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Joe's Garage Acts 1-2-3 Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 191 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, May 2, 1995
$34.99 $3.24

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Audio CD. TWO CD i

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The Central Scrutinizer is out to protect you from the harmful effects of that horrible force called music. Such is the premise of Joe's Garage, Frank Zappa's three-act concept album which explores the world of groupies, governments, sex toys, and Catholic school girls. As always, Zappa's aim is true and his scope wide, following Joe (voiced by his long-time co-conspirator, Ike Willis) as he starts a band, loses his girl, falls in love with a robot, and tries to find his true place in society. Filled with catchy classics ("Catholic Girls" "Crew Slut") and blazing guitar work ("Keep it Greasy," "Watermleon in Easter Hay"), this is the sort of schmorgasbord of imagination and artistry that only Zappa could produce. --Andrew Boscardin
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Digital Booklet: Joe's Garage Acts I, II & III
Digital Booklet: Joe's Garage Acts I, II & III
Album Only
Disc 2
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 2, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Zappa Records
  • ASIN: B0000009SY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (191 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,855 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By drefractor on September 12, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Frank Zappa is one of the most interesting and talented persons in the history of music. That people are still writing reviews of his music more than 10 years (and counting) after his death is only partial testament to that fact.

Some of the rest of the proof lies in this album. Nowhere else in his recorded history, save perhaps for "Freak Out!" were Frank's warring perceptions of life more on display for all to hear.

Zappa's dislike/disdain/contempt for all sorts of things are in ready supply in Joe's Garage, but unlike many of Frank's other works where deliberately offensive (depending on one's point of view) lyrics were surrounded by equally, er, peculiar music, there is a strong counterbalance of humanity interlaced; primarily through the sympathetic treatment of the doomed musician "Joe" in the musical and lyrical compositions.

Zappa was coming out of an exhausting legal battle with Warner Brothers in which he put out three intentionally uncommercial largely instrumental albums together to fulfill his contractual obligations (SD/ST/OF), and after taking some pointless swipes at cultural dislikes (in SYB), he was ready to articulate his real soul.

That soul was, of course, all about music and freedom. Zappa rails with real passion lyrically and musically against repression; against religious, corporate and governmental control and censorship of any kind.
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Format: Audio CD
I have been a Zappa fan since I snuck a listen to Apostrophe/Over-nite Sensation from my Dad's collection 20 years ago. Like much of Zappa's music, this album, perhaps his finest overall work, can be oversimplified and categorized ascetically (as a previous reviewer attempted to do).

This is not just "silly and crude humor music" and it does not fall into a "1,2,3,4 category" of Zappa listener. Joe's Garage, as a complete work, attacks and obliterates those individuals/organizations who, through various means of censorship, insidiously undermine the purpose of creating music.

He accomplishes this with direct attacks on the political right (e.g. the Central Scrutinizer), conservative religious parties (e.g. Catholic Girls), the media and all other pseudo-intellectuals (e.g. packed goose), and, really, anyone whose sensibilities would lead them to censorship of creativity. Consider the historical context here: the attack on music throughout the 1980's/Tipper Gore's The Parents Music Resource Center was founded in 1985. The content of Joe's Garage is intended to offend all these people.

Like all art, one can make a judgment of whether the overall piece appeals to their ascetics, which Joe's Garage does for me - definitely five stars, and leave it at that. However, true analysis of real art should leave one with questions on intent, message, and composition which Joe's Garage also does very effectively.

Through this analysis, one can realize one object of Frank Zappa's argument: freedom of expression (in this case music) is important and socially relevant; hence the aforementioned party's desire for censorship. Beautiful use of irony through music Frank!

"Eventually it was discovered that God did not want us to be all the same.
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Format: Audio CD
In 1979, Frank Zappa did something he'd never done in his career, and also something few recording artists EVER had done, at all: He released five albums. It's a feat he would duplicate in 1981 and 1984, but this first time out was very, very impressive, given the consistent high quality of the recordings -- and the fact that two of the releases were double albums, making for SEVEN vinyl discs from FZ that year.

He started in January with "Sleep Dirt." Actually, this was one of the albums released without his permission. The whole story involves a twisted tale about his battle with his record company and his desire to release a four-LP set called "Läther." Most of the material on "Dirt" was supposed to be part of the "Läther" project, but "Dirt" was a great album in its own right, featuring among other great cuts the instrumental warhorse, "The Ocean Is the Ultimate Solution." Next up, in March, was "Sheik Yerbouti," a two-disc set that managed to offend a lot of people, with songs such as "Jewish Princess" and "Bobby Brown Goes Down." In May, FZ released "Orchestral Favorites," which consisted of five instrumental songs, some of them quite long, especially the 13-minutes-plus "Bogus Pomp."

And then, in September and November respectively, came "Joe's Garage Act I" and the double-disc "Joe's Garage Acts II and III" -- altogether, three albums of instrumental and vocal material. "Joe's Garage" was a concept album, but not nearly as exalted or elevated as, say, The Who's "Tommy." Instead, "Joe's Garage" was a raucous, wild set of songs existing as part of a pretty simple plot device: In the future, music itself is outlawed, and the "Central Scrutinizer" watches over all -- enforcing, in fact, laws that haven't even been passed yet!
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