Tinsel Town Rebellion

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Tinsel Town Rebellion
Zappa Tinseltown Rebellion.jpg
Live album by Frank Zappa
Released May 17, 1981
Recorded October 1978 – December 1980 at Berkeley Community Theatre; in Carbondale, Illinois; at the NYC Palladium; Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and Odeon Hammersmith, London
Genre Comedy rock, progressive rock, punk rock, reggae, doo-wop
Length 67:19
Label Barking Pumpkin
Producer Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa chronology
Joe's Garage Acts II & III
(1979)
Tinsel Town Rebellion
(1981)
Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar
(1981)
Singles from Tinsel Town Rebellion
  1. "Love of My Life"
    Released: 1981

Tinsel Town Rebellion is a double live album released by Frank Zappa in 1981. The album was conceived by Zappa after he scrapped the planned albums Warts and All and Crush All Boxes, and it contains tracks that were intended for those albums.

The lyrical themes varyingly focus on human sexuality, popular culture and other topics. The title track is a satire of the punk rock scene, describing a band that adopts the punk style to get a record deal. The album also contains reworked recordings of older Zappa songs, including "Love of My Life," "I Ain't Got No Heart," "Tell Me You Love Me," "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" and the third release of "Peaches en Regalia", appropriately titled "Peaches III". This is Official Release #30.

Production[edit]

Tinsel Town Rebellion was formed out of two albums - Warts and All and Crush All Boxes - that Zappa originally planned to release following the establishment of his home studio, the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen. Warts and All was intended to be a triple live album, while Crush All Boxes would have consisted largely of studio recordings.[1] As Warts and All reached completion, Zappa found the project to be "unwieldy" due to its length, and scrapped it, later conceiving Crush All Boxes.[2] During the final stages of Crush All Boxes, Zappa decided to salvage the scrapped Warts and All album by releasing a series of albums which used the planned material to emphasize his various talents: You Are What You Is, Tinsel Town Rebellion and two series of live albums, Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar and You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore.[1]

The opening track, "Fine Girl" is a studio recording originally intended for the unreleased album Crush All Boxes, along with an early mix of the live track "Easy Meat".[1] The Tinsel Town Rebellion version of "Easy Meat" featured much heavier studio overdubs than the version prepared for Crush All Boxes.

The front cover art for Tinsel Town Rebellion retains the Crush All Boxes title, with the new album title spray painted over it. The sleeve and interior was designed by Cal Schenkel, and contains still images from the film Freaks, directed by Tod Browning.

The majority of Tinsel Town Rebellion consists of overdub-free live recordings from the 1979 and late 1980 concert tours. This album marks the first appearance by guitarist Steve Vai. The album also introduces drummer David Logeman, who played drums from March through July on the 1980 tour, on the tracks "Fine Girl" and "Easy Meat". He would also be the sole drummer on the album You Are What You Is.

Release history[edit]

The album was reissued on a single CD by Rykodisc in 1990. (An unauthorized CD had been previously issued by EMI in England in 1987.) Complaints regarding the significantly inferior sound quality (the album was mastered by Bob Stone) led to a remaster by Spencer Chrislu in 1998.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[3]

Allmusic writer Steve Huey praised the album's instrumental work and the reworked versions of older songs, but described the sexually-themed lyrics as "problematic".[3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written, composed and arranged by Frank Zappa.
No. Title Length
1. "Fine Girl"   3:31
2. "Easy Meat"   9:19
3. "For the Young Sophisticate"   2:48
4. "Love of My Life"   2:15
5. "I Ain't Got No Heart"   1:59
6. "Panty Rap"   4:35
7. "Tell Me You Love Me"   2:07
8. "Now You See It - Now You Don't"   4:54
9. "Dance Contest"   2:58
10. "The Blue Light"   5:27
11. "Tinsel Town Rebellion"   4:35
12. "Pick Me, I'm Clean"   5:07
13. "Bamboozled by Love"   5:46
14. "Brown Shoes Don't Make It"   7:14
15. "Peaches III"   5:01

Personnel[edit]

Musicians[edit]

Production staff[edit]

  • Frank Zappa – arranger, producer
  • Joe Chiccarelli – engineer
  • George Douglas – engineer
  • Tommy Fly – engineer
  • Jo Hansch – mastering
  • Thomas Nordegg – everything remote
  • Mark Pinske – chief engineer
  • Cal Schenkel – cover art
  • Allen Sides – engineer
  • Bob Stone – remixing, remastering, digital remastering (1990 edition)
  • Spencer Chrislu - digital remastering (1996 edition)
  • John Williams – graphics

Charts[edit]

Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1981 Pop Albums 66[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Neil Slaven (2009). Electric Don Quixote: The Definitive Story Of Frank Zappa. Music Sales Group. p. 294. ISBN 9780857120434. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  2. ^ Lowe, K.F. (2007). The Words and Music of Frank Zappa. University of Nebraska Press. p. 161. ISBN 9780803260054. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  3. ^ a b Huey, S. (2011). "Tinseltown Rebellion - Frank Zappa | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-07-21. 
  4. ^ "Charts and Awards for Tinseltown Rebellion". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-08-22.