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Originally released in 2007, Buffalo captures an entire concert recorded live at the Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, NY on October 25, 1980. The original tapes were salvaged from the Vault by Vaultmeister Joe Travers and mixed by Grammy-Award winning engineer Frank Filipetti.
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On the original title track of Chunga's Revenge, much of the solo that took up the middle section of the piece was played by Ian Underwood on wah-wah pedal sax. Here, it's all guitar.
The lineup on this album: Frank Zappa: Lead Guitar & Vocals; Steve Vai: Stunt Guitar & Background Vocals; Ray White: Vocals & Rhythm Guitar; Ike Willis: Vocals & Rhythm Guitar; Tommy Mars: Keyboards & Vocals; Bob Harris[disambiguation needed]: Keyboards, Trumpet & High Vocals; Arthur Barrow: Bass & Vocals; Vinnie Colaiuta: Drums, Vocals. This was one of Frank's PRIME lineups...I know Aynsley Dunbar played with Journey and Jefferson Starship and a slew of other "classic rock" bands but Vinnie Colaiuta can play rings around him.
"The Moment" comes at the five minute mark, following a pretty intense period of soloing. There's a little fade, a squeal of feedback, and Frank launches into Apocalypse NOW, baby, trademark Frank Goes Nuts Wring That Neck wonderment. If you're a Frank Zappa fan I GUARANTEE you'll be glad you purchased this CD when you hit this spot. The band winds things down around the 6:30 mark as Frank greets the crowd..."I hope you're in the mood for a good time. You'd BETTER be." Band intros follow and then they're off into "You Are What You Is." Depending on how you feel about that period and that specific album (You Are What You Is), you'll love the next two songs, or you won't. "Cosmik Debris" serves up more guitar pyrotechnics, and then it's a ride through the better known songs from Frank's post "post-Mothers" period. "City of Tiny Lites" is BRUTAL, almost ten minutes of one of Frank's more accomplished and muscular lineups just SPANKING it. That's followed by a guitar-heavy 9 minute version of "Easy Meat." Another crown jewel in the set is the 23 minute "Torture Never Stops," and while I still feel the version on You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore 1 is the ULTIMATE version, this one's pretty sweet. "Andy" (from One Size Fits All) is another classic that sounds right at home here.
The CD is a dynamic mix of Frank's shorter, goofier tracks and his extended band workouts, chock full of solos from Vai and Zappa.
It's a shame that the CD is no longer available on the Zappa Website, but I have to say that if you are a true fan, finding an affordable copy should DEFINITELY be on your "to do" list.
The ambiance of the concert hall is still captured well, along with a good balance of audience appreciation/sound.
Being an amazingly well executed gig (as per usual)- tight, fun, raw and overdub-free, with brilliant song variety and unique spins on some of the classics (The Torture Never Stops is a 23 minute tour de force of styles), it adds up to a fantastic capture of a relatively short-lived line-up, ending with a generous and mammoth encore.
I highly recommend it.
Still available at a reasonable price from the Frank Zappa website.
Anyway, this is a very good sounding recording. Of course there is the one spot in the show where they had to resort to a boot to finish the song.. but that is fine with me... (a case where boots DO come in handy).
There are those in the Zappa community that simply love the drumming of VC. He is all over the place on this recording. Plenty for the Vinny lovers to love.
The song selection for me was very nice. I love the song Chunga's Revenge, and the version on here is just fantastic. I think every FZ fan will be loving on this version.
Most know that Steve Vai started with FZ. This is a good way to get to see how he started out... and how he became such a good guitar player - in the sense of different pacing and time signatures.
The humor is there, as with most FZ recordings... If I ever find myself needing a smile, I always find / dust off some FZ and slap it in whatever device format will play it.
The Tinsel Town Rebellion also sounds pretty nifty, if not a beat slower than it would be when released later on...
I have to say, there are lots to listen tooo...
I can't say enough to make this sound as good as it is, words fail it. Get it. Give it as a gift to a gifthorse.