FRANK ZAPPA — One Size Fits All (as Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention) (review)

FRANK ZAPPA — One Size Fits All (as Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention) album cover Album · 1975 · Jazz Related Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
'One Size Fits All' is known in the prog community as quintessential Zappa featuring some of his greatest compostions. One may look no further than the killer opener 'Inca Roads' with nice harmonies and an absolutely delirious instrumental break. There are massive lead guitar runs, manic keyboard work, and very odd quick tempered meters. It goes into overdrive towards the end with frenetic percussion and squelching synths, not to mention manic xylophones and a blitzkrieg of Magma like vocals at the end.

To follow this hard act is virtually impossible, but Zappa knocks out a nice short thing called 'Can't Afford No Shoes', with a cool groove, tremelo bar guitar vibrations, and silly off the wall vocals. Horrible clich' lyrics are well hidden by innovative structures, and a delightful heavy 70s riff.

'Sofa No. 1' is the sole instrumental but it is a class act with fine keyboard work, Zappa waxing eloquent on axe, and some madcap xylophone passages. 'Po-Jama People' is a hilarious stab at all those who wear pyjamas with comical lunacy in the lyrics department and musicianship. Zappa's guitar is demented brilliance, similar to 'Hot Rats', and the vox are low and derisive. This is how I love Zappa, with off the wall humour and genius musicianship; his lead solo is divine. 'Wrap em up, roll em up, get 'em out of my way!' sums it up.

'Florentine Pogen' is jazz fusion revved to the max, with dirty guitar riffs and nice buzz synths from Duke and solid gold brass with a mean streak. It has outbursts of circus sideshow music and glorious madness. 'Evelyn, A Modified Dog' is simply Zappa being Zappa, not much to write about, no great musicianship. 'San Ber'dino' is okay thanks to some fine harmonica blues and intense lead guitar. The gay lyrics are offensive but that's the way Zappaholics like it, though that ending drags on interminably. 'Andy' is better with some wonderful musicianship and quirky vox. The blazing guitars are heavy in places and the melodies are way off kilter. Duke has a field day on keyboards unleashing some of his best work, especially the passage at 3 minutes in. 'Sofa No. 2' closes it with the same melody as part one except now we have German lyrics, but this feels more opportunistic than inspired. This caps off what may be the best Mothers era Zappa album, that certainly is way better than some previous efforts, and more consistent, out of the box, and it is well worth indulging in with some of the Mothers' most famous material.
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