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One Size Fits All

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Audio CD, August 28, 2012
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 28, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Zappa Records
  • ASIN: B008I34Y6W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,504 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Inca Roads
2. Can't Afford No Shoes
3. Sofa No. 1
4. Po-Jama People
5. Florentine Pogen
6. Evelyn, A Modified Dog
7. San Ber dino
8. Andy
9. Sofa No. 2

Editorial Reviews

Official Release #20
Originally Released: June 1975
Produced by: FZ

FZ: all guitars, lead vocals on Po-Jama People, Evelyn and Sofa No. 2, bg vocals on other tunes
George Duke: all keyboards & synthesizers, lead vocals on Inca Roads, Andy and Sofa No. 2, bg vocals on other tunes
Napoleon Murphy Brock: flute and tenor sax, lead vocals on Florentine Pogen and Andy, bg vocals on other tunes
Chester Thompson: drums; gorilla victim
Tom Fowler: bass (when left hand is not broken)
Ruth Underwood: vibes, marimba, other percussion
James "Bird Legs" Youmans: bass (on Can't Afford No Shoes)
Johnny "Guitar" Watson: flambe vocals on the out-choruses of San Ber'dino and Andy
Bloodshot Rollin' Red: harmonica when present

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 113 customer reviews
Zappa was a musical genius and it shows in spades on this album.
Drew Hunkins
One Size Fits All is a great album and I place it alongside Hot Rats (1969) as two of my favorites by Frank Zappa.
Jeffrey J.Park
This one is my personal nominee for Best Frank Zappa Album Ever.
John S. Ryan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 100 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on September 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This one is my personal nominee for Best Frank Zappa Album Ever.

That's a very subjective evaluation of a career that spanned three decades and included forty-plus releases as of Zappa's untimely death in 1993. But I suspect most FZ fans will know why I make it, even if they disagree.

For one thing, this album's got the guitar solo on 'Inca Roads'. I stand second to none in my admiration for FZ's all-around chops and I love _Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar_. But this is my single favorite (recorded) FZ guitar solo. Lifted from a live performance in Helsinki (and available in a slightly shorter edit on _You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 2_), it's one of his most fluid and melodic ever, and after thirty years it still never fails to grab me. (And notice his subdued, thoughtful use of the so-called 'wah-wah' pedal. He doesn't use it to go 'wah-wah-wah'; he uses it as a tone control.)

For another, it's got a _lot_ of great studio recordings. To my taste, at least, this is where FZ really fulfills the promise of _Hot Rats_.

For another, it's got the Mothers' dream lineup of the mid-1970s: Ruth Underwood, George Duke, Napoleon Murphy Brock, the Fowler brothers, Chester Thompson, and the rest (the same folks who accompanied him on his very best live album, _Roxy & Elsewhere_). Probably every FZ fan has his or her favorite backing band; this is mine.

Finally, there's Cal Schenkel's brilliant and hilarious cover art -- which, in the CD release, is included in a full-sized unfoldable version for you to appreciate in detail.

FZ was a musical genius and an incredibly prolific one; if you're just now being introduced to him, there are lots of places to start. I recommend starting here. Your mileage, of course, may vary.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By John Tabacco on June 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is a watershed for Frank Zappa in his unique musical catalog. It's so together on so many levels it became a standard by which I measured all subsequent releases by other artists. Unfortunately, in this day and age of singles (mp3) the art of putting together a work that moves you from beginning to end is becoming less frequent. None the less this album is a one of the best examples of where pure art and commerciality live side by side.

Where to start? Let's look at the packaging first. A big maroon sofa floating in space. A Zappa mythology brought to life for the eyes by the brilliant artist Cal Shenkel. God's sofa. One Size certainly fits all. Hilarious subtle pseudo scientific sketches abound along with continuity clues in the form of astrological hokum. Tremendous detail. Giant ants rip apart Hollywood under a blanket of absurd sounding constellations many of which are subtle references found on a myriad of FZ cds. Inside we have the credits and lyrics written on Fresco in a calligraphic font (refers to the actual vinyl record), almost to indicate a sort of religious reverence of the music contained herein. And it certainly is. This album sealed my fate as a recording artist.

The active mixing of Kerry Mcnabb, the colorful instrumentation, the climaxes, the solos, the absurd clever lyrics, the continued air pressure /segues from one song to the next. It was all here. FZ put all the cards on the table and presented his ideas not as just a composer but in capturing a group effort of amazing musicians. All these pieces are so strong melodically and rhythmically it's a real testament to FZ's genius as a composer. The forms are so clear and memorable it's no wonder it hit the top 40 in 1975. Quite an achievement for such a left field player as FZ.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Shotgun Method on January 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD
One Size Fits All is one of Frank's more "commercial" mid-70s albums along with Apostrophe and Overnight Sensation, and quite possibly my fave Zappa disc. With one of his finest lineups (George Duke on vocals and keys, Chester Thompson on drums, Ruth Underwood on percussion) and Zappa himself in fine form on guitar, this is a great, concise rock/fusion outing.

Like most of Zappa's albums, One Size Fits All embraces several styles--jazzy tracks like the nine-minute Inca Roads (a concert standard) and Andy with crazy time signature changes and difficult vocal melodies (most bands couldn't pull this stuff off with weeks of rehearsal; Zappa and his team make it sound easy); rollicking, funky/bluesy rock in the form of San Berdino (my fave), Can't Afford No Shoes, and Pojama People; a weird little piano ditty (Evelyn A Modified Dog); and the beautiful melodic centerpiece of Sofa (two versions, one with German [?!] vocals courtesy of Frank). Just the right combo of quirk, excellent musicianship, and rocking out. And unlike most of Zappa's other albums, there's not a track that feels extraneous or tossed in to fill up space.

The guitar solo on Inca Roads is perhaps one of Zappa's best on record, and showcases just how refined his technique was. Instead of flashy 300-note-a-minute outbursts that so many would-be "guitar heros" favor, he lays into the track with an effortlessly melodic and flowing showcase that makes excellent use of tone control and guitar effects. It was actually taken from a live performance in Finland, but thanks to Frank's careful knob-twiddling in the studio you'd be hard-pressed to tell.

This covers just about all of Zappa's bases well, and along with Hot Rats makes the ideal listen for a Zappa virgin. Highly reccommended.
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