Saturday, September 7, 2013

40 Year Itch : Applied Rotation

For his second album of 1973, Over-Nite Sensation, released September 7th, Frank Zappa backed off on the jazz fusion instrumentals so he could share his wacky, sex-obsessed sense of humor. Teenage boys could now guffaw over lyrics like those of "Dinah-Moe Humm", in which the narrator must give the title character an orgasm or lose a $40 bet:

So I got down to it
 Whipped off her bloomers and stiffened my thumb 
 And applied rotation on her sugar plum 
 I poked and stroked till my wrist got numb
Still didn't hear no Dinah- Moe Humm.

   "Dinah-Moe Humm" is joined by "Dirty Love" ( a song about a woman having sex with a poodle) and "Camarillo Brillo" (a one night stand with a woman wearing a dirty poncho) on the album. Zappa called them his "Glandular Epics".

Ike and Tina Turner weren't so amused. Yes, you'll hear a lot of Tina on the album but you won't see her or any of the Ikettes credited. Ike listened to the recordings and responded succinctly:

"What is this shit?'

And then he left the studio, later insisting Zappa not put their names on the album

But he discovered Puerility Sells! Over-Nite Sensation is Zappa's first Gold album, peaking at #32 in the Billboard album charts.

  The most successful song on the album is "Montana". Just ask Kate Bush. When she gave Smash Hits Magazine a list of  her top 10 albums Over-Nite Sensation topped the list.

  "Montana"was the first Zappa track I ever heard and it's stuck as a firm favourite." she said ( adding the 'U' to 'favorite' because she's British and all.

It also has the best guitar solo, reminding us that sometimes he really should shut up and play the guitar.

In 1974, Zappa fans would get their hands on an even bigger success, the Top 10 Apostrophe , recorded during the same sessions. Today you can buy both on the same Ryko disc. I know this because I did.

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