"Chunga's Revenge", Zappa's 3rd studio outing of the seventies, is the first album in which the wisecracking jokers from The Turtles known for real as Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman arrive on the scene. The majority of Zappa die-hards find the Flo & Eddie (back then known as "The Phlorescent Leech & Eddie", but later on shortened) years as Zappa's weakest period.
The album begins with Transylvania Boogie which is one of the songs that could have been on Hot Rats even though it´s a bit harder and not so jazzy. It´s a terrific vehicle for a great Zappa solo. Road Ladies is the first song with Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman on vocals. It´s Zappa that sings many of the song though. It´s a pretty straightforward blues composition with some great vocal harmonies and some nice blues licks from Zappa. Twenty Small Cigars is probably an outtake from the Hot Rats session as it has a cocktail jazzy sound that reminds me of Little Umbrellas from Hot Rats. I enjoy it but only because it is as short as it is. The Nancy & Mary Music is the most experimental song here and it mixes blues rock soloing and avant garde music. I didn´t use to like this song much but I´ve grown more and more happy about it over the past couple of years.
Tell Me You Love Me is a classic Frank Zappa rock song which he has presented in various incarnations with different bands and I can´t say this unique version is the most powerful one but it´s enjoyable. Again there are some cool vocal harmonies and high pitched vocals from Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman. Would You Go All The Way? might be the best display of Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman´s voices along a song like Rudy Wants To Buy Yez A... Those two songs remind me a lot of some of the songs on 200 Motels. I like those types of songs but it´s an aquired taste if you like Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman´s voices. Chunga's Revenge is similar to Transylvania Boogie because it is also a vehicle for soloing. There is a lovely theme in this song too though. The Clap is just a short avant garde drum solo while Sharleena is nearly doo woop/ R´n´B style pop. There are certain stunning vocal harmonies in that one.
Chunga's Revenge has no absurdist humor, political satire, lengthy sax solos, or avant-garde soundscapes. However, it's still an excellent album that manages to show yet another side of Zappa's talent. Granted, there are some weak songs; however, these are all short songs, taking up a total of about seven minutes of this forty-minute album. They're quickly overshadowed by the high quality tracks. Chunga's Revenge isn't a masterpiece, but I would still highly recommend it to Zappa fans, particularly those who enjoy his guitar playing.
Track listing:All songs written and composed by Frank Zappa.
1. "Transylvania Boogie" 5:01
2. "Road Ladies" 4:10
3. "Twenty Small Cigars" 2:17
4. "The Nancy & Mary Music" 9:27
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
Frank Zappa – guitar, harpsichord, percussions, drums, vocals, Condor
Max Bennett – bass
George Duke – organ, trombone, electric piano, sound effects, vocals
Aynsley Dunbar – drums, tambourine
John Guerin – drums (only on Twenty Small Cigars)
Don "Sugarcane" Harris – electric violin, organ
Howard Kaylan – vocals
Mark Volman – vocals
Jeff Simmons – bass, vocals
Ian Underwood – organ, guitar, piano, rhythm guitar, electric piano, alto sax
DISCOGRAPHY-Chunga's Revenge Reviewed by Klemen Hlupič on 03:02 Rating: