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Finer Moments [2 CD]

Frank ZappaAudio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Price: $14.88 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 13 Songs, 1 Digital Booklet, 2012 $11.49  
Audio CD, 2012 $14.88  
Vinyl, 2013 $20.41  

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Image of album by Frank Zappa


Image of Frank Zappa


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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Finer Moments [2 CD] + Mothermania + Understanding America
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 18, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Zappa Records
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,476 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Intro
2. Sleazette
3. Mozart Piano Sonata In Bb
4. The Walking Zombie Music
5. The Old Curiosity Shoppe
6. You Never Know Who Your Friends Are
7. Uncle Rhebus
Disc: 2
1. Music From The Big Squeeze
2. Enigmas 1 Thru 5
3. Pumped And Waxed
4. There Is No Heaven From Where Slogans Go To Die
5. Squeeze It, Squeeze It, Squeeze It
6. The Subcutaneous Peril

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Format:MP3 Music
It was quite the chore trying to find out any information at all about 'Finer Moments' in the days leading up to its release. Now that I've bought the album, it's become apparent that these tracks are mostly live performances by The Mothers of Invention, but I still have no idea from what year or years they were taken. I've now found one online review that claims they're from '67-'72, so I'll take their word for it, but that does mean this album spans two totally different lineups.*

What's important, however, is the music, and this release of instrumental jams, without a doubt, represents the band(s) at their improvisational best. The highlights for me are the live tracks, such as the epic, horn-laden tripped-out mindblowers "The Old Curiosity Shoppe" and "Uncle Rhebus," as well as "Sleazette," which packs two or three songs worth of insane guitar soloing into it's three and a half minutes, taking me on a pretty nice headphone journey that seemed a lot longer, in a good way.

The second half is taken up mostly by strange experimental tracks--some live, some studio sounding--that are hard for me to get into, but the album saves its best for last with "The Subcutaneous Peril," a live 20-minute freakout (with a four-minute drum solo in the middle) that's at least as impressive as anything that other jam-centric bands from the era--like The Dead, Allmans, King Crimson, or Quicksilver Messenger Service--could pull off at their peak. It's pretty much guaranteed to send any listener off to innerspace and, even with it's epic length, ends entirely too soon.

The sound-quality on 'Finer Moments' is extremely crisp for 40-plus year-old recordings. Every instrument--from the guitars, bass, drums, horns, violins, etc.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prime Time Zappa December 22, 2012
Format:Audio CD
This a interesting release.

Those that like the earlier 1968-1972 era of The Mothers will love this.
It's mostly live from that era.

This particular period of the Mothers had two drummers working in parallel;

Jimmy Carl Black (The Indian Of The Group)
Arthur Dyre Tripp III (aka "Artie With the Green Mustache").

Also in the mix was
Ian Underwood on keyboard and sax
Don Preston (aka "Dom De Wilde") on keyboards
Roy Astrada ("Roy Ralph Moleman Guacamole Guadalupe Hidalgo Estrada") on bass and falsetto
Lowell George on Rhythm Guitar (for a brief time)
Euclid James "Motorhead" Sherwood on Baritone Sax
Bunk Gardiner: Tenor sax (he usually plays clarinet)
Buzz Gardiner: trumpet

And later on (after 1971)
Bob Harris: Keyboards
Jim Pons: Bass
Ansley Dunbar: Drums

The recording sound quality: Pristine (A)

This sort of fills some the gaps between "Hot Rats", "Uncle Meat", "Burnt Weenie Sandwich" & "Chunga's Revenge".
I've only listened to this so far just twice, but I already love it to death.

The title really does fit: "Finer Moments".

Life Is Great,

Thank You Gail.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Mothers of Invention fans only December 22, 2012
Format:Audio CD
I wasn't sure how to rate this latest release from the Zappa vault. Fans of the original Mothers of Invention will enjoy some of the live-jam extrapolations from FZ instrumental classics like "King Kong", but fans of Frank's later, more-polished solos and compositions may not care for a lot of the Edgard Varese-inspired atonal stuff. And while "Finer Moments" has some very fine moments, there's no denying that a lot of it is filler. If Frank were still alive, I'm sure he would have cut out a good quarter of the material. (Personally, I edited the 2 cds down to one for future listening.) The music on these cds seemed to me like the stuff Frank probably cut out of the "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" and "Ahead of their Time" albums. A couple tracks are clearly longer versions of "King Kong", "Didja Get Any Onya?", and "Get a Little". If you like that sort of experimental cacophony, you'll like these cds. On the other hand, if you are unfamiliar with the "Weasels" and "Ahead of Their Time" cds, I would certainly recommend you buy them rather than this. "Finer Moments" is strictly for those fanatics (like myself) who have to possess the entire FZ-catalogue.

I'd rate it 4 stars for MOI fans who already have all the other albums, but casual FZ fans would do better to work their way through all the original albums first.
Weasels Ripped My Flesh
Ahead Of Their Time [+digital booklet]
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Call This Music? December 25, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
finally received the vinyl version, after months of waiting.
& i must say it is fantastic to feel, hear & smell it.
I hope that the ZFT wisens up a bit for their next vinyl release,
since this record has been bootleged & well distributed in europe
over the last months.
anyway cheers to everybody who made it possible.

inside you'll get to hear, sorry if some of the dates might be wrong, though i don't think so.
101-Intro / 69 06 06 Royal Albert Hall London
102-Sleazette / 69 06 06 Royal Albert Hall London
103-Mozart Piano Sonata In Bb / 69 06 06 Royal Albert Hall London
104-The Walking Zombie Music / 69 06 06 Royal Albert Hall London
105-The Old Curiosity Shoppe / 71 05 21 Auditorium Theater, Chicago Billy The Mountain solos
106-You Never Know Who Your Friends Are / Mothers in studio
107-Uncle Rhebus / 69 07 08 The Ark Boston MA
108-Piano/Drum Duet (Bonus Track) 69 07 08 The Ark Boston MA
201-Music From The Big Squeeze / 67 Mayfair Studios, NYC Zappa Studio Lost Episodes
202-Enigmas 1 Thru 5 / 69 09 XX L.A. FZ and Art Tripp studio
203-Pumped And Waxed / 72 Zappa Basement
204-There Is No Heaven From Where Slogans Go To Die / 69 02 14 Columbia University
205-Squeeze It Squeeze It Squeeze It / 69 02 16 The Ballroom Stratford C.T.
206-The Subcutaneous Peril / Pound for a Brown solos 71 10 11 Carnegie Hall NY

oh boy! Another Mothers of invention record this year. though this is not a complete concert as the Road Tapes vol 1 is.
this one plunders the zappa vault into what was known or could be known as the History & Colected Improvitations of the M.O.I. a project that never was to be, even though zappa insisted year after year of it's possible release.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I know you have better unreleased cuts
First time I've heard a bunch of low-quality FZ cuts from the ZFT. Are you guys scraping the bottom of the barrel? I know you have better unreleased cuts. Read more
Published 1 month ago by David Arms
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC QUALITY
I was amazed at how good the sound was. I have heard many of these tracks before but the quality was low. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Terry H. Gray
4.0 out of 5 stars Zappa the musician
"Finer moments" for the Zappa fan that wants to hear Zappa the musician (as opposed to Zappa the lyricist, singer, and occasional contributor to the billboard top 100). Read more
Published 13 months ago by Christopher Henrici
4.0 out of 5 stars Mothers of Invention instrumentals
Incredible to realize the intrincacy of the performances.
Some weird intermissions as usual.
Good sound quality despite the age of the masters. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Antonio Pedro C S Dias
5.0 out of 5 stars I like it
If you like Zappa and want to your hands on difference versions this is a good album. I've been listening to Frank since the 60s and I still like getting new takes.
Published 14 months ago by Archtype
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly for diehards only
Old school Mother's music, for fanatics only,mostly. Bits of throwaway noise here and there-one piece is a long percussion song that does not really go anywhere. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Jeff Crowley
5.0 out of 5 stars great production of the older band.
For the pure Zappa fan. It is a great live recording of the early band and works. So do buy it, and the vinyl is great.
Published 15 months ago by E. Sojka
3.0 out of 5 stars New Zappa is always going to be good, but not for everyone...
I will preface this review with this: If you HAVE NOT heard much of Frank Zappa's live material or attended one of his shows or HAVE NOT SEEN Dweezil's excellent Zappa Plays Zappa... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Xylon
1.0 out of 5 stars Craptastic...
I have followed FZ from the beginning. I attended the early concerts with the Mothers and many of the later year events. This album leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Joseph A. Rodriguez
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Yeah....
More info regarding years and specific line-ups would be very helpful. The music? Oh yeah......the promise of what was to come shines through these cuts brilliantly.... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Bradford Price
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