Bongo Fury

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Bongo Fury
Zappa Bongo Fury.jpg
Live album with studio elements by Frank Zappa/Captain Beefheart/The Mothers
Released October 2, 1975
Recorded May 20 & 21, 1975 (mostly live) & January 1975 (studio)
Genre Hard rock, blues rock, progressive rock, comedy rock
Length 41:02
Label DiscReet
Producer Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa chronology
One Size Fits All
#20 (1975)
Bongo Fury
#21 (1975)
Zoot Allures
#22 (1976)
Captain Beefheart chronology
Bluejeans & Moonbeams
Bongo Fury
Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B[2]
Rolling Stone (unfavorable)[3]

Bongo Fury is an album released by Frank Zappa and the Mothers with Captain Beefheart in 1975. The live portions were recorded on May 20 and 21, 1975, at the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas. Tracks 5, 6 and 9 (intro only) are studio tracks that were recorded in January 1975 (during the sessions which produced One Size Fits All and much of Studio Tan).

The album is a notable entry in Zappa's discography, because it was the last to feature a majority of his early 1970s band, which appeared on Over-Nite Sensation (1973), Apostrophe (') (1974), Roxy & Elsewhere (1974), and One Size Fits All (1975).

Napoleon Murphy Brock's vocals are featured both on the sprawling "Advance Romance" as well as on the three-part harmonies of "Carolina Hard-Core Ecstasy". Captain Beefheart, in his only tour with Zappa's band, delivers vocals and harmonica on several tracks, including his two short prose readings "Sam with the Showing Scalp Flat Top" and "Man with the Woman Head". Bongo Fury also marks the first appearance of Terry Bozzio, who would become Zappa's featured drummer between 1975 and 1978.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks performed by Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart; all tracks composed by Zappa, except where noted. This is the last original Frank Zappa album on which the band name "The Mothers [of Invention]" is used.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Debra Kadabra" 3:54
2. "Carolina Hard-Core Ecstasy" 5:59
3. "Sam with the Showing Scalp Flat Top" (Don Van Vliet) 2:51
4. "Poofter's Froth Wyoming Plans Ahead" 3:03
5. "200 Years Old" 4:32
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Cucamonga" 2:24
7. "Advance Romance" 11:17
8. "Man with the Woman Head" (Don Van Vliet) 1:28
9. "Muffin Man" 5:34


Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart on stage in 1975.


Production staff[edit]

  • Michael Braunstein – engineer
  • Frank Hubach – engineer
  • Kelly Kotera – engineer
  • Kerry McNabb – engineer
  • Davey Moire – engineer
  • Cal Schenkel – design
  • John Williams – photography, cover photo
  • Bob Stone – engineer
  • Mike Stone – engineer


Album - Billboard (United States)

Year Chart Position
1975 Billboard 200 66[4]