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Album Review

Released soon after the live Roxy & Elsewhere, One Size Fits All contained more of the material premiered during the 1973-1974 tour, but this time largely re-recorded in the studio. The band remains the same: George Duke, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Chester Thompson, Tom Fowler, and Ruth Underwood. Johnny "Guitar" Watson overdubbed some vocals and Captain Beefheart (credited as Bloodshot Rollin' Red) played some harmonica ("when present," state the liner notes). The previous album focused on complex music suites. This one is more song-oriented, alternating goofy rock songs with more challenging numbers in an attempt to find a juste milieu between Over-Nite Sensation and Roxy & Elsewhere. "Inca Roads," "Florentine Pogen," "Andy," and "Sofa" all became classic tracks and live favorites. These are as close to progressive rock (a demented, clownish kind) Zappa ever got. The obscurity of their subjects, especially the flying saucer topic of "Inca Roads," seem to spoof prog rock clichés. The high-flying compositions are offset by "Can't Afford No Shoes," "Po-Jama People," and "San Ber'dino," more down-to-earth songs. Together with Zoot Allures, One Size Fits All can be considered as one of the easiest points of entry into Zappa's discography. The album artwork features a big maroon sofa, a conceptual continuity clue arching back to a then-undocumented live suite (from which "Sofa" was salvaged) and a sky map with dozens of bogus stars and constellations labeled with inside jokes in place of names. An essential third-period Zappa album. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Born: 21 December 1940 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Composer, guitarist, singer, and bandleader Frank Zappa was a singular musical figure during a performing and recording career that lasted from the 1960s to the '90s. His disparate influences included doo wop music and avant-garde classical music; although he led groups that could be called rock & roll bands for much of his career, he used them to create a hybrid style that bordered on jazz and complicated, modern serious music, sometimes inducing orchestras to play along. As if his music were...
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