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Frank Zappa - The Torture Never Stops

41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Frank Zappa's New York Halloween 1981 concerts were filmed Live at The Palladium. This 'thing' entitled "The
Torture Never Stops was created in its entirety by FZ from the original concert production and intended by the
Artist as one of 3 Television Specials. This is the longest version of the three - the others, "You Are What You Is"
and "Dumb All Over", having actually aired. Halloween was Frank Zappa s favorite holiday, and New York was the
site of Frank Zappa Halloween concerts for years! The billion and a half airings by MTV of the concerts
(non-edited) followed on closely from the release of the double album You Are What You Is in September of that
year on Frank Zappa s own recently founded and thoroughly independent label, Barking Pumpkin. Much of the
set list is drawn from that work. All Frank Zappa shows were unique experiences with Zappa on guitar and baton,
leading his band on flights of improvisation and drawing ever more intense performances from them. The Torture
Never Stops cements Zappa s reputation as one of the most innovative and challenging composers and
performers of the 20th century.
Line-up: Frank Zappa (guitar, vocal); Ray White (vocal, guitar); Tommy Mars (keyboards, vocal); Scott Thunes
(bass, vocal); Chad Wackerman (drums); Ed Mann (percussion, vocal); Bobby Martin (keyboard, sax, vocal),
Steve Vai (guitar, vocal)

TRACKLISTING
1) Black Napkins 2) Montana 3) Easy Meat
4) Beauty Knows No Pain 5) Charlie s Enormous Mouth
6) Fine Girl 7) Teen-Age Wind 8) Harder Than Your Husband
9) Bamboozled By Love 10) We re Turning Again
11) Alien Orifice 12) Flakes 13) Broken Hearts Are For
Assholes 14) You Are What You Is 15) Mudd Club
16) The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing 17) Dumb All Over
18) Heavenly Bank Account 19) Suicide Chump
20) Jumbo Go Away 21) Stevie s Spanking
22) The Torture Never Stops 23) Strictly Genteel
24) The Illinois Enema Bandit

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Frank Zappa
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 16, 2010
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0043E8Y48
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,137 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By WillieB on December 28, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was a little bummed the first few times I watched this. I was kicking back during "Montana" anticipating the killer guitar solo in that song, but the solo was not there! I know Frank liked to rearrange, change tempo's, and omit parts of songs during live performances, but to leave out the blistering solo during "Montana" just bummed me out. However, after several viewings this DVD is killer and a must for Zappa fans.

The concert footage comes from a 1981 show and runs 1 hour 55 minutes. The video and audio (stereo only) are very good. The set list includes lots of songs from "You Are What You Is", so if you want Frank's early stuff you may be disappointed. Most of the time, the band is incredible... there are a few vocals out of pitch and some of Vai's leads are really sloppy, but when they play "Alien Orifice" my jaw hits the floor. Is anyone writing cool music like this anymore?

Extras include two bonus tracks - "Teen-Age Prostitute" and "City of Tiny Lights", the video of "You Are What You Is", a photo gallery, a discography, a DVDography, and liner notes from Scott Thunes.

Overall, this is a treat for fans and I hope more releases like this are planned for the future.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By McBeest on January 4, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's nice to have an unedited, uncensored, good-quality, COMPLETE copy of this performance. I have had another copy of this, probably recorded from MTV when it originally aired, but the quality of the recording and the fact that it was recorded onto video cassette made it unbearable to watch and listen.

Overall it's a very good performance. It's a great reminder of how great musicianship used to matter. Even on MTV! However I'm not happy about the long, sweeping phase shifter on Frank's guitar but what the hey, he's the boss. Besides, he only picks up the guitar to solo so it's the only time you have to endure a painfully over-effected guitar.

It must have been exhausting to play with Frank Zappa as he was the only one who got a smoke break. Ha-ha

Please expose budding musicians to the music of Frank Zappa. It's important for our future!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rowen di Bowen on November 2, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First I have to say that I have been a BIG Zappa fan since 74 and have celebrated his diverse music greatly over the years...
I have also had the luck to see him a number of times with different outfits,even with the Ensemble Modern towards the later part in his life...
I consider this phase here ,in the 80's and this band as probably his weakest...
In this concert presented here the light situation is pretty bad and his Guitar sound sucks(what was that?).
It's this crazy spacey flanger type effect he has on each solo...drives me nuts..doesn't have anything to do with the Les Paul he plays here in stead of the more usual SG.He also seems bored and not really full on...
No comparism with "Baby Snakes" which is way better and more enjoyable..
Had I seen this before I most likely would not have purchased it.
I'm sure there is still better and more interesting stuff in the archives hidden away...
Maybe as a part of his history...
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mutiny in Jonestown on February 14, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was lucky enough to have had a VCR back in 1981 and I taped the original MTV broadcast of this show. It's great to now have a perfect version to watch after many years of my old stretched out video cassette. This is my 2nd favourite Zappa lineup and there are several songs here that weren't in the original MTV broadcast, namely the quite rude ones (Easy Meat, Broken Hearts are for A&*^%$#, The Illinois Enema Bandit). Unfortunately they left out 3 of my favourite songs from the original broadcast (Society Pages, I'm a Beautiful Guy, Tryin' to Grow a Chin). Even missing these, I still rank this as 5 stars. The quality is outstanding, the performances are top notch, and you can't beat the price.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly's Kourt on January 4, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The torture Never Stops is an amazing concert featuring Steve Vai, and many others that make this so great. There are so many songs performed, that no matter how big of a fan you are, you will know these songs! The setting is great, the sound is wonderful and I really suggest you take the chance now to purchase this concert. It is true, you never know how long something is going to be available. There are quite a few things i let slip through my fingers, but when i came across this one, i didn't hesitate. On the website, these go for so much, and i agree the family trust should get the money but they do. In any event, take my advice, buy this NOW!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By giz6570 on January 5, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Well filmed. Great song selection. The clothes, of course, look dated being from the early 80's. If you are a fan, pick this up. Well worth the price (which I thought was very reasonable). 2 hours plus of classic Zappa from one of my favorite line-ups.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hiroshige on December 5, 2013
Format: DVD
Frank was way ahead of his and our time, especially when he made this on Halloween 1981 and later on the subsequently tour (I was lucky enough to attend a concert on the european leg of the tour - Kiel, Germany, 1982/5/23 - but he kicked the gig after 75 minutes 'cause some people were throwing repeadly tampoons (these were not used ones by the way) on the stage). Frank had anticipated not only the decadence of the forthcoming 80s by means of music and fashion (the magenta setting of the show, his own kinda 'onesie' clothes. He anticipated the cultural trash even if it appeared decades later in only slightly different 'masks', e.g. the song 'Charlies enormous mouth': I mean, put a 'Paris' ( ... Hilton!) for the 'Charlie' and you have the whole picture as it applies for today. Or the fabulous and til today unsurpassed fabulous rap song 'Dumb all over'. And as a unbelievable surplus you get a lot of fun along with the music, not to name the young Chad Wackerman. And so on and so on: buy the dvd, feed your player with it, fuel yourself with wino, activate the repeat knob of your dvd player and ...
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