Archive for the ‘Sheik Yerbouti’ Tag

Frank Zappa – Sheik Yerbouti   Leave a comment

The good news: The Zappa catalog has (apparently) come back home. I will leave my response at a simple “Yay!” I simply can’t muster both the piss and time needed for the discourse on all the ways Ryko f*cked things up.

And no, I am not going to give some sort of play-by-play on every one of the reissues. I have actually owned most of the catalog. Ah, youth. There was much then I simply don’t have time for now…

It does indeed sound like the 1978 analog master is being used for Sheik Yerbouti. So, if you want it loud, you need to give your volume knob a spin. That’s how it should be. The noise floor is great, no hiss, etc. This is a great sounding CD, easily besting the two previous CD releases I am familiar with.

Here are a few paragraphs for those of you that may be new to the Zappa universe. Sheik has a couple of what are considered essential tracks: Dancin’ Fool and Jewish Princess. For all you lucky types that missed disco the first time around, Dancin’ Fool takes less than four minutes to get through, you can tap your toes to it, and you don’t have to wear bad clothes.

On the other hand, Jewish Princess comes off as a snotty bit of misogyny. Frank has been (sometimes) tagged as a misogynist, racist, and just plain mean spirited. His approach to lampooning societal ills is much in line with All In The Family. However, it is an approach that requires a much greater degree of precision on the throw. Sometimes, Frank is low and outside.

There is a lot on Sheik to recommend. Flakes is a direct hit on the people that don’t work like they outta should. Rat Tomago is (if my ear remembers correctly) an excerpt from a live pass at The Torture Never Stops on 15 Feb. 1978. The gig was one of the Dick Barber tapes that got into circulation. If you dig around enough on the Interwebs, you’ll find it. Just don’t get sent to Gitmo over it…

Which reminds me, that is a damn good gig (The show from ’78, not Gitmo. The burgers were good, and the beer was nasty. In Gitmo.). Definitely proper-release worthy. The vault peeps should get cracking on that.

Rubber Shirt is a wonderful track that didn’t quite happen the way we hear it.

The track that still gets me movin’ as much as the first time I heard it is City Of Tiny Lights. Belew’s vocal is raging, and the band flat out rocks.

Sheik closes with Yo Mama, which includes a big dose of Frank shutting up and playing his guitar.

So, go get this disc. You get a track that includes SMPTE (which stands for Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) as part of the lyric. One more thing: Welcome back, Mr. Frank. We missed you.

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Posted 2012/09/03 by MG Nagy in Uncategorized

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