Frank Zappa
Chunga's Revenge


4.0
excellent

Review

by Zig USER (64 Reviews)
September 29th, 2016 | 53 replies


Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Flo and Eddie have arrived!

Official Release #11

Chunga's Revenge is the album that followed Hot Rats and also a Zappa solo album and seems to take some example on its predecessor, because this album is much more instrumental compared to the Mothers early works. With a rather funny artwork, showing Franck in an soporific yawn, the fellow musicians the accompanied him are Flo & Eddie (The Turtles' Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, respectively), George Duke, Ian Underwood and drummer Ainsley Dunbar. Futhermore, there's a short text explaining the "camp fire in the forest" artwork gracing the album's inside and it relates loosely with some tracks of the album.

As for the music, "Transylvania Boogie" is a great example of Frank's rock output. Inspired by Eastern sounds, this tracks displays Frank's jazz guitar skills. Nonetheless, it's an excellent opener, especially because Frank himself is the only guitarist, as he is on most of the whole album. "Road Ladies" is next, and it's a long blues song about life on the road while touring. It has a somewhat typical blues structure, but the lyrics are quite funny. "Twenty Small Cigars" is an outtake from the Hot Rats session as it has a lounge jazz sound similar to Little Umbrellas from Hot Rats. "Tell Me You Love Me" is a hard rock guitar driven song featuring the madness of Flo & Eddie. Those who don't enjoy Kaylan and Volman's vocal harmonies and high pitched singing qualities may put down this song, but this is a classic track and Zappa's unstoppable riffs are overwhelming here. Furthermore, during Frank's career, he has played this song in various incarnations with different bands. The only thing I can say about "Would You Go All The Way?", a short funny Flo and Eddie song, is that its lyrics put Frank into some legal trouble. And now the album's center piece, "Chunga's Revenge", this instrumental track is one of the best things Frank ever done. Ian Underwood's sax solo is just absolutely wild in wah-wah craziness, then Zappa jumps in shows everyone why he's one guitar mastermind. Finally, "Sharleena" concludes the album with a rhythm and blues sounding performance with hot instrumental arrangements, a classic take on the works of Zappa himself.

All in all, Chunga's Revenge is an excellent rock oriented album with some progressive and jazz leanings. May not represent the best, but it's a great example of Frank's unique styles and an album of some significance in his career. Being the first album with Flo and Eddie in the band, the album is not complex. Instead it's a collection of easy enjoyable songs with great variation. However, Flo and Eddie seem to be hard to get into for some fans, especially those who in favor of musical seriousness. Sure their vocals can be somewhat annoying at times, but the duo's humor, irony and craziness clearly fits the album without being boring.



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user ratings (178)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
wham49
September 29th 2016


5000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think your review shows it as a higher rating than the 3.5 you gave it. Also, chunga is a vacuum cleaner that takes revenge on people that did not use it, I think this album is a springboard into his great early 70's work, like waka jawaka, and the grand wazoo, although they are much more jazzy.

ArsMoriendi
September 29th 2016


28207 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ugh why do a track by track review?

Digging: DJ Krush - Meiso

Realm
September 29th 2016


2509 Comments


2005

MrSirLordGentleman
September 29th 2016


12920 Comments


your other reviews weren't tbt and were pretty good, why did you change that?

won't neg since your other reviews show you got the skills and I rather think this was a mistake or an attemp to a new direction in your writing which isn't bad

smaugman
September 29th 2016


5087 Comments


tbt are out

wham49
September 29th 2016


5000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ya, Zappa is maybe a bad artist to go track by track, the only real prob. I ever see with tbt, is they are too long, otherwise whatever. I would personally never have a paragraph to say about each song, maybe a couple tracks per album, no worries though man, at least you have good taste

wham49
September 29th 2016


5000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

also, you do not like this ARS, surprised

ArsMoriendi
September 29th 2016


28207 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The Flo and Eddie era was a dark time for Zappa



Though I like (as in 3/3.5) most of the Flo an Eddie stuff... 200 Motels is like a 2 though

wham49
September 29th 2016


5000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Motels is terrible, flo and eddie stuff is hit or miss, T Boogie and Nancy and Mary makes it a 4

altertide0
September 29th 2016


3027 Comments


the first 7 seconds of "transylvania boogie" are amazing

ArsMoriendi
September 30th 2016


28207 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, true the opener on here is amazing

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2016


19271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fillmore 71 is the flo and eddie era's peak



excellent all around



DO YOU LIKE MY CAR?

Pajolero
September 30th 2016


1088 Comments


Chungus Revenge

sleepdirt
September 30th 2016


511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Fillmore 71 is the flo and eddie era's peak"

I take it you haven't listened to Carnegie Hall or Road Tapes 3?



wham49
September 30th 2016


5000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the whole road trips seriesw is awesome, I have the first 2, have not heard 3

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2016


19271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"I take it you haven't listened to Carnegie Hall or Road Tapes 3?"



I actually have not tbh, kinda gave up on going through all the archival stuff

sleepdirt
September 30th 2016


511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Why give up?

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2016


19271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The dude has so much shit and that, combined with my disinterest (at the moment) in going through the archival material, just makes me not want to bother with it for now.

ArsMoriendi
October 1st 2016


28207 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Except for Lather, why even bother with post Yellow Shark releases anyway?

sleepdirt
October 1st 2016


511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That's a fair question and the answer is this- The man recorded a massive amount of material, both on a stage and in the studio. To only be interested in albums released during his lifetime would be severely limiting as those albums represent literally a small fraction of his work.



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