Ranking The Frank Zappa Albums #37 You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 4

In 1988 Frank Zappa decided to release his six-volume, 12-CD set, You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore, a large collection of live Zappa performances through the years from various tours and incarnations of the band. YCDTOSA Vol. 4 is a two-CD set of live recordings recorded between 1969 and 1988, with the majority of the tracks come from the ’82 and’ 84 tours.

As with any undertaking of this size, when you start digging into an artist that has such a huuuuge back catalogue you’re going to find various treasures: sometimes you’ll unearth something magical, mystical and transcendent; other times it’ll be good, solid stuff that satisfies and then there’s petrified animal droppings that crumble away once you pick it up. Vol. 4 sadly falls into the latter category. Not as bad as the Vol. 6 release, but just as non-essential.

There is, however, an absolute other worldly gem on here: the original version of The Torture Never Stops, a swampy slide guitar fuelled song featuring Captain Beefheart on vocals and harmonica. I love TTNS, whether it’s the Zoot Allures studio version or the live 15 minute one from YCDTOSA 1, with Zappa shredding away like a demon but this vastly different take is probably my favourite version. There are a couple of other great moments; the two Thing-Fish tracks, Tiny Sick Tears (a parody of the Doors song The End) and while the rest of the songs aren’t terrible, I do find myself skipping quite a few numbers, and the album’s closing six tracks (all Zappa style doo-wap tunes) fail to register any interest from me.

A patchy collection at best, but when it gets it right it’s fantastic. 3/5

Frank Zappa – vocals, guitar
Ray White – guitar, vocals
Ike Willis – guitar, vocals
Steve Vai – guitar
Lowell George – guitar, vocals
Mike Keneally – guitar
Warren Cuccurullo – guitar
Denny Walley – slide guitar, vocals
Bobby Martin – keyboards,saxophone vocals
Allan Zavod – keyboards
Tommy Mars – keyboards,vocals
Don Preston – keyboards
George Duke – keyboards, vocals
Peter Wolf – keyboards, Minimoog solo
Mike Keneally – synthesizer
Don Preston – synthesizer
Scott Thunes – bass
Arthur Barrow – bass
Roy Estrada – bass, vocals, keyboards
Tom Fowler – bass
Patrick O’Hearn – bass, vocals
Chad Wackerman – drums
Arthur Dyer Tripp III – drums
Vinnie Colaiuta – drums
Jimmy Carl Black – drums
Chester Thompson – drums
Ralph Humphrey – drums
David Logeman – drums
Terry Bozzio – drums
Captain Beefheart – harmonica and vocals
Ian Underwood – alto saxophone
Paul Carman – alto saxophone
Napoleon Murphy Brock – saxophone
Bunk Gardner – tenor saxophone
Albert Wing – tenor saxophone
Archie Shepp – tenor saxophone
Kurt McGettrick – baritone saxophone
Motorhead Sherwood – baritone saxophone
Buzz Gardner – trumpet
Walt Fowler – trumpet
Bruce Fowler – trombone
Ed Mann – percussion
Ruth Underwood – percussion
Dave Samuels – percussion

Published by labarbaazul8067

I'm just a creature from the heap so excuse my savage ignorance.

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