Frank Zappa. 'Tinsel Town Rebellion'

By Chas de Whalley

Record Mirror, December 6, 1980

FRANK ZAPPA: 'Tinsel Town Rebellion'
(CBS 88516)

LIVE ALBUMS and Frank Zappa go hand in hand. The erstwhile Mother of Invention records every gig he plays, you see, and invariably employs a band who are not onlys good at their instruments as he is himself but are also disciplined enough to deliver his neo-orchestral arrangements exactly as he wants them.

Sadly though it lacks the focus of previous live sets like 'Fillmore' and 'Roxy'. Recorded in eight different locations on both sides of the Atlantic and crediting nearly three years worth of changing personnel, it sounds suspiciously like it was thrown together to satisfy some contractual commitment of other.

Of course, long-term Zappa fans will not be at all surprised by his constant reference to his own musical past and, indeed, the fine versions of earlier classics like 'Brown Shoes Don't Make It' and 'Peaches En Regalia' will be welcomed as old friends. Any craving for new highs should be satisfied too as DooWop meets Stravinsky and Varèse stars in SOAP for 'Blue Light', 'Tinsel Town Rebellion' and 'Fine Girl'. ★★★