Friday, April 6, 2007

Frank Zappa - Burnt Weeny Sandwich - 320 CBR

This is an album that I have sadly underappreciated. For some reason, it's just one that I never get the urge to pull out and listen to. I have no idea why - it's a great CD of prime Zappa instrumentals, sandwiched in between two catchy doo-wop tunes.
"WPLJ" stands for White Port and Lemon Juice, a fact that the song's chorus makes perfectly clear. Originally by the Four Deuces, this cover version is repetitive but catchy - you'll find yourself singing the chorus long after the song is over. At the other end of the disc is "Valarie", a track that the Mothers often played in concert, and another cover song (originally by Jackie & the Starlites, although my CD's liner notes don't mention that). Any rumors that I named my daughter after the song Valarie are entirely false (my wife picked the name, and spelled it differently - I just approved of it because it was the name of a Zappa song ;-).
In between these two "pop" tracks is some serious instrumental music. The Igor who is boogying is Stravinsky, the inspiration for these brief, angular tunes. "Holiday In Berlin" is a great piece, with a main theme that is used on several Zappa albums. My favorite version is one with lyrics that describe the events that inspired the title - it appears on one of the Beat the Boots discs somewhere.
"Aybe Sea" is a nice little solo piano piece by Ian Underwood. I'm guessing on the original vinyl it was the last track on side one, but on the CD it acts as a perfect prelude to the lengthy instrumental work out of "Little House I Used to Live In". Another song that the Mothers perfected on the road, this studio version is just fantastic, mixing composed sections with extended solos and improvisation. It would later be given some fairly obscene lyrics when the Flo and Eddie era band performed it; I agree with one poster on who said he wished he had never heard the Fillmore album, so that he could listen to this version of "Little House" and not hear Flo and Eddie singing "my dick is a monster!" in his head. Anyway, this track also features smoking violin work by Sugar Cane Harris (who is also not credited in the CD liner notes - somebody really dropped the ball there).
At the end of "Little House" Zappa makes some quick replies to a heckler in the crowd. The guy shouts something like "Take off that f*cking uniform before it's too late!" (possibly talking to a security guard that can be heard trying to get people to get back in their seats), and Frank replies "Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform, don't kid yourself". The heckler continues shouting, and eventually Zappa just says "You'll hurt your throat. Stop it."
In summary - a worthwhile album for people who like Frank's serious, instrumental, proggy/jazzy side. And an album that I really should spend more time listening to myself.

You'll find the link in the comments.


Blogger said...


April 6, 2007 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Woo Hoo said...

Thanks again!

April 6, 2007 at 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love what you're doing - the posts are fabulous. i don't know if you're taking requests or not, but here are two -

cruising with ruben and the jets


over-nite sensation

keep the posts coming!

April 6, 2007 at 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks a lot...snø

April 7, 2007 at 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woo hoo! I love what you're doing.

I am saving so much money. Keep upping.

Nice of you to work for free for me.


April 7, 2007 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Thanks very much for this one dagmar!!!!! To be honest. I haven't heard this album in many years. It will be great to listen to it again :D Keep up the good work!

April 7, 2007 at 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Elric said...

Thanks, so I must not rip my old vinyl ...

June 13, 2007 at 9:17 AM  

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