Sheik Yerbouti


Sheik Yerbouti
Sheik Yerbouti
Studio album by Frank Zappa
Released March 3, 1979
Recorded Mostly:
Jan. 24–28 & Feb. 24–28 1978 - Hammersmith Odeon, London;
Oct. 28–31, 1977 - The Palladium, New York
Genre Progressive rock, Comedy rock
Length 70:22
Label Zappa Records
Producer Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa chronology
Sleep Dirt
(1979)
Sheik Yerbouti
(1979)
Orchestral Favorites
(1979)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[2]
Robert Christgau (C)[3]

Sheik Yerbouti is a double vinyl album by Frank Zappa made up of material recorded in 1977 and 1978. It was first released on March 3 1979 as the first release on Zappa Records and re-issued on compact disc, first in unauthorized form by EMI in 1986 and then by Rykodisc in 1990 and then again in 1995. All Rykodisc CDs have a version of "I'm So Cute" in which the coda is removed so that the song segues smoothly into the following song.

Contents

Background

Sheik Yerbouti represented a major turning point in Zappa's career. The first album to be released on his own eponymous label after his departure from Warner Bros. Records, it emphasized the comedic aspect of his lyrics more than ever before, beginning a period of increased record sales and mainstream media attention. Sheik Yerbouti remains Zappa's biggest selling album worldwide with over 2 million units sold to date.

Inspiration

The title is a play on words; Zappa appears on the cover in character in Arab headdress, and the name, meant to resemble an Arabic transcription, is pronounced like the title of KC and the Sunshine Band's 1976 disco hit "Shake Your Booty".

The album featured more of Zappa's satirical and otherwise humorous or offensive material. "Bobby Brown (Goes Down)" is well-known worldwide, except for the USA, where it was banned from airplay due to its sexually explicit lyrics. "I Have Been in You" pokes fun at Peter Frampton's 1977 hit "I'm in You" while maintaining a sexually driven structure. "Dancin' Fool", a Grammy nominee, became a popular disco hit despite its obvious parodical reflection of disco music. "Flakes" includes a parody of Bob Dylan about the lousiness of laborers in California. "Jewish Princess", a humorous look at Jewish stereotyping, attracted attention from the Anti-Defamation League, to which Zappa denied an apology, arguing: "Unlike the unicorn, such creatures do exist — and deserve to be 'commemorated' with their own special opus".[4]

Some of Zappa's solos from the album began life as improvisations from Zappa's earlier work. "Rat Tomago" was edited from a performance of "The Torture Never Stops", which originally appeared on Zoot Allures; "The Sheik Yerbouti Tango" likewise from a live "Little House I Used to Live In", originally a Burnt Weeny Sandwich track. The song "City of Tiny Lites" featured an animation video made by Bruce Bickford which was featured on the Old Grey Whistle Test.

Writing and recording

Most of the basic tracks were recorded live, then extensively overdubbed in the studio. "Rat Tomago" is bookended by two brief pieces of musique concrète, constructed of studio dialogue, sound effects, and assorted musical fragments. In making "Rubber Shirt", Zappa combined a track of Terry Bozzio playing drums in one musical setting with one of Patrick O'Hearn playing bass in another, and totally different, musical setting. The tracks differed in time signature and in tempo. Zappa referred to this technique as xenochrony. Nearly every song on the album features numerous overdubs.

The album was also notable for being the career break of noted producer and engineer Joe Chiccarelli.[5] In an interview with HitQuarters, Chiccarelli said: "[Zappa's] engineer couldn’t make the session and so he decided to take a chance on me. I’m so thankful ever since that day because he gave me a career."[5]

Track listing

All songs by Frank Zappa except "Rubber Shirt" by Bozzio/O'Hearn/Zappa. Dates & venues infos from Information Is Not Knowledge

Side one

  1. "I Have Been in You" – 3:33 Basic track: January 25, 1978 - Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK
  2. "Flakes" – 6:41 Basic track: January 25, 1978 - Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK
  3. "Broken Hearts Are for Assholes" – 3:42 Basic track: January 27, 1978 - Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK
  4. "I'm So Cute" – 3:09 (1995 CD) 4:20 (Vinyl and EMI CD) Basic track: January 24-28 or February 27-28, 1978 - Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK

Side two

  1. "Jones Crusher" – 2:49 Basic track: October 31, 1977 - The Palladium, NYC
  2. "What Ever Happened to All the Fun in the World" – 0:33 See Läther
  3. "Rat Tomago" – 5:17 Guitar solo from The Torture Never Stops played live on February 15, 1978 - Deutschlandhalle, Berlin, Germany
  4. "Wait a Minute" – 0:31[6] See Läther
  5. "Bobby Brown Goes Down" – 2:49 Sound-icon.png (song sample, 600Kb)[7] Basic track: January 24-28 or February 27-28, 1978 - Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK
  6. "Rubber Shirt" – 2:45 Bass part: September 25, 1974 - Goteborg, Sweden
  7. "The Sheik Yerbouti Tango" – 3:56 Guitar solo from The Little House I Used To Live In played live on February 15, 1978 - Deutschlandhalle, Berlin, Germany

Side three

  1. "Baby Snakes" – 1:50 Basic track: February 28, 1978 - Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK
  2. "Tryin' to Grow a Chin" – 3:31 Basic track: January 24-28 or February 27-28, 1978 - Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK
  3. "City of Tiny Lites" – 5:32 Basic track: January 24-28 or February 27-28, 1978 - Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK
  4. "Dancin' Fool" – 3:43 Basic track: February 28, 1978 - Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK
  5. "Jewish Princess" – 3:16 Basic track: October 30, 1977 - The Palladium, NYC

Side four

  1. "Wild Love" – 4:09 Basic track: February 28, 1978 - Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK
  2. "Yo' Mama" – 12:36 Vocal sections basic track: February 28, 1978 - Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK; Guitar solo: February 25, 1978 - Hemmerleinhalle, Neunkirchen am Brand, Germany; Part of the backing track for the solo: January 27, 1978 - Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK

Personnel

Musicians

  • Frank Zappa – Lead Guitar, Vocals, Arranger, Composer, Producer, Remixing
  • Adrian Belew – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Bob Dylan impersonation
  • Patrick O'Hearn – Bass, Vocals
  • Terry Bozzio – Drums, Vocals
  • Davey Moire – Vocals, Engineer
  • Ed Mann – Percussion, Vocals
  • Tommy Mars – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
  • Andre Lewis – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
  • Napoleon Murphy Brock – Backing Vocals
  • Randy Thornton – Backing Vocals
  • Peter Wolf – Keyboards, Butter, Flora Margarine
  • David Ocker – Clarinet

Production staff

  • Bob Stone – Digital Remastering
  • Joe Chiccarelli – Remixing, Overdub Engineer
  • Lynn Goldsmith – Photography, Cover Photo
  • Peter Henderson – Engineer
  • Bob Ludwig – Mastering Engineer
  • Kerry McNabb – Engineer
  • John Williams – Art Direction
  • Gail Zappa – Photography
  • Amy Bernstein – Artwork, Layout Design
  • Barbara Isaak – Assistant

Charts

Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1979 Pop Albums 21[8]

References

  1. ^ Huey, S. (2011 [last update]). "Sheik Yerbouti - Frank Zappa | AllMusic". allmusic.com. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r22655. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Fricke, D. (2011 [last update]). "Frank Zappa: Sheik Yerbouti : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". web.archive.org. http://web.archive.org/web/20090525130504/http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/frankzappa/albums/album/105939/review/5946006/sheik_yerbouti. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Christgau, R. (2011 [last update]). "Robert Christgau: CG: Artist 4153". robertchristgau.com. http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist2.php?id=4153. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  4. ^ The real Frank Zappa book
  5. ^ a b "Interview with Joe Chicarelli". HitQuarters. 14 June 2010. http://www.hitquarters.com/index.php3?page=intrview/opar/intrview_Joe_Chiccarelli_Interview.html. Retrieved Aug 19, 2010. 
  6. ^ Originally titled "We've Got to Get into Something Real" on vinyl releases of Sheik Yerbouti.
  7. ^ Originally titled "Bobby Brown" on vinyl releases of Sheik Yerbouti.
  8. ^ "Charts and Awards for Sheik Yerbouti". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r22655. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 

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