One Size Fits All

Released: June 25 1975

Tracklist

  1. Inca Roads
  2. Can’t Afford No Shoes
  3. Sofa No. 1
  4. Po-Jama People
  5. Florentine Pogen
  6. Evelyn, A Modified Dog
  7. San Ber’dino
  8. Andy
  9. Sofa No. 2

Line-up
Frank Zappa (guitars, vocals), George Duke (keyboards, synthesizers, vocals), Napoleon Murphy Brock (flute, tenor sax, vocals), Chester Thompson (drums), Tom Fowler (bass), Ruth Underwood (percussion), James ‘Bird Legs’ Youman (bass), Johnny Guitar Watson (flambe vocals), Bloodshot Rollin’ Red (harmonica)

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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (137 votes, average: 9.58 out of 10)
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34 Responses to “One Size Fits All”

  1. mack73 says:

    Brilliant.

  2. Guacamole says:

    I never tire of listening to OSFA – a real masterpiece.

  3. Marko J says:

    I cannot believe just how downright amazing “One Size Fits All” is. It stands head and shoulders above just about anything else Zappa released in the ’70′s, and that decade was so prolific, that’s really saying something.

    Zappa often spoke about his distaste for the stodgy, boring, intellectual and “cranial” personalities of the Duke/Brock/Fowler/Thompson/R. Underwood 1973-1974 band, and that personal distaste is well-represented by the stinging “Po-Jama People” on this album, but no matter how much the personalities failed to jibe, the MUSICIANSHIP was something truly beyond this world. Anyone who wants to argue that George Duke wasn’t the FINEST KEYBOARD PLAYER Zappa ever had should really be ready for a fight, and the funky grooves of Thompson and Fowler really set this group apart. Ruth is mind boggling with her mallet playing, and the songs/compositions just dazzle, amaze and mystify (they also groove and drive like mad). “Inca Roads” is so intricately and amazingly composed, I STILL never fail to sit and listen with my jaw on the floor. This album is the sound of a truly great band working at its PEAK, without a doubt.

    Something that Tommy Mars once pointed out as well, is that it is also the stunning PRODUCTION of “One Size Fits All” that sets it apart from other inferior-sounding Zappa works. The DYNAMIC RANGE of the recording (on ANY medium-album, casette, CD, whatever) is GORGEOUS. The LOW END on the album, especially in Tom Fowler’s wonderful “growling” bass parts is AWESOME, and the other instruments just sparkle and sound so THICK AND RICH. Compare the dazzling HI-FI sound of “One Size Fits All” with the very mid-rangy, thin-bass sound of “Joe’s Garage” and you will know what I am talking about immediately.

    This album represents and end to another rich chapter in Frank’s varied musical career (some would argue the BEST or the RICHEST, and I really can’t blame them). Right after this, Frank started mutating this masterful band into a much “dirtier” and (honestly) younger, HORNIER bunch of guys (Bozzio, O’Hearn) who would play with far more speed and (arguably) precision, but lack the rich, funkier, groovalicious finesse of this amazing ensemble.

    “One Size Fits All” HAS to be counted in the list of possibly TOP FIVE GREATEST Zappa albums of ALL TIME. It is an ESSENTIAL masterwork, one that has only ripened with time and countless listens. I can completely understand Frank’s bitterness when he tried to redirect his listeners back to this album in the liner notes to “Zappa In New York”. He casually mentions there that he put a lot of work into “One Size Fits All”. That’s really an understatement. This is a Zappa masterpiece.

  4. johnny darling says:

    I totally agree Marko! The dynamic range on this album Pegs the red on the VU’s. When you listen to Inca Roads the cymbals are distorted (from a high recording level). the whole is a masterpiece. By the way, does anyone have POJAMA PEOPLE on ANY ? BOOTLEGS?! I’ve failed to notice any.

  5. kzdarwin says:

    “Inca Roads” is a great piece of SciFi Art Rock, with a humorous Zappa twist to it and a killer guitar solo . The rest of the album is pretty good too. On the technicial side, this was probably the best sounding mastering job I’ve heard on any album from the 1970s (I’m talking about the original vinyl), real clear and clean across the entire audio spectrum. This transferred to cd very well, so it is still one of FZ’s best sounding albums.

  6. c-digital says:

    Thick. Intense. Rich and dense with sound and innuendo. This album had practically been the soundtrack of my life since I was 18. I’m 45 now and can still easily recite the lyrics to “Evelyn the Modified Dog” without flaw. Every time I meet or think about someone from the SouthWest, all I can hear is the tune “San Berdeano”. This, without a doubt, is some of FZ’s best work. Jeez, just the thought of the album makes me want to go smoke a fat one ;-)

  7. slomo sapiens says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

  8. guillaume says:

    my first FZ album. And of course, I love it. Everything there is just perfect. After listening to this album, my conception of music totally changed, like every Zappa fan with their first album I guess. Well, if you still don’t have that one, go out now and buy it!

  9. Fido says:

    Without doubt a masterpiece, which gets better every time you listen to it.

    Pojama People must rank as one of Frank’s best ever guitar solo’s.

    I wonder though..
    Marko J says above Frank wrote Pojama People about his ’73/4 band, I thought it was written about his ’72 band members who he made ‘Waka/Jawaka’ & ‘The Grand Wazoo’ with? On the ‘Roxy’ and ‘YCDTOSA 2′ (not to mention the studio) albums they made they sound like they’re having a great time with each other.

  10. marco J says:

    Just a follow-up to the previous reviewer “Fido” because he mentioned my earlier review. There is no doubt that Frank loved PLAYING with his ’73/’74 band, but I am almost positive in everything that I read from his quotes that the off-stage behaviors of that same band BORED HIM TO DEATH. Frank seemed to really enjoy touring with personalities that would provide for him fascinating and vicarious observation material (like “The Mud Shark”, “Stevie’s Spanking”, etc…), and it seems that all the Underwood/Duke/Fowler/Thompson band wanted to do was sit around and play chess. That definitely turned Frank off, but when the band was on the stage or in the studio, those folks could really PLAY!!!! Even if he was bored with their off-stage personalities, I truly think that Frank did love them all, and really did enjoy playing music with them always.

  11. Frunobulax says:

    Another great one! ‘Sofa’=magic. Oh, take the initials of the album
    OSFA.
    Now change the first two letters.
    SOFA.

  12. Aqualung says:

    Florentine Pogen is simply wonderful. Inca Roads and Pojama People are also awesome! A 10-

  13. Eric says:

    San Ber’dino — That guitar is out of this world.
    Stellar album!

    Heaven to my ears this one.

  14. kookie says:

    Still amazing….the playing, the numbers, the balence of the album……try not to play it again when it’s over……everything that’s truely great about FZ here!

  15. Scott says:

    This album still blows me away after three decades. Most notably the guitar solo and
    the instrumental section thereafter on “Inca
    Roads”.

    It turns me into a human goose-pimple.

  16. Kevin says:

    I bought the 8track over 30 yrs ago. Sat back in the seat of my ’62 Volvo, wiped the bong water from the corners of my mouth, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
    After all these years, still my favorite!

  17. Wonderful Wino says:

    Simplemente el albun¿m más perfecto de la historia, inca road para siempre.

  18. Lord of Lumbago says:

    I need the words of red sofa Nr.2, especially
    the german words.
    Maybee Frank can here me?

    Hühnerschaf (Lord of Lumbago)

  19. joe says:

    who is playing slide guitar on Sanberdino? the album says frank plays all guitars, but i’ve never heard him play slibe before.

  20. Michael Pabst says:

    Hey Joe,

    it’s Frank on fretless guitar. Also on “Can’t Afford No Shoes”.

    Michael

  21. Joe says:

    Hmm, it doesn’t really sound like Frank’s style, is it possibly Denny Walley?

  22. Jamez says:

    Rock, Funk, Jazz and more besides. Excellent sound too!

  23. Alexander says:

    I love the songs on this album. It really is great. But I prefer the live “Roxy & Elsewhere”. I think Zappa’s live music was always more dynamic than the studio stuff. Well, live music in general..
    Plus with that killer group!
    Chester & George Duke. Killer combo..

  24. Barbarella's Boustie Eh says:

    Incredible. This is the work of a genius.

  25. Thinman says:

    This album is to Frank Zappa what “Relayer” is to Yes – the best album of the career.

    Th.

  26. Harry Barris says:

    “Thinman” i have to agree with you on those! (many FZ fans list OSFA as their fav., but few Yes fans would list Relayer i would think, though it is my favorite from them–even without Bruford on it!)

    and I’m on the slender side myself–always distrusted them fat people!

  27. Half Japanese says:

    Precise and passionate, this line-up really is superb. The compositions and melodies are strong across the board, Inca Roads being a real Zappa acheivement. I think it’s the best example of Zappa’s penchant for mixing the brash with the poignant. This was the heyday of analog, “dirty but pure” recording. These chess playin’ big-brains sound inspired at every moment and there is not a wasted second. For me, this was the last of Zappa’s music that I truly love and will stay up all night playing and discussing. I saw the Zoot Allures band when I was 18 and, really, it seemed over by then.

    Kids should be shown videos of this “color blind” band in action (you tube has a few awseome ones. This will help demolish any racial stereotyping that seems worse today than ever.

  28. Alex says:

    My review for this album:
    http://alexwritesaboutstuff.blogspot.com/2009/06/mothers-of-invention-one-size-fits-all.html

    Feel free to leave a comment. Unless you’re Bob. (Comments on the blog require moderation anyway.)

  29. Bob says:

    I’m Bob, and you’re not.

  30. ThatZappaGuy says:

    I have to disagree with whoever said that “Po-Jama People” was about the ’73/’74 band, because Frank himself said his favorite release he ever did was “You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 2, The Helsinki Concerts” which of course, was material recorded solely by the ’73/’74 band

  31. Thinman says:

    I pretty sure “Po-jama People” is about the Wazoo-band.

  32. Roberto says:

    Is there anything better? ¿hay algo mejor?

  33. tvnewswatch says:

    my desert island disc without a doubt. Never tire of listening to this masterpiece. If I had to pick only one track it would be Inca Roads. In fact I shall play it right now…

  34. czgibson says:

    One Size Fits All is many Zappa fans’ favourite, as is well-known.

    ‘Po-jama People’ is definitely not about the 73-74 band. They had a great laugh on the road. ‘Ruthie-Ruthie’, Marty and the dogs, ‘Tush Tush Tush’ – these guys are anything but boring.

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