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on November 17, 2014
It is great that Frank's Engineering prowess as well as producing credits are given he was a Composer, bandleader, guitarist, percussionist, technician, and visionary who never got the credit he is due.
The making of the albums was informational especially the interviews with the surviving members.,
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on June 20, 2015
What;s not to like? If you like (or love) Zappa's music, then this is a must-see look at two albums that represent one of the many plateaus he and his bands reached during his all-to-short life. Hearing Dweezil play with the tracks and expose some little bits and pieces that never made it to the final release gave me goosebumps and leaves me only to wonder if he might have surfaced them in a remaster. We'll never know, but this look at his life and the workings of one of the many talented bands he assembled is worth every little penny I paid. If you like (or love) Zappa's music, you'll agree.
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on July 24, 2008
Let me preface my remarks by saying that most of the negative reviews here were written by people who were expecting lots of concert footage. I read the label and online description and received exactly what I expected. Some people will give blue a bad review for failing to be red, but Frank Zappa: Apostrophe / Over-Nite Sensation is just what it claims to be.

I got into Zappa while in high school in the late 70's and early 80's. I studied music and still play, but as much as I drifted through various styles and interests, FZs music always stuck and held a special place in my music library. I recall seeing him in concert in 1982 - mind-blowing.

Zappa's music and the reasons we love it are often misunderstood. As Frank says in the video, everything he's done is part of the much larger body of his complete works. Albums like Apostrophe and Overnight Sensation were perhaps the most accessible of his recordings and while they have plenty of virtuosity and compositional brilliance, those who don't listen profoundly may simply hear the silly humor, and never grasp the larger context of the attitude behind that humor.

This documentary provides plenty of music candy for people who appreciate Zappa's music on any level, but really zooms in on the people, processes and history that were part of his compositions and musical standards. Comments from bandmates like Ruth Underwood, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Steve Vai and others provide an inside look at what it was like to be part of FZ's musical odyssey.

Special mention here is offered for the contribution of the very talented Dweezil Zappa who deserves an honorary doctorate as a musicologist. Rather than being the idiot bastard son (sorry, couldn't resist), Dweezil has mastered his father's guitar style, and has clearly developed a very sophisticated grasp of the instrument that Frank gets little credit for being a true pioneer with - the multitrack recording console. Dweezil has clearly paid his dues going through the old master tapes one track at a time and with the skill of a great musical archaeologist, has exhumed extraordinary treasures, artifacts and clues to the bigger picture of what happened in the musical life of Frank Zappa. In the video, he sits at the mixing console and solos tracks hidden in back of the mix that reveal nuances of Frank's orchestrating genius. Few people could muster the drive and talent to take advantage of this kind of inheritance. Bravo! As Dweezil is one of the few people who can grasp the musical sophistication of FZ's music, I'll be watching to see where he evolves it to next. There's no reason not to expect greatness.

Extras on the DVD include a visit to the "vaults." Y'know how whenever some company wants to re-release some old crap, they tell you they're digging it out of "the vaults?" Well, there really is a Zappa vault and the archivist there offers a short tour of the miles of tape, film and video that comprise the Zappa legacy. This material is all being preserved, cataloged, digitized and cared for by some very talented people. I find that comforting.

If "Dinah-mo-humm" is the extent of your Zappa palette, this video will either give you a new appreciation of the bigger picture that was Frank Zappa's music or you'll find it too focussed on details that don't matter to you. If you appreciate the whole Zappa ethos, from the cynical, raunchy humor to the extended guitar solos to the masterful engineering to the brilliant composition to the extended family of virtuoso musicians who performed these wonders, then this DVD is a must-have.
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on June 22, 2017
Great documentary. Great videos. Great interviews.
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I'd have to put this episode of "Classic Albums"
in the top 5 best in the whole series!
"Apostrophe" and "Overnite Sensation" were the
first Zappa albums which I bought by him and they
served me well as a welcome mat into the bizarre,
irreverent, unique, diverse and profoundly musical
mastermind that was Frank Zappa!
Now my father and my uncle thought that the sun rose
and set on Hendrix and Zappa!
I remember hearing the "Mother's Of Invention" stuff
as well as his later songs like the outstanding
"Peaches En Regalia" and others back in the 70's
when I was coming up. But as a child, this was
basically interesting background noise which my
father would sometimes try to get me and my brothers
listen to and we would look at each other quizzically
and shrug our shoulders as if to say
"I dunno WHAT they hear in this Zappa character!" (-:
Of course, by the time I began to play musical instruments
and gain an adult ear and sensibility towards music of
all genres, Frank Zappa's music appealed to me on so
many levels because of it's richness and complexity
amazingly without pretense!
He was a renegade, a self-contained true original,
and had a knowledge and understanding of musical
composition, arrangement, sound textures, lyrical ideas,
conceptual ideas, and instrumental and vocal voicings/phrasings
that came just from the planet of ZAPPA and nowhere else! (-:
It was very much like Hendrix's wide approach to guitar,
but even more broad in it's scope!

Anywayz, this DVD has plenty of behind the scenes footage
of Zappa interviews, Zappa on various concert tours from
this era (1973-74) with his astounding ensemble
of band members like George Duke, Steve Vai, and many
others, and his forays into experimental visual media
which were still almost 20 yrs away!
The music is broken down song by song and track by track
in the studio by his son Dweezil and the engineers who
worked on the sessions for these two albums, which have
become Zappa's most commercially successful.
You get to see and hear the intricate processes that
Zappa used when he was recording. Many great ideas ended
up on the cutting room floor, muted out in the track,
or pulled down deep in the mix, because it clashed with
what he envisioned for the final product.
It's great to hear all the ideas that he tried out
before deciding on what worked.
Other interviews are with son Ahmed, daughter Moon,
his wife Gail, and others who either worked with or
admired being in the presence of one of the most
original and innovative musical minds of the 20th Century!
I've watched this DVD probably 25 times to date and I
never get tired of it. You also see Zappa performing alot
of the songs live from these two albums as well as songs
from earlier albums. It's chucked full of good stuff and
well worth the money to have this in your collection if
you're Zappa fan like myself.
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on January 23, 2014
Not just for someone who compiles all things Zappa, but also for those just starting on their journey into his fantastic music. Includes not only interviews with former members of Frank's many bands, but family and friends, as well as home movies taken in studio and on the road. Apostrophe' was my first FZ LP, and I've never looked back. There are also band performances and snippets of Zappa interviews. My only complaint is that every time I've put the DVD in, it comes up with English subtitles, which is odd. I have to make myself go to audio first and fix it. Nothing major, but it's something you don't usually have to do. Besides that, an excellent Frank Zappa collection, whether large or small. Enjoy!
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on May 20, 2007
Frank Zappa could be summed up with one word "GENIUS". Everything about the man was original, intelligent, inspiring and interesting. I give this DVD **** stars since it really demonstrates FZ's tireless commitment to ORIGINAL music and technical excellence. What is disappointing about the disc is that it doesn't feature enough of the performance footage and interviews with the people who were there. It would have been great to see George Duke actually play some of those incredible keyboard parts! Why not get those musicians together to interact with one another and play some grooves from the albums? Seeing and hearing Ruth Underwood is the highlight of the DVD. She was most insightful. The most disappointing part of the DVD is the inclusion of Billy-Bob Thorton. Could someone tell me why he is in the DVD? Eliminate his segments and add some additional breakdown footage of "Stinkfoot" or "Cosmik Debris" or another live performance and the DVD falls into the five star category. Lastly, we need ROXY and ELSEWHERE on DVD in surround sound! The present day composer refuses to die!
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on February 26, 2013
This DVD is great if you like Apostrophe and Overnight. It is interesting when Dweezil talks about the songs and breaks them down. I liked Moon's impression of her father's songs which was very honest (the words on Zappa's words are rough and more for men). There will never be another Frank Zappa, and I am glad he recorded and left us his Artistry. Dweezil plays his fathers songs well, and I like to get Zapppa plays Zappa. The faces behind the music added another dimension to the experience of the music, showing us the people Zappa knew and his family. The stories added second added dimension which gives this DVD sort of a multidimensional effect that really makes it special.
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on June 26, 2007
The bonus material in this DVD is excellent. There is a great version of Montana with the 73 Roxy band using two drummers (Chester, of course went forward as the one drummer in 74...)the shots of Ruth Underwood and the interview with Ruth is such a treat because her music was such an amazing part of Zappa's music that was never replaced in any of his future bands. The studio analysis was very good but a bit brief in my opinion because there is so much music to analyze in these recordings. The biography parts of the studio analysis/feature were very good and informative and of interest to those not acquainted with Zappa's music. Learn more about Tina and the Ikettes and try not to be turned off by some very dry performances from Zappa plays Zappa. The ZPZ sections were really the only parts that were not excellent (I know they have to sound better than that!) the video is a very interesting piece which is accessible to both serious music nerds and non Zappa fans.
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on August 17, 2015
A glimpse into the history behind these two monumental albums. I bought them when they came out and have enjoyed for decades. Interviews with Frank, the late George Duke, Steve Vai and many others including Dweezil and Moon. Lots of concert clips from that era and information about how Frank operated, approached writing and expectations of his band. Fairly short, but worth the money.
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