Frank Zappa's first solo album, Hot Rats
is a far-cry from the da-da adventures and audio collages of the original Mothers of Invention. Mostly instrumental and filled with long jams between Zappa, Jean-Luc Ponty and Ian Underwood, this slickly-produced album--one of the first 16 track recordings made--is filled with hummable tunes. The opening track, "Peaches en Regalia," is one of Zappa's most enduring songs and the album's only vocal track, "Willie the Pimp," is by Zappa's long-time friend Don Van Vliet, a.k.a. Captain Beefheart. --Andrew Boscardin
From the Label
This is probably the first FZ album that Most-Folks-Who-Don't-Even-Like-Frank Zappa ever bought, and the one that began to establish him as a virtuoso musician and composer. Mostly instrumental with Captain Beefheart providing off-color commentary on Willie The Pimp's "twenny dollah bill."
After dropping a few hints on UNCLE MEAT, this was where FZ began to pursue jazz/rock composition in earnest; and "Peaches En Regalia" remains a strong contender for the catchiest tune in his whole catalogue. Backed by the impressive likes of Sugarcane Harris and Jean-Luc Ponty, he delivers the first full-scale demonstrations of his guitar prowess. Of special interest: "The Gumbo Variations" originally had to be edited to fit on a vinyl record; and is now restored to its 17-minute entirety.