The Frank Zappa AAAFNRAAA Birthday Bundle

Released as a digital download on iTunes 21st December 2008.

  1. Dancin’ Fool (6:18) ~ Frank Zappa – 12″ single dance mix also available on Strictly Commercial
  2. More Trouble Every Day (5:48) ~ Frank Zappa – Wien, Austria 88/05/08
  3. Gorgeous Inca (3:25) ~ Frank Zappa – out-take from Inca Roads, Graz, Austria 79/03/23
  4. Ancient Armaments (4:09) ~ Frank Zappa – I Don’t Wanna Get Drafted single mix
  5. America The Beautiful (3:35) ~ Frank Zappa – Uniondale, NY 88/03/25
  6. You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch (3:12) ~ Dweezil & Ahmet Zappa (vocals)
  7. Saturday Girl (2:50) ~ Dweezil Zappa
  8. Alice (5:12) ~ Diva Zappa
  9. Espanoza (3:26) ~ Diva Zappa
  10. Dumb All Over (5:46) ~ Melanie Starks
  11. Twenty Small Cigars (5:59) ~ Joe Travers
  12. Lacksadaisial (5:44) ~ Joe Travers
  13. Dirty Love (4:04) ~ Cree Summer, Ahmet Zappa (background vocals) & Dweezil Zappa (guitar)

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2 Responses to “The Frank Zappa AAAFNRAAA Birthday Bundle”

  1. epistrophy says:

    Firstly, let me mention that I did not download the non-Frank tunes. I previewed them on iTunes, and was totally horrified that they were issued on the same release as genuine Frank Zappa music. So, my review will not concern those songs.

    The long mix of Dancin’ Fool is kind of ok – it’s at least interesting to hear some of the more subtle elements of Terry Bozzio’s drum work (some really nice off-beats emphasizing the vocal harmonies).

    More Trouble Every Day is in a different league altogether. It’s the 1988 band playing wonderfully, and whilst I do not want to spoil the surprise altogether, it features a very nice solo from Frank with a great vamp.

    For me, Gorgeous Inca is one of the most subtle solos I’ve heard from Frank – so subtle in fact that I’m yet to decide whether it’s actually beautifully delicate or totally uninspired.

    Ancient Armaments is a different kettle of fish again. It’s nice to have Frank’s edit on CD (you may, like me, already have it on vinyl & in its’ original full length performance on Halloween), and it is a great solo.

    And the last Frank track is America The Beautiful, which is a tune I never really cared for, but again it’s nice to hear it in great sound rather than the crummy bootleg quality which is your only other option if you don’t buy it here.

    So, this release is a really mixed bag. Some wonderful stuff, some kind of ok, possibly pointless stuff.

  2. epistrophy says:

    Let me amend something from the above review:
    OK, whilst this release is not “on CD” like I mentioned above, it is still pretty good quality.

    And it’s much easier to judge these songs as individual songs, rather than being part of an “album”. This release really is a mishmash, not a coherent whole. I guess it’s a convenient way for the ZFT to release a few songs as a last minute surprise to the hardcore fans.

    But if you’re just starting out with the music of Frank Zappa, this is not at all essential listening, or even representative of the way that Frank would piece individual compositions together into a greater, more complex whole. Stick to what he released during his lifetime for a better introduction to his rather singular talent.

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