Chunga's Revenge

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Chunga's Revenge
Frank Zappa - Chunga's Revenge.jpg
Studio album by Frank Zappa
Released October 23, 1970
Recorded July 5, 1969 - August 29, 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
#10 (1970)
Chunga's Revenge
#11 (1970)
Fillmore East – June 1971
#12 (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]

The title is based on a small, industrial Gypsy vacuum cleaner. 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 teenaged Zappa admirer, for the effects of the Hiroshima atomic bomb on later generations.[citation needed]

Songs[edit]

The material presented on Chunga's Revenge is eclectic: side one includes a guitar jam ("Transylvania Boogie"), a bluesy amble ("Road Ladies"), a jazz interlude ("Twenty Small Cigars") and an avant garde live improvisation ("The Nancy and Mary Music") drawn from "King Kong" and other songs from a July 1970 Mothers performance. Several poppy numbers ("Tell Me You Love Me", "Would You Go All the Way?", "Rudy Wants to Buy Yez a Drink", "Sharleena") appear on the second side along with the improvisational title track.

"Twenty Small Cigars" was drawn from the Hot Rats sessions from summer 1969. "Transylvania Boogie" and "Chunga's Revenge" come from the early 1970 period where Zappa performed with a band informally known as "Hot Rats," including Ian Underwood, Don "Sugarcane" Harris, Max Bennett and Aynsley Dunbar. Also from this period is "The Clap," a short multitracked percussion piece with Zappa as the only musician. 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, and date from the summer of 1970 after the formation of the new Mothers of Invention lineup.[4]

The original early 1970 version of "Sharleena" later appeared on The Lost Episodes.

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 yet available. "Bognor Regis" was intended to be released as a B-side of "Sharleena", but the single was never released, and 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. Zappa would include a 1980 live version of the song on Tinsel Town Rebellion, while a 1988 version with revised lyrics titled "Why Don't You Like Me" appeared on Broadway the Hard Way. (A similar version from 1984, known as "Don't Be a Lawyer," has never been officially released.) Zappa would also include an 80's recording of "Sharleena" on Them or Us, while a 1988 version of "Chunga's Revenge" where Zappa played alongside his son Dweezil was the opening track of the album Trance-Fusion which Zappa compiled in the 90's (although it would not be released until 2006).

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written 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 (United States)

Year Chart Position
1970 Billboard 200 119

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Robert Christgau review
  3. ^ Rolling Stone review
  4. ^ García Albertos, Román (2016). "Chunga's Revenge". Retrieved 28 May 2016. 

External links[edit]