RCD 10538 The Man From Utopia
Produced by Frank Zappa
Released on June 1983
UK CHART POSITION #87
Find it at GEMM
RCD 10538 cover  

A lewd, crude, non-essential interlude similar to Zoot Allures (which I never found that alluring). The Man From Utopia treads over familiar terrain: the science fiction spoof, the anti-union speech, the neverending plea for panties, etc. Honestly, the ‘80s were hardly the golden age of Zappa, his releases aimed alternately below the belt (like this one) or over the heads of everyone (Francesco Zappa, Jazz From Hell). With the unpleasantness of “Cocaine Decisions” (it’s just not that clever) and “The Dangerous Kitchen” (yuck!) behind, a good album does begin to emerge. The instrumentals “Tink Walks Amok” and “Moggio” are challenging and exciting, while “The Radio Is Broken” is nearly as funny as “Cheepnis.” But re-hashing old themes invariably invites comparison to earlier, superior efforts. “Rudy Wants To Buy Yez A Drink” was a hoot, “Stick Together” doesn’t even muster a chuckle. “The Mud Shark” was part mythology, “The Jazz Discharge Party Hats” mundane and somehow pitiful. And “SEX” is way too obvious an observation for an artist who delivered the delicious “Ms. Pinky” not too long ago. If you’re prone to giggle when you hear a dirty word, then The Man From Utopia could elicit some laughs. Still, I wouldn’t rank this in the top ten or twenty albums from Zappa, despite the presence of some A material (like the closing instrumental, “We Are Not Alone”). Frank would have done well to take his own advice this time: shut up ‘n play yer guitar.

TRACK LISTING

  1. COCAINE DECISIONS
  2. THE DANGEROUS KITCHEN
  3. TINK WALKS AMOK
  4. THE RADIO IS BROKEN
  5. MOGGIO
  6. THE MAN FROM UTOPIA MEETS MARY LOU (MEDLEY)
  7. STICK TOGETHER
  8. SEX
  9. THE JAZZ DISCHARGE PARTY HATS
  10. WE ARE NOT ALONE

CREDITS

FRANK ZAPPA --
ARTHUR BARROW --
VINNIE COLAUITA --
ROY ESTRADA --
BOB HARRIS --
ED MANN --
TOMMY MARS --
BOBBY MARTIN --
SCOTT THUNES --
STEVE VAI --
CHAD WACKERMAN --
RAY WHITE --
IKE WILLIS --

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/CAN June 1983 Barking Pumpkin LP/CS FW 38403 lyric sleeve
UK June 1983 EMI LP/CS EMC 3500 inner sleeve
ARG 1983? CBS LP 20459  
NET 1983? CBS LP 25251  
JPN   Video Arts CD VACK-1244  
US Apr/May 1995 Rykodisc CD/CS RCD 10538 digitally remastered

 

progrography

© 2003 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.