Ringo Starr and Keith Moon have notable roles in it, and they provide some of the film's funniest moments.
The music, however, is of course outstanding. Zappa had been composing orchestral music for several years in preparation for this project, and it's amazing. There are some rock band numbers which are extremely simplistic by Zappa standards; in part to offset the seriousness of the orchestral music, and in part to be playable by Martin Lickert, Ringo's chauffeur, who needed to step in at the 11th hour as the band's bass player since Jeff Simmons quit the group mid-production, and he wasn't much of a bassist. He ended up to be a fine actor, though, playing the (big) part of Jeff in the movie.
If you are an orchestral zappa fan you will love this, as there isn't much rock n' roll on this album. The compositions are superbly written as usual with the heavy layers of sound true to zappa form, with the normal crazy and outrageous zappa song titles. Of the rock songs mystery roach is one of the hardest rocking zappa songs of this time period, while penis dimension one of the most outrageous lyrically. The rest of the remaining songs, magic fingers has some brillian soloing by fz on the guitar, lonesome cowboy burt zappa's brilliant parody of country music, with jimmy carl black from the mothers, on vocals. Additionally of note is the vocals of flo and eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan of the turtles) on the rock tunes. There is still quite a few more rock songs. But mostly this is an orchestral album of exceptional quality and shows where zappa was eventually headed musically.
The soundtrack's fantastic, as I said, but it's also one of the worst-sounding Zappa albums, as it was basically recorded live in the film studio, in what sounds like a large, echoey room (I always thought it sounded like an airplane hangar). If you can get past that, and get past the sometimes sophomoric humor of the rock band pieces (topics du jour: getting high, getting laid, getting VD, and male insecurity in general), then there's plenty to enjoy.
LP side one
No.1. "Semi-Fraudulent/Direct-From-Hollywood Overture"
2. "Mystery Roach"
3. "Dance of the Rock & Roll Interviewers"
4. "This Town Is a Sealed Tuna Sandwich" (Prologue)
5. "Tuna Fish Promenade"
6. "Dance of the Just Plain Folks"
7. "This Town Is a Sealed Tuna Sandwich" (Reprise)
8. "The Sealed Tuna Bolero"
9. "Lonesome Cowboy Burt"
LP side two
1. "Touring Can Make You Crazy"
2. "Would You Like a Snack?"
3. "Redneck Eats"
5. "She Painted up Her Face"
6. "Janet's Big Dance Number"
7. "Half a Dozen Provocative Squats"
9. "Shove It Right In"
10. "Lucy's Seduction of a Bored Violinist & Postlude"
LP side three
1. "I'm Stealing the Towels"
2. "Dental Hygiene Dilemma"
3. "Does This Kind of Life Look Interesting to You?"
4. "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy"
5. "Penis Dimension"
6. "What Will This Evening Bring Me This Morning"
LP side four
1. "A Nun Suit Painted on Some Old Boxes"
2. "Magic Fingers"
3. "Motorhead's Midnight Ranch"
4. "Dew on the Newts We Got"
5. "The Lad Searches the Night for His Newts"
6. "The Girl Wants to Fix Him Some Broth"
7. "The Girl's Dream"
8. "Little Green Scratchy Sweaters & Courduroy Ponce"
9. "Strictly Genteel (The Finale)"
Compact disc bonus tracks
1. "Coming Soon!" (Cut 1)
2. "The Wide Screen" (Cut 2)
3. "Coming Soon!" (Cut 3)
4. "Frank Zappa's 200 Motels" (Cut 4)
5. "Magic Fingers" (Single Edit)
6. "Original Theatrical Trailer"
Bob Auger – Engineer
Theodore Bikel – Narrator
Jimmy Carl Black – Vocals
George Duke – Trombone, Keyboards
Aynsley Dunbar – Drums
Howard Kaylan – Vocals
Barry Keene – Overdubs, Remixing
Martin Lickert – Bass (Basic tracks recorded at Pinewood only during filming – many of which were redubbed by Zappa)
David McMacken – Design, Illustrations
Patrick Pending – Liner Notes
Jim Pons – Voices
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Cal Schenkel – Design
Ian Underwood – Keyboards, Woodwind
Ruth Underwood – Percussion
Mark Volman – Vocals, Photography
Frank Zappa – Bass, Guitar, Producer, Orchestration, Drums
Big Jim Sullivan -Guitar, Orchestration
DISCOGRAPHY-200 Motels Reviewed by Klemen Hlupič on 03:29 Rating: