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Meat Light
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epistrophy
Joined: 2008-08-11
Posts: 140
Location: London
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Post 2016-12-09 09:22   [Quote] 
Thanks Thinman - I hadn't actually got to disc 3 yet!
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sam gopal
Joined: 2008-10-25
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Location: Gothenburg
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Post 2016-12-09 22:53   [Quote] 
michael wrote:
sam gopal wrote:
Why no vinyl version?

Try the 180g UMe double LP. Having the rest of it on vinyl would hardly makes sense, would it? Or are you just kidding?

True, I do have a 70's UM. Sounds excellent, but no booklet for some reason. But I think vinyl versions of Little Dots and Chicago would make sense. I posted the same appeal in those threads. Don't care as much for this one, but the other two would be solid.

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sam gopal
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Post 2016-12-09 23:06   [Quote] 
uncle max wrote:
bleachboy wrote:
michael wrote:
sam gopal wrote:
Why no vinyl version?

Try the 180g UMe double LP. Having the rest of it on vinyl would hardly makes sense, would it? Or are you just kidding?
Does the UMe LP have the whole book?


Yes


Have to get my hands on one of those then.

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michael
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Post 2016-12-10 00:22   [Quote] 
Thinman wrote:
epistrophy wrote:
… I was surprised to see that the liner notes don't have an explanation of why this album is called 'Meat Light'. Did I miss something? …

Look at the dashboard underneath the tray.

Heat light?
I still don't get it.
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Galeans
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Post 2016-12-21 22:37   [Quote] 
An "Uncle Meat" Project/Object was something I always hoped it was going to be released and I can't really say I'm disappointed with this. I have a real soft spot for The Mothers of Invention and studio/live material from that era is greatly appreciated. "Uncle Meat" is one of my favorite albums in the whole Zappa discography and, along with "Lumpy Gravy", it's the earliest stance in which Frank Zappa finally proclaims himself as a serious composer and not just a satirist.

Part I - "Original 1969 Vinyl Mix": Although only "Mr. Green Genes" was remixed on the CD, the equalization was so different and the amount of reverb so big that it made for a completely different listening experience. I remember the first time I heard the vinyl version, I was shocked at how tracks like "Cruising for Burgers" sounded: the ambience is really totally different. And yes, much like most of you, I don't enjoy the film excerpts, which I find rather stupid, or, even less, "Tengo Na Minchia Tanta": had it been on something like "The Man From Utopia" I would have probably chuckled at it the first time and skipped it thereafter, but on "Uncle Meat"? No, sir. Anyway, the version of the original mix contained here sounds great: my listening copy was a crystal clear needledrop of the original vinyl, and this one blows that out of the water, not to mention the digital versions, including the "Old Masters II" vinyl, which uses the original "Mr. Green Genes" mix but still has quite a bit of reverb. No complaints here!

Part II - "Original Sequence": OK, this is really interesting, although some of this material is presented in the same mixes as on the finished album. The quote on the booklet where FZ says that all of his music is "one album" and that he could cut everything apart and "put it together again in an different order" and "it still would make one piece of music you can listen to" is spot on. The way everything flows is great and, unlike something like, say, "Understanding America", you don't have the impression you are listening to a playlist on shuffle. I also like the fact that stuff like "We Can Shoot You" doesn't exist in that form but all of its parts are included during the course of the album. I wish he would have kept "Project X" as it was on this sequence, though: I always found the transition between the first part (a beautiful, typically Zappaesque composition) with the second (avant-guarde and ear piercing) very jarring. Also, too bad he excluded the hilarious "Cops & Buns" out of the original album: you make me waste my time during one session? Well, then I'm going to use even that on the record! Anyway, a part from a couple of sections that are slightly differently mixed and extended, we also have some material that ended up being removed from the final section. "Whiskey Wah" and "The Whip", supposedly from the Whiskey A Go Go tapes, are great jams similar to "Underground Freak Out Music" on YCDTOSA5. "PooYeargh" and "'Ere Ian Whips It/JCB Spits It/Motorhead Rips It" are just spoken fragments, the latter involving tape speed manipulation. Although I still prefer the finished album, I enjoy this sequence very much and, actually, the only thing I miss from this is the live section on "Ian Underwood Whips It Out". By the way, the original ending to "Dog Breath, In The Year of the Plague" contains what are probably the most annoying sounds ever included in a Zappa album! This is much better than the Uncle Meat Demo we have here.

Part III - "From the Vault": Man, this is so overwhealming. 20 outtakes and odds and sodds from these sessions. This is section is so interesting that I feel that it deserves a track-by-track:

"A Bunch of Stuff" - A slowed down and, if you didn't know better, stoned sounding Frank Zappa warns us that, in the Mothers' movie, we'll see a "bunch of hairy people doing a bunch of stuff" and that we are going to have a "wonderful time watching them jump around". For some reason, it reminds me of something that Gene and Dean Ween could have done on "The Pod" or "Pure Guava".

Dog Breath (Single Version - Stereo) - YES! Finally a CD release of this! I've always prefeered this version to the album take because I love the way the main theme sounds played by the saxophone and the guitar. The single version I had was mono, while this is stereo. I think the mono is a fold down of this mix, but I'll have to check.

Tango - I presume it's Bunk and Ian playing. Very brief, I think of this as a sort of precursor to "Igor's Boogie".

The String Quartet - This is the same recording as "A Pound For A Brown On The Bus" on the original album, but at the original recorded speed: the album version is a bit sped up. Also, this goes past where it ends on the album, revealing a very nice unheard section of the composition.

Electric Aunt Jemima (Mix Outtake) - Very different mix. Wider stereo, vocals and guitar brought upfront and a completely different drum track. I suppose Artie plays on the album version and the one playing here is either JCB or Billy Mundi. It doesn't contain the sound effects during the bridge or the ending dialogue.

Excercise 4 Variant - This sounds a bit like a collage piece, but it's probably the way it was recorded or, anyway, assembled in the studio. The themes you hear here are all variations of "Excercise 4" (the harpsichord part) and "Uncle Meat". In fact, the Main Theme as it appears on the album is included in the middle of the track, same version without overdubs and slightly extended. Great.

Zolar Czakl (Mix Outtake) - Another rather different mix, revealing percussion bits that are buried on the album but excluding the guitar part. By the way, how on earth do you pronunciate the title of this?

"More Beer!" - Exactly what it says. I do recognize JCB's voice but not the other guy. Bunk Gardner, maybe?

Green Genes Snoop - FZ, via talkback, coaches Ian Underwood and Bunk Gardner through their woodwind parts on the "Mr. Green Genes" intro. Short, but very interesting.

Mr. Green Genes (Mix Outtake) - Overall, a drier mix. The drums are centered on the original LP mix (I can't remember on the CD at the moment), while here they are in stereo: snare drum on the left, kick drum on the right. I have to confess I nearly wept the first time I heard Frank's guitar soloing at the beginning of the song: it's so friggin beautiful!

Echo Pie - "If We'd All Been Living in California" part 2. Both JCB and Frank are much more angrier. The Indian of the group accuses their manager Herbie Cohen of stealing their money, Frank denies it stating that he makes more money because he works more. After a bit, FZ suggests the band that, if they really want to make money, they can tour without him because, at the moment, he has too much to work on the studio. JCB and another guy (Ian Underwood?) conclude that people would not come to the shows because the audience is there to see Frank. It doesn't sound like FZ was kidding, but I doubt he was speaking seriously when he proposed that: I believe he was just bluffing in order to quiet them down and make them accept their situation.

1/4 Tone Unit - Similar, but not hydentical, to the short instrumental at the end of "We Can Shoot You". Same instrumentation as well.

Sakuji's March - A short composition performed by Ruth Underwood on the marimba. Very, very cute.

No. 4 - Ruth is here as well, this time accompained by a pieno, presumibly played by her husband Ian. Fast and frentic, at time sounding like free jazz. Quite enjoyable!

Prelude To King Kong (Extended Version) - Well, the title explains it all. Interestingly, past the edit point on the album, there is a guitar solo by FZ which was compeltely excised from the album version. Although it's interesting, I can see why he edited it out: it doesn't really go anywhere in particular. This "extended version" is not the complete take either, it ends abruptly.

Blood Unit - The piece of music at the end of "Dog Breath, In The Year of the Plague" that first appeared on the World's Greatest Sinner soundtrack in 1961. This is the same recording, tape speed manipulation and all, but without a lot of the overdubs included there, so you can dissect all the parts. The ending musical phrase, as heard on the album track, is missing here.

My Guitar (Proto I - Excerpt) - A cool extract from a jam. "My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama" is not quite there yet, but you can hear that this bit of music will eventually develop into that. Frank's solo is quite energic but sounds a bit treated: maybe it's a sped up overdub?

Nine Types Of Industrial Pollution (Guitar track, normal speed) - As the title says, this is the isolated guitar solo from "Nine Types Of Industrial Pollution" played at the recorded speed. The tone and the solo are absolutely beautiful and it makes for a very ethereal and heavenly listening epxerience. It sounds like Frank is sitting in the same room as you, playing for you. You can hear by headphone leakage that FZ was listening to a slowed down basic track, so he was performing this solo knowing that he would have later sped it up. By the way, I'm sure you all have noticed it, but Frank is playing along with the "Sleeping in a Jar" basic track. If you match the tape speed of "Nine Types Of Industrial Pollution" (sped up solo but slowed down backing track) with the one of that song and edit it together, you get a nice extended version of the tune: there is even an overlap between the two songs!

Uncle Meat (Live at Columbia University 1969) - Funny introduction by Frank at the beginning. Someone has suggested that FZ plays drums on this and I think he is definitely right: there are two drums and someone is playing marimba, likely Art Tripp, "FZ/JCB Drum Duet" on YCDTOSA5 comes from an "Uncle Meat" performance and, as shown on the Roxy video, Zappa did play percussion on this song in 1973/4.

Dog Breath (Instrumental) - I am not sure this is the same basic track as the album/single version, but there are a lot of differences compared to both: the theme is performed by sax and marimba and there is a guitar solo in the middle. Very, very lovely.

The Dog Breath Variations (Mix Outtake) - It sounds like this is a premix of the song that was made for the musicians before making overdubs. There are no drums at the end, for instance, and some instruments seem to disappear as the track goes on. This alternate mix does not match the description of the one found on the acetate in Herb Cohen's belongings that was sold on Rockaway Records a few years ago. As far as I know, that particular mix hasn't surfaced yet.

The booklet of this triple CD is not essential, but not unpleasant either, with some good notes by Ian Underwood, great quotes from Zappa himself and some photos I had never seen before. If you are a Zappa fan and a fan of this era of his carreer, you really need this!

cheers

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Last edited by Galeans on 2016-12-21 23:36; edited 1 time in total
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uncle max
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Post 2016-12-21 22:47   [Quote] 
Great post Galeans.

Grazie 1000.

clap

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zeeker
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Post 2016-12-22 00:31   [Quote] 
Thank you, Galeans, for this excellent track by track breakdown. Uncle Meat was my introduction to the wonderment of FZ & The MOI, back in '69, at the ripe young age of 12. Special to me because it changed my ears forever. I may have listened to Freak Out a few months earlier, at a friend's house, but U.M. was the first FZ album I purchased subsequent to every other release in the years to come. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Meat Light.
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BanksD
Joined: 2016-08-14
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Post 2016-12-26 00:49   [Quote] 
Secured a copy of this one, this release is amazing! UM is my favorite Zappa album and this is liks reliving it for the first time.
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wingedeelfingerling
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Post 2017-01-09 20:14   [Quote] 
brilliant GALEANS... its is good to have your comments and knowledge... the sleeve notes are rather pathetic when describing the tracks...
what is the explanation for the original sequence being changed to the finished album? was it brevity or is the original sequence actually the film soundtrack which was cut to make the album with added KINGKONG... it is a great release to add to my collection of KING KONGS going back through the recent vinyl, the additional tracks cd, the MYSTERY box, the TRANSLANTIC version and an original US copy....
that's 6 and counting lo.
I forgot the JOHN LUC PONTY version...
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Dark Clothes
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Post 2017-01-17 20:11   [Quote] 
pbuzby wrote:
rupert pupkin wrote:
Is it me or is this so good 6 minutes of guitar "Nine Types Of Industrial Pollution" could be a kind of embryonic "STUCCO HOMES" (from Shut Up And Play Yer Guitar ?) or Zappa would revisit in concert 78-79 this theme under a different title "Stucco Homes"...? even the percussions are in the same style than the SUAPLYG version...


It reminded me of "Stucco Homes," yes.


I have a Japanese SUNPYG LP from 1981. I noticed today that Stucco Homes and Nine Types etc. are mentioned together. I can't tell what the writer says, because apart from the titles it's all in Japanese.

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mmBalint
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Post 2017-01-20 10:21   [Quote] 
interesting that FZ talks about a "3-record set. Six sides" (Rolling Stone, 1968), but this "original" version still has four sections on the CD cover. Can it be a shortened version, too?...
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Galeans
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Post 2017-01-20 10:24   [Quote] 
mmBalint wrote:
interesting that FZ talks about a "3-record set. Six sides" (Rolling Stone, 1968), but this "original" version still has four sections on the CD cover. Can it be a shortened version, too?...


If I remember correctly, on the Zappacast, Joe mentions that he found other alternate side sequences. I hope I'm not misremembering this but I seem to remember that some of the stuff on CD 3 comes from there. FZ was also known to continuously re-arrange and re-edit his material, so I'd say that this was just one of the many sequences he had invisioned, perhaps one that he was seriously considering putting out.

cheers

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pbuzby
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Post 2017-01-26 01:17   [Quote] 
For those who are curious, cover artist Theo Holdt posted to the zappa.com forum.

http://forum.zappa.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=27244
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Idiot
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Post 2017-01-26 01:43   [Quote] 
pbuzby wrote:
For those who are curious, cover artist Theo Holdt posted to the zappa.com forum.

http://forum.zappa.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=27244


Here's a little more on his webpage: http://www.theoholdt.com/blog/i-made-it-on-the-cover-of-frank-zappas-posthumous-release-of-meet-light

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brainpang
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Post 2017-01-26 14:52   [Quote] 
Read with great interest, Galeans.
This ought to be included in all future editions of the release.
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