Over-nite Sensation

Released: September 7 1973


  1. Camarillo Brillo
  2. I’m The Slime
  3. Dirty Love
  4. Fifty-Fifty
  5. Zomby Woof
  6. Dinah-Mo-Hum
  7. Montana

Tom Fowler (bass) Bruce Fowler (trombone) Ralph Humphrey (drums) Sal Marquez (trumpet & vocals) Ruth Underwood (percussion) Ian Underwood (flute, clarinet, alto & tenor sax) George Duke (keyboards, synthesizer) Jean-Luc Ponty (violin & baritone violin)

21 thoughts on “Over-nite Sensation”

  1. This album is often dismissed as either Zappa’s pop album or just a sex/comedy album. Nothing can be farther from the truth. This is an album of unrelenting rock ‘n roll with unrelenting lyrics, part cartoon and part epic. Songs like “I’m the Slime,” “Dirty Love,” “Dianh Moe Hum,” and “Montana” make for the perfect introduction to Zappa for a non-listener. “Camarillo Brillo” could be Zappa’s most unappreciated song, with a beautiful melody and guitar work that had to have influenced about 90% of everything Dire Straits did. The catchy songs and tight-as-hell jazz/rock playing hide the typically complex Zappa compositions within. One of the all time greats!

  2. Tight jazz-rock fusion playing behind humorous lyrics of biting satire and social commentary. The title is a pun on the fact that FZ had been around for awhile by this time and the sexual connotation implied in the double entendre.

  3. Time has been very good to “Over-Nite Sensation”. At the time of its release in 1973, it was severely blasted (particularly by critics) for its “commercial selling out” qualities, mixed with more criticism about Zappa’s glorification of on-the-road sexual deviancy. Today, it is very hard to hear what the critics of the day were losing it over in terms of the sound of the record. Yes, I suppose that the supple, Stevie-Wonder-like Clavinet funk of George Duke when combined with the R&B steam of the background vocalists might lead some to believe that Frank was moving toward Barry White’s neighborhood, but the actual compositions were as Frank as ever (just look at “Montana” for crying out loud!!). I love “Over-Nite Sensation” if only because once again Frank is writing kick-butt, straight-ahead (for Zappa, anyway) kickin’ band tunes, full of hot-licks, great melodies, burnin’ solos and weird “left-turns” that always keep the listener on his/her toes. There is no doubt that with this record, one of Frank Zappa’s greatest band personnel line-ups came into being and gelled for the first time (Ruth Underwood/George Duke/Murphey-Brock/Tom Fowler, etc…), and this band went on to record and perform some of the greatest music Frank ever conceived for people to play. Not only that, they played it with such conviction, passion and fire, it is STILL awe-inspiring to listen to them today. This is one of Frank’s most beloved albums, one of his most listener-friendly and accessible, and one that is still worth it, without one bit of “sell-out” or compromise present in any area. No doubt there will ALWAYS be critics, fans and listeners alike who will always be put off and offended by Frank’s insistence to include and document (not always “glorify”) the sexual world all around him, but they should listen with an open mind and DEAL WITH IT, because not only does it exist and always did, but as a society we had better get wise and learn to start UNDERSTANDING our sexual behaviors and inclinations so we can stop engaging in hurtful and abusive behaviors!!! Frank was always alerting us, to help us GET WISE, and stop giving in to STUPIDITY!! (the basic building block of the universe, you know!!). Oh, yeah, one more thing: is there any greater “over-the-top” lead vocal performance than Ricky Lancilotti’s on “Fifty-Fifty”? Man, that has me on the floor laughing so hard my sides ache EVERY TIME! Great, great album.

  4. Posiblemente la mejor introducción al universo de Zappa, pues este disco lo tiene todo. Zappa deja de lado el jazz rock instrumental de sus dos discos previos para hacer un pop rock de una elegancia (los arreglos, por sí solos, ya merecen un ensayo) y una fuerza sublimes (qué guitarras). Excelente

  5. I’m a Zappa fan now for 2 years (hey, I’m 19…) and just got to this and…man, this album is just so f*ckin good…I’m into all kinds of Zappa music, I started with Hot Rats and Waka/Jawaka, and I don’t care if this was more of a “mainstream rock album” than some others, it’s just SO good, and even doing more “mainstream” rock Zappa blasts any band of his time (as someone said something about dire straits and is damn right…I like them, but it’s the truth)..so…if you’re into OSFA and Apostrophe kind of Zappa I higly recommend this one…

  6. I snatched a vinyl of this one for under $5 and listened to it over and over and over…..
    Then I bought the CD for under $15 (new!) and listened to it over and over and over……..
    Then I truly loved how intricate this ‘commershil’ album is. From the high-speed vocal parts on ‘Montana’ to the hilarious antics of ‘Dinah-Moe Humm,’ it’s a classic in its own right. Easily on of the best albums ever, when one takes all of his more commercial sounding albums in their respective times.

  7. Hum…
    This album… Zappa did much better things…
    A good pop-rock album anyway, but I truly prefer other things; great band playing good songs with good sounds (funky, disco & rock-blues, mainly).
    Zomby Woof is a very good piece of music to me, maybe under-rated, Montana a great song, even if I prefer other versions: one of the best ones is featured in the KCET tv show, with that beautiful guit solo and that ‘Poo-poo–Ta-na-naah’. Beautiful violin solo on 50-50, great female vocals on Dinah-Moe-Humm (early Tina Turner, right?)…. I do not like very much Dirty Love.. and Camarillo Brillo refrain… dunno why..

  8. Without anu doubt: this album happens to be the besy present you can offer to those folks who don’t know FZ. Done it several times. They all said: hey, this is great fun.

  9. I’ve listened to this album a lot in the past and I still love it. I’m kind of tired of it right now though, but I definetly think it’s a easy Zappa album to listen to if you don’t want to listen to anything complex. A great album to introduce people to Zappa’s music. My personal favorite Zappa album is probably Uncle Meat, which I would recommend to anyone who loves great music and is will open their minds. Overnite Sensation is still fuckin great though. I’m the slime, camarillo, montana, zomby, dinah. Great shit.

  10. The only song I don’t love on this album is “Dina-Moe Hum” and that’s only because I wore the vinyl out listening to it over and over in 1974 when I was 15.

    Currently “Zomby Woof” is my favorite track.
    Zappa is the absolute FUCKING MASTER of harmony and timbre. NO composer comes CLOSE in my opinion.

  11. This album solidified my love of Zappa and his music. My 1st real experience was Apostrophe and I bought this album when it came out in 76 or so. Wow, I was so hooked. Zappa is still my musical hero. 50% of all the music I listen too is Zappa or Zappa related, I’m turning 50 soon. I tell young people that are listening to “vintage” music like Clapton and the Beatles, if you don’t listen to Zappa, you are not experiencing what music was like during the time.

    When you first listen to this album you should go what the the F*** is this all about. Keep it on your turn table for the next few weeks and you will see what a great piece of art it is. One of Frank’s best.

    Kirby in Arkansas

  12. Bought it at the record shop in 73 and it’s just as good now as it was then…One of my more played oldies selections, now CD of course.

    Do not introduce Zappa Newbies with this album. Too easy to swallow

  13. …WOW ! ! ! It’s very exellent and complete from all points of view like as usual for “Zappa genius”.

  14. i love all of his music but this is the frist album i heard from fz in 1979 i was 15 years old and loved him ever since then. i miss him so much i wish he was still alive imagine the music he would have giving us by now.and i think poeple should listen to his music more then they do they need to play him on the radio more and t.v .this generation should hear more of his music he trully was a musicial genuis. p.s i still cry when i think of him miss him so much,

  15. This is awesome! A flawless album, and upon repeat listens, and better knowledge of music theory, the utter genius of “Zomby Woof” and “Fifty-Fifty”. Damn is Jean-Luc’s playing sound like an angel. While there is parts better than other parts on the album, that’s only because the highs are almost unattainable by any man to reach even once in his life, let alone numerous times on an album, and his career.

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