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Zoot Allures

Frank ZappaAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

Price: $13.57 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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MP3 Music, 9 Songs, 1 Digital Booklet, 2012 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2012 $13.57  
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Image of album by Frank Zappa


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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 (August 28, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Zappa Records
  • ASIN: B008I34ZCU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,533 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Wind Up Workin' In A Gas Station
2. Black Napkins
3. The Torture Never Stops
4. Ms Pinky
5. Find Her Finer
6. Friendly Little Finger
7. Wonderful Wino
8. Zoot Allures
9. Disco Boy

Editorial Reviews

Official Release #22
Originally Released: October 1976
Produced by: FZ

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Torture May Stop; But Then It Will Begin Again August 31, 2012
Format:Audio CD
The sound quality on the 2012 reissue has improved enormously over the album's previous CD releases. So, perhaps a little frustrating to have these latest, lovely remasters when you have to buy some of the albums again to get the "right" mix- some arguably unnecessary adjustments made, for the CD transfers in the eighties, to the earlier works of Frank Zappa (and The Mothers); but in the end, of course it's a good thing.
This remaster was produced from the original analog master; hasn't got all the added reverb and is quite a lot clearer, i.e. better separation/distinction between instruments/vocals (less muddy!) and much more true to its original form, so, worth getting again for fans and well-worthy for a first-time purchaser of 'Zoot Allures'.
My questionable powers of production description end now, but the important thing is it's back in print, sounding great, and at a reasonable price.

Terry Bozzio drums on this, which is a huge plus: Drummer crush alert!
Frank plays all the guitar and most of the bass and some synthesizer (the legendary Ruth Underwood plays some synth too, along with some percussion here and there) on this album, so...
this is a relatively stripped back recording compared to some previous mammoth Zappa productions.

'Wind Up Workin' In A Gas Station', although scares me into thinking I may wind up doing just that (though we call them petrol stations here in Australia), is a pretty comedic, yet biting short piece on the nature of not being brave enough to follow our passions - or perhaps following misguided passions - with Davey Moire singing the lead vocal like a tastefully demented Bee Gee, becoming quite intense towards the end of the track.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not his best, but VERY essential December 24, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Zoot Allures is one of the most unique albums in Zappa's catalogue. Nearly all of the instruments are played by FZ himself (including bass!), with Ruth Underwood on percussion, the incomparable Terry Bozzio on drums, and some backing vocalists. It really is Zappa "stripped down" as its often described. Most of the songs have the same instruments, tones, and the same heavy-breathed vocals. The drab production, however, makes this album a chore at spots when the songs themselves aren't strong enough to work without a little production effort. What really saves this album are a few incredible instrumental pieces.
The opener is often sneered at, but WIND UP WORKIN' IN A GAS STATION is an actually one of the better tracks on the album. Its a little something like rock-doowop. A relatively simple song with a simple riff that belies a pretty intricate vocal arrangement. BLACK NAPKINS, the one live track on the album, is absolutely incredible. Zappa weaves a beautiful thematic phrase into some of his most inspired guitarwork, creating one of his most somber and emotive tone poems in his career. Its unfortunately followed by the mediocre, over-long and over-used THE TORTURE NEVER STOPS. The next tracks, MS PINKY and FIND HER FINER, are rather typical Zappa sex numbers. They're pretty good songs, but the production here really fails them, and after a few entertaining listens they lost their charm. The same can be said for THE WONDERFUL WINO, although this one manages to keep a lot of panache.
FRIENDLY LITTLE FINGER is an incredible instrumental with a great oriental guitar opening that leads into a rather wandering guitar solo. The real treat here is Zappa's rapid-fire bass work. The title track, ZOOT ALLURES, is another one of Zappa's most amazing solos.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album, Excellent Tour October 17, 2005
By Mad Dog
Format:Audio CD
This one brings back loads of memories. I was one of the many that was waiting for this record to hit the shelves. We were part of the cult, the mass of regulars that made as many concerts as we could and knew all of Frank's inside jokes. We thought we were cool, but of course we weren't. This disc caused descent in the ranks. For some of the old school FZ fans, this was the last straw and they walked away muttering about how it was all downhill after the original Mothers were gone.

I was pretty much old school, having started out on Freak Out and progressing album by album, thanks to an old burnout that got me started into Frank's music at the bright young age of 12. But I didn't cling to the old school rant - new was OK and this, when it was new, sounded VERY good to me! The live show of this album tour that we saw was excellent too. For perspective, I was alcohol legal by the time of Zoot Allures... Some of the tunes hit me right in the face. I was working at a gas station while in college and took that minimum wage paycheck to pay for this disc. I worked at the gas station with a reject named Jerry that was a thief. He'd steal money out of the register and we'd all have to make up the shortage out of our paychecks, so nobody wanted to work with Jerry. So I remember hearing "Wind Up Workin' In A Gas Station" and thinking I should go play it for Jerry. I also wanted to go play "The Torture Never Stops" for one of my literature profs, because it reminded me of his class.

To get more to the review, just consider this: the album is a work of synergy in that the whole is much stronger than any individual portion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST ALBUM EVER
The guitar work and the bands effort together were amazing. A red letter day, for sure, in the recording industry.
Published 5 months ago by crimpmaster3
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Zappa
This is classic Zappa, and his guitar work on it ranks up there with his best. Sad to lose him prematurely to the grim old fellow with the scythe.
Published 6 months ago by Hippoclides
5.0 out of 5 stars The Torture never stops...
And neither does the fine work of FZ. This is another one of the FZ staples. Zappa can't really live without this. Those who are new to FZ will be hooked.
Published 8 months ago by ftorillo
5.0 out of 5 stars doesn't get any better.
Zappa in his small rock jazz ensemble mode. Killer players. You can't do this on stage anymore. And his usual fine production / recording.
Published 14 months ago by Martin
4.0 out of 5 stars definite for the zappa fan
my partner was so excited when this came in the mail. it made his day. to hear classic zappa at his best
Published 15 months ago by natalia
4.0 out of 5 stars *NEW 2012 Edition - Zoot Allures (Original) - Remastered from Analog...
Originally issued on a 9 track Warner Brothers LP in 1976, now available for the first time on CD remastered from original analogue tapes, and sounding just as good as the original... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Jackie P
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a great under the radar album.
Would highly recomend this record to any Zappa fan. This is some of Zappa's best studio work, tight band too.
Published 17 months ago by Richard Apice
5.0 out of 5 stars Zoot Allures (2012) - sounding great at last!
I've always enjoyed the tunes on Zoot Allures -- but often preferred versions of the tunes elsewhere in Frank's vast catalogue. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Donald P.
4.0 out of 5 stars I used to have...
...all Frank Zappa's albums on vinyl. Over time, I've been downloading them or purchasing CDs. This wasn't one of Frank Zappa's best albums, but it's pretty good. Read more
Published 19 months ago by John E. Gabor
1.0 out of 5 stars How to ruin a great album.
Add more bass to a recording doesn't mean that it sound well. With my great respect to one of the great mastering engineer in the music world, probably the aged "Golden Ear"... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Marziano Fontana
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