Frank Zappa - Apostrophe(') (1974)

Don't Eat the Yellow Snow 2:07
Nanook Rubs It 4:37
St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast   1:50
Father O'Blivion 2:18
Cosmik Debris 4:14
Excentrifugal Forz 1:33
Apostrophe' 5:50
Uncle Remus 2:44
Stink-Foot 6:32
Total Time: 31 min, 56 sec

Although this album contains performances by the same musicians as the previous one (plus a host of others), it is credited just to Zappa, not to the Mothers. Maybe because, judging by the huge number of musicians who played at one point or another on this disc, the album was probably constructed from tracks that came out of a bunch of different projects that Zappa was working on. Overall, the album continues the "really impressive pop music" trend from the last disc, with lyrics that are just as absurd, but less sexual.

The first four tracks make up the "Yellow Snow Suite", which follow the adventures of Nanook the Eskimo as he battles against an evil fur trapper, who ends up being blinded when Nanook rubs a "dog doo snowcone" into his eyes. He seeks a cure at St. Alfonzo's parish, which is overseen by Father O'Blivion. Yeah, the lyrics are completely ridiculous, but they're basically just an excuse to tie together some funky and fantastic musical ideas. The high-speed Father O'Blivion is incredible, and Ruth Underwood's percussion is amazing throughout.

Cosmik Debris is another social criticism song that mocks phony psychics and seers (especially those who use the "dust of the Grand Wazoo"). Excentrifugal Forz is a short rocker, mainly a warm-up for the killer instrumental rock jam of the title track. That one features Jack Bruce playing some impressively thick and tasty bass. Uncle Remus is another song with socially conscious lyrics about the evils of racism, which features some beautiful piano work from George Duke. The final track, Stink Foot (a concert favorite) is an oddball rocker with lyrics about a man who couldn't get his boots off for months on end and became afflicted with stink foot. He tries to get his dog to fetch his slippers, but the dog runs off yelping. It's revealed at the end of the song that the dog is the same poodle from Dirty Love.

Overall I think I like Apostrope(') better than Overnight Sensation, but I rarely listen to either album. Maybe I burned myself out on them, since they were a couple of the first Zappa albums I added to my collection.

Album Cover

Image of the Apostrophe (') album cover