45 thoughts on “Vienna ’84”

  1. 84 is not my least favorite. Well, any Zappa is good. Apart from that this show is YCDTOSA + DHBIM + another monster Cleveland. Why? Why not…? ;-)

  2. Having not listened to it and with no intention of listening to it I think I can speak with some authority when I say it is just plain dull – like most of the stuff he churned out during the 1980’s. Pointless, stupid, passionless, directionless crap.

    I am off to find something interesting to listen to.

  3. Duncan, by that post alone you sound like the definition of an old crab. Posting in a thread about something you don’t like just to mention how much you don’t like it. Here Here!

  4. 84 is probably my least fav. tour, but it does have some high points. The musical ‘secret word’ in this concert seems to be Greig’s ‘Morning’ from Peer Gynt. Funny. Also, the concert version of ‘Evil Prince’ is just awesome, even when Ray White forgets the words.

  5. Duncan has a point. Whilst FZ and his band were never less than professional at this time, I did get the feeling that they were going through the motions. After all, FZ needed to generate income for his other projects and it’s better than working in a gas station!

  6. They did have an incredibly commercial sound, they just didnt play commercial music. In general, there is something sleazy and pink about the band: PORN ROCK would be the term, I think. That being said, for years I hated this band, regrettably, I even returned YCDTOSA 4 because of how terrible the 80’s stuff was. However, the band does grow on you, start with the vocals, then get into the guitar. DHBIM is the best intro because they’re definitely a band to be seen more than heard.
    As of now, they’re one of my favorite line ups (next to post-Bongo Fury 70’s stuff) and really look forward to hearing Baby Take Your Teeth Out, thanks Barry!
    ps. who can hate “Carol You Fool”?

  7. Well, maybe Duncan has a point, 1980’s never was my favorites either. But I am just wondering: Why is it you can speak with some authority, Duncan? No need to disqualify a show because you might not like a specific period. Hidden gems are everywhere.

  8. I remember being so happy after three years to see a couple of shows in 1984 that I thought they were great. I saw the 2nd Pier show and a New Haven show, and loved hearing Zoot Allures, Apostrophe, The Dangerous Kitchen, Teenage Wind, plus the sick 1984 Black Page.

  9. Why, i like what i’m hearing. Vocals in Carol you Fool are fantastic, Let’s Move to Cleveland is remarkable including a superb Chad Wackerman solo (i don’t want Terry Bozzio, i fall asleep with Billy Mundi, give me Chad Wackerman all the time – he is a Monster!! best Zappa drummer ever!!)
    I don’t find this boring at all – but then again almost no one wants to be my friend at LastFM… :-)

  10. FZ 1984 line-up is not my favourite, too. For my taste NO to crap like Dancin’ fool, Bobby Brown etc., synth like sound… but Zappa is always Zappa! I am with Wannabeard – “Hidden gems ar everywhere.”
    About Duncan’s opinion, I don’t want to speak – No comment!

    Frank, We miss Ya!

  11. Hidden gems are everywhere.

    Of course they are — but perhaps they’re a bit harder to discover in FZ’s mid-80’s recordings (save the superb ’88 tour allure). In the end, I think it must’ve been tough for each and every musician/composer coming from the 70s to adapt to this weird era that was the 80s. Neil Young, Springsteen, Dylan, Lou Reed — you name ’em. I’m not saying FZ lost his way in this era but, in my humble opinion, a lot of pure musical genius had to give way to anecdotal political doo-wop-a-dee-dee.
    Musically, FZ took a lot more “risks” in the 60s/70s than he did in the 80s.

    Damn that Ronald Reagan…

  12. I think the ’84 band is lot of fun to listen to, especially with terrific vocals and they seemed to be having a lot of fun. I’d love to hear a concert with a live Thunes solo (Nig Biz was a feature, apparently?).

  13. Hey, that’s one the shows I personally recorded with my trusty ol’ now semi-defunct Sony Professional Walkman WM-D6! I remember seein’ Ray sweat under his cap while singing the real awesome “Evil Prince”. I like the show a lot!

  14. The closing track from that gig – “Whippin’ Post”, appears to be missing from the download page ?

  15. synthetic toms.

    yamaha dx-7’s.

    if it were anyone else, i’d call those ‘cocaine decisions’.

    as always, the devil is in the details…

  16. If memory serves me, this actually is a pretty good ’84 show. Plenty of good FZ solos, I think I am right in saying? Still, can’t hang around, have some Sharl-shooting to do……….

  17. Is there really such a thing as a bad Zappa concert? Or have we all become so spoiled over the years that what might be considered an excellent show one day is just merely passable another day? Even on a bad day, Zappa and the various Mothers can show groups today a thing or two or three…

  18. Not only is there such a thing as a bad FZ show – from the fact that there is, we must logically conclude that there is a worst FZ show of all time. And, without knowing what that show is, I’d almost certainly rather listen to it than anything by Blink 182, Fallout Boy… the list of nameless, faceless, homogenous bands goes on. But now I’m curious – is there one show that stands out among afficianadi as unusually rancid and limp? It would be even more interesting to hear the most-botched FZ guitar solo. Listening to Charlie Parker’s notorious way-too-wasted sessions (Dial – “Lover Man” and “Gypsy”), once he get’s started, he doesn’t sound worst than a lot of other people sound all the time

  19. synthetic toms. yamaha dx-7’s.

    Exactly. It is a very cheesy, mid-rangey sound – better than a Farfisa, but along the same line. And I personally can get tired of the Tommy Mars sound (don’t shoot me, please). Vocals sound good, though, as does Frank’s guitar.

  20. hey, for you Aussies out there… relating to that nme news
    that documentary is gonna be on SBS this Saturday!

  21. 34 responses?…!!!!! Wowww!!!! :-)
    Anyway, I tend to like this show too. I imagined to experience this version of Bamboozled – must have been great (great surpise). Evil Prince is Nr. 1, – anyway, this wwas fun.

  22. there’s some tasty solos in this show, whoever said fz lost it in 84 is talking shite!

    notice all the ‘owner of a lonely heart’ quotes in most solos too!

    also, there’s that strange ‘fz 84 descending /recurring riff’ ..as i just called it.., in a couple of the solos, know what i mean? pops up all over the 84 performances (stage series, dhbim dvd.. )

  23. It would be even more interesting to hear the most-botched FZ guitar solo.

    A real dog, off the top of my head — “Truck Driver Divorce” solo from Sept 1, 1984.

  24. Just discovered this page. Thank you. Awesome tunes, even with the synthetic sounds. Looking forward to the next one.

  25. Don’t snipe Sharleena! That verily IS madass keen drumming, even though I too have a bit of personal Blecch as to the envelope/timbre of said drums themselves. Finally I am aglow in the radiance of “Ride My Face To Chicago” & “Chana In De Bushwop” … yum!

  26. I kinda think that FZ got to realize a lot of the music in his head in stages – jazz, vocal, hard rock, orchestral, al at certain times, with certain musicians…
    He had an affection for multi-part harmonic vocals (as do I); I think this particular band let him realize some of the vocal textures he had running thru his head.
    Okay, maybe this wasn’t known as a particularly ‘creative’ time afa his melodic construction was concerned and I am not a big fan of the digital mid-tone heavy background either, but this band could tear it up vocally and that’s what endears them to me.
    Oh Sharl? You can sign me up for the Ch.W.L.F. I’d rather not be an officer – recording secretary maybe…

  27. The reason I like this show – much better than “Does Humor” – are the solos. Much more energy, without slowing down (Hot Plate Heaven), etc. And fun.
    Sharleena: I’d much rather join the “Vinnie Colaiuta During His Second Semester In The (’80) Band Association”… :-)

  28. i would be the first to sign up for balint’s ‘vinnie colaiuta during his second semester in the (’80) band association’ (vcdhssit80ba). it’s as though vinnie felt bad about getting shitcanned the first time around for being greedy, and wanted to show frank some gratitude for being allowed back in the fold. the ’80 band with vinnie and vai and bob harris on falsetto vocals is pure virtuosoville, and i believe one of the most under-rated of all zappa’s aggregations.

    as for wackerman, i don’t like the way he plays grooves. he’s an impressive reader and technically flawless, but i’d rather hear dave logeman play a rock beat or a shuffle.

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