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You Are What You Is [Import]

Frank ZappaAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

Price: $41.21
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 20 Songs, 1 Digital Booklet, 2012 $11.49  
Audio CD, 2012 $13.70  
Audio CD, Import, 2008 $41.21  
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Image of album by Frank Zappa


Image of Frank Zappa


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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You Are What You Is + Tinsel Town Rebellion + Sheik Yerbouti
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 18, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Video Arts Japan
  • ASIN: B00185JOYO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #972,007 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Teen-Age Wind
2. Harder Than Your Husband
3. Doreen
4. Goblin Girl
5. Theme from the 3rd Movement of Sinister Footwear
6. Society Pages
7. I'm a Beautiful Guy
8. Beauty Knows No Pain
9. Charlie's Enormous Mouth
10. Any Downers?
11. Conehead
12. You Are What You Is
13. Mudd Club
14. The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing
15. Dumb All Over
16. Heavenly Bank Account
17. Suicide Chump
18. Jumbo Go Away
19. If Only She Woulda
20. Drafted Again

Editorial Reviews

Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. 2008.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, but VERY mishandled... June 24, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Well, everyone else has piled on the superlatives and the denigrations, so I might as well add my own 2 cents. You Are What You Is is simultaneously wonderful and a fascinating misfire. It's sprawling and overreaching, but unlike some of Frank's other albums (think Thing-Fish) it manages to contain itself to a certain degree. Even better, the lyrics are mostly smart (except for Conehead, and Jumbo Go Away, which...well, it's just MEAN, darnit).
Anyway, I like this album very much. So why is it a misfire? Copies of earlier mixes of these songs are easily obtainable, and if Frank had mixed the entire album the way he did those songs (from the Crush All Boxes LP), I would enjoy the whole shebang a lot more.
And a warning! This album has TONS of REALLY BAD ISSUES. The original Ryko, the original Zappa Records, and the '95 Rykodisc release all sound AWFUL, and it's all Zappa's fault: he reprocessed the album realllllly badly, and it shows. And this isn't some audiophile-only-on-my-$30,000-stereo-system bad....this is VERY, VERY BAD. Dropouts, phasing, what have you. Thankfully, an earlier EMI issue was fine, and engineer-god Spencer Chrislu fixed it back in 1998. Problem is, you can't tell the '98 CDs from the '95 CDs just by looking at them, but all new copies should be fine (if your disc is +69 minutes long, it's the good version). Complex, but necessary. Hope this helps!
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zappa's '80s masterpiece July 7, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I was introduced to Frank Zappa's music twenty years ago through his then-new LP, "You Are What You Is," and a well-worn copy of "We're Only In It For The Money," which I picked up at a record show. They remain my two favorite Zappa albums. Some people like to put down "You Are What You Is" for its lack of FZ guitar solos, but I've never considered it a drawback. Musically and satirically, this was Zappa's strongest LP in years. The targets of his satire were many, including: Teenage rebellion ("Teen-age Wind,") high-society pretentiousness and snobbery ("Society Pages,") the new wave/punk nightclub scene ("Mudd Club,") Country music ("Harder Than Your Husband," featuring former Mothers of Invention bandmate Jimmy Carl Black on lead vocals) and religion (the three-song suite of "The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing," "Dumb All Over" and "Heavenly Bank Account"). For those who really LISTEN to lyrics, the anti-drug message of "Charlie's Enormous Mouth" is chilling: "She's got dirt all around the hole/Where they dumped her box in/They call it THE GRAVE/Which is as good a place as any for a chump to repose in." Just another O.D. statistic.
As another reviewer has already mentioned, this CD was remastered in 1998. If you have an earlier Rykodisc pressing of this CD, you should definitely upgrade. This isn't some minor improvement only a trained ear would notice--this is night and day. I've compared the old and new Ryko CDs to the original vinyl LP. The remastered CD is faithful to the sound of the LP, with the added dynamic range and clarity of the CD format.
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33 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for Zappa music and composition fans July 25, 2000
Format:Audio CD
I didn't notice any negative reviews here, and that doesn't surprise me since Zappa is one of the most important figures in American music, and for fans of his satire stuff, this is a fine album. Personally, I like a little bit of Franks humor and satire mixed in with good healthy doses of his incredible music. I'm sure there are other fans who are the same, and they should know that with the exception of 3rd Movement from Sinister Footwear, there are no instrumentals, and no brilliant compositions to speak of. This album has a huge audience and is loved by many Zappa fans, so I don't want to knock it much really. The humor and satire here are first rate, but that's all this album is really about. My low rating is from the standpoint of Frank and his music. If these songs had been spread out on two or three albums and intercut with his brilliant musical compositions, (a la Waka Jawaka), they would be just fine. It's just too one dimensional, and focusing on too little of what Frank has to offer. I can't think of any other albums of his to compare it to. Even his other pop/satire oriented albums such as Overnight Sensation and One Size Fits All had plenty of excellent music and playing. This album was an uncharacteristic one off. Depends on what you like. I just thought someone should offer a different perspective on this album.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HARDER THAN FALWELL November 13, 2005
Format:Audio CD
When I purchased the album back when it was first released, I had been listening to FZ for 11 years and liked everything up until this point, so at first listen, "You Are" was not -- it didn't seem to live up to earlier recordings. But it has grown on me since. His take on evangelists and religion is quite prescient, considering the current state of affairs; his take on race as well. A lack of FZ guitar solos might put off "purists," but at this stage in his career FZ was more intent on sending messages with his music. I would strongly suggest this CD just for the three songs "The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing," "Dumb All Over" and "Heavenly Bank Account," solely for their religious/political message, but there are other great songs here: "Mudd Club" and "Charlie's Enormous Mouth," two songs that dove-tail nicely together as they accurately describe the "pop" mentality back then; looking right, being seen at all the right places, listening only to the right music all in a cocaine-addled haze. Cocaine was the marijuana of the '80's. Then there is the little-mentioned "Doreen," another of FZ's satirical takes on love and broken hearts -- it shoulda been a top-40 hit! There are many reasons to buy this CD -- the FZ "purists" who say they only like the "Mothers" era always elicit a laugh from me -- FZ was (is) the Mothers! Change some of the lyrics in "Mudd Club" and you could rename it "Purist Club." This recording easily stands up with "Freak Out" and "We're Only In It For the Money" and might be topped by only a few live recordings: "Just Another Band From L.A.," "The Fillmore," "Live in New York" and the incredible "You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 2." Plus, "You Are What You Is" features two of the best vocalists ever to sing in a rock band: Ike Willis and Ray White. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite Frank recordings
The thing with Zappa is that he wrote for himself, so you're generally not going to get a steady stream of any particular style, genre, or methodology in song writing and... Read more
Published 6 days ago by The Book Bomber
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 13 days ago by Roberto S. Salinas Duran
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent seller
Excellent record. The vinyl and sleeve are in excellent condition. .
Published 1 month ago by david chanowski
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the one to get
There are several notoriously bad recordings of this album out there. I bought this one after some research and it's quality is much better. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Don Quixote
5.0 out of 5 stars Zappa rulez.
One of the best records from Frank Zappa. I very like, and recommend it to all Zappa fan around the world.
Published 14 months ago by Endre Sagi
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album Finally Gets It's True Release
This refers to the 2012 release. All earlier releases suffered from, who knows what they suffered from. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Ricsheepy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
It's great. If you like Zappa you gotta have it. If you're just getting into Zappa it's one of the first two or three albums I'd recommend. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Kevin Seven
5.0 out of 5 stars You Is What You Am
Zappa's "You Are What You Is", another gem from the master satirist and guitarist, offers the listener more of his quirky outlook and biting satire on life, religion, war, and fat... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Robert Shanahan
5.0 out of 5 stars Zappa's "Commercial" Music At It's Best
Zappa's finest leap into "commercial" music has finally been remastered/restored to CD properly. Read more
Published 18 months ago by SirQuacky
1.0 out of 5 stars Remaster sounds like butt.
This CD has the worst mix. Drums sound like poop, and the vocals are in your face, and annoying. This remaster improves nothing except the Zappa's bank account.
Published 19 months ago by Wandyman
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