Tinsel Town Rebellion

Released: May 11 1981


  1. Fine Girl
  2. Easy Meat
  3. For The Young Sophisticate
  4. Love Of My Life
  5. I Ain’t Got No Heart
  6. Panty Rap
  7. Tell Me You Love Me
  8. Now You See It – Now You Don’t
  9. Dance Contest
  10. The Blue Light
  11. Tinseltown Rebellion
  12. Pick Me, I’m Clean
  13. Bamboozled By Love
  14. Bown Shoes Don’t Make It
  15. Peaches III

Frank Zappa (lead guitar, vocals), Ike Willis (rhythm guitar, vocals), Ray White (rhythm guitar, vocals), Steve Vai (rhythm guitar, vocals), Warren Cucurillo (rhythm guitar, vocals), Denny Walley (slide guitar, vocals), Tommy Mars (keyboards, vocals), Peter Wolf (keyboards), Bob Harris (keyboards, trumpet, high vocals), Ed Mann (percussion), Arthur Barrow (bass, vocals), Patrick O’Hearn (bass on “Dance Contest”), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), David Logeman (drums on “Fine Girl” and first half of “Easy Meat”), Greg Cowan (featured in the role of eccentric well-to-do Oregonian party giver)

14 thoughts on “Tinsel Town Rebellion”

  1. Awesome combination of loud guitars and vocals, a prelude to YAWYI and a great example of the 80-81 bands!! A must have live album

  2. …. Jesus what had happened to Frank ???
    Easy meat with Emerson, Lake & Palmer organ?
    And Peaches ????
    no comment …….

  3. Klaus sure isn’t easy to please. I happen to think this album is quite good. And “rubbish” was a bit much in reference to “Drowning Witch”.

  4. This album is a good approximation of the live shows Zappa was doing at the time of these recordings, mixing older material with the newer stuff. I like the overdubbed Art Rock keyboards on “Easy Meat.” Anyone who doesn’t think ELP parodies are funny doesn’t have a very good sense of the absurd, imho.

  5. Come ON! This album is substandard! Fine Girl is a pretty decent track, as is Easy Meat. Then, apart from The Blue Light (which is at least interesting), Brown Shoes… and perhaps Tinseltown itself, the rest of it is pretty bad.

  6. A few of the songs are pretty sucky, but who’s going to tell me that Pick Me I’m Clean is a crappy song? Bamboozled…? Crappy? Anyone?
    I think not. How about the Easy Meat guitar solo?
    That fucking thing is a machine in my opinion.

    I gotta admit though, that version of For The Young Sophisticate is a real turd. PLOP!

  7. “Tinseltown Rebellion” is definitely one of my favorite Zappa live albums, mainly because he had the 1978-79 band revamp so many old Mothers classics, like “Love of My Life” and “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It”. I know that this might seem a bit sacriligious for a dye-in-the-wool Zappa fan such as myself, but as dazzling as the technical prowess was for this band (EVERYTHING the Vinnie Colaiuta-era band played was played at HYPER-SPEED!), sometimes the out-of-this-world technical precision of this ensemble can leave me a little cold and weary, longing for the deeper, heavier grooves of the ’73-’74 Mothers. For an excellent example of this, just listen to this band’s version of “Dirty Love” from the “Can’t Do This On Stage” series (Vol. 6) and although it is undeniably hyper-dazzling, it just doesn’t have that EARTHINESS of the original (slower and deeper) version. Still, this band has technique to burn, tons of energy, and provides Frank with loads of continuous “on-the-road Folklore”. This is a band that loved to play together, and could just about smoke any other band in the world at this point. It’s a great introduction to Frank’s catalog, too, if you aren’t turned off by the atonality of “The Blue Light”.

  8. Very weak album!!! “Brown Shoes Dont Make It” is absolutely horrible version of this song, there are an awfully sounding synths, very average songs – maybe except “Tinsel Town Rebellion”, “For The Young Sophisticate” and “Pick Me Up, I’m Clean” – they’re good, but no brillianr.

  9. My first live album by FZ, and still a fine album. A fine version of ‘Love Of My Life,’ complete with Bob Harris (II) on some nice high vocals. ‘Baboozled…’ is hardly subpar, and ‘Pick Me….’ still makes me laugh (or at least giggle). Some songs seem to be at uber-speed, like ‘Peaches III’ and ‘Brown Shoes…’ is a touch messy, but so what? It’s a great band playing great songs–what more could one ask for?

  10. As a musician, I feel that there is excellent tightness within the group. While it may lack the feel of some of his 70’s stuff, technically speaking, it is an impressive album. Keep in mind that one can not stay stuck in one mold as an musician. Good music is about taking chances; Definitely the most smokin’ version of ‘Peaches’, by far. I love the atonality of ‘the Blue Light’ mixed with it’s undaunting groove. The humor mixed with the musicianship of ‘Pick Me, I’m Clean’ make it a killer tune. People who don’t like this album clearly never really got Frank or his views or his music for that matter.

  11. This was my first album as an adult getting seriously into Zappa, and at the time I really dug it. It was funny, the compositions were interesting, and Steve Vai and his light blue hair….. I think people who found Zappa late in his career must go through phases. I’m currently listening to the Synclavier stuff with Ensemble Modern, but I’ve just come out of a Ruth Underwood obsession. I’ve always suggested this album as being one of the best introductions to Zappa. Ok, top five introductory albums maybe.

  12. a great introduction to the 80s from our favourite composer!

    a (mostly) live album presumably intended to approximate the flow of a FZ live concert, some astounding solos (E.Z. MEAT; NOW YOU SEE IT..), biting lyrics (BLUE LIGHT) and plain great songs (PICK ME..) combine to make another great piece of optional entertainment for your ears.

    sound quality ain’t bad either..

  13. This is my favourite and most played Zappa album. The old songs have a new zest about them – ‘Brown Shoes Don’t Make It’ by the ’79 band is the best version I’ve heard. Also loads of audience participation, great Zappa guitar solos, amazing Ray White and Ike Willis vocals, Bob Harris’ ear-splitting falsetto, more Mars keyboard tricks, Vinnie at his manic best etc.

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