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Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar [2 CD]


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Audio CD, September 25, 2012
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Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar [2 CD] + Guitar [2 CD] + Joe's Garage, Acts I, II, & III [2 CD]
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 25, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Zappa Records
  • ASIN: B008PPUN6I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,237 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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
7. Soup 'N Old Clothes

Editorial Reviews

Official Release #31
Originally Released: May 1981
Produced by: FZ

Customer Reviews

He was basically one of the best rock guitar players, ever.
kireviewer
I highly recommend this musical delight to anybody who likes guitar playing.
"theslime"
Zappa's guitar soloing is just very very different from most artists.
B. E Jackson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Mike Pierry on 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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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By El Kabong on August 27, 2001
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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73 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Kimsey on 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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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By stu on August 14, 2004
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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Douglas H. Watts on November 11, 2000
Format: Audio CD
A couple nights before I went off to college from my dirt bag home town in 1982, my high school friend Bob let me make a cassette copy of his Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar boxed album set that his sister had bought him in Europe. It was almost impossible to find or buy this album set at that time in the U.S. and it made no commercial "impact" whatsoever. As Frank said, "Who is going to play 'Heavy Duty Judy' on AM radio?" -- or anywhere else. Nobody did. Amazingly I still have that 18-year-old beat-up TDK cassette tape with side 4 of Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar, including "Stucco Homes" and still listen to it quite a bit.
Usually Frank would present wild guitar solos as compact little sandwiches in the midst of mostly vocal songs. On this rather audacious set of music, he does away with all the words and just presents guitar instrumentals that are different enough from each other to keep from sounding like ... guitar solos.
What I like is the range of bizarre guitar sounds on the record and Frank's use of the guitar as a melodic instrument, like a jazz saxophone, instead of just a "rock out" guitar solo that is part of a regular song. The variety of guitar tones he gets are pretty amazing and fun to listen to.
While a multi-record set of guitar instrumentals is probably one of the most self-indulgent things a rock-type performer can put out, somehow Frank pulled this off and created an original and interesting set of records. A big part of the success of these songs is the drumming by Vinnie Colaiuta, who really seemed to click with Frank's idea of improvisation and vice versa. On later releases, the improvisational synch between Frank and his drummer is rarely as lively and spontaneous as on these songs.
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Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar [2 CD]
This item: Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar [2 CD]
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