Zoot Allures

Zoot Allures

by Frank ZappaFrank Zappa


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Zoot Allures, released in October 1976, is mostly a studio album (there are some basic live tracks, as in the title track and "Black Napkins") featuring a revolving cast of musicians who, oddly, do not correspond to the ones pictured on the album cover (for instance, Patrick O'Hearn and Eddie Jobson did not contribute). Compared to previous releases like One Size Fits All, Roxy & Elsewhere, or even Over-Nite Sensation, and to upcoming ones such as Zappa in New York, Studio Tan, or Sheik Yerbouti, Zoot Allures sounds very stripped down to bare essentials. Zappa focused on limited instrumentation, lots of bass, and whispered vocals to create a masterpiece of dark, slow, sleazy rock. Except for the opening and closing numbers ("Wind Up Workin' in a Gas Station" and "Disco Boy"), all the material is slow to medium tempo with Zappa delivering the closest he'll ever get to a crooner vocal performance. "The Torture Never Stops" is the highlight, ten minutes of suggestive lyrics, crawling riffs, searing solos, and female screams of pain. That song and "Disco Boy" became classic tracks; "Black Napkins" and "Zoot Allures" rate among the man's best guitar solos. Historical note: The album was first devised as a two-LP set and would have included "Sleep Dirt," "Filthy Habits," and "The Ocean Is the Ultimate Solution," which all also fit the mood. Although humor has not been completely evacuated, Zoot Allures comes through as a much more serious rock record. Yet, it is more than a transitional album; it represents one of Zappa's strongest accomplishments.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/28/2012
Label: Zappa Records
UPC: 0824302385524
catalogNumber: 3855
Rank: 7890


  1. Wind Up Workin' In a Gas Station
  2. Black Napkins
  3. The Torture Never Stops
  4. Ms. Pinky
  5. Find Her Finer
  6. Friendly Little Finger
  7. Wonderful Wino
  8. Zoot Allures
  9. Disco Boy

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Frank Zappa   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Sharkie Barker   Background Vocals
Terry Bozzio   Drums,Background Vocals
Napoleon Murphy Brock   Saxophone,Vocals
Roy Estrada   Bass,Vocals,Background Vocals
Andre Lewis   Organ,Vocals,Background Vocals
Davey Moire   Vocals,Background Vocals
Lu Ann Neil   Harp
Dave Parlato   Bass
Ruth Underwood   Synthesizer,Marimbas
Donnie Vliet   Harmonica
Ruben Ladron de Guevara   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Jeff Simmons   Composer
Michael Braunstein   Engineer
Frank Zappa   Composer,Director,Producer
Davey Moire   Engineer
Michael Mesker   Digital Layout

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