Sunday, April 10, 2016

Frank Zappa - 1979 - Sleep Dirt

Frank Zappa
1979
Sleep Dirt




Vinyl and 2012 UMe CD

01. Filthy Habits (7:33)
02. Flambay (4:54)
03. Spider of Destiny (2:33)
04. Regyptian Strut (4:13)
05. Time Is Money (2:48)
06. Sleep Dirt (3:21)
07. The Ocean Is the Ultimate Solution (13:18)

Total Time: 38:39


CD Remix, w/ vocals

01. Filthy Habits [instrumental] (7:33)
02. Flambay (4:54)
03. Spider of Destiny (2:33)
04. Regyptian Strut [instrumental] (4:13)
05. Time Is Money (2:48)
06. Sleep Dirt [instrumental] (3:21)
07. The Ocean Is the Ultimate Solution [instrumental] (13:18)

Total Time: 38:39

The work on this album was recorded between 1974 and 1976, but was not released until January 1979. It was later overdubbed vocally/instrumentally and was also remastered & digitally equalized.

There are 3 versions of this album.
1) The LPs contain the original instrumental version.
2) The first CD pressing has the original version of "Regyptian Strut", but subsequent pressings have new drums on that track, overdubbed by Chad Wackerman (not credited on the CD).
3) On all CD versions, three tracks are overdubbed with vocals by Thana Harris.
Both versions of 'Regyptian Strut" can be found on Läther.

The original LP instrumental version was rereleased on CD in 2012.
Summary: The original vinyl and 2012 CD are, barring some chat in "Sleep Dirt," all instrumental. The others CDs contain a remix, and are heavily overdubbed: vocals, by Thana Harris (yes!), on three tracks, and new drums on some, overdubbed by Chad Wackerman; it's almost a completely different album. Some of these CDs have a remix of "Regyptian Strut" while some do not.

- Frank Zappa / guitar, keyboards
- Dave Parlato / bass
- Terry Bozzio / drums
- George Duke / keyboards
- Patrick O'Hearn / bass
- Ruth Underwood / percussion
- Bruce Fowler / all brass
- James "Bird Legs" Youman / bass
- Chester Thompson / drums

- Chad Wackerman / drums (CD remix overdubs only)
- Thana Harris / vocals (CD remix version only)



 This album is Hot Rats part 3 (part 4 in my book as the Grand Wazoo should also be in that series), this is again killer jazz-rock with Bozzio, Duke, Chester Thompson and Underwood. One of my fave Zappa album and easily the best of the later 704s album, staying away from Frank scatological obsessions of these years, Sleep Dirt (by all means not an innocent title) is an almost instrumental album and is (as you'd expect with the Hot Rats) heavily jazz-rock slanted and one of his proggiest in the more purist form.
Re-Gyptian Strut can only confirm what I said above but everything here is worthy of the Hot Rats series. Indeed, Filthy Habits is probably the most Crimsonian track Zappa's written, with its dark and menacing mood. The flamboyant Flambay and the great title track are the other stand-outs. No less interesting is the awesome 13-mins+ Ocean Is The Ultimate Solution with its wild interplay and awesome instrumental passages.

Apparently this is the instrumental version of the album, and there is a version with vocals on the Läther release that was lying dormant in frank's vaults and it was finally released post-mortem in the mid-90's. Having heard both, personally I prefer having SD home (especially with the longer Ocean track version) and eventually rent the Läther CDs.

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