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You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 5 (Live)

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Album Review

For the fifth volume in the You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore series, Frank Zappa prepared two unrelated discs. Disc one features the original Mothers of Invention in unreleased live and studio recordings mainly from 1969 (but also one from 1965 and a couple from 1967-1968). Disc two documents the 1982 European tour. There is something wicked — almost obscene — in this pairing, and it surely was intentional. Throughout the 1980s, fans of the early Mothers had attacked Zappa's integrity in the case of the re-recorded CD reissues of We're Only in It for the Money and Cruising with Ruben & the Jets, and often despised the scatological antics and straightforward rock stylings of his latter bands. This was a calculated move, a way to say: "So you want unreleased material from the early Mothers? OK, but you'll have to pay for the 1982 band — and hopefully listen to it, too." The material on the MOI disc occasionally features meager sound quality (as expected), but it contains many gems for the aficionado ("Run Home Slow," the hilarious "Right There," and "No Waiting for the Peanuts to Dissolve" stand out). This is a place for fans to salivate over bits and pieces, not for newcomers to get the full picture about Zappa's pre-1970 career. On the other hand, the performances on disc two are of more general appeal. Although the 1982 band had not really been documented yet (left only a few tracks on Vol. 1 and Vol. 4 of this series), it was not the case for its repertoire. Of historical significance are "Dead Girls of London" and "Shall We Take Ourselves Seriously?" The other tracks show good performances but don't stand out as particularly original or essential. ~ François Couture, Rovi