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Frank Zappa: Dub Room Special
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Since 1966, Zappa had established himself as perhaps the most fearless musician known to popular music. He incorporated modern classical music, blazing rock and blues and doo wop, guitar solos he called "air sculpture" and an extremely cynical point of view to forge a legacy that remains completely unique 12 years after his death.
Top Customer Reviews
Most of the tracks from 1974 and 1981 are edited, cut and/or mixed with additional images. Also there are lots of "noises" added to some tracks. Bootleggers who used to offer the 1974 performance must be very happy with this edited video.
I wish they had included a CLEAN, FULL and CONTINOUS live performance at KCTTV Culver City Studios on 08/07/1974 with Zappa / Mothers and SEPARATELY the 10/31/1981 New York Halloween Party concert at the Palladium. Also they could have put as a worth - having extra "The Amazing Mr Brickford" video (the man behind those great clay animation).
If you want an in deep review, here is:
- (1974) DOG BREATH (VARIATIONS) / UNCLE MEAT
Uncomplete: no intro. and there's fade at the end. Original film is heavily distorted with additional images (mostly from Brickford), video effects and external "noises". Nevertheless you can see for brief moments Frank playing drums with Ruth Underwood (former Ruth Kammanoff)
- (circa 1974) PORTIONS OF MR BRICKFORD: Formerly shown on Baby Snake VHS / DVD
- DIALOGUE AT COMPACT VIDEO (the place where this video was made)
- (1974) ROOM SERVICE
Uncomplete: Maybe introduction is lost and there's CUT at the end. This is a classic Zappa talking - number.Read more ›
And now for my review, this is great stuff, reasonable price, nifty packaging, no episode of Simon and Simon in the runoff at the end. Who could ask for more?
As a teenager I listened to Zappa's albums with fascination (spending hours trying to guess what time signature certain passages where in) and with absolute delight (it's hard to listen to Joe's Garage and not laugh at the reductio ad absurdum the he draws in relation to music censorship).
However, "The Dub Room Special" was my first introduction into witnessing FZ perform live, and I was absolutely blown away. I am still yet to find adequate words to describe it, but I want to world to know that the performances you see here defy all description.
I wish I could go into great detail (i.e. describing each song) about the disk, but I don't want to rant. My best advice to those who are familiar with Zappa's albums, but not his DVD's is to start here. And for those of you who have never gotten to hear him, take a chance and check out the Dub Room Special. You will not leave the same person.
The disc includes selcection of performances from 1974 and 1982 tied together with bits by Zappa and Massimo Bassoli, though I have no idea why Zappa thought this guy is funny by picking his nose. Lets face it, Zappa is about music. The 1974 selections include a rather ordinary Montana and Cosmic Debris as well as a bit with Napoleon Murphy Brock called Room Service which goes nowhere. As they rip into Inca Road, just as we're trying to enjoy Zappa's great solo guitar work, we're subjected to Bruce Bickford's clay surreal animation which gets annoying really fast. A highlight from the '74 group is Approximate where the band plays the incredibly syncopated melody, then attempts to sing it, then dance it.
The '82 section fairs slightly better from a band perspective as they generally seem more alert and enjoying themselves but the selections are weaker. Florentine Pagen and Steve's Spanking come off as decent. The perk here is Flakes since it has so rarely recorded.
Also included in the disc is a six minute documentary recorded after Valley Girl became Zappa's biggest hit. It's a nice addition but really doesn't any additional insight to who Zappa was. On the plus side, the makers of the disc obviuosly put a lot of time into the audio remixing it in crisp and clear surround sound.
I can only moderately recommend this disc for the die-hard Zappaphite. For everyone else, I would suggest the DVD of "Does Humor Belong In Music?" where the band and track selections are much better and you really get the feel of a full Zappa show.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Frank Zappa is the white George Clinton. Unbelievable original creativity. The band rocks! George Duke is a keyboard genius!Published 5 months ago by George H. Darden
I've been a Zappa fan for some time now, but only recently have I been purchasing the videos he produced. Read morePublished on April 24, 2009 by ChaxC
With the "Dub Room Special" we see another example of Frank Zappa's limitations as a director of visual material. Read morePublished on January 7, 2009 by J. Dietsch
This was a good mix of live shows. Early zappa and later zappa. pretty good song selection. Zappa looked pretty un healthy and not as happy in the later 80's.Published on December 12, 2008 by J.Morrison
If you are a current, new or beginning Zappa fan this DVD is greatness.
Without using to many words like "awesome and cool" it is a great and easy watch. Read more
"The Dub Room Special" is a somewhat interesting, somewhat inconsistent, somewhat annoying, sometimes brilliant film comprised from the 1974 tour, the 1981 tour, some straggler... Read morePublished on June 12, 2008 by A Hermit