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Hot Rats

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iTunes Review

Frank Zappa's guitar chops played second fiddle to his skewered pop visions, his tape-edit abilities, and the general bizarre quality of his work with The Mothers of Invention. Lumpy Gravy saw him conducting an orchestra, while Cruising with Ruben and the Jets fulfilled his interests in doo-wop. Hot Rats, meanwhile, shows off Zappa's unorthodox approach to jazz and blues. "Willie the Pimp," with Captain Beefheart wailing away as Howlin' Wolf, is an epic jam, with Zappa turning in one of his dirtiest performances on record. At nine minutes, the only complaint is that it's too short! "Peaches En Regalia" is a stone classic, a compact piece that shows off Zappa's guitar and arrangement skills. The extended pieces—"Son of Mr. Green Genes," "The Gumbo Variations"—carry symphonic and jazz-improv weight, respectively, while "Little Umbrellas" and "It Must Be a Camel" prove Zappa can get down to business when the spirit moves him. Longtime musical accomplices Ian Underwood and Don "Sugarcane" Harris are on board, as well as Jean-Luc Ponty and Little Feat's Lowell George. 

Customer Reviews

Hot Rats

A high-water mark for western civilization

Zappa's greatest album period. However...

I highly recommend that you buy this album on vinyl or compact disc. I know that is sacrilegious in the world of mp3's and itunes, but the compression of these albums removes so much of the music. You will never hear half of the music that is on this amazing album in this format. If you really want to hear this album...go find a local independent record shop in your area and see if they have it or if they can get it. Trust me when I say that it will be well worth the time and effort.

If you don't care...pick it up here. Enjoy the compressed half of music you can hear. It's not bad.

The original mix - Sounds great!

To the reviewer complaining about the balance of instruments on this release - this is the ORIGINAL mix, as released in 1969, not the remix done for the previous CD release. That's why it may sound different from what you expect (in regards to instruments being mixed lower and the shorter play length of Gumbo Variations,) however, this is indeed the original mix, as intended by FZ on the LP release.