. many consider it just an average album from his early years but that's as far from the truth as one can get. it's only 40 minutes long. a very quick and easy listen that should be played over and over again. the album's highlights are the hard-rocking song "tell me you love me" and the commercially potential "sharleena" (there is a slower and smoother 11 minute version of sharleena on the lost episodes cd. many people consider that version superior. i don't. the 4 minute version here is the best.), "twenty small cigars" (a tune reminiscent to "little umbrellas" from "hot rats" ; it can easily be called "son of little umbrellas"). there's a gothic instrumental "transylvania boogie" that makes you feel like you're face-to-face with count dracula himself. a sex-oriented pop tune "would you go all the way?" asks the question to a naive female u.s.o. dancer. there's the union-bashing "rudy wants to buy yez a drink"...the definitive song to depict the attitudes and activities of union big shots nationwide. the instrumental head-banging "chunga's revenge" is a cross between hard-rock and international music from far away places. the album really has to be heard to be believed. one of the top 5 zappa albums ever! essential! don't listen to the others...what you've heard about chunga's revenge is wrong! it's great!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By David Goodwin on September 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Before the "Groupie Routine," before mudsharks, before "Bogus Pomp" and "Penis Dimension," there was this album: Chunga's Revenge, the opening salvo of Frank's Flo and Eddie era. With a re-formed group that included Aynsley Dunbar, Jeff Simmons, and the aforementioned Phlorescent Leech and Eddie (Jim Pons doesn't seem to be around yet), Zappa backed away slightly from the classical experimentalism that had marked "Weasels" and "Weenie," and the jazz-fusion of Hot Rats...but only slightly. Chunga's Revenge is full of great performances and great songs, and is all-too-often overshadowed by what came before (the aforementioned "Hot Rats") and what came after ("Fillmore" and "200 Motels").

Standouts include the awe-inspiring "Chunga's Revenge," the sublime "Twenty Small Cigars" (Ponty's arrangement of this on "King Kong" is also worth checking out), and album-opener "Transylvania Boogie." On the vocal side of things, "Rudy," "Would You Go All The Way," "Road Ladies" and "Tell Me You Love Me" (surely one of the most straightforward things Zappa ever recorded) are all standouts, and tend more towards Turtles-style melodicism than the usual Zappa compositional style. "Sharleena" is also a strong entry, and although it isn't quite as spectacular as the archive version on "The Lost Episodes," it soundly bests the why-did-they-bother re-make on "Them Or Us."

All in all, Chunga's Revenge is a surprisingly solid album from a Zappa era that's more than a little speckled with the "you-had-to-be-there" sort of releases. And at its current, bargain price-point, it's also a completely sensible entry into this area, and would make a reasonable "first few albums" Zappa purchase.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Chris 'raging bill' Burton on August 1, 2002
Format: Audio CD
There's a variety of material here, so I'll do something that I don't usually do - review song by song.
Transylvania Boogie - a cool guitar solo instrumental track. A hint of egyption music with boogie style and jazz/rock edge. 5/5
Road Ladies - a bluesy track with some great soloing a la Frank. I didn't like it much at first but trust me, it grows on you. 5/5
Twenty Small Cigars - a short, trippy jazzy instrumental. Recommended for when you feel like chilling out. 4/5
The Nancy And Mary Music - at 9 minutes it takes up almost a quarter of the album, which is a shame because it isn't really much good. This is not so much a song, but a group of musicians messing around and taking turns to make some noise. A waste of a track, because I thought it would be a cool jam. There are some OK moments, but they are few and far between. 2/5
Tell Me You Love Me - a short rocker with some cool guitar work. Not the best, could have done with being longer and having more soloing, but a good and enjoyable track nonetheless. 4/5
Would You Go All The Way - in a similar vien to Tell Me You Love Me, only without its groovy infectious riffs. 2.5/5
Chunga's Revenge - a cool, dark, mid-paced jam with Frank doing some cool soloing and Ian Underwood playing an electro-sax with a wah-wah peddle. Definately one of the better moments on the album. 4/5
The Clap - a short percussion solo. It's simple and sloppy, so the fact that Frank does it means nothing. It [is not good]. 1/5
Rudy Wants To Buy Yez A Drink - didn't like it much, I found it a bit boring. 2/5
Sharleena - a more moody track. A few listens and its fairly good. 3/5
I bought it after Hot Rats and was a bit disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harry F. Myhre on March 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I like the way that "Transylvania Boogie" changes from one beat to another without skipping a beat. Not sure of the musical term for that but I'm sure there is one. You have to hear it to understand. Very cool.
IMO this isn't the best Zappa album in my collection, but it's good and I enjoy listening to it. My favorite still is "One Size Fits All" and "Roxy and Elsewhere" , maybe because those were basically my first exposure to Zappa. Wow, thirty years ago... The music has really held up over the years.
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