Plato is a group of music specialty stores in the Netherlands. The first store was opened in Leiden in the mid-seventies. Plato publishes his own music magazine, the Mania, with music and film reviews. The Mania is a free magazine that appears once every four weeks. All issues from #283 are online accessible, from #366 as downloadable pdf files.

2012 February 10

No. 284


Frank Zappa: Carnegie Hall
By Rimjuk, p 39

 Automatic translation: In 1971, the Mothers visited New York's Carnegie Hall. Promoter Ron Delsener managed to convince the booking manager that Zappa really was a classically trained musician and so the Mothers were in this prestigious hall on 11 October. The complete registration of the two concerts, including the support act (The Persuasions), has been brought together on four CDs in a beautiful box. For example, what you get is a 47-minute performance of Billy The Mountain. Furthermore, all the highlights of Live At Fillmore East and Just Another Band From LA pass by. In addition, a number of beautiful classics, such as King Kong (30 minutes!) and Cruising For Burgers, but also material that would not find its way to vinyl until the late 1970s: Stick It Out and Wonderful Wino. Flo & Eddy are in top form and Zappa's guitar playing is exciting. The sound quality leaves something to be desired here and there, but a moan who pays attention to that, because the M.O.I. live at Carnegie Hall has become a great document!



2012 March 9

No. 285


Captain Beefheart: Bat Chain Puller
By Louk Vanderschuren,, p 30

 Automatic translation: After recording Bongo Fury with Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart decided to record a new album with a new Magic Band for Zappa's label, to take revenge for two lesser records. On those predecessors, Unconditionally Guaranteed and Bluejeans & Moonbeams (both from 1974), Beefheart had tried in vain to reach a wider audience. Apparently inspired by the collaboration with Zappa, Beefheart got a taste of his avan-garde craft again. Unfortunately, when Zappa subsequently had a disagreement with his manager, Bat Chain Puller – according to Zappa Beefheart his best record since Trout Mask Replica – became part of the lawsuit and the record was not released. Beefheart later re-recorded some songs for a next record, the insanely strong Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller). The recordings of Bat Chain Puller remained the property of the Zappa family, who decided to release the record last year. The party was originally planned for January 15, when the Captain would have celebrated his 71st birthday, but hopefully, after 36 years of waiting, this legendary record by a legendary artist will finally be in your player when you read this piece.



2012 August 10

No. 289


12 albums remastered
By Niels Achtereekte, p 41

 Automatic translation: Under the auspices of the Zappa family, Universal has been given the honor of republishing most of Frank Zappa's oeuvre in a polished version. As is known, Zappa did not look at one album more or less, so Universal has looked at the no less than sixty records that were released on Zappa's own label Barking Pumpkin Records. The first twelve albums are currently in the (digital) bins; from Freak Out! from 1966 to Just Another Band From L.A. from 1972. The other albums follow step by step. Well, discussing twelve Zappa albums on one page is asking for trouble. That's how Freak Out! against the long hippie hair and two years later Zappa pays tribute to the doo-wo with Cruising With Ruben & The Jets. Not so much later, Hot Rats clearly shows how wide many later arrangements will sound. But beyond the almost unreal collection of influences and genres (in just six years), the albums are also a fine documentation of Zappa's evolving political and social consciousness. And let's not forget the satire that goes hand in hand with it. Every music lover should in any case have tasted it. Don't give up immediately if the first bites don't taste good, because these twelve albums contain more ingredients than you can imagine.



2012 December 7

No. 293


Frank Zappa: Understanding America, Mothermania, Road Tapes
By Wim Koevoet, p 38

 Automatic translation: And there are three more. If widow Gail Zappa keeps up this pace, more records by Frank (1940-1993) will be released a few years after his death than during his far too short life. And that's saying a lot because Frank Zappa was one of the most prolific artists ever. It must be said that Mrs. Zappa manages the unspeakable musical legacy of her brilliant husband in a fantastic way. Understanding America is an atypical collector, loosely based on the theme 'The American Way' and released around election time. The compelling double album crisscrosses the man's dozens of albums with caustic, extremely comical, timeless and unparalleled tracks about sex, hippies, punks, distorted ideals, religion, money and power. The absolute highlight is the sound collage of more than twenty minutes of Porn Wars. Much more convincing and in any case with much more humor than say Geert Wilders, Zappa shows here how important freedom of expression is. It's great how he completely clamps down on politicians, including Al Gore. What we miss a contemporary equivalent!
Road Tapes contains previously unreleased live recordings from 1968 with a more than acceptable quality, despite the primitive gear. King Kong, Trouble Every Day, Pound For A Brown. That work. We've all done it ten times, but these performances are again just very good. Very special is Octandre, a piece by Zappa's great hero Edgar Varese.
Mothermania is a kind of Best Of The Mothers Of Invention and was originally released in 1969. The Collector does contain some different versions of tracks that are on the regular albums and is therefore interesting for the fans who already have everything. Freak Out, Absolutely Free and We're Only In It ForThe Money are especially featured, making it an ideal introduction to Zappa's early and groundbreaking work. So again, thank you Gail! And see you next time.



2013 April 5

No. 296


Speciale Releases
pp 5, 7

Automatic translate:
Frank Zappa - I'm The Slime/Montana Reissue on green vinyl of this single from 1973, with the special feature that Montana is half a minute longer than on the original release.
Frank Zappa - Why Don'Cha Do Me Right / Big Leg Emma Reissue of the rare 1967 single from the Absolutely Free period, or as Frank put it himself: Dumb Music For Dumb Teenagers. But still worth it! 



2015 December 4

No. 323


Frank Zappa & The Mothers: Roxy The Movie
By Wim Koevoet, p 38

Automatic translation: Zappa fans have had to wait for more than forty years, but finally here is the film of the legendary four concerts of Zappa and, according to many, they are the best band ever, at the end of 1973 in the Roxy. These performances resulted in the excellent live album Roxy And Elsewhere in 1974. But the film failed to materialize. It now appears that Zappa and after his death also his wife Gail, who unfortunately died recently at the age of seventy, failed to solve a technical problem: the recording equipment used at the time did not function optimally, so that image and sound could not be synchronized. Technician John Albarian has now completed this job. He writes about it visually in the liner notes. Thanks to him, the Holy Grail now opens and we can finally hear and see the then 33-year-old chain-smoking Zappa lead his incomparable band including George Duke, Chester Thompson and Ruth Underwood. Although they have drawn from four different concerts, this is hardly noticeable, partly because every band member wore the same clothes every time. The playlist is much more extensive than that of the Roxy album from 1974, the sound is fine, in short: party! And yet ... a lot remains to be desired. Because the CD of Roxy The Movie, the soundtrack, is missing some songs because they don't fit on it. And why have not all four concerts been released in full on DVD and CD? The 'boxworthiness' of a celebrity like Zappa is undeniable. And now, after forty years, the fan is actually being fobbed off with an infusion. Not a weak extract, but a strong extract. That again.



2016 August 12

No. 329


Frank Zappa: Lumpy Money Project, Frank Zappa For President, The Crux Of The Buscuit, Road Tapes
By Wim Koevoet, p 39



2017 March 10

No. 335


Zappa: Eat That Question
By ?, p 69



2017 May 5

No. 337


The Mothers Of Invention: Absolutely Free
By Bert Dijkman, p 50



2017 December 8

No. 343


Frank Zappa: Halloween Night 1977
By Wim Koevoet, p 65



2018 April 8

No. 346


Frank Zappa: The Roxy Performances
By Wim Koevoet, p 55



2018 December 7

No. 353


Peter Sijnke - Zappa: Een controversieel componist
By Red, p 57

Review of the book by Peter Sijnke.



2019 September 13

No. 360


Frank Zappa: Orchestral Favorites 40th Anniversary
By Hermen Dijkstra, p 51



2019 September 13

No. 363


Frank Zappa: Hot Rats 50th Anniversary
By Hermen Dijkstra, p 39



2020 July 10

No. 368


Frank Zappa: The Mothers 1970
By Hermen Dijkstra, p 43

Automatic translation: It is not entirely clear to me whether the turmoil in the family is now completely over. The fact is, however, that Ahmet has considerably increased the frequency of issuance of unknown material. This time it's The Mothers' turn. The band presented here consists of Aynsley Dunbar and Jeff Simmons in addition to Zappa and Ian Underwood, George Duke is also present and will return after a short stay elsewhere. However, it is the addition of Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan that stands out the most. With the arrival of these vocalists, known as Flo & Eddie, something changes in the approach. On the second track we hear Flo & Eddie for the first time. It immediately creates recognition and takes you to the Zappa of the early seventies, something to which the beautiful alternative mix of Sharleenaook contributes. The second disc opens with Jan Donkers, in other words: the famous VPRO Piknik performance, in the God-fearing Uddelnota bene. This June 18, 1970 concerto can be found on numerous semi-official releases. The rest of this disc is filled with five fine tracks recorded at The Pepperland in San Rafael in September 1970, including Happy Together by Flo & Eddie's previous band The Turtles. The aim of the third disc is to give a complete concert impression by combining parts of two concerts from August and September. The band plays solidly and although the sound may not be quite 'high-tech', there is more than enough to enjoy here to compensate for that. On the fourth disc we find more live material including the forward Portuguese Fenders. Sound-technically, it may also vary a bit here and there, but what is being played here! In summary, this is a wonderful release!



2020 September 11

No. 370


Frank Zappa: Carnegie Hall
By Wim Koevoet, p 41

Automatic translation: This box set with three live CDs is not really new. The 1970 concert, recorded in the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York by Frank Zappa and his Mothers, was first released about seven years ago. The big difference is that now the support act, a show by the a cappella group The Persuasions, has been omitted. This remains a long performance, very melodious despite the fact that the recordings are monotonous, by Zappa and his band, including singers Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, aka Flo & Eddie and drummer Ainsley Dunbar. Fifty years later, the amazement at the great heights to which this company could reach is undiminished. The stories at that time were about the scabrous and hilarious lyrics, but the fact that the music was very clever sometimes escaped attention. Both instrumentally and vocally there was a huge peak in the Carnegie Hall. The set list that evening included King Kong, Peaches En Regalia, Billy The Mountain, Sharleena and The Mud Shark and (the still very topical) Who Are The Brain Police? Connoisseurs know enough now. A few months later, an idiot Zappa pulled off the stage and was forced to continue his life temporarily in a wheelchair. That marked the end of The Mothers Of Inventions and a new chapter in Zappa's career. This historical fact gives this box an extra added value.




2020 October 10

No. 371


Frank Zappa: Halloween 81 Live At The Palladium
By Hermen Dijkstra, p 50

This is the Record Store Day issues/reissues number.

Automatic translation: First a point of criticism. When discussing the Helloween '73 in Mania 362, I already stated that all that added nonsense as a glove from me is not necessary. I have not been listened to, since we are dealing here with a six-CD box set supplemented with a mask and a cape. Let's focus mainly on the musical content. Zappa's Halloween shows are gradually becoming legendary, where in 1980 the concerts were cut short due to illness, the master here was in great shape. Although Zappa had just made a change in his band, the rhythm section has been renewed with Chad Wackerman and Scott Thunes, while keyboardist/vocalist Bobby Martin is also a new face, the band immediately turned to top level. Nothing was too crazy and since the band could play everything, besides playing new arrangements, it was also possible to deviate extensively from prescribed paths. The stunt guitar of Vai, the voices of Martin and of course good old Ray White and the master himself… one big party! 



2020 December 4

No. 373


Co de Kloet: Frank & Co
By ?, p 53

Review of the book by Co de Kloet.

Automatic translation: At the age of 12, radio maker and music producer Co de Kloetraakt was addicted to Frank Zappa's music. Six years later, he meets his idol: it is the beginning of a friendship that will last until the death of this music icon. Zappa was the man who inimitably managed to combine genres such as rock, pop, jazz, big band, electronica and classical music. The book Frank & Co is the result of his personal memories and conversations with Zappa.



2021 February 12

No. 373


Frank Zappa: Zappa OST
By Hermen Dijkstra, p 41

Automatic translation: It is important to keep an eye on the subtitle for this release. While we have recently been spoiled with unreleased archive recordings, this edition has a different character. So it's about the music that belongs to the otherwise beautiful documentary film Zappa, where the comment must immediately be made that this is not a kind of Best Of. In a different way, since we're not only dealing with Frank Zappa's music here. Among the early Zappa work we also find a piece by Edgar Varese's Ionisation, performed by Pierre Boulez and the CSO, a piece of music that occupies a key position in Zappa's life. In addition, part of the final of Stravisky's De Vuurvogel is also represented, but also groupie band The GTO's and Alice Cooper. In addition to these pieces, a large part has also been set aside for 26 short and somewhat longer pieces by John Frizzell, which were recorded especially for the documentary. But to be honest, I'm actually all about the music of Zappa himself and there is also a lot to enjoy there. Twelve previously unreleased pieces can be found spread over the three CDs or five LPs, including the Dancin' Fool performance on Saturday Night Live in 1978, but also two songs with Flo & Eddie at the Fillmore West in 1970. The other 25 Zappa tracks span across his career, ranging from 1966's How Could I Be Such A Fool to 1993's G-Spot Tornado by The Yellow Shark.



2021 June 4

No. 378


Frank Zappa: Zappa '88, The Last US Show
By Hermen Dijkstra, p 61

Automatic translation: Zappa's 1988 tour featured a large amount of horn players. While there was initially also an attempt to get Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman (Flo & Eddie) on board, in practice nothing came of this. That behind the scenes, things did not work well, as became clear when the band exploded and the record title The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life reflected how good the band was. In addition to this record, recordings from this tour ended up on Make A Jazz Noise Here, Broadway The Hardway and on the sixth part of the You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore series. In all cases there was quite a bit of cutting and pasting in the numbers. This edition features a complete concert for the first time. During this recording, recorded on March 25, 1988, we also hear a lot of covers. Whipping Post by the Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven, the Bolero by Ravel and I Am The Walrus by The Beatles pass by. The legendary The Beatles Medley is released here for the first time. At first sight a cover, but in practice a reflection on American TV pastoral culture in 1988. Perhaps a little less accessible to European ears, but anyone who knows American society at that time knows that we are hearing Zappa at his sharpest here. All in all a wonderful, varied concert, with a lot to enjoy.



2021 November 5

No. 382


Frank Zappa: 200 Motels OST
By Hermen Dijkstra, p 57

Automatic translation: Some time ago it became clear that a reissue of 200 Motels was being worked on. That was great news as the record or CD had not been available for years. Ton now then, because with the arrival of a double CD, a double LP, but especially the six CD box, this omission is rectified. Since both doubles feature the original soundtrack, we'll focus on the expanded box. First the nonsense, then we've had that: a key ring and a 'do not disturb' door handle hanger. A replica of the movie poster is of course nice, just like the extensive booklet. Together with the six discs, we find this in an LP format box. The first two discs contain the original soundtrack, with the note that not all of the music on this soundtrack is actually in the film. 200 Motels is an overwhelming experience: orchestral pieces flow seamlessly into absurd sound collages and sketches and songs. In addition, the second CD is supplemented with demos and outtakes. The third and fourth discs are reserved for the 'Dialog Protection Reels' which show an early version of the film. The last two discs are filled with alternative versions, different mixes, basic tracks and more of that sort of thing.



2022 November 5

No. 385


Frank Zappa & The Mothers: The Mothers 1971
By Hermen Dijkstra, p 57

Automatic translation: 1971 was a turbulent time for Zappa and his combo, this is the last year with the 'vaudeville Flo & Eddie' line up, but he was also pulled from the stage after the concert in the Rainbow. The 100-track box set shows the four performances that formed the basis of the Fillmore East June '71 record. Two performances a day on June 5 and 6, 1971, the last of which John and Yoko, who doesn't know them, show up to make a contribution. The sixth disc also contains two radio spots and a single A and B side. The rest is reserved here for a composite concert on June 1 and 3 in Sranton and Harrisburg respectively. This continues on disc seven where the infamous performance in The Rainbow starts and continues on the last disc where it ends with the attack on Zappa.



2022 June 3

No. 388


Frank Zappa: Zappa/Erie
By Hermen Dijkstra, p 61

Automatic translation: In this way you get little from the catacombs of the Zappa empire for years and we are delighted with a large series of publications that are all worthwhile. The final revelation is this six CD Zappa/Erie box set, which has three concerts supplemented with some bonus tracks. Two concerts are from 1974 while the third concert is from 1976. The connecting factor is that all concerts are in or near Erie in the state of Pennsylvania. Musically they are quite different. So we are not only dealing with three different tours, but also with three different bands. On May 8, 1974 we find a large group with a horn section, November 12, 1974 the horn section is gone and percussionist Ruth Underwood joins the band and during the 1976 concert we have a small line-up with Terry Bozzio on drums and Eddie Jobson on keyboard and violin. The whole is beautifully designed again and although it is also a substantial investment this time, this is certainly essential for Zappa enthusiasts!



2022 October 7

No. 391


Frank Zappa: Zappa '75, Zagreb & Ljubljana
By Hermen Dijkstra, p 55

Automatic translation: At a time when one Zappa box after the other appears, it is also nice that a simple double is on the market. The 'Mothers Of Invention Yugoslavian Extravaganza' was recorded on November 21 and 22 of 1975 with a relatively small band featuring the master himself Napoleon Murphy Brock on sax and vocals Andre Lewis on keyboard, bassist Roy Estrada, master drummer Terry Bozzio and saxophonist Norma Jean Bell, who had to leave about a month later due to drug use. This release combines songs from both evenings in order to arrive at a set list that is as complete as possible. With Bongo Fury just released, material from that is played, just like classics like Camarillo Brillo. Material is also being tested that would later appear in more elaborated form on Zoot Allures or Sleep Dirt. Everything on offer is of high quality and Zappa '75: Zagreb & Ljubljana is two and a half hours of enjoyment.