Frank Zappa
Sheik Yerbouti


4.0
excellent

Review

by FritzTheCat420 USER (19 Reviews)
March 5th, 2012 | 12 replies | 1,853 views


Release Date: 1979 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Negative responses to Frank Zappa's music tend to overtly focus on a lyrical aspect considered puerile. To put it bluntly, dismissing these works as nothing more than fart jokes would be missing the point. The humor is where the lyrics come into play with the music assisting said lyrics. That's what makes the joke funny. And it's not even a new concept -- Mozart wrote a piece called "Lick My Ass". Another aspect of the humor is what inspired said joke. For example, opening this particular album is a song called "I Have Been In You". The film Baby Snakes has this song intro'd with a commentary on Peter Frampton's ridiculous "I'm In You" and the absurdity of said lyrics, the point being, the announcement of being inside a woman during intercourse is not sexy. It's a total turn-off.

Then there's political and social commentaries -- like the anti-union sentiment in "Flakes" and mockery of women's liberation and misogynistic college boys in "Bobby Brown" (who starts off raping cheerleaders and ends up being fisted in gay bars). There's also expansive instrumental pieces, which include live improvisations, or studio experiments -- like "Rubber Shirt", where Zappa further develops his xenochrony technique by overdubbing live instrumentation onto a new studio recording developing, in this case, new interplay between a jazz bassline and drum solo, which seem to respond off each other despite being two completely unrelated recordings, with the bass solo coming from a completely different song.

Mostly, the album focuses on Zappa's rock-oriented live recordings, mostly out of financial necessity at the behest of exiting from Warner Bros. distribution and attempting to recoup the losses from his lawsuit towards the corporation due to contractual dispute. It's a leadway into less commercial releases, like a semi rock opera (Joe's Garage), a series of albums focusing solely on guitar solos (Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar), and planned box sets that didn't pan out (Warts 'N All, L├Ąther). Sheik Yerbouti was also the beginning of Zappa's mail order business, and the prospect of bringing the profits directly to himself with little interference from third parties.

The humor of the album is fairly direct, with the title of the album itself digging at disco, which had reached its peak in hatedom (although, as Zappa notes in relation to the inspiration of his song "I Have Been In You", rock can sometimes suck as much as disco), as well as in one of his most well-known songs, "Dancin' Fool", which interconnects with "Jewish Princess", a song that inspired more ire than "Bobby Brown" or "Broken Hearts Are For Assholes". What is forgotten, however, that while stereotypes are not the norm, personas like the Jewish Princess do exist. Jewish Princesses are not unicorns. If you don't buy that, maybe you should stay with yo' mama. Ladies are assholes, too. If you possess one, you can be one.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Yazz_Flute
March 5th 2012



18735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You can still watch fart jokes on Nickelodeon.

Digging: Anekdoten - Vemod

FritzTheCat420
March 5th 2012



49 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not the point. The music is what makes the songs funny, not the lyrics.

Yazz_Flute
March 5th 2012



18735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was just quoting South Park. I enjoy Zappa's humor, though I haven't heard this particular record.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2012



4337 Comments


Not my favourite of his, but i do enjoy some stuff from it. i like his jazz fusion/prog stuff. anyway, i enjoyed the read have pos.

tarkus
March 5th 2012



5560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

decent album

AggravatedYeti
March 5th 2012



7684 Comments


p good zappa

Cells
March 5th 2012



1875 Comments


This was an okay album, really funny like you described in the review but I felt like the music didnt really back it up. 3/5

livingisland
March 5th 2012



502 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not his best, but I love the way this album flows. Good review though!

HeathenEarthling
March 5th 2012



88 Comments


This album is awesome.

Ire
March 5th 2012



41453 Comments


i've had this forever

will listen

tarkus
March 5th 2012



5560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

its good, my old mans got it on vinyl

Ire
March 5th 2012



41453 Comments


yeah the lp is waggin



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