Saturday, December 10, 2016

Frank Zappa - Meat Light The Uncle Meat Project Object (1968-69 us, freaky avant garde experimental prog rock, three discs 2016 release)

If you were paying close attention to the UMG-released Zappa titles, you may have noticed that Uncle Meat was one of the few pre-1982 albums that wasn't reissued  using the original master tapes for the first time (all the Ryko masters were altered by Zappa). Meat Light remedies that by finally releasing the Uncle Meat original  vinyl mix, remastered from the original master tapes for the very first time on CD. The results are stunning. The album literally sounds better than it ever has, with  a crisp clarity to all the instruments, even on the most dense tracks. This alone would justify purchase for most Zappa fanatics...but wait! There's more! 

Who knew there was ANOTHER Uncle Meat?!? Yes, disc two and part of disc three present "Uncle Meat: Original Sequence." Many of the tracks are exactly the same, but  with different sequencing and some completely unreleased material, all segued together with some additional contributions from the Apostolic Vlorch Injector  (responsible for the blasts of noise on Uncle Meat and We're Only in It for the Money). "Whiskey Wah" and "The Whip" are previously unreleased guitar solos. "King  Kong" doesn't end the set; it's the end of "Side 2" (of four), and it doesn't include the part that was recorded on a flatbed diesel at a Miami Pop Festival. "Cops and  Buns" was included on The Lost Episodes, but in an edited form. Some of the other spoken bits ("Our Bizarre Relationship," "If We'd Been Living in California...")  have just a little bit of extra material on them, providing a bit of further insight. "Mr. Green Genes" has a slightly different mix with some additional organ and  vocals. The "Original Sequence" closes with "Cruisin' for Burgers"...but that's not the end of Meat Light! "A Bunch of Stuff" seems to be a spoken intro to the film  Uncle Meat. Tracks like "Tango" and "More Beer" are just short cues. The single version of "Dog Breath" is a gas: no main vocals/lyrics -- just prominent (and  awesome!) backing vocals with extra guitar and saxophone mixed in. "The String Quartet" is a medley of Uncle Meat tunes that was often performed live by the Mothers,  but this sounds like a studio version. "Electric Aunt Jemima" is a different, more modern-sounding mix, while "Exercise 4" is an unused further elaboration of the  "Uncle Meat Variations." 

The alternate mix of "Mr. Green Genes" has a different vocal mix and cool keyboards added. "Echo Pie" takes Jimmy Carl Black's displeasure in  "If We'd Been Living in California" and kicks it up a notch or five. "1/4 Tone Unit" is a short, pretty chamber ensemble piece, "Sakuji's March" is a short percussion  piece, and "No. 4" is a scored piece with some amazing double piano followed by double marimba. The extended version of "Prelude to Uncle Meat" adds about a minute  and a half to the standard version, along with some interesting extra guitar at the end. "My Guitar (Proto 1)" is a ripping instrumental with FZ jamming on the "My  Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama" riff. Hearing the guitar from "Nine Types of Industrial Pollution" played at the original speed is extremely interesting. You can hear  Frank playing acoustic guitar over a faint, slowed-down drum track. It's rare to hear Zappa play acoustic guitar at all, and his playing here is quite different than  what he's normally known for. The live version of "Uncle Meat" sounds great. The instrumental version of "Dog Breath" is a bit more refined and not quite as raucous  as the single version...until the guitar solo! Meat Light closes with an alternate mix of "The Dog Breath Variations." This is a set fans have been waiting for for  years.The sound is a huge improvement over all previous Uncle Meat CDs and the additional material is all excellent. 

Uncle Meat is arguably Zappa's most avant-garde, most dense, most wide-ranging, and one of his most difficult albums for some. It's also one of his very best and  Meat Light really does justice to this masterpiece.
by Sean Westergaard
Disc 1  Original 1969 Vinyl Mix
1. Uncle Meat: Main Title Theme - 1:56
2. The Voice Of Cheese - 0:26
3. Nine Types Of Industrial Pollution - 6:02
4. Zolar Czackl - 0:54
5. Dog Breath, In The Year Of The Plague - 3:59
6. The Legend Of The Golden Arches - 3:27
7. Louie Louie (At the Royal Albert Hall in London) - 2:18
8. The Dog Breath Variations - 1:50
9. Sleeping In A Jar - 0:50
10.Our Bizarre Relationship - 1:05
11.The Uncle Meat Variations - 4:46
12.Electric Aunt Jemima - 1:46
13.Prelude To King Kong - 3:39
14.God Bless America (Live at the Whisky A Go Go) - 1:10
15.A Pound For A Brown On The Bus - 1:29
16.Ian Underwood Whips It Out (Live on stage in Copenhagen) - 5:09
17.Mr. Green Genes - 3:13
18.We Can Shoot You - 2:03
19.“If We’d All Been Living In California...” - 1:14
20.The Air - 2:57
21.Project X - 4:49
22.Cruising For Burgers - 2:18
23.King Kong (as played by the Mothers in a studio) - 0:51
24.King Kong (its magnificence as interpreted by Dom DeWild) - 1:19
25.King Kong (as Motorhead explains it) - 1:45
26.King Kong (the Gardner Varieties) - 6:14
27.King Kong (as played by 3 deranged Good Humor Trucks) - 0:37
28.King Kong (live on a flat bed diesel in the middle of a race track at a Miami Pop Festival... the Underwood ramifications) - 7:24
Disc 2  Original Sequence
1. Dog Breath, In The Year Of The Plague - 2:55
2. The Legend Of The Golden Arches - 3:16
3. The Voice Of Cheese - 0:26
4. Whiskey Wah - 1:34
5. Nine Types Of Industrial Pollution - 6:03
6. Louie Louie (Live at the Royal Albert Hall in London) - 2:27
7. The Dog Breath Variations - 1:51
8. Shoot You Percussion Item - 1:28
9. The Whip - 5:03
10.The Uncle Meat Variations - 4:47
11.King Kong - 10:46
12.Project X Minus 5 - 1:47
13.A Pound For A Brown On The Bus - 1:29
14.Electric Aunt Jemima - 1:46
15.Prelude To King Kong - 3:39
16.God Bless America (Live at the Whiskey A Go Go) - 1:11
17.Sleeping In A Jar - 0:51
18.Cops And Buns - 5:56
19.Zolar Czakl - 0:47
19.Zolar Czakl - 0:47
Disc 3
1. We Can Not Shoot You - 1:16
2. Mr. Green Genes - 3:13
3. “PooYeahrg” - 0:32
4. Uncle Meat: Main Title Theme - 1:27
5. Our Bizarre Relationship - 1:10
6. “Later We Can Shoot You” - 0:15
7. “If We’d All Been Living In California…” - 1:19
8. ‘Ere Ian Whips It/JCB Spits It/Motorhead Rips It - 2:30
9. The Air - 2:58
10.Project X .5 - 2:38
11.Cruising For Burgers - 2:23
12.“A Bunch Of Stuff” - 1:40
13.Dog Breath (Single Version) - 2:55
14.Tango - 0:24
15.The String Quartet - 3:06
16.Electric Aunt Jemima (Mix Outtake) - 1:40
17.Exercise 4 Variant - 4:32
18.Zolar Czackl (Mix Outtake) - 0:45
19.“More Beer!” - 0:17
20.Green Genes Snoop - 1:13
21.Mr. Green Genes (Mix Outtake) - 3:11
22.Echo Pie - 2:16
23.1/4 Tone Unit - 1:06
24.Sakuji’s March - 0:35
25.No. 4 - 1:52
26.Prelude To King Kong (Extended Version) - 5:24
27.Blood Unit - 1:22
28.My Guitar (Proto I- Excerpt) - 2:12
29.Nine Types Of Industrial Pollution (Guitar track, normal speed) - 9:53
30.Uncle Meat (Live at Columbia University 1969) - 4:44
31.Dog Breath (Instrumental) - 2:50
32.The Dog Breath Variations (Mix Outtake) - 1:46

*Frank Zappa — Guitar, Low Grade Vocals, Percussion
*Ray Collins — Swell Vocals
*Jimmy Carl Black — Drums, Droll Humor, Poverty
*Roy Estrada — Electric Bass, Cheeseburgers, Pachuco Falsetto
*Don (Dom De Wild) Preston — Electric Piano, Tarot Cards, Brown Rice
*Billy (The Oozer) Mundi — Drums
*Bunk (Sweatpants) Gardner — Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Soprano Sax, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Bassoon (All Of These Electric,/Or Nonelectric Depending)
*Ian Underwood — Electric Organ, Piano, Harpsichord, Celeste, Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax, Baritone Sax, Special Assistance, Copyist, Industrial Relations, Teen Appeal
*Artie (With The Green Mustache) Tripp — Drums, Timpani, Vibes, Marimba, Xylophone, Wood Blocks, Bells, Small Chimes, Cheerful Outlook, Specific Enquires
*Euclid James (Motorhead/Motorishi) Sherwood — Pop Star, Frenetic Tenor Sax Stylings, Tambourine, Choreography, Obstinance, Equipment Setter-Upper When He’s Not Hustling Local Groupies
*Ruth Komanoff Who Plays Marimba, Vibes With Artie On Many Of The Tracks,
*Nelcy Walker - The Soprano Voice

Related Act
1969  Sandy Hurvitz - Sandy's Album Is Here At Last! (2010 issue)
1970  Essra Mohawk - Primordial Lovers
1974  Essra Mohawk - Essra Mohawk (2010 bonus tracks edition)
1976  Essra Mohawk - Essra (2003 japan release)

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