Frank Zappa - Conceptual Continuity (Recorded live, 11/19/76 in Detroit)

Dirty Love  
Wind Up Workin' In a Gas Station   17:44

The Torture Never Stops   
City of Tiny Lights 20:53
Total Time: 38 min, 37 sec

A concert from the Zoot Allures band, this is another of my least favorite discs from the Beat the Boots series. This one comes from the second boxed set, and documents part of a concert by the Zoot band featuring Frank himself, Ray White on guitar and vocals, Eddie Jobson on keyboards, Patrick O'Hearn on bass and Terry Bozzio on drums.

There are two big problems with this boot - poor sound quality and poor song selection. The sound is better than Unmitigated Audacity (it would have to be), but is still on the low end of the Boots series. It's muffled and echoy and there's a lot of audience chatter - one guy in particular sitting near the microphone spends a good bit of the concert laughing and commenting on the show. Plus he loudly tells someone to "get the fuck out of the way" at one point. Very annoying.

The other problem is the song selection. If I had to put together a disc of Zappa tracks that I never cared to hear again, it would probably look something like the first four tracks of this boot. Stink Foot and Dirty Love are only so-so songs to begin with, and I've already heard them dozens of times (this performance includes the "poodle lecture" that connects the two songs, but even that has been released officially a couple times now). As I mentioned in my Zoot Allures write-up, Wind Up Working In a Gas Station gets my vote as the stupidest song in the Zappa catalog. I just don't see the appeal of that one at all. Torture is an OK song, and usually makes for good guitar solos, but it's included on so many different FZ albums that I'm totally sick of it, and one more bootleg version is the last thing I need. That just leaves City of Tiny Lights, which is a great song but is done much better elsewhere (particularly on You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol 5). The disc ends with the first few notes of Pound For a Brown being faded out - I would have rather heard that song than anything else on this album.

An odd thing about this CD is that it doesn't split the songs up into separate tracks. There's one track for side one of the original album (the first three songs), and one track for side two (the last two songs) - each is about 20 minutes long.

Anyway, unless you're a huge fan of the Zoot Allures album or a collector who has to have everything, my advice would be to skip this one. Especially since it's probably hard to find nowadays (I picked mine up in a used CD store, which means someone else must have bought the boxed set and shared my low opinion of this disc).

Album Cover

Image of the Conceptual Continuity album cover