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Them or Us

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Editors’ Notes

While Frank Zappa albums can never be considered typical in the generic sense of the word, an album such as 1984's Them or Us can be looked upon as a very Zappa-like LP. It features stellar instrumental work from Steve Vai, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, and son Dweezil. Old-time associates George Duke, Roy Estrada and Napoleon Murphy Brock add a variety of instruments and backing vocals, while Zappa himself continues writing his satires on modern society. "Be In My Video" casts a jaundiced eye towards MTV and David Bowie. "Ya Hozna" tracks backwards vocal takes featuring daughter, Moon Unit, with previously released vocals dating back to 1968's We're Only In It For the Money. A favorite R&B tune of Zappa's, The Channels' "The Closer You Are," opens the album, while a fan's request for the Allman Brothers Band's "Whippin' Post" ends the record on a bizarre note. Sandwiched in between are "Stevie's Spanking," featuring Steve Vai's guitar work, and "Baby, Take Your Teeth Out," which warps Barry White with Zappa's own humor.

Customer Reviews


Johnny Watson, Steve Vai, and Frank...Enough said!!

Long Live FZ

Another one of His Best!!!


Born: December 21, 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 not...
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