Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar

Released: May 11 1981

I. Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar

  1. five-five-FIVE
  2. Hog Heaven
  3. Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar
  4. While You Were Out
  5. Treacherous Cretins
  6. Heavy Duty Judy
  7. Soup ‘n Old Clothes

II. Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar Some More

  1. Variations On The Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression
  2. Gee, I Like Your pants
  3. Canarsie
  4. Ship Ahoy
  5. The Deathless Horsie
  6. Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar Some More
  7. Pink Napkins

III. Return Of The Son Of Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar

  1. Beat It With Your Fist
  2. Return Of The Son Of Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar
  3. Pinocchio’s Furniture
  4. Why Johnny Can’t Read
  5. Stucco Homes
  6. Canard Du Jour

14 thoughts on “Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar”

  1. God, no-one reviewed this album yet?!? This is one of the fines works Zappa ever made. The way he playes the guitar is lively, colorful, exciting, relaxing – and so on. The accompaniment is excellent as well, and the guitar work is amazing: a (two hour long) peak in FZ’s solo-work. This compilation is much richer in dynamics, colours and who-knows-what than the later “Guitar” album (1988), and has some unforgettable cuts: “Treacherous Cretins”, “Soup ‘n Old Clothes”, “The Deathless Horsie”, the long-sensitive-and-beautiful “Stucco Homes” followed by “Canard Du Jour” with Ponty – and the maybe-the-best-ever “Ship Ahoy”.

    I love it.

  2. not only do you get the desinex burger,you get to hear some great stuff that hasnt been played to death on the radio,a life time of pleasureawaits any who buy this.

  3. I bought this set when it was first available as three seperate vinyl albums by mail order only. It was wonderful, warm beautiful sounding black discs of the greatest guitar playing I’ve ever heard. I think this was when Zappa was at his peak as a guitar player.

  4. I’ve been playing guitar for 16 years, and had avoided Zappa like the plague up until five years ago. Why? Flo and Eddie was my first foray, with the 200 Motels movie. It was too much for me to handle, until I discovered Overnite Sensation.

    Anyway, I can’t stop collecting FZ records now. I just picked up Shut Up, don’t know the track names yet, but there are moments on these discs where I have to back up and listen to his phrasing again and again.

    It’s like hearing three discs of Yo Mama-like guitar. He really loved guitar-drummer interplay, and I haven’t heard anyone get anywhere close to the Bozzio/Zappa or Colaiuta/Zappa symbiosis. Wow. Man, Frank can play that guitar to death, no?

  5. I don’t know anything about guitar technique, but I enjoy this album enormously. It comprises a huge span of moods – it’s melancholy, angry, joyful, contemplative, and it always houses untold beauty. Obviously there are no words – besides some few-second spoken snippets between tunes, that seem to have been taken from “Sheik Yerbouti” or “Läther”.
    This album helped me to listen to other FZ not-so-easy stuff, such as the slowest songs in “Joe’s Garage, Acts I, II & III”. The musical subtleties, hues, nuances and delicate gradations of sound that fill “Shut Up’n Play Yer Guitar” taught me to go beyond the obvious, even in the most energetic tunes. Also, this is a very happy meeting between jazzy improvisational melody and a real rocking feeling.
    I think this album is an EAR OPENER. Buy it now, and listen to it many, many times!

  6. What can one say to this absolutely amazing collection of guitar solos and just as amazing backing from the various bands that Zappa constructed and taught to play his unique and quite advanced brand of music as created by one of the great music visionaries in music,period.Here are three discs of almost all live recordings from the late 70’s,early 80’s, that display Frank’s total mastery and understanding of how to fully utilize this instrument.His solos really incorporate a rhythm and melodic flow (most cannot hear this occuring) that is seldom achieved by other guitar players in a solo,this can be more easily heard on most of his acoustic playing. His use of the entire fret board and all six of its strings, is also something other so called great players don’t know how to do.Also if you want to hear brilliant use of feedback check out some of the tracks on the disc “Guitar”.Another thing that is of substantial note is the mind blowing drumming of Vinnie Colaiuta and how it interplays with Frank’s solos,don’t forget these are live tracks that I would say don’t have very much overdubbing if any.The liner notes don’t make any indication of it.I’ll try and sum things up here,if you like music and guitar,and have an open mind to a form of music that isn’t your standard R&R sound,rhythm,and beat then you need to listen to this, and more than once,since there is so much to absorb.I find myself listening and hearing something differently that I didn’t the last time I listened.On that note all I can say is that Frank is one of the most under recognized artists by the general listening public,no thanks in large part to that ugly thing they call RADIO,”kill ugly radio”.As a guitarist almost all other players ride in the back seat,and they know it, too.

  7. Great Googly Moogly This 3 LP set has been out there for almost 25 years and I will NEVER in my lifetime be able to consume enough of it..There aren’t words to describe the beauty of all of the songs from this this set and the timeless memories of days past BUT the best memory is being at the show that “Hog Heaven” was recorded from in MY VERY OWN home town of Tulsa Oklahoma 10-18-80 R.I.P Frank you are deeply missed….I would highly advise that if you don’t own SUAPYG to get off your ass and go get this wonderful set of music and after you have listened to it sit back and ask yourself “Are You Hardcore”

  8. The first time I saw the boxed vinyl set of “Shut Up…” in a record store when it came out, I just laughed myself silly just in awe of the whole NERVE of the release. THREE albums of guitar solos ONLY? WOW, this guy had nerves of steel, I thought. Years later, I bought the double CD set when Rykodisc first started releasing Frank CDs in the mid ’80’s, and the mastering on it was really quiet. SO, I made an analog cassette copy to play in my car and boosted the output volume to hear the tracks better, and started playing the whole monstrosity while driving long stretches to college (3 and 4 hour long car rides). At first the barrage of notes was all too much, but over time, the absolute beauty of Frank’s guitar improvisations have changed my life, literally. The man really WORKED at his “air sculptures”, and all of the solos on all of these discs DEMAND repeated listenings to reveal their inner intelligence, creativity, strength and wonder. Many (including Nigey Lennon in her book on Frank) have dismissed this set, pointing out that almost all of the solos in this collection are based on simple, two-chord vamps (like the guitar solo break in “Inca Roads” from which many of these solos were extracted), but to me, the harmonic complexity is irrelevant here, because Frank is literally reinventing and expanding upon the notion of MELODY, and the simplicity of the harmonic accompaniment only accentuates the innovation of the pioneering melodic exploration. Frank EXHAUSTS all approaches to the guitar, and probably uses the low end of the neck more deeply and creatively than any other axe man I can think of. This is wonderful, insightful, relavatory stuff. NO self-respecting Zappa fan can wear that title without completely immersing themselves in this masterwork. An absolutely essential Zappa classic. The boy could PLAY!!

  9. Heavy Duty Judy, Beat It With Your Fist,
    Gee I Like Your Pants, Five Five FIVE,
    Treacherous Cretins,…

    What can you say?

  10. I recently discovered Zappa.. I already consider myself a fan.. I feel I can understand him. His personality is an example for me. This album is really state-of-the-art.

  11. … i only just obtained this; been eagerly anticipating getting it in my earholes since first seeing it advert’d on the dust sleeve fer, uhhh, U.R.WutU.Iz (??!), so that’d be 26 y’ars back now eh? Am feeding said earholes w/ the beastie even now – so, a Conzeptual Discontinuality infra-review: Oh My: how anybody who’d just concocted a glorious dinosaur-o-love like “Leather” could then keep the same scale in play w/ an INSTRUMENTAL multi-LP is, er, Highly Irregular, but Zappa did BOTH these things in the same time frame ( in addition 2 other releases, mind you ), which you’d think would lead 2 a bad case of musical stretch-marks, but OMFG but this thing is tasty tasty tasty … Hey, here’s a lil’ tess fer alls you nice white folks: see if y’all cans come ups wif ten live-an-kickin-it rawk axe-choppers that ya could mebbe see explicatin’ they’s prococious talents upon such a bombastic & CecilBeeCoupeDeVille-likes sorta set o’ LP-Triplitz platform … HMMM?

    Zappa knew he wasn’t the supreme guitarist, & happily said so, but what he did do like nobody’s business was bring his talent & imagination 2 bear on those 6 silly little strings so as 2 make his playing glow w/ a very special kind of compositional/conceptual excitement … tho’ he had many amazing studio-gizmo-mutations he had no need 4 any “sweetening” due 2 the sheer ferocity of his touring bands … his timing & elan are like unto Segovian & yes, this merits repeated/hi-intensity listening. Production is as ever a treat – my heart does verily mosh w/ joy ‘gainst my ribs, hearing another of this man’s gargantuan projects … 4 me, a long-time chronic guitar-abuser, this’s like 3 mondo BIG platefuls of home-cookin’ fresh from that mysterious UMRKitschen … mayhap this’s not his greatest but obviously one of his most ZESTY confections, w/ acres of Teen Rock Power appeal … mmm …

    – hotcha!

  12. Probably required listening by all aspiriing guitar players. This was a favorite of mine back around 2000, even though I had no hope of even coming close to his skill. It was some terrific stuff, even if the backing band is virtually nonexistent. Not that such a thing matters.

  13. Stucco Homes is running in the background right at the time of this writing.
    Contains more melodic ideas than others would have in their whole career.

  14. I first bought this set as three vinyl albums by mail order from barking pumpkin. I had to re-order the first album after my mother tore it from the turntable and whipped it Frisbee-style against the wall (the woman never had any appreciation for Frank Zappa). Still, anyone whose collection lacks this particular set is really a poor excuse for a Zappa freak…

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