Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

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Edited Feb 27, 2010, 21:36
Re: Zappa
Feb 27, 2010, 21:33
The Sea Cat wrote:
handofdave wrote:
Oh, don't get me wrong, I still enjoy a great deal of Zappa's music. I just weary a bit of the cynical edge in so much of it.

And there's a certain amount of his material that wraps heavy layers of studio expertise around a core of.. nothing, really. Thematically, he was often as banal as the pop bands he mocked.

I thought the early Mothers of Invention albums were generally pretty good. I still listen to 'em.

Well I got Freak Out!, We're Only In It For The Money & Weasels Ripped My Flesh, and yes, pretty good is all I can say. The hypocritical smugness, the frat boy drivel and the avant gard poser I can do without, to be honest. All in all, slightly underwhelmed by Frank.

I can see where you are coming from. I felt the same way when (as I think Mooncat mentions elsewhere) the post "Lather" era Zappa and "The Wall" were the music of choice for a particular type of Johnny come lately rock fan.

That said I do think there are some great pieces of music in amongst the drivel - gorgeous tunes and genius arranging. Not to mention the occasionally wonderful guitar playing.

Overall though I think you are right and he is let down by what comes seeping out of a lot of the music he made - the smugness, the undisguised contempt for other people and his strange relationship with other people's sexual mores.

I can't really see him as a challenger of people's belief systems and social conduct or whatever. The overwhelming sense I have is of a curtain twitcher who begrudges other people any naked fun they might be having. I get the impression of a man for whom human sexuality was something frightening and to be laughed off and belittled. Then again you might have to have been American in the 70s or 80s to get the "joke".

None of this would matter if all that weirdness wasn't an integral part of the music but it is hard to separate the man from his art when he is constantly rubbing your nose in it. So to speak.
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