FRANK ZAPPA — Studio Tan (review)

FRANK ZAPPA — Studio Tan album cover Album · 1978 · Jazz Related Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
2/5 ·
Warthur
I've never quite managed to get along with the material which made up Zappa's epic Lather album. Taken as a whole set, there's simply too much there for me to digest, and the mix of styles is incredibly jarring. Taken as individual albums they come across a bit better in some cases, but in the case of Studio Tan it doesn't help much.

Studio Tan is dominated by The Adventures of Greggery Peccary, the saga of a porcine advertising executive which represents Zappa's second attempt at an epic narrative song after Billy the Mountain. It doesn't work any better than that song did, the major problem being that the narration is so overwhelming it drowns out the musical backing - and the musical backing, when it can be heard, isn't Zappa's finest. Of the remaining tracks, all three seem rather disposable aside from RDNZL, and the version on You Can't Do That On Stage Any More Vol. 2 sounds better to me (and that particular album is an absolutely essential Zappa live set).

In short, this is one of those Zappa albums I am happy to leave to the fanatics. Two stars.
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