Chunga's Revenge

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Chunga's Revenge
Studio album by Frank Zappa
Released October 23, 1970
Recorded July 1969 - August 1970
Genre Progressive rock, jazz fusion, comedy rock, hard rock
Length 40:22
Label Bizarre/Reprise
Producer Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa chronology
Weasels Ripped My Flesh
(1970)
Chunga's Revenge
(1970)
Fillmore East – June 1971
(1971)
Singles from Chunga's Revenge
  1. "Tell Me You Love Me"
    Released: 1970
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau C+[2]
Rolling Stone (unfavorable)[3]

Chunga's Revenge is the third solo album by Frank Zappa, released on October 23, 1970. Zappa's first effort of the 1970s marks the first appearance of former Turtles members Flo & Eddie on a Zappa record, and signals the dawn of a controversial epoch in Zappa's history. Chunga's Revenge represents a shift from both the satirical political commentary of his 1960s work with The Mothers of Invention, and the jazz fusion of Hot Rats.

Title origin[edit]

Supposedly, the title is based off a small industrial Gypsy vacuum sweeper. A "chunga" was a mutated individual of the sort Zappa depicted in such songs as "The Idiot Bastard Son." The term was coined by Dan O'Brien, a teenage Zappa admirer, for the effects of the Hiroshima blast on later generations.

Song info[edit]

The material presented on Chunga's Revenge is eclectic: there are two guitar jams ("Transylvania Boogie" and the title track), a bluesy amble ("Road Ladies"), a jazz interlude ("Twenty Small Cigars") which was culled from the Hot Rats sessions, and an avant garde live improvisation ("The Nancy and Mary Music") which is an excerpt from King Kong. Several poppy numbers, ("Tell Me You Love Me", "Would You Go All the Way?", "Rudy Wants to Buy Yez a Drink", "Sharleena") plus various others to bring the track-list to 10.

The vocal tracks all deal with the subject of sex and/or groupie encounters and as Zappa notes on the sleeve of both the vinyl and CD, are a preview of the then forthcoming 200 Motels film/album. Parts of the album were intended to grace the film but did not make the final cut. Several of these tracks, "Transylvania Boogie", "Twenty Small Cigars", "The Clap", and the title track, were recorded during either the Hot Rats sessions or during the early 1970 sessions for the follow-up to Hot Rats that never materialized.

Other material from those sessions appeared on: Zoot Allures, namely the backing track for "Friendly Little Finger", Studio Tan, the backing track for "Let Me Take You To The Beach", and The Lost Episodes original version of "Sharleena" and possibly "Li'l Clanton Shuffle".

Other "lost" tracks from these sessions include the instrumentals "Twinkle Tits" and "Bognor Regis". A live version of "Twinkle Tits" is available on bootlegs, though the original studio version is not available yet. "Bognor Regis" was supposed to be released as a B-side of "Sharleena", the single, however, was never released, though the track was leaked to the public on an acetate disc copy which made its way to the collector's market.

The title track was later recorded by Argentinian / Parisian tango revival group Gotan Project for their 2001 debut album La Revancha del Tango.

The guitar melody in "Tell Me You Love Me" is extremely similar to the one used in "Bwana Dik" and "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy", during the "if his dick is a monster" section, from Fillmore East - June 1971, and 200 Motels, respectively.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Frank Zappa. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Transylvania Boogie"   5:01
2. "Road Ladies"   4:10
3. "Twenty Small Cigars"   2:17
4. "The Nancy & Mary Music"   9:27
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "Tell Me You Love Me"   2:33
6. "Would You Go All the Way?"   2:29
7. "Chunga's Revenge"   6:15
8. "The Clap"   1:23
9. "Rudy Wants to Buy Yez a Drink"   2:44
10. "Sharleena"   4:04

Personnel[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Producer: Frank Zappa
  • Engineers: Stan Agol, Roy Baker, Dick Kunc, Bruce Margolis
  • Production assistant: Dick Barber
  • Arranger: Frank Zappa
  • Cover design: Cal Schenkel
  • Illustrations: Cal Schenkel
  • Photography: Phil Franks (front cover) and John Williams

Charts[edit]

Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1970 Pop Albums 119

References[edit]

External links[edit]