Camarillo Brillo

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"Camarillo Brillo"
Song by Frank Zappa and The Mothers from the album Over-Nite Sensation
Released September 7, 1973
Recorded March - June 1973
Genre Progressive rock, comedy rock
Length 3:59
Label DiscReet
Writer Frank Zappa
Producer Frank Zappa
Over-Nite Sensation track listing
"Camarillo Brillo"
(1)
"I'm the Slime"
(2)

"Camarillo Brillo" is a song by Frank Zappa and The Mothers and was first included on his 1973 LP Over-Nite Sensation. The song's lyrics include many colloquialisms and made-up words. The title itself is a pun; Zappa incorrectly pronounces Camarillo, the name of a city in California, to rhyme with Brillo, a trade name associated with cleaning pads. "Brio" is also a musical term meaning "vigor". Camarillo is also the name of a mental institution in Southern California, usually pronounced the way Zappa sings it. It's likely that a "Camarillo Brillo" is a hairstyle that resembles that of a mental patient who has recently received Electro-shock therapy. In Italian language, "Camarillo" means "member of a Camarilla (something like a lobby), and Brillo means "Drunk".[1]

"Camarillo Brillo" is in the key of E major, though the key briefly changes to D major during the chorus. The song employs liberal use of brass instruments and a wide range of percussion techniques. It ends with a short coda played on piano. There are two versions of this song, the first being in a slower tempo and the second being a much shorter up tempo version played later in Frank Zappa's career. The shorter version can be heard on You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 6. The reason for changing the song's pace was discussed in an interview with Zappa in which he states that the song was "boring" so they sped it up in future performances.

In 1975, "Muffin Man" was introduced to Zappa's live repertoire, and "Camarillo Brillo" was subsequently played as a medley with the former. Performances of this variety appear on several Zappa releases, including FZ:OZ, Halloween, You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 6, and the concert film Baby Snakes.[2] [3] This song also references quadrophonic speakers and the album on which it appeared, Over-Nite Sensation was recorded and released in quad on the Disc-Reet label.

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