Roxy & Elsewhere is a live album by Frank Zappa & The Mothers.
Most of it was recorded at The Roxy Theatre in Hollywood, California on December 8, 9 and 10, 1973.
Son of Orange County and More Trouble Every Day were recorded at the Edinboro State College in Pennsylvania on May 8, 1974. Parts of Son of Orange County came from the concert three days later at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. Parts of Penguin In Bondage also came from the Chicago recording.
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Songs On Frank Zappa & The Mothers Roxy & Elsewhere
Penguin In Bondage – 6:48
Pygmy Twylyte – 2:12
Dummy Up – 6:03
Village Of The Sun – 4:17
Echidna’s Arf (Of You) – 3:53
Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing? – 9:40
Cheepnis – 6:33
Son Of Orange County – 5:54
More Trouble Every Day – 6:00
Be-Bop Tango (Of The Old Jazzmen’s Church) – 16:42
Zappa normally worked with a large band of expert musicians who were able to meet the demand of this complex music.
Playing on the album are:
Frank Zappa – vocals, lead guitar
Napoleon Murphy Brock – flute, tenor saxophone, vocals
Bruce Fowler – trombone, dancer
Walt Fowler – trumpet, bass trumpet
George Duke – keyboards, synthesizer, vocals
Don Preston – synthesizer
Jeff Simmons – rhythm guitar, vocals
Tom Fowler – bass guitar
Ruth Underwood – percussion
Ralph Humphrey – drums
Chester Thompson – drums
There are also backing singers on Cheepnis.
If you recognise Chester Thompson’s name, he is the drummer who went to work with Genesis when Phil Collins became the lead singer. He’s played on many of their live albums including Seconds Out and Three Sides Live.
This is the first Frank Zappa album that I ever bought but it hasn’t been the last. I have to admit that my first impressions weren’t positive.
It came across as odd rather than good. That’s because it’s unlike any other “rock and pop” music happening in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
I’ve discovered that Zappa is an “in the mood” artist that insists that I pay attention. This is not background music but the main event.
If you’ve got the time, then it’s fascinating. Both funny and superb musically as it crosses many different styles. Zappa is recognised as a great guitarist and this has some terrific guitar solos.
Frank Zappa has released a very large collection of studio and live albums and I’m still very much of a novice following other people’s recommendations of where to concentrate my attention. With hindsight, I may have been better to start with We’re The Best Band That You’ve Never Heard because the covers help to make that more accessible and help you to get Zappa.
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It’s tough to categorise Zappa but I’m treating this as art rock because of the complexity and range of music covered combined with the humour. It’s certainly very different from normal classic rock.
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