Image by RevMe via Flickr
This was recorded for the Cover Freak Frank Zappa Tribute, Conceptual Continuity. We chose this one, quite honestly, because it looked like it was one of the few Zappa songs that didn’t necessarily REQUIRE a lot of technical skill. There aren’t a lot of those, actually, part of why FZ’s so cool. I really like this song a lot anyway — on the automation system at my college radio station, which was just a big, 60-CD changer, we had the “Left of the Dial” promo Zappa comp in there, and for whatever reason, the player really liked “Camarillo Brillo”, so if there wasn’t anyone in the booth, you had a pretty good chance of hearing that song. The next year, we went to an mp3 system for the automation, but I think we put “Camarillo Brillo” in there anyway. It’s an awesome song. On this version, I think on the verses I’m channelling David Liebe Hart a bit.
Greasy Love Songs was my introduction to the new series of Frank Zappa Audio Documentary projects (that one on Crusin’ With Ruben & The Jets), and having loved it so much, I’ve gone back for the other two — Lumpy Money and the first one, The MOFO Project/Object, looking at the first Mothers Of Invention album, Freak Out! There’re two versions available — a 2-CD edition available at retail, and a 4-CD version available only through Barfko-Swill, the Frank Zappa online store. Of course, I went whole-hog and got the 4-disc version. (As it turns out — c’mon, really? — there are 7 tracks exclusive to the 2-CD edition. That’s… OK, honestly, that’s kinda bullshit, considering that each of the 4 discs is an hour long — leaving about another hour of space on the four CDs, plenty of space to put those 7 cuts on.)
I might be an anomaly, I don’t know, but Cruising With Ruben & The Jets is one of my favorite Zappa albums. I get the impression that it’s one of those albums that’s kind of an also-ran for a lot of folks, but it’s definitely in my top 5. (The other four? I’m not sure. Absolutely Free is in there I know; You Are What You Is probably is too, even though it’s quite uneven… I mean, really, “Conehead”? One Size Fits All, I’d say, too. Maybe Apostrophe (‘) and Overnite Sensation? Probably Sheik Yerbouti. Wait, that’s six, innit? Ah well, whatever. Man’s made something like 90 albums.) For a long time, though, I’d only had the CD version of Ruben, which was remixed to replace the bass and drums. The new tracks sounded OK, but on some cuts sounded really out of place — I don’t think “slap bass” when I think of “50s Doo-Wop & R&B”. Fans said the original vinyl mix was much, much better, but I mostly had to take their word for it, since Ruben is one of the more expensive Zappa LPs… probably for precisely that reason.