Saturday, September 23, 2006

Frank Zappa - Apostrophe (1974)


Frank Zappa - Apostrophe

That´s "strictly commercial" Zappa album. Continuing from the commercial breakthrough of Over-Nite Sensation (1973), this album is a similar mix of short songs showcasing Zappa's humor and musical arrangements. The record's lyrical themes are often bizarre or obscure, with the exception of "Uncle Remus" which is an extension of Zappa's feelings on racial disharmony featured on his earlier song "Trouble Every Day".
The first half of the album loosely follows a continuing theme. "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" tells of a dream the singer had where he saw himself as an eskimo named Nanook. A fur trapper comes up from behind Nanook's igloo and begins to assault a baby seal. Nanook responds by rubbing yellow snow (or rather, snow which had been urinated on by huskies) in his eyes, blinding him. The fur trapper remembers an ancient eskimo legend and travels to "the parish of St. Alphonzo". At this point the album takes an unexpected turn and instead tells of rambunctious antics ("wheedled on the bingo cards in lieu of the latrine") and follows with a scenario in which a leprechaun "stroked it".
As the album reaches "Cosmik Debris", there are several references to earlier albums and songs. The "dust of the Grand Wazoo" is mentioned, as well as "the toads of the short forest" (featured previously on 1970's Weasels Ripped My Flesh and on Over-Nite Sensation, specifically "Camarillo Brillo"). The title track is an instrumental featuring Cream bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Jim Gordon.

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