Roxy & Elsewhereby The Mothers of Invention
After his affair with jazz fusion (Waka/Jawaka and The Grand Wazoo, both released in 1972), Frank Zappa came back in late 1973 with an album of simple rock songs, Over-Nite Sensation. But the temptation for more challenging material was not long to resurface and, after a transitional LP (Apostrophe, early 1974), he unleashed a double LP (reissued on one CD) of his most complex music, creating a bridge between his comedy rock stylings and Canterbury-style progressive rock. Three-quarters of the album was recorded live at the Roxy in Hollywood and extensively overdubbed in the studio later. Only three tracks ("Dummy Up," "Son of Orange County," and "More Trouble Every Day"), taken from other concerts, are 100 percent live. The band is comprised of George Duke (keyboards), Tom Fowler (bass), Ruth Underwood (percussion), Bruce Fowler (trombone), Walt Fowler (trumpet), Napoleon Murphy Brock (vocals), and Chester Thompson (drums) -- drummer Ralph Humphrey, keyboardist Don Preston, and guitarist Jeff Simmons appear on the non-Roxy material. The sequence "Echidna's Arf (Of You)"/"Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?" stands as Zappa's most difficult rock music and provides quite a showcase for Underwood. Other highlights include "Penguin in Bondage" and "Cheepnis," a horror movie tribute. All the pieces were premiere recordings, except for "More Trouble Every Day" and "Son of Orange County," a revamped, slowed down "Orange County Lumber Truck"/"Oh No." Compared to the man's previous live recordings (Fillmore East: June 1971, Just Another Band from L.A.), this one sounds fantastic, finally providing an accurate image of the musicians' virtuosity. For fans of Zappa's intricate material like "RDNZL," "The Black Page," or "Inca Roads," this album is a must-have.
- Release Date:
- Zappa Records
Performance CreditsMothers of Invention Primary Artist
George Duke Synthesizer,Keyboards,Vocals
Bruce Fowler Trombone,Dancer
Don Preston Synthesizer,Bass,Keyboards
Chester Thompson Drums
Jeff Simmons Bass,Guitar,Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Tom Fowler Bass,Electric Bass
Napoleon Murphy Brock Flute,Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Vocals
Robert Camarena Vocals
Debbie Vocals,Background Vocals
Frank Zappa Guitar,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Walt Fowler Trumpet,Bass Trumpet
Froggy Background Vocals
Ralph Humphrey Drums
Ruth Underwood Percussion,Keyboards
Ruben Guevara Bass,Vocals
Frank Zappa & the Mothers Track Performer
Ruben Background Vocals
Technical CreditsFrank Zappa Producer
Wally Heider Engineer
Kerry McNabb Engineer,Remixing
Cal Schenkel Graphic Design
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
This remains one of my favorite Zappa titles. Zappa's guitar work is at it's finest on this live album complete with Frank's usual humorous introductions to these stellar compositions. Included is some of the greatest live performances of the 70's. Noteable tracks are "Village of the Sun" and "Cheepnis" where Zappa gets into a funky groove challenging the great R&B artists of the time. This album has a small dance hall feel to it. Don't miss this one if you love Frank Zappa, live music or just want a refreshing alternative.
Frank and the band having a great time. Recorded in hopes of having it broadcast on Television. The video tapes of which, as far as I know, have never surfaced. As hard as he tried, Frank just wasnt family friendly enough for Television in the US until Saturday Night Live came along (but thats another story). This album however is one every Zappa fan should have.
Fans of Zappa's 70's rock, and more complex rock music should enjoy this title. This is one of Zappa's finer live bands, so the music is very well performed. Many of the songs here also appear on YCDTOSA vol. 2, which I would reccomend picking up before this album. There are some slow moments, particularly before some of the songs start, which may agitate those not accustomed to Zappa's usual concert banter.