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Chunga's Revenge

13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 31, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Official Release #11
Originally Released: October 1970
Produced by: FZ

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 (July 31, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Zappa Records
  • ASIN: B008BDZP30
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,584 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Sebastian Gerber on August 25, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As helpfully stated previously, this album has been improved and restored in sound in this reissue; remastered directly from the original analog master, it is warm, clear, has better distinction/separation between instruments and vocals, and more emphasis on the low end; so, a huge upgrade on previous CD releases- this is the one to get...or get again.
For those unfamiliar with the album, Frank took the controversial risk of transplanting singers 'Flo & Eddie' from 'Turtles' (of course not a risk for Zappa; he just felt like it) into a far different dimension and put them to good use with a deliciously talented line-up of musicians to create a mash of intelligently satirical songs whilst swiftly moving into intense movements of his beloved blues roots, some great heavy rock (sorry Frank; I know you didn't care for the word "heavy"), a little doo-wop essence, a couple of relatively poppy numbers (quality, though) and makes a jazz noise here and there that shows:
Hey..No gimmick here; I play, create, interpret and compose real music and have fun doing it - take it or leave it.
Flo & Eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan) are not the main event here; they contribute some good vocals on some tracks, but oh: the music!
There is great eccentricity and craziness here no doubt (thanks and awe, beautiful life/curse-you pendulum swing!), but...
There are beautiful melodies; funny and biting lyrics; and of course tremendous musicianship (including Frank's often overlooked facility for unique and stunning blues, jazz and...well...
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David Goodwin on November 4, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Chunga's Revenge ushers in the controversial "Flo and Eddie" era of Zappa's catalog, and while albums from this period have their detractors, "Chunga's" is a tasty slice of surprisingly ferocious, unpretentious rock, programmed next to some fantastic instrumental pieces ("Twenty Small Cigars," the title track) and the lengthy "The Nancy and Mary Music." The vocal songs, meanwhile, are not nearly as bawdy as on the later live releases from this incarnation of the group, and display both a conciseness and a melodicism that Zappa would embrace only sporadically after the notorious incident at the Rainbow Theater (and, as an aside: it's striking to note how different Zappa's voice was before the accident. This Zappa could not have pulled off the style he would later adopt on "Apostrophe" and other albums). In sum, "Chunga's Revenge" is an underrated work that serves as a great overview of the Flo and Eddie period's oft-underappreciated charms.

Previous CDs of "Chunga's" used a digital master that Zappa prepared in 1989/1990, and which suffered from an overuse of bad compression, dropouts, and a wash of digital effects (mostly reverberation) that made the entire album sound like it was recorded in a cave with really poor acoustics. UMe's 2012 reissue is nothing short of miraculous, returning to the original analog master and, like many of the other Zappa reissues, presenting the album without any of Zappa's ill-advised modifications. It now sounds pretty much like it sounded on vinyl: dry and inviting. The lack of reverb also ensures that "Tell Me You Love Me" rocks at least 10% more.

Verdict: Do you like "Chunga's?" Own an earlier CD? Buy this one and get rid of your old CD. Leery of the Flo and Eddie era? This is a wonderful place to start.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By PuroShaggy on February 24, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Prior to the release of "Chunga's Revenge", each of Zappa's albums had felt and sounded like cohesive units. Whether relying on vocals (Ruben and the Jets, We're Only In it for the Money) or instrumentals (Uncle Meat, Burnt Weeny Sandwich), each album felt like it originated from the same source and was inspired by the same overriding theme. "Chunga's Revenge" marks the first time Zappa would compile an album from a variety of sources (live, studio, different permutations of different bands)and produce something that, when all is said and done, sounds like a collection of songs, and not a cohesive album.
Thankfully, though, the songs work, mostly thanks to the inclusion of four distinctly different instrumentals. "Transylvania Boogie" is an excerpt from a live guitar solo and ranks as one of Frank's career bests. The title track is an instrumental powerhouse that features another Frank guitar solo, that would go on to be a perennial live favorite. "Twenty Small Cigars" is Frank in his semi-classical mode, and "The Nancy and Mary Music" is a lengthy excerpt from a live "King Kong".
Interspersed among these tracks are several vocal numbers which, while fun, honestly do not rank as Frank's best work. "Road Ladies" is a predictable blues romp about groupies, while "Tell Me You Love Me" is a predictable semi-metal burst of agonized love. "Would You Go All the Way?" and "Rudy Wants To Buy Yez a Drink" prominently feature Flo 'n' Eddie (from the Turtles) and are two songs which, while enjoyable, were never performed again once this band broke up. Easily forgettable and Frank knew it. The gem in the crown of "Chunga's Revenge" is "Sharleena", a slightly doo-wopish love song that features excellent vocals and would eventually evolve into a live, guitar solo showcase.
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