The Torture Never Stops (song)

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"The Torture Never Stops"
Song by Frank Zappa from the album Zoot Allures
Recorded 1976
Genre Hard rock
Length 9:45
Writer Frank Zappa

"The Torture Never Stops" is a song by Frank Zappa from the 1976 album Zoot Allures. Other versions can be found on Zappa in New York, Thing-Fish, You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 1, You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 4, The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life, Cheap Thrills, Buffalo, Philly '76, and Hammersmith Odeon. In the song an evil prince is mentioned, which on the album Thing-Fish, the song is called "The Torchum' Never Stops", and the main antagonist is named The Evil Prince, referencing the song. "The Torture Never Stops" was played live from 1975 to 1978 and 1988.[1][2]


The song debuted in 1975 under the title "Why Doesn't Somebody Get Him a Pepsi?" in which almost none of the instrument parts were similar to the album version. This song is said to be one of Zappa's darker pieces fitting with the general atmosphere of "Zoot Allures." However, "The Torture Never Stops" is noted to be the darkest with lyrics such as "Flies all green and buzzin' in dungeon of despair. Who are'll those people that is shut away down there? Are they crazy? Are they sainted? Are they heroes someone painted?" along with a female's moans of pain in the background which was added by Zappa for a dirty and miserable tone. Critics claim that during the song, Zappa comes off as calm yet passive-aggressive.[1][3][4] The song has been thought to reference atrocities of World War II concentration camps, and it's been said by critics that if so, the references to "eating a steaming pig" is tasteless. Michel Delville, in his essay Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart and the Secret History of Maximalism contrasted the tone of "The Torture Never Stops" to Brian Eno's album Music for Airports.[5]

"Rat Tomago"
Song by Frank Zappa from the album Sheik Yerbouti
Recorded 1978
Genre Rock, Instrumental rock
Length 5:17
Writer Frank Zappa

Rat Tomago[edit]

A live solo from the song, "Rat Tomago" was put on the 1979 album Sheik Yerbouti. Like "The Torture Never Stops", it contains the same basic structure, bass line, and female moaning. "Rat Tomago", was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1979, but lost. [6]

Line up[edit]

Studio version[edit]

Frank Zappa - guitar, bass, keyboards, lead vocals
Terry Bozzio - drums