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Hot Rats Original recording remastered

197 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, May 2, 1995
$19.00 $0.89

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Editorial Reviews

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.

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Digital Booklet: Hot Rats
Digital Booklet: Hot Rats
Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 2, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • ASIN: B0000009S3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,786 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Sebastian Gerber on July 31, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I came round late to Frank and it was this album that opened my perception to his work so suddenly; like an endearing slap in the face.
Many regard this as his best work, but I'm not sure that this is an easy conclusion when faced with more than sixty different Frank Zappa albums of extraordinary variety and style and varying degrees of musical and lyrical depth.
Also, his lyrics sometimes famously repel people whilst charming and amusing others; one person's upset/another person's insight.
Frank regarded his whole musical output, including live performances and even interviews, as a sort of continuum of themes connecting everything and creating one body of work.
That said, this is possibly the studio album that I find most musically profound...possibly.

'Peaches En Regalia', the highly regarded first track, is beautiful, musically startling and maybe even a little funny.

'Willie the Pimp' puts an unlikely balance into the album (it should stick out like a sore thumb, but somehow does not) with Captain Beefheart's (Don Van Vliet) Howlin' Wolf-esque vocals setting the tone amongst a relatively stripped-back instrumentation of drums and percussion, gritty guitar, bass, a wonderfully ragged violin riff from the great Don "Sugarcane" Harris, and piano, before Mr. Zappa enters with astonishing lead guitar; it always seems fresh- Frank Zappa must be one of the most underrated popular guitarists as well as composers.

'Son of Mr. Green Genes' allows us to briefly catch our breath, before lurching back into Frank's tremendous axe-manship and kaleidoscopic instrumentation from the absurdly talented Ian Underwood- Underwood is all over this album like a benevolent musical rash.
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80 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Mark Pollock on June 2, 2003
Format: Audio CD
That's right, I listen to this cd, and think "That's nice, where is Hot Rats?" This is because for ages I listened to the original vinyl version of this album, making cassettes for my car and just enjoying the heck out of it.
But, when this album was reissued on cd, Zappa decided to do a substantial remix of the album. There are some huge changes, missing instruments, different solos, all kinds of things that are distracting to people used to the original mix.
Not to say that the new mix is bad - it's very good, in fact. Clear, noise-free, and well balanced. It's just not how it used to be.
As far as the album itself goes, there are some mind-boggling jazz/rock compositions here, with only one vocal piece in the whole album. We get the fantastic "Peaches and Regalia", the slimy "Willie the Pimp", the satisfying "Son of Mr. Green Genes", and more.
There is some astounding violin work here, some great guitar playing, and an very strong album that seems to come from one musical viewpoint, unlike the eclectic approach that Zappa usually takes.
Very worthwhile - now, if they would just issue Hot Rats on cd...
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102 of 119 people found the following review helpful By Kim Fletcher on February 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Basically just dropping the name `Mothers of Invention' and releasing this as his first solo album, Mr. Zappa showed, who had been boss all the time, and let the unsuspecting music world cop it in the teeth with this blast of basically instrumental work. Gone were the dropping off into the world of parody or spoken word humour, that had often enlivened, but more often marred `The Mothers' albums. A joke is only funny the first couple of times, but soon becomes annoying, especially after repeated playing in between bits of your favorite music.
But here on `Hot Rats' Mr. Zappa surrounds himself with some of the finest musicians in the United States of America, who just happened to also be his best friends, and went from cult figure to International Superstar. In the high brow student world of 1970, if you didn't have the Hot Rats poster in your bed sit, you were considered very square. The album was an absolute `must have'. (Mind you it was also required to wear your hair down to your ankles, platform boots 2 foot tall, huge bell bottom trousers that hid them anyway, say things like "Cosmic" or "Groovy" a lot, and end every sentence with "Man". Eat your heart out Austin Powers, looking back it all seems terribly complicated now.)
But that was one thing that Mr. Zappa had mastered, although all of the playing on this album is intricate in the extreme, with great lolloping extended solos and each song has a terribly gripping hum able tune that makes your fingers twitch and your feet tap.
The first piece of music presented here for your edification (it would almost be an insult to label them down as just plain old songs) is the wonderfully monickered "Peaches En Regalia", where Mr. Zappa on guitar, and multi-instrumentalist Ian Underwood get to flex their musical muscles.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jazzcat on January 23, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I think I haven't heard something like this before and I have thousands of Jazz and rock fusion cds from any era. This album it is one of the fews that really blew me away since its first listening. It's melodic content, its inventions are exceptional such as the overall musical value. Its improvisations too even if I'm used to listen to very high level improvisations (from the best Jazz cats). You simply have to listen to "Peaches in regalia" to be absolutly hooked. It's incredible! It's a sort of small avant garde composition, a sort of small portrait of uncanny beauty! Wow I'm listening to it just know for the ten hundreds thousands time! It's so brilliant, funny, it's ridicolous! Perfect futurama from the sixties!

Ok guys I'll begin this review telling you exactly which are the overall best albums from Frank Zappa because I think only a newcomer in the Man's Universe would read Hot rats reviews to know what its all about. Every person who knows Zappa knows and love Hot rats, so the target of this review is you, the one who don't know Zappa (on planet Earth!! .. where have you been? Have you slept all these years? .. just joking ...). Knowing Zappa is something not so easy to do for the newcomer due to the immense discography from the man. But if you want to know immediatly what to buy first ok, you have read the right review. They are, Grand Wazoo, Waka Jawaka and Hot rats (even not in this order or better, buy ALL THE THREE TOGETHER). I'm talking about the best studio albums. And probably the best from a compositional standpoint. And please be aware that I'm talking about music, not about lyrics or comedy, goofy antics, theatrics or whatever.
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