FRANK ZAPPA — Civilization Phaze III

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FRANK ZAPPA - Civilization Phaze III cover
2.29 | 10 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1994

Filed under Third Stream


Disc 1
1. This Is Phaze III (0:47)
2. Put a Motor in Yourself (5:13)
3. Oh-Umm (0:50)
4. They Made Me Eat It (1:48)
5. Reagan at Bitburg (5:39)
6. A Very Nice Body (1:00)
7. Navanax (1:40)
8. How the Pigs' Music Works (1:49)
9. Xmas Values (5:31)
10. Dark Water! (0:23)
11. Amnerika (3:03)
12. Have You Ever Heard Their Band? (0:38)
13. Religious Superstition (0:43)
14. Saliva Can Only Take So Much (0:27)
15. Buffalo Voice (5:12)
16. Someplace Else Right Now (0:32)
17. Get a Life (2:20)
18. A Kayak (On Snow) (0:28)
19. N-Lite (18:00)

Total Time: 56:10

Disc 2
1. I Wish Motorhead Would Come Back (0:14)
2. Secular Humanism (2:41)
3. Attack! Attack! Attack! (1:24)
4. I Was in a Drum (3:38)
5. A Different Octave (0:57)
6. This Ain't CNN (3:20)
7. The Pigs' Music (1:17)
8. A Pig With Wings (2:52)
9. This Is All Wrong (1:42)
10. Hot & Putrid (0:29)
11. Flowing Inside-Out (0:46)
12. I Had a Dream About That (0:27)
13. Gross Man (2:54)
14. A Tunnel Into Muck (0:21)
15. Why Not? (2:18)
16. Put a Little Motor in 'em (0:50)
17. You're Just Insultin' Me, Aren't You! (2:13)
18. Cold Light Generation (0:44)
19. Dio Fa (8:18)
20. That Would Be the End of That (0:35)
21. Beat the Reaper (15:23)
22. Waffenspiel (4:04)

Total Time: 57:37


Bassoon, Contrabassoon – Veit Scholz
Cello – Friedemann Dähn
Cimbalom, Percussion – Rumi Ogawa-Helferich
Clarinet – Roland Diry
Composed By, Performer, Conductor – Frank Zappa
Contrabass, Electric Bass – Thomas Fichter
Ensemble – Ensemble Modern
French Horn – Franck Ollu, Stefan Dohr
Guitar, Banjo – Jürgen Ruck
Harp – Ueli Wiget
Mandolin – Detlef Tewes
Marimba, Percussion – Andreas Böttger
Oboe, English Horn, Oboe [Baritone], Didgeridoo – Catherine Milliken
Piano, Celesta – Hermann Kretzschmar
Piccolo Flute, Flute, Flute [Alto, Bass] – Dietmar Wiesner
Saw [Musical Saw], Percussion – Rainer Römer
Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Clarinet [Contrabass] – Wolfgang Stryi
Trombone [Bass], Alphorn, Didgeridoo, Conch – Michael Svoboda
Trombone, Trombone [Pigmy] – Uwe Dierksen
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Michael Gross, William Formann
Tuba – Daryl Smith
Viola – Hilary Sturt
Violin – Peter Rundel
Violin – Mathias Tacke
Voice Actor [1967] – All-Night John, Frank Zappa, Gilly Townley, Spider Barbour , Louis "The Turkey" Cuneo, Monica , Euclid James "Motorhead" Sherwood , Roy Estrada, Unknown Girl #1, Unknown Girl #2
Voice Actor [1991] – Ali N. Askin, Catherine Milliken, Daryl Smith , Dweezil Zappa, Franck Ollu, Hermann Kretzschmar, Michael Gross , Michael Rappaport, Michael Svoboda, Moon Unit Zappa*, Stefan Dohr, Todd Yvega, Uwe Dierksen, Walt Fowler, William Formann

About this release

Barking Pumpkin UMRK 01

Thanks to snobb for the updates


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Barking Pumpkin Records 1995
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Specialists/collaborators reviews

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Members reviews

The final album completed by Zappa in his lifetime sees him returning to Lumpy Gravy and making a piece which is simultaneously a sequel to, expansion of, and key to unlocking the mysteries of that album. With further extracts of the discussions taking place inside the piano that were interspersed through Lumpy Gravy, plus additional piano talk written later on, and musical interludes produced on the Synclavier, at least some of the mythology contained on the former album is explained, which will thrill those addicted to Zappa's "conceptual continuity", but in terms of a pleasant musical experience I'm afraid I have the same problems with this album as I do with most of Zappa's other heavily Synclavier-based pieces.

Specifically, Zappa is clearly trying to very ambitious things with the Synclavier, and the technology just hasn't caught up with him yet. Sure, you can tell what the instruments are meant to be, more or less, but what you get is still an extremely primitive and dated mimicing of said instruments rather than anything you'd ever mistake for the pieces themselves. And frankly, this results in something which sounds more like a rough draft or a guide track for people trying to reproduce this material with real instruments than something to be listened to in its own right. I'd be very interested to hear anyone attempting to reproduce pieces such as Put a Motor In Yourself with real instruments, but I can't listen to the piece as presented here because it just doesn't feel ready for prime time. (To be absolutely clear: I'm not against synthesisers or think that they aren't "real" instruments. But it's very clear to me that here Zappa is using the Synclavier synthesiser as a stand-in for other instruments - in other words, it's Zappa's compositional approach which treats the Synclavier as a substitute for other instruments as opposed to an instrument in its own right.)

In retrospect, it was probably a good thing for Zappa that he discovered the Synclavier since with it he was able to put out a lot of music which, had he waited to produce it with the instruments it was actually composed for, he might not have been able to accomplish in his lifetime. But the end result is still not an album which I can take any pleasure from listening to.

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