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Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar [Original recording remastered]

Frank ZappaAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, 2012 $17.86  
Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 1995 --  
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Composer, guitarist, singer, and bandleader Frank Zappa was a singular musical figure during a performing and recording career that lasted from the 1960s to the '90s. His disparate influences included doo wop music and avant-garde classical music; although he led groups that could be called rock & roll bands for much of his career, he used them to create a hybrid style that bordered on ... Read more in Amazon's Frank Zappa Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 30, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Zappa Records
  • ASIN: B0000009T2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,051 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Five-five-FIVE
2. Hog Heaven
3. Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
4. While You Were Out
5. Treacherous Cretins
6. Heavy Duty Judy
See all 7 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Variations On The Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression
2. Gee, I Like Your Pants
3. Canarsie
4. Ship Ahoy
5. The Deathless Horsie
6. Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More
See all 7 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Beat It With Your Fist
2. Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
3. Pinocchio's Furniture
4. Why Johnny Can't Read
5. Stucco Homes
6. Canard Du Jour

Editorial Reviews

Guitar solos and nothing but. Meticulously culled and assembled by Zappa from live recordings made between 1979 and 1980, this three part set features some of the most dynamic and musical guitar work recorded anywhere by anyone. From the rhythmically dazzling "five-five-FIVE" to the unique lyricism of the three title tracks, Zappa proves beyond doubt that he belongs among the most elite of rock's guitar virtuosos. The remarkable interplay between Zappa and Vinnie Colaiuta--some consider this to be the drummer's best work--provides this album with some of its most memorable moments. --Andrew Boscardin

Product Description

No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Street Release Date: 05/26/1995

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frank's mind shines through January 12, 2000
Format:Audio CD
I had to write this review because I found it alarming that the average was only 4 out of 5 stars. There's no need to be a guitar player to appreciate this album, although it certainly doesn't hurt in one's appreciation of just how unorthodox FZ's style was. But the whole point of this set is NOT to showcase how good a guitar player Zappa was, but of how good a musical mind he had. One of Frank's favorite things to do was improvising solos; it was an interesting challenge to him, to spontaneously come up with musical events worth listening to. Lest you think this set is self-indulgent, be aware that Zappa was very critical of his abilities. He considered most of the solos he played to be failures; what you hear on these discs is a collection of the ones which he thought were worth sharing with the world. In fact this was originally a mail-order release and was eventually licensed to CBS for sale in stores due to overwhelming demand. It seems even Frank didn't know how good he was. So how to approach an album like this? We know we're not listening for guitar gonzo show-offy pyrotechnics. We're listening for musical ideas. It's improvised and there is sensitive interplay between FZ and his rhythm sections, but it isn't jazz. It's sort of weird avant-rock, in a very unique style. Nothing else sounds quite like it. It's like beautiful electric improvisations from Mars.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Little-heralded progressive masterwork from a visionary who straddled many genres and transcended them all. Even if you were one of those folks who didn't care for Zappa's smirking cynicism and unorthodox (to say the least) arrangements - he didn't go out of his way to be popular - nobody questioned the man's god-like chops. This 3 CD set of absolutely flabbergasting guitar solos is one of Zappa's amazing 'xenocrony' productions (the liner notes describe this process in detail; typically for Zappa, it's backbreakingly painstaking and requires innate musical ingenuity). All 20 selections collected flow more or less continuously, generally seperated by spoken-word snippets or a short burst of static. To the non-initiated who are dipping a toe into the water and ripe to dive in, let me assure you this blows the doors off every Satriani/Malmsteen-type shredfest combined, and will stun, delight and enthrall ANYBODY with a CD player and a brain, both in working order. Essential as oxygen.
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69 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shut Up & Buy Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar April 2, 2003
Format:Audio CD
For our anniversary, my beloved girlfriend bought this set for me. I've never received a better gift. Zappa released too many masterpieces to have a single one consigned as "his best work". But, for the bean-counters, Shut Up is among his top 5. Most rock guitarists spend their careers (if they're lucky enough to have one) recycling Stones & Zeppelin riffs (my god, why?) and running up & down pentatonic scales & tremelo picking three notes furiously for guitar solos. Why settle for that boring excrement? Frank Zappa had more nuance & versatility in his playing than all of those classic-rock radio cretins combined.
Nearly all of these solos are electric, but there is a bouzouki duet with Jean-Luc Ponty (Canard du Jour) that may be the best performance on the set. Zappa's ultra-eclectic technique veers from fusion to metal to eccentic blues so deftly that I, as a semi-guitarist, am filled with self-loathing. Although they are worlds apart in technique and style, Zappa reminds me of Fairport Convention's Richard Thompson and George Harrison in that all of their guitar solos can actually be considered compositions in their own right, rather than a supplemental solo tacked on during a lull from a vocalist. Zappa was/is rock music's most versatile genius. Please go buy this.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite guitar player August 14, 2004
By stu
Format:Audio CD
I am a professional guitarist. I teach and play for a living - it's one of the one things I know anything about. So, I feel pretty confident when I say that Frank Zappa was not a virtuoso by any stretch of the imagination. He proclaimed this truth himself on many occasions. First and foremost, Zappa was a brilliant composer. As a guitar player, Zappa had a sporadic, idiosyncratic style that was exciting and fresh. He might not nail every note, but he flutters and bubbles his way through the line and the result is pure exuberance.

Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar is a collection of extended solos that serves as a great introduction to, and general representation of, Zappa's eccentric guitar playing. The magic lies in the phrasing, not necessarily in virtuosic skill. These are mostly modal jams. There is a familiar b7 to 1 progression (from "Inca Roads" and others) that rucurs throughout. Zappa was mostly a modal improviser. He was partial to blues scales, major and minor pentatonic scales, mixolydian scales, lydian scales, dorian scales and the occasional whole-tone or diminished scale. But the melodic ideas that he wove together with these colors are jubilant. He was a great improviser and a great rock guitar player. He was my favorite guitar player. He was no virtuoso. He was no Joe Pass or John Mclaughlin or Andre Segovia or even Steve Vai. But I would rather listen to Zappa than any of these guys.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Title says it all March 3, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Frank Zappa is an excellent, versatile guitarist with quite an imagination. While he has a unique sound, he plays in many different styles so it never gets monotonous. In concert, he will dive into these amazing extended solos. He was basically one of the best rock guitar players, ever. Unforntunately his reocrds and some of his performances don't always feature his guitar playing. I remember being disappointed when he didn't even play his guitar on a Saturday Night Live performance.
In this album, Zappa pulls guitar solos out of different songs from a number of concerts. This is done extremely effectivily so that each piece has the feeling of a complete composition. (The later Zappa album, called "Guitar", isn't so successful.) And there are a number of wonderful compositions here and quite a bit of variety.
When this first came out, it was only available through mail order as three seperate records. Later, it was available as a Japanese import three record set. I'm not sure why the CD version was put out as a 3 disc set. It could almost fit on one CD and definitly would fit on two. But, even at the high cost, it is worth buying for anyone who has the slightest appreciation for Zappa's guitar playing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful , sometimes I prefer no lyrics.
love it.
Published 27 days ago by Bonzi
5.0 out of 5 stars Blast from the past!
What can you say about Frank Zappa? If you love him, you just do. If you don't, nobody can explain him to you. Great CD and the transaction was excellent.
Published 2 months ago by Mary Kottwitz
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic of the Zappa world
Frank Zappa was not someone I listened to growing up...mostly because I was a huge Rush Fan....but seasoned years of playing and seeing how intelligent the man was in... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Gary Granger
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album of Zappa instrumental solos
If you love Zappa's guitar playing but aren't fond of his lyrics this is a great collection of solos to listen to in any company :)
Published 13 months ago by Ted Kowalczyk
3.0 out of 5 stars The Music Is MUST HAVE ZAPPA - but the item was not in the shape...
The album box had frayed edges & even torn on the bottom aspect of the box; every sleeve holding the 3 albums was ripped at one end; the only reason I kept it was the albums were... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Marc Whitten
5.0 out of 5 stars Always Amazing!!
I was a bit skeptical about buying this CD...the description listed only 7 songs, but says 2 discs. At first I figured the new releases of SU&PYG were going to be 3 single... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Klash69
2.0 out of 5 stars Rip off remaster
This CD has some great songs, and it also has some songs that just sound horrible. The bass drum sounds the same as the YAWYI CD, a notched low end EQ. That's about all they did. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Wandyman
5.0 out of 5 stars Monstrous beast of electric guitar
This is where the soul of FZ lives. This is where all the B. S. falls away. This is where it is real visceral meaty dirty sometimes jaw droppingly grotesque guitar notes come... Read more
Published 20 months ago by The Tuck
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Fantastic Guitarist Who Didn't Think He Was An Awesome...
"Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar" only proves to those who didn't already know that Frank Zappa could play brilliant lead guitar. His playing style had an indescribable attitude. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Robert
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 minutes of guitar work... that's rewarding in the end
The great thing about Frank Zappa, or rather, the thing I admire the most about his music is absolutely *unquestionably* his guitar playing. Read more
Published on June 8, 2012 by B. E Jackson
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