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There is probably no figure of modern popular music who so deserves the sort of scholarly exercise undertaken by Ben Watson in this book, and I am personally convinced that Zappa will be regaled by 21st Century music historians as a "crux of the biscuit" of 20th Century music.
And this 700 page tome will certainly be cited by our music historian descendants. In fairness, it may confound today's Zappa fans with it's copious references to Adorno, Freud, and Marx, but is likely to delight the erudite with its excerpts of the playfully situationist lyrics of Zappa, completely deconstructed by Watson. There is no doubt that Zappa was a genius--albeit a peculiarly American sort--and there is no doubt that no book has yet attempted such a thorough (albeit peculiar) analysis of his genius. Highly Recommended. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Frank Zappa's manic energy and weird lyrics may make him seem like a rock-cult eccentric, but to British journalist Watson, Zappa (1940-1993), founder of the Mothers of Invention (which disbanded in 1969), was a pioneering composer who forged a third stream between classical and rock music, a radical visionary whose works attack class oppression, the conformity of mass culture and the hypocrisy of conventional morality. Fusing musical analysis, cultural criticism and biography, this overblown, provocative study discusses Zappa's music in the context of avant-garde art, William Blake, Wyndham Lewis's Vorticist prose, punk rock and the Marxist politics of the French leftist group Situationist International. Watson unravels Zappa's formative influences as he discusses the ex-Mother's film 200 Motels, Broadway-musical parody Thing-Fish, sonic experiments conducted by Pierre Boulez, freewheeling orchestral scores, electronic synthesizer compositions and recent iconoclastic songs. Including a 1993 interview with Zappa and a discography, this is the ultimate book for serious Zappa fans.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This one is very very funny!!
If you have basic knowledge about culture, literature, music, political and western history and philosophy, this is even funnier. Read more
This book is guilty of trying to put FZ in clothing I am not sure he would wear.
I understand that FZ thought the book was 'good' but you can bet he never read this big... Read more
God, how I hated this book. I'm been a huge FZ fan since the '60s; have everything he's ever put out (& then some); but if I had read this book first I would never have even given... Read morePublished on Jan. 24 2003 by Keith Thompson
OK, it's a shame this book is out of print. I bought it years ago, and still come back to it time and again. Read morePublished on Sept. 18 2002 by Patrick Williams
I am a Zappa fan with no special interest in postmodernism, Theodor Adorno, or Marxism - but Ben Watson has written an extraordinary book that enhanced my appreciation and... Read morePublished on July 13 2002 by Charles R. Watson
I hope no one will ever read this and take it seriously. Somehow I have a hard time thinkin Frank would be impressed with this self-indulgent intellectual nonsense. Read morePublished on March 2 2002 by Brandon E. Schafer
If there was one thing that FZ hated, it was critics. Frank hated them because they didn't understand what he was doing. Frank hated them for not understanding music in general. Read morePublished on July 10 2001 by Howard
as i swam through the output macrostructure delighting in the accidents of conceptual similtude i streamed into a smoky chamber where a host of zappophiles cast off their... Read morePublished on Dec 4 2000 by Ken Fox
Frank Zappa's work is the product of pure genius. Every serious musician, regardless of genre, is familiar with and appreciates his work. Read morePublished on Sept. 7 2000 by Chuck