Hammersmith Odeon

Released November 2010.


Disc one

  1. Convocation / Purple Lagoon intro
  2. Dancin’ Fool
  3. Peaches En Regalia
  4. The Torture Never Stops
  5. Tryin To Grow A Chin
  6. City Of Tiny Lites
  7. Baby Snakes
  8. Pound For A Brown

Disc two

  1. I Have Been In You
  2. Flakes
  3. Broken Hearts Are For Assholes
  4. Punky’s Whips
  5. Titties And Beer
  6. Audience Participation
  7. The Black Page #2
  8. Jones Crusher
  9. The Little House I Used To Live In

Disc three

  1. Dong Work For Yuda
  2. Bobby Brown
  3. Envelopes
  4. Terry Firma
  5. Disco Boy
  6. King Kong
  7. Watermelon ( Prequel )
  8. Dinah Moe
  9. Camarillo
  10. Muffin
  11. Black Napkins
  12. San Ber’dino

16 thoughts on “Hammersmith Odeon”

  1. This collection is very satisfying, if you like that era of Zappa. Look at the set list. Imagine the making of Sheik Yerbouti. Think stellar performances by a tight band. Think hilarious introductions to familiar songs (I Have Been In You and Bobby Brown). Think exceptional instrumental passages (Flakes and City of Tiny Lites are favourites of mine, as well as Pound for a Brown, of course). There you go!

    I can see why people miss Wild Love/Yo’ Mama, but I’m not that concerned, because we already have side 4 of Sheik Yerbouti, and because the one Yo’ Mama that I’d really like to hear on an official release is with Vinnie and Barrow from Halloween 1978.

    After this healthy set, I wouldn’t mind a compilation of instrumentals from the fall 1978 band, with stuff like Yo’ Mama, Persona Non Grata + more of Shankar!

  2. Im looking forward to getting this….more so than many of the recent ZFT releases. Agreed that not having Wild Love/Yo Mama is a shame, but as Dark Clothes mentioned perfection had been reached with those tunes on side 4 of SY in my opinion. Maybe Frank had cut up all of the versions of WildLove so much to make the finished version that there wasn’t anything left for Joe to use on the mastertapes? Who knows.

    Oh well – an offical Little House late ’70’s arrangement! Nice:)


  3. One of the really interesting things about this release is of course how the live tapes compare to Sheik Yerbouti. On one hand I like the expanded versions and the broader context of Hammersmith Odeon. You get a full view of the band at that time, and also a lot of context for the song lyrics and Zappa’s attitudes, irony and sexual politics, as in the intro rap to I Have Been In You. But this new set also shows very clearly that SY is extremely well edited, and will remain the essential document of that era. And well-mixed, too. I can’t go into the technicalities of this, and I think HO sounds good in Filipetti’s mix. Still, I have a hunch that Spence Chrislu could have made some even better choices with the (extremely high-quality) material. Oh, well – is the glass half full or half empty? Anyway, it’s an exceptional collection.

  4. Hmmm, a shame that Wild Love/Yo Mama combo is omitted, but all the popular “SY” hits are on. Wild Love btw is presented on SY only by its composed part, it usually had monster improv after its composed four minutes.

  5. “i miss fz so much i cry all the time”

    And you’re an asshole?

    Just kidding, I miss him too…

    But even when he was talking about Slonimsky, literally on his death bed, he still had those caustic remarks and that unsentimental world view.

    So baby, baby, baby, don’t you cry…

    Cos’ you’re an asshole!

  6. Though this is much more enjoyable than some other Vaulternative releases, the question is what these releases are good for.

    The long-time hardcore fanatic doesn’t always get something new to discover and still has to wait for the more “important” material from the vault.

    The Zappa newbie often gets questionable performances, mixes and repertoire selections. If one should make a suggestion for a newbie the best place for this era of FZ’s should be Sheik Yerbouti of course.

    Frank had selected the best performances from those HO runs and he already made something out of it.

    What the ZFT sells are the remnants. The waste that Frank had sorted out not to be used. When listening to this the unaware newbie might get a wrong impression of Zappa’s intentions and his own quality standards.


  7. Do you really think the “newbie” would have this as their first purchase? I’m sure almost all newbies start with the official Ryko releases. However, if they did purchase HO first, they’d probably like it (after all, they wouldn’t be comparing it other things, as us hardcore fans do).

    I think it is unfair to label the music here as “waste.” There are many quality performances here, though we will all disagree as to which performances are up to Zappa’s “standards.”

    What are these releases good for? That’s easy: more Zappa music!

  8. I agree with many of the above reviewers that the recording/sound quality of this release is truly superb. The mix is excellent, and the editing is seamless. I also liked the addition of the pre-song stories and talks.

    However, I also can reiterate the opinion that the FZT’s saturated coverage of this particular period of Frank’s career is pretty much almost at the point of overkill right now, especially when compared with the scant amount of releases covering other chapters in Frank’s career (almost no MOI material aside from the early “Corsage” CDs, still no additional 1988 band releases, and not one solid 1982 band release since YCDTOSA Vol.5.

    As great as the mid-to-late ’70s bands were, we now have plenty of releases covering that period (Philadelphia, the Australian one, etc…). Any Frank is better than no Frank, but I deeply hope that the next live release takes a good strong left turn……

  9. My final analysis, after some listening and thinking:

    Pound for a Brown, King Kong and Watermelon (prequel) are essential.

    Peaches, Torture (good, measured solo), City of Tiny Lites, Flakes, Punky’s Whips, Black Napkins are good song variations (although there are some sound issues on BN, as well as the entire set list on the second half of disc three).

    Little House I Used To Live In is disappointing compared to other live takes of the song from that era, notably the one from Berlin with the Sheik Yerbouti Tango

    I Have Been in You is hilarious – the rap is much more interesting than the song. The same remark applies to Bobby Brown.

    The sound is extremely dry and sort of unengaging.

    As a whole, the set is worthwhile as a reference for Frank’s live work at the time, but in the end I have to agree with marco j and the others who wish for other bands than the 1976-78 incarnations.

  10. Man, I miss KUR. I went here just to see if the reviews were still flowing in for Carnegie, etc. So glad they still are.

    Instead of a hyperbolic rant, I’ll just add this one comment:

    Flakes, with an instrumental passage where the “I’m a moron…” vocals come in on SY: just absolutely beautiful. I’ve been keeping that one song on repeat just for the atmospheric solo.

    Got my copy live on the floor of the Roundhouse in Camden, so this release will always be extra special to me.

  11. Muffin Man is so good here! The Adrian Belew solo is really amazing.
    In the normal ‘songs’ however, you can hear FZ already picked the best perfomances . Same as with all the posthumous releases, really: I only go for the solo’s.

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