Frank Zappa "Playground Psychotics"

By Chris Welch

Rock World, December 1992

"Playground Psychotics"
(Zappa Records)

Tracks: Too numerous to list!

This double CD contains not only challenging performances by some of Frank's hottest versions of the Mothers Of Invention, but sneaky insights into the mutinous mutterings of his musicians. There are two hours and 12 minutes of pure Zappa entertainment to be found here, with the voices of Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman especially funny. It's good to hear British recruits Martin Lickert and Aynsley Dunbar joining in the fun, and there's a chance to hear Aynsley cooking on drums.

To explain, Mr. Zappa not only delighted in recording the music on tour, but the sounds of such events as soundchecks, gear loadouts, dressing room chit chat and even secret rebellions planned against the draconian leader. My favourite is the 'Sanzini Brothers' routine, followed appropriately by 'It's A Good Thing We Get Paid To Do This' in which wild claims are made that the boss steals all his material. "Without us he'd be nothing," exclaims one dissident.

Says Frank: "This album moves beyond mere rock'n'roll into the dangerous realm of social anthropology and a chance to participate vicariously in the touring world of the early Seventies when it was still sort of fun to do."

You have been warned!

Chris Welch 7