My Music Lexicon: Z is for Zappa (and ZZ Top)

And finally….Frank Zappa – or my brother would want to know the reason why.

What I know about Zappa may possibly be more than that of the average music fan: but it’s no more than the tip of the iceberg in terms of the prodigious quantity and range of his output. To be honest, not all of it is what you could describe as ‘accessible’.

My direct experience is of the handful of albums that were released in the late sixties, including ‘Hot Rats’, ‘Weasels Ripped My Flesh’ and ‘Absolutely Free’, from which this example is taken: a convention-defying (in every sense) assault on the mores of middle America that still rings true almost fifty years later.

Honourable Mention

ZZ Top have always struck me as the US version of Status Quo: one chord and you know who it is and what you’re getting. Although with Status Quo there was only one chord. ZZ were a little more sophisticated and overall had better tunes. It’s catchy, no doubt about it and although it doesn’t really go anywhere it’s not a bad place to be for a little while.

I went to see them once, at Wembley Arena. At the time I remember feeling a little cheated because they only played for just over an hour, but in retrospect it was probably enough to pretty much cover everything.

My Music Lexicon

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