Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Frank Zappa - Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch

Known for the novelty hit “Valley Girl,” Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch would be awesome even if there wasn’t a Frank Zappa record inside the cover.

The cover itself is so awesome that you’re probably safe to knock a whole star off the rating above to get a better idea of the true quality of this record.

I’m mean, honestly, there’s like six songs on this thing and Frank’s such a genius that he probably farted the tunes out in one take before copying and pasting the shit on different tracks using razor blades and splicing tape.

And then he played the tape backwards while mixing it.

Opener “No Not Now” is a nice bit of quirky Frank, but when the funniest line is “string beans for you” it becomes apparent that Frank isn’t trying terribly hard.

My wife likes to point out how old I am by telling me how she was just 3 when “Valley Girl” was a hit, but then she laughs whenever I play it. I think it’s safe to say that the novelty hasn’t worn off on this Top 40 gem that was originally played so much that you wanted to rip out Moon Unit’s voice box as punishment for overexposure.

The title track is probably the most impossible musical piece of all time, but it’s over twelve-minutes long so you’ll probably find yourself leaving the room to go see if there anymore blueberry Toaster Strudels in the freezer right around the seven minute mark.

While I may not come from nowhere, I do come from a time where A Ship Arriving Too Late could be found on the cassette tape format. That meant you listened to “Side A” and “Side B” completely while avoiding the fast forward and reverse, tape snapping buttons. After a while, you begin to notice and appreciate the complexity of Zappa’s work.

At barely a half-dozen tunes, it’s quick to the auto-reverse and all of that repetitive listening probably makes it a personal favorite when it probably shouldn’t be.

No comments: