Playground Psychotics

Released: 1992

Tracklist:

  1. Typical Day On The Road
  2. Here Comes The Gear Lads
  3. The Living Garbage Truck
  4. A Typical Sound Check
  5. “This Is Neat”
  6. The Motel Lobby
  7. Getting Stewed
  8. The Motel Room
  9. “Don’t Take Me Down”
  10. The Dressing Room
  11. Learning “Penis Dimension”
  12. “You there, with the hard on!”
  13. Zanti Serenade
  14. Divan
  15. Sleeping In A Jar
  16. “Don’t Eat There”
  17. Brixton Still Life
  18. Super Grease
  19. Wonderful Wino
  20. Sharleenah
  21. Cruisin’ For Burgers
  22. Diptheria Blues
  23. Well
  24. Say Please
  25. Aaawk
  26. Scumbag
  27. A Small Eternity With Yoko Ono
  28. A Typical Day On The Road Part Two
  29. Beer Shampoo
  30. Champagne Lecture
  31. Childish Perversions
  32. Playground Psychotics
  33. The Mudshark Interview
  34. “There’s No Lust In Jazz”
  35. Botulism On The Hoof
  36. You Got Your Armies
  37. The Spew King
  38. I’m Doomed
  39. Status Back Baby
  40. The London CabTape
  41. Concentration Moon, Part One
  42. The Sanzini Brothers
  43. “It’s A Good Thing We Get Paid To Do This”
  44. Concentration Moon, Part Two
  45. Mom & Dad
  46. Intro To Music For Low Budget Orchestra
  47. Billly The Mountain
  48. The True Story Of 200 Motels
  49. He’s Watching Us
  50. If You’re Not A Professional Actor
  51. He’s Right
  52. Going For The Money
  53. Jeff Quits
  54. A Bunch Of Adventures
  55. Martin Lickert’s Story
  56. A Great Guy
  57. Bad Acting
  58. The Worst Reviews
  59. A Version Of Himself
  60. I Could Be A Star Now

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11 Responses to “Playground Psychotics”

  1. Zam BZ says:

    This album basically consists of segments of music, and segments of dialog recorded mostly by Zappa on a portable tape recorder, featuring the Mothers’ line-up of 1970-71 (as seen on 200 Motels).

    The dialog sections follow the band on the road: travelling to the next gig, arriving, setting up, sound-check, checking into the motel, getting drunk, doing the gig. There are some hilarious moments here, eg the first read through of the 200 Motels script, or Howard Kaylan getting annoyed about having beer poured on him on stage.

    The musical sections are fun (in particular Billy the Mountain), although the sound quality isn’t so good, and the band isn’t as tight as the later Zappa bands became.

    All in all, I’d say this album is more for the Zappa enthusiast. If you’re new to his music, perhaps check out some of the other albums by this particular Mothers’ line-up first.

  2. kzdarwin says:

    The music segments are great, but I often find myself programing out the dialogue segments, although some of them are funny and/or revealing. Alot of the material, specificly “Billy The Mountain” and the John Lennon Jam were, I believe, originally intended for a second disc of “Fillmore East, June 1971”. ( A different mix/edit of the John Lennon jam has been available on his “Sometime In New York” album since 1972). If you liked “Fillmore East”, “Just Another Band From L.A.” and ” 200 Motels”, then you’ll like this because it is more of that same band, but this is more of an album for true fans and not for casual listeners and is not a good place to start.

  3. kzdarwin says:

    The music segments are great, but I often find myself programing out the dialogue segments, although some of them are funny and/or revealing. Alot of the material, specificly “Billy The Mountain” and the John Lennon Jam were, I believe, originally intended for a second disc of “Fillmore East, June 1971”. ( A different mix/edit of the John Lennon jam has been available on his “Sometime In New York” album since 1972). If you liked “Fillmore East”, “Just Another Band From L.A.” and ” 200 Motels”, then you’ll like this because it is more of that same band, but this is more of an album for true fans and not for casual listeners and is not a good place to start.

  4. kzdarwin says:

    This is really an audio documentry of the “Flo and Eddy” version of the Mothers on the road. Some of the material, specificly “Billy the Mountain” and the John Lennon jam, was originally intended, (or so I’ve heard) for a second disc of “Fillmore East, June 1971” album, plus some of the Rainbow Theatre show. (A different edit/mix of the John Lennon jam session appeared on the live disc of his “Sometime in New York City” album.) There is some great/funny music on this set, but I often find myself programming out the dialogue segments, although they are often funny and/or revealing. If you liked “Fillmore East, June 1971,” “Just Another Band From L.A.,” and “200 Motels,” you’ll like this set, but it is really for the hardcore FZ freaks; those who are not amused by Tales of The Road and the Flo and Eddy Mothers’ stage antics should skip this one.

  5. Keefa says:

    Can’t say I’m too enamoured of the anthropological material contained herein, but some of the songs are great. ‘Well’, with John Lennon, would be terrific if it wasn’t ruined by bloody Yoko; there’s *got* to be some way, in this modern age, to edit her out. Billy The Mountain is awesome, and the sequence of *songs* from Concentration Moon, Part One to Intro To MFLBO&G is one of my favourites.

  6. Frunobulax says:

    By and far an album with the best version of ‘Billy The Mountain’ available from Ryko–it has all the solos intact (unlike JABFLA). The dialogue is nice to hear, but can get a bit annoying. But this album IS meant to be a collection of dialogue, so why bother? Probably best for the seasoned fan.

  7. Jamez says:

    Prefer the dialogue (‘Let’s Get the Gear Lads’ etc.) to the music. Very funny!

  8. Alex says:

    The dialog on disc one is all pretty cool, it seems more in tune with the “Typical Day On The Road” concept…

    And the performances are great. It got my hopes up for ‘Fillmore East’ and ‘Just Another Band From LA’, which really disappointed me. The version of “Sleeping In A Jar” is beautiful, “Wino Man” is rock and roll cranked up to 11, “Sharleena” is able to maintain its beauty (it’s pretty clear FZ liked this song a lot) at break-neck speed, and the treatments of “Status Back, Baby” and the ‘WOIIFTM’ medley are bitchen.

    As for the Lennon/Ono material, I happen to like Yoko’s singing, though I can understand people finding it…intrusive. My friend thought her voice was a saxophone, and another thought Yoko was a harmonica! It wasn’t the horror show that all the Lennon scholars decry it as. In fact, I thought it was real horrorshow in the Alex DeLarge sense of the phrase.

    Awesome album, made me want to be a musician and go on the road and hide tape recorders all over.

  9. Marco J says:

    “PLayground Psychotics” is a very nostalgic and emotionally touching Zappa release for me, and I would even argue for Frank as well. Judging by his liner notes (penned shortly before his end), he seems to remember this period as being the last time it was “sort of fun” to tour. The world certainly has changed since 1971, but if you want to remember just how close-knit and bonded this particular Zappa band was, just give these two discs a spin.

    This collection is organized and sequenced extremely well. As other reviewers noted above, this was definitely the “Social Anthropology” band that Zappa took tons of material from, and all the spoken bits are just as important as the musical selections. There is a nice blend of vocal and instrumental pieces, and the band ALWAYS sounds like it is having a blast in every way, both on AND off the stage.

    Frank could have made this double CD one of the “You Can’t Do That On Stage” series, and maybe the fact that he relelased it separately as its own entity means it has a very special place in his heart.

    This is a indispensible chapter in Zappa’s musical history, and love or hate the “Flo and Eddie” Mothers, you have to come to terms with them or you are not at all in tune with Frank’s musical and lyrical world. An essential release.

  10. HG Montgomery says:

    why is this lineup of the mothers so maligned? i’ve never understood it at all. is it the sudden switch to clearly more bawdy lyrical topics… but then look at zoot allures….? i don’t understand it. i wish this lineup had stayed together longer but the sheer volume of stuff out there is amazing for a year’s work… anyway. the speech on this album may not be for everyone, i’d say theres probably more dialogue on here than music, but damn is it funny when you’re in the mood for it. this band had so much personality. the music on offer here is all pretty good, especially the version of concentration moon… but this isn’t a good introduction album by any means, it’s definitely a collector’s piece (as much as i hate to wheel out that cliche)

  11. Dark Clothes says:

    I was influenced by Jan Arne Handorff’s negative view of Flo and Eddie when I started collecting Zappa, so Playground Psychotics was my first entry into their little world (barring a horrible French pressing of 200 Motels). And what an ENTRY it is! I loved this album instantly and listened to it a coupla times a week for a long while. The documentary bits are funny and revealing, and there’s A LOT of good music on it. Brixton Still Life is a wonderful guitar tune, the Lennon/Ono/Mothers section is worthwhile, Mom & Dad is great and actually touching, Billy the Mountain with Underwood’s woodwind intro and the long, funky keyboard solo is way better than the JABFLA version. I even enjoy the The Zanti Serenade. In short – I like!