September 19, 2020

1985-02-08 – The Morning Call

1985 02 08 The_Morning_Call_Sat__Feb_8__1986_

Frank Zappa Meets
The Mothers Of

(Barking Pumpkin/Capitol)

Zappa has few rivals as

rock's eminent clown prince,
yet most of his humor has
been targeted toward the
rock world itself: stars,
groupies and the like. His
humor takes a slightly new
turn with this release, dedi-
cated to the congressional
Wives behind the Senate
hearings on rock music.
Zappa testified at the Senate
committee hearings, which
constitute the theme for this
LP's second side. He uses
recorded snippets from the
hearings — both his com-
ments and those of the sen-
ators — as well as some
work on a synclavier, a key-
board instrument with tre—
mendous tonal capabilities.
Side one offers more of Zap-
pa's eclectic rock music and
some dollops of humor.
'We're Turning Again" is a
plea to resurrect dead rock
stars; "Alien Orifice" exam-
ines the best method of get-
ting a screen test; "Yo
Cats" and "What's New in
Baltimore" offer more gen-
eralized silliness. It's clear
from this disc that Zappa re-
mains one of the few rock-
ers who choose to think in
paragraphs and chapters
rather than in words or sen-
tence fragments.

W77 gzw77 e!”

Pack Up The

Plantation — Live!

Who’s Missing

A live two-record set
from Petty, an odds—and-
sods collection from the de-
funct Who's early days —
part of the odious tradition
of milking bands for all they

are worth, right? Actually
both albums justify their ex-
istence to a surprising de-

"Plantation" is a reshuf-
fled chunk of the soundtrack
to Patty's soon—to-be—re-
leased MCA home video of
the same name, which was
filmed at the end of last
summer's tour. The songs
are fleshed out by the Soul
Lips Horns (similar to the
strategy The Band used for
1972’s "Rock Of Ages" LP)
and a female backing duo.
the Rebelettes. Petty has
said he didn't want this to
be a greatest-hits-live pack-
age, so he slotted several
cover versions, including
rousing renditions of “So
You Wanna Be a Rock &
Roll Star" (a terrific choice,
considering Petty's feuds
with his label), "Don't Bring
Me Down," and "Needles
and Pins" (a duet with Stev-
ie Nicks, who also sings on
"lnsider"). The only prob-
lem: each four-song side
seems to have one really
boring song. Still, a .750
batting average ain't bad.

Is The Who becoming
"The Band That Wouldn't
Die"? Maybe, but "Who's
Missing," which includes
three unreleased tracks,
three tracks not released in
America, and six tracks that
were B sides of singles, is
more than a slapdash trip
through the British band's
old curiosity shop. Many of
side one's songs show how
The Who was interpreting
American R&B circa 1965.
Also, "Barbara Ann" (1966)
is a big surprise (almost as
big as Pete Townshend's
disclosure that Keith Moon
was the band's surf music
fan). And "Mary—Anne with
the Shaky Hands" (1967) is
still a delight. John En-
twhistle and Roger Daltrey
account for three of the five
songs on side two (and
they’re good). A live version
of “Bargain" (1972) shows
a mature band at its peak.
All this, plus great liner
notes by Townshend, too.

[w W


9012Live — The Solos

This LP, the third live al—
bum of Yes' 17—year career,
is plainly contrived to
squeeze all the bucks it can
from consumers. Most ap-
preciative of this seven-
track disc will be long—time
fans. Jon Anderson delivers
a beautiful vocal on "Soon,"
which first appeared on the
1974 "Relayer" LP. There's
Chris Squire's tremulous
bass solo on "Amazing
Grace," which he has per
formed for years. And, as
fans well know, no Yes con—
cert would be complete
without "The Fish" — here
it's called "Whitefish" —
where Squire combines with
drummer Alan White. Any-
one not familiar with Yes