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Ranking The Frank Zappa Albums #33 Just Another Band From L.A.

cover art by the ever wonderful Cal Schenkel.

Just Another Band from L.A. is a live album by The Mothers, released in 1972. It was recorded live on August 7, 1971 in Pauley Pavilion on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles. A notable inclusion on this album is Billy the Mountain, Zappa’s long, narrative parody of rock operas, which were gaining popularity at that time.

Originally planned for release as a double LP with solos from Studebaker Hoch and The Subcutaneous Peril taking up most of the second LP in addition to parts of Billy the Mountain itself, and often overlooked by reviewers, this album marks an important period in the band’s career (citation fucking needed!) which was soon ended by Zappa’s severe injuries after being pushed off a stage.

And as if by magic, following on from the last ‘Ranking…’ post, here’s the final Flo & Eddie-era Zappa album left to review. This is the least worst album from that period, and whilst that sounds like damning with faint praise it actually isn’t, as this features pretty good renditions of Dog Breath and Call Any Vegetable and decent-ish numbers like Eddie, Are You Kidding? and Magdalena, Aynsley Dunbar’s drumming is always a pleasure to listen to and the rest of the band sound good. My biggest gripe with this album though is the 27 minute epic, Billy The Mountain, a song that, by rights, I should love: Zappa’s trademark humour, the guitar solo, the absurdist storyline; however the live setting and Flo and Eddie’s vocals don’t hold my interest as much as its unofficial follow up (The Adventures of Greggery Peccary) which was studio based and has a lot more nuance than Billy.

The best Flo and Eddie album, for me, but no where near Frank’s best. 3/5

Personnel:
Frank Zappa – guitar, vocals
Don Preston – keyboards
Ian Underwood – woodwinds, keyboards, vocals
Aynsley Dunbar – drums
Howard Kaylan – lead vocals
Mark Volman – lead vocals
Jim Pons – bass guitar, vocals

Published by labarbaazul8067

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

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