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Civialization Phase 3


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Audio CD, April 29, 2003

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Biography

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 (April 29, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Frank Zappa
  • ASIN: B000N0LZ24
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,054,994 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Listen to it as serious music, and maybe you will too.
Amazon Customer
For those who are familiar with Zappa and his musical career, one can hear the numerous classical composers who influenced Zappa.
Paul S. Remington
Very sturdy packaging with great artwork and even beautiful velum sheets with full color printing throughout the booklet.
M. Aldrich

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Paul S. Remington TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Civilization Phaze III is a testament to Zappa's genius. It is not intended to conform to mainstream popular music. For those who are interested in this form of Zappa, look elsewhere. Joe's Garage, perhaps.
Parts of this work were in development for some 10 years prior to their completion. Zappa never really "completed" it; he just stopped working on it because he passed away. Even days before his death, he spent time at the Synclavier tweaking and tweezing parts, constantly molding the work to his liking.
Conceptually, the construction of each piece is brilliant! At the time, Zappa owned one the largest collections of digitally sampled sounds in the world, which was sold after his death for a tidy sum. It was from this catalog of sounds that Zappa would compose. The Ensemble Modern was added at length to this catalog of sounds, during the development of the Yellow Shark. Portions of these samples can be heard on Buffalo Voice and elsewhere. As Zappa composed on the Synclavier, elements of his score were assigned to sampled sounds, and the entire composition was digitally constructed using Zappa's score as a road map. This form of composing is entirely Zappa's creation and it is ingeniously conceived.
While other reviewers may comment that these works are "unlistenable" or they cannot imagine listening to them more than once, keep in mind, this is one person's opinion. I have listened to the compositions in this work countless times (well over 100) since its release, and have most of it memorized. It is one of the most brilliant compositional works I have ever heard, within the realms of electronic music.
Civilization Phaze III wraps-up the musical life of Frank Zappa.
Read more ›
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Patrik Lemberg on April 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Originally released a year after Zappa's passing was his life-long project "Civilization Phaze III." The idea for this project started in the 1966 with Lumpy Gravy, and with the help of the Synclavier, Ensemble Modern et al, and lots of compositional experience, Zappa managed to finish this [his greatest] musical achievement close to 30 years later.
He has called "C.P.III" an "opera-pantomime," which tells a story about several characters who live inside a grand piano. The speaking characters were recoded while sitting under a grand piano with weights on its sustain pedal to get an "echo" effect which makes it sound as if they actually were inside the instrument. The characters recorded in 1966 include members of the Mothers of Invention, and the characters recorded in 1991 include Zappa's daughter Moon Unit, actor Michael Rappaport, Ensemble Modern's arranger Ali N. Askin and pianist Hermann Kretzschmar.
The music is performed mainly on the Synclavier, but also--in the second act--by Ensemble Modern who incidentally performed throughout the "Yellow Shark" album (1993).
This is the best sounding album I've ever heard. When I first heard this album five or six years ago, I could not believe that science had evolved as far as for music to sound this pure and clear. The feeling of listening to this music through a good sound-system and professional studio head-phones is indescribable. If I'm not mistaking, the 18-minute long "N-Lite" was recorded on 200+ audio tracks. With that in mind, the sound engineering is truly amazing. Hats off to everyone involved!
This album won, in 1995, a Grammy for best packaging (idiotically not for the music.)
If anyone claims that Frank Zappa was not a musical genius, then play this set of discs for them, and watch their chins drop to the floor. If you have any trouble finding "C.P.III," then try Barfko-Swill online; they've been able to offer the title ever since its release.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paul S. Remington TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Civilization Phaze III is a testament to Zappa's genius. It is not intended to conform to mainstream popular music. For those who are interested in this form of Zappa, look elsewhere. Joe's Garage, perhaps.
Parts of this work were in development for some 10 years prior to their completion. Zappa never really "completed" it; he just stopped working on it because he passed away. Even days before his death, he spent time at the Synclavier tweaking and tweezing parts, constantly molding the work to his liking.
Conceptually, the construction of each piece is brilliant! At the time, Zappa owned one the largest collections of digitally sampled sounds in the world, which was sold after his death for a tidy sum. It was from this catalog of sounds that Zappa would compose. The Ensemble Modern was added at length to this catalog of sounds, during the development of the Yellow Shark. Portions of these samples can be heard on Buffalo Voice and elsewhere. As Zappa composed on the Synclavier, elements of his score were assigned to sampled sounds, and the entire composition was digitally constructed using Zappa's score as a road map. This form of composing is entirely Zappa's creation and it is ingeniously conceived.
While other reviewers may comment that these works are "unlistenable" or they cannot imagine listening to them more than once, keep in mind, this is one person's opinion. I have listened to the compositions in this work countless times (well over 100) since its release, and have most of it memorized. It is one of the most brilliant compositional works I have ever heard, within the realms of electronic music.
Civilization Phaze III wraps-up the musical life of Frank Zappa.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

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