FRANK ZAPPA — Shut Up n' Play Yer Guitar [3 Disc Box Set]

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FRANK ZAPPA - Shut Up n' Play Yer Guitar [3 Disc Box Set] cover
4.04 | 10 ratings | 2 reviews
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Boxset / Compilation · 1981

Tracklist

Disc 1
1. Five-Five-Five (2:36)
2. Hog Heaven (2:49)
3. Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar (5:38)
4. While You Were Out (5:59)
5. Treacherous Cretins (5:35)
6. Heavy Duty Judy (4:42)
7. Soup 'n Old Clothes (7:49)
8. Variations on the Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression (3:58)
9. Gee, I Like Your Pants (2:35)
10. Canarsie (6:01)
11. Ship Ahoy (5:25)

Total Time: 53:11

Disc 2
1. The Deathless Horsie (6:21)
2. Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More (6:53)
3. Pink Napkins (4:35)
4. Beat It With Your Fist (1:58)
5. Return of the Son of Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar (8:31)
6. Pinocchio's Furniture (2:05)
7. Why Johnny Can't Read (4:34)
8. Stucco Homes (9:08)
9. Canard Du Jour (9:57)

Total Time: 54:05

Disc 2: Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar Some More
1. Variations on The Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression (3:58)
2. Gee, I Like Your Pants (2:35)
3. Canarsie (6:05)
4. Ship Ahoy (5:20)
5. The Deathless Horsie (6:20)
6. Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar Some More (6:53)
7. Pink Napkins (4:38)

Total Time: 35:52

Disc 3: Return of The Son of Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar
1. Beat It With Your Fist (1:58)
2. Return of The Son of Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar (8:30)
3. Pinocchio's Furniture (2:05)
4. Why Johnny Can't Read (4:15)
5. Stucco Homes (9:08)
6. Canard du Jour (9:57)

Total Time: 35:55

Line-up/Musicians

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About this release

CBS – CBS 66368 (Netherlands)

Instrumentals, recorded between 1977 and 1980. Originally distributed by mail-order as 3 separate LPs.

1.LP: Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar.
2.LP: Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More.
3.LP: Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar

Thanks to snobb for the updates

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FRANK ZAPPA SHUT UP N' PLAY YER GUITAR [3 DISC BOX SET] reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

M.Neumann
Maybe a better title for this vanity act would have been "Shut Up While I Play My Guitar". Talk about self-indulgence: how about a 3-Disc compilation of his own guitar solos, culled by Frank Zappa from a wealth of concert recordings (Zappa and his various bands played a lot of live music over the years, and he taped just about everything).

The good news is that the music is never less than excellent, and frequently outstanding. Zappa was always an underrated musician, being considered more of a thematic artist, bandleader, and below-the-belt satirist. But he expected only the highest caliber of musicianship from his players, including himself, and even in piecemeal form the talent (his own and his band backup) is impossible to deny.

Also: the myriad performances here were edited seamlessly together into what could almost be one long instrumental medley. It might have been nice to identify specific concert dates, but you could always argue that the lack of any frame of reference forces the listener to engage with the music on its own terms. Removed from whatever context they might have had in the framework of a particular song, the solos by themselves take on an entirely different character: approaching the rarified strata of pure, undiluted music.

Three CDs of edited guitar jams might seem like too much of a good thing. But each disc is only 35-minutes long, more or less, and the entire package could have easily fit on a pair of CDs (or, with only a little more editing, on a single disc).

And after being dragged through the gutter of "Joe's Garage", or suffering the crude sexual sarcasm and homophobic muckraking in songs like "Jewish Princess" or "Bobby Brown Goes Down", it's almost a relief to hear nothing but guitar heroics, played by an ace.

Members reviews

Warthur
I'll put my review of these pieces here rather than under the individual discs since the Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar triple-set was originally released as a 3-LP boxed set, and I believe the current CD edition restores the boxed set format.

A treat for those of us who found Zappa's novelty rock direction at the dawn of the 1980s profoundly irritating, Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar is a set of guitar solos trimmed from Zappa's live concerts from the era (except for Canard Du Jour, the closing track on the final album, which is a studio jam with Jean-Luc Ponty from 1972). This is the result of Frank's burgeoning interest in the technique he referred to as xenochrony - trimming improvised performances from their original context and setting them in a separate one to create a new piece.

The extracts here are, essentially, the sort of raw materials that Frank would use to create xenochronous works on albums such as Joe's Garage, but in this context, all jammed together, they work surprisingly well. The album is significantly more varied than expected, contributions in the background from other musicians helping to avoid this becoming the Frank-and-his-guitar show, and the range of genres from classic rock to Santana tribute to fusion is impressive.

I wouldn't say it's a set to listen to regularly, and I usually only listen to one portion at a time, but it's still a welcome return of Frank's pioneering experimentalism which otherwise seemed to get a bit lost around this time.

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