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Chunga's Revenge Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, May 2, 1995
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Image of album by Frank Zappa


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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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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: #128,226 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Editorial Reviews

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.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 40 customer reviews
This album just makes me want to get even more Zappa.
The title track is outstanding as well, with Ian Underwood at the opening with a saxophone solo distorted with a pedal volume.
Richard Harrold
Chungas Revenge is one of the best albums Frank Zappa albums ever recorded.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "theslime" on February 27, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is one of Frank's most curious albums. It is stuff from flo and eddie and also hot rats leftovers and also guitar solos and instrumental stuff. So its a bit uneven, you have some really great music alongside some fairly good songs. Let's look at the fairly good stuff ie flo and eddie. Tell me you love me is a good song but it was never up there with stuff like city of tiny lights. And you say the same for Rudy wants to buy you a drink and would ya go all the way? They are fun tunes but there is nothing magical really. Sharleena is a better song. However , i prefer the lost episodes version which has two incredible solos and different singers (frank and sugercane instead of flo and eddie). Road ladies is good too. It's a bluesy song with quite funny lyrics. We also have a drum thing by fz called the clap which is only of minor interest. Love the chinese blocks though! So far, 6 good enough tracks. Nancy and Mary music is a big long jam, which is terrific. Guitar , organ, vocal madness, sax. It might take a while to grow on you, but it should do. The hot rats leftover is a 2 minute tune called '20 small cigars', very nice tune. Worthy of hot rats i would have said!! Chunga's Revenge is awesome. A simple little melody, then bang! ian underwood whips it out. wah-wah saxophone solo of the highest quality. There is nice organ playing too. Frank gets to shine in his guitar solo, very melodic solo. That just leaves <sigh> Transylvania Boogie..what a guitar solo. Maybe Frank's best playing up to that point in his career. We have great playing, really fast. The guitar tone has never sounded better. Frank gives us the little transylvania tune, it sounds very exotic/vampirelike. He then goes off and..boogies. Awesome groovy playing. And it builds up to such a great climax..then it fades out. Worth the album price alone...i had to say it. In summary-a mixed bag of tricks. There's too much great stuff on it to dismiss it though!! Thank you
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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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