RS-6356 Hot Rats
Produced by Frank Zappa
Released on October 10, 1969
UK CHART POSITION #9
Find it at GEMM
RS-6356 cover  

W hen the croci in my mind are blooming, then Frank Zappa’s whimsical and colorful genius must be in full flower. I see you in the back of the class, looking out the window while all this wondrous music plays on. Well, wake up! Thirty years on, your grandchildren may quiz you on Frank Zappa and Where were you when it all happened. Do you want to be the doddering old fool who pulls out a picture of the sofa bathed in the blue light of the television and point saying “There?” No you don’t. You want to tune into Hot Rats. The wonderful thing is, there’s still time. Oh, the good seats on the ground floor are already taken, but there’s plenty left in the mezzanine, as good a place as any to witness the miracle of “Peaches En Regalia” or “Son of Mr. Green Genes,” where the composer turns our concept of classical music on its head and gives it a much-needed spanking. Or, if that doesn’t push your button, than surely the sweaty and buck nakedly brilliant blues rock of “Willie The Pimp” and “The Gumbo Variations” must. I’ve spent some two-cent words and a coupla ten-dollar ones trying to sell folks on Frank Zappa’s music, but Hot Rats sells itself. If no other work from Zappa should survive (and somewhere in a conservative cabal sick with the smell of cigars, the possibility is probably being discussed right now), Hot Rats alone would keep the flame alive through the ages. The composition, the arrangements, the musicianship, the sheer entertainment of it all is initially too much to comprehend, but in time it sinks in, and gestates, and first it’s a little blue crocus, and then a white one, and a pink one, and before you know it you’re trading bootlegs with some guy in Holland who says you have to hear this killer version of “Valarie” with an alternate ending (or something like that). Stepping back from myself a bit, I’m sure that jazz/classical hybrids like “Little Umbrellas” could trace themselves back to Duke Ellington or some other modern composer without a trail of bread crumbs, but I don’t listen to a lot of that stuff, so for me Zappa’s the gateway to this new musical world. And, honestly, your grandchildren will probably be asking you stuff like “Ew, how could you have had a crush on Eminem (or Britney Spears)?,” so I wouldn’t worry too much about the Zappa shakedown from future generations. But if they do ask you about Zappa, start putting money away in a trust fund so they can go to Yale and eventually become president. I’d like to hear “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” played at least once at an inaugural ball in my lifetime, and I don’t see any other way to do it.

TRACK LISTING

  1. PEACHES EN REGALIA
  2. WILLIE THE PIMP
  3. SON OF MR. GREEN GENES
  4. LITTLE UMBRELLAS
  5. THE GUMBO VARIATIONS
  6. IT MUST BE A CAMEL

CREDITS

return to FRANK ZAPPA discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US October 10, 1969 Bizarre/Reprise LP RS-6356 gatefold cover, inner sleeve
UK/GER 1971 Reprise LP K44078 gatefold cover
UK October 1987 Zappa CD 2 remixed version
US 1990? Barking Pumpkin CS D4-74211  
US Apr/May 1995 Rykodisc CD/CS RCD/RAC 10508 digital remaster
JPN   Rykodisc CD VACK-1209 digital remaster, lyric sleeve
RUS   Kankard CD TOOCD050 repackaged w. LUMPY GRAVY

 

For more discographies visit...
progrography

© 2004 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.