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Strictly Commercial: The Best Of Frank Zappa

4.0 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 22, 1995
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available.
Genre: Popular Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 22-AUG-1995


Frank Zappa 101. As close as anyone has come to a definitive greatest hits set, Strictly Commercial manages to encapsulate much, if not most, of a career that deliberately defied any such attempts. This is the most accessible single collection of Zappa's music available, containing familiar ditties such as "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow," "Joe's Garage," and the radio hit, "Valley Girl." Those skeptical of his guitar work will most certainly find the included selections, "Sexual Harassment in the Workplace," "I'm the Slimeand," "Muffin Man" to be educational. Excellent for whetting the appetites of potential Zappa fanatics. --Andrew Boscardin

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Peaches En Regalia
  2. Don't Eat The Yellow Snow (Single Version)
  3. Dancin' Fool
  4. San Ber'dino
  5. Dirty Love
  6. My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama
  7. Cosmik Debris
  8. Trouble Every Day
  9. Disco Boy
  10. Fine Girl
  11. Sexual Harassment In The Workplace
  12. Let's Make The Water Turn Black
  13. I'm The Slime
  14. Joe's Garage (Single Version)
  15. Tell Me You Love Me
  16. Montana (Single Version)
  17. Valley Girl
  18. Be In My Video
  19. Muffin Man

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 22, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • ASIN: B0000009VS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,076 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stanley Runk VINE VOICE on September 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This collection can be hit or miss. I gave it five stars, but it isn't a five star cd. The five stars are there because this cd changed my life. It opened a whole new door to me, and for that I'll always be thankful for this cd. This collection may not have the same effect on you, but you never know. To those unfamiliar, yet curious about Zappa, I'm sure it must be frustrating standing in the record store staring down hundreds of Zappa albums and thinking, "My God, which one do I get?" Well, this collection(one of the first Zappa collections to come out) is a good place to start, but be forewarned: It is misleading. Trying to cram 60 albums' worth of music on one cd is an impossible task, especially from an artist who experimented with so many sounds. This compilation exists in a fantasy world where all the songs on the disc would be Frank Zappa's hit singles. As we all know, he didn't have hit singles, but if he did, these would be it. That's where it's misleading coz Zappa's music goes way beyond what you'll hear on this cd. Most of the tunes here are kept to 4 minute, humorous, catchy rock tunes that make Zappa sound like Weird Al with much better guitar playing ability. Gone are the modern classical pieces, the free jazz, the ten minute guitar solos and the crude humor. Yes folks, you won't hear it on Strictly Commercial, but Zappa said things that would make The Insane Clown Posse blush. So, I would suggest this compilation just to get a fair idea of what Zappa's about, though many compilations have been released since(ones that include the offensive stuff). So, if you like what you hear on this cd, this can open the door to the Zappa Universe(and it's a huge one) for you, and you'll be quite surprised at all the wonderful things you'll find there. Then, once you get some albums, you probably won't ever listen to this disc again, but you'll be forever thankful that you took the gamble and bought it.
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Format: Audio CD
It's obvious that this collection draws large amounts of heat. I think the people who issued this release knew this would happen going into it. Of course, it pretty much is impossible to sum up approximately 70 albums (containing everything like serious classical, jazz, rock, doo-wop, fusion, satire, computer music and nearly everything in between) into one album. So, can _Strictly Commercial_ be a good starting point for the people totally unfamiliar with Zappa's music? I say "Yes."
Given Zappa's irreverent and often misunderstood style of making music, many beginners wouldn't be able to handle jumping into many of Frank's studio discs (and he has MANY.) So, on this collection, you get traces of instrumental jazz, satire, hard rock, pop (well...Zappa's brand of pop, so to speak) and other goodies. However, this collection doesn't contain much of Zappa's "serious" music (i.e. lengthy instrumental classical and jazz tracks) which is probably what many people are complaining about. But, hence the name "STRICTLY COMMERCIAL." This collection wasn't meant to show off Zappa's lengthy/serious instrumental works and/or his most off-the-wall and bizarre. This was meant to show off much of what can be considered his most "accessible" work (Note: if any beginner is interested in sampling some of Zappa's classical compositions, check out _Strictly Genteel_.)
You get the bizarre, but equally appealing classical/jazz instrumental "Peaches En Regalia." This melodic number can appeal to those who like instrumental music. For hilarious humor, check out "Dancin' Fool" and "Disco Boy." Want hard rock and good guitar playing? "San Ber'dino" and "Tell Me You Love Me" should take care of that.
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Format: Audio CD
I've always been interested in Frank Zappa because of songs like VALLEY GIRL but I never really knew where to start so I never bothered until I ran across this cd in a cd mail order catalog. Its a nice introduction to his music. The first page of the jewel case booklet has the song list along with the albums that each song is from listed next to them. That allowed me to explore his music further. In the jewel case booklet it is admitted that there are many more tunes from Zappa's recording output that could've easily found its way on STRICTLY COMMERCIAL. This cd makes for a good decent starting point for anyone wanting to introduce themselves to Zappa's music. It gives you probably his most well known songs but it doesn't give you his extreme or controversial songs like KEEP IT GREASY or even YOU ARE WHAT YOU IS.

Zappa's music was , obviously , not commercial friendly. I have great respect for anyone that has the nerve to stay true to their art without compromising their integrity for corporations so not only does that make me curious about Frank Zappa ; the artist it makes me curious about Frank Zappa ; the man. He was not a sell out thats for sure so the sarcastic title of this cd is perfect.

Favorite song from cd ; MUFFIN MAN originally from the album BONGO FURY. A blistering live guitar solo that would put a smile on Hendrix's face combined with the sinister bass playing and drums makes this track an absolute gem! Very inspiring instrumentals. "Goodnight , Austin , Texas where ever you are!!!"
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