[America is Hell] -- You might recall that for the remainder of April, my birthday month, I am featuring music from 1986, the year I turned 18. Frank Zappa released two albums in 1986, effectively bookending (heh) the year. In January, he released Does Humor Belong in Music?, a collection of concert recordings from the end of 1984, so that doesn't fully qualify for my music in 1986 theme. But in November of 1986, Zappa released the final studio album (that would be released within his lifetime): Jazz From Hell. In many respects, this has been a week from Hell, and that alone could make this latter of the two Zappa records an appropriate album to feature. But to make the connection even more concrete, according to Zappa himself, this album's title (and maybe even the track of the same name) was a political statement:
While I do enjoy listening to this album on occasion, usually as background music, I cannot give it an adequate review or description. I can tell you that my favorite tracks are "While You Were Art II," "Jazz From Hell," "G-Spot Tornado," and "St. Etienne." And I know Jazz From Hell won the 1988 Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. So, for more detailed analysis, I direct you to this album's entry on zappa-analysis.com, especially if you want a deep dive into the Synclavier, a digital synth Zappa used on every track of this album except "St. Etienne."
Flashback: Jazz From Hell
That's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.
I'll see you in seven!