Frank Zappa Broadway the Hard Way CD
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Description & Features+
Personnel: Frank Zappa (vocals, guitar); Mike Keneally (vocals, guitar, synthesizer); Ike Willis (vocals, guitar); Bobby Martin (vocals, keyboards); Eric Buxton (vocals); Paul Carman (alto saxophone); Albert Wing (tenor saxophone); Kurt McGettrick (baritone saxophone); Walt Fowler (trumpet); Bruce Fowler (trombone); Chad Wackerman (drums); Ed Mann (percussion).
Recording information: UMRK, Hollywood, CA (1988).
Arranger: Frank Zappa.
Recorded on his infamous final world tour of 1988, BROADWAY THE HARD WAY is classic late-period Zappa at his satirical best. In fact, this is one of the best Zappa collections of novelty songs in his huge catalog. Of course, underlying all the buffoonery is one of the greatest assemblages of musicians ever to grace the stage. From long-time Zappa sidemen like Ike Willis, Chad Wackerman and Ed Mann to virtuoso guitarist Mike Keneally, keyboardist/vocalist Bobby Martin and a stellar horn section, this is a group far superior to (and larger than) any that FZ ever took under his baton.
From Zappa's booming announcement opening "Elvis Has Just Left The Building," the tone is set for a knee-slapping romp pointing a mocking finger at female corporate executives ("Planet Of The Baritone Women"), the right-wing moral majority ("When The Lie's So Big") and Reagan's Surgeon General ("Promiscuous"). Other standouts include a hilarious poke at Jesse Jackson ("Rhymin' Man") and televangelists ("Jesus Thinks You're A Jerk"). All kidding aside, some truly inspired performances occur in a reading of Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments" and Zappa's classic "Outside Now." Sting even makes an appearance on his own composition "Murder by Numbers."
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