Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

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Frank Zappa
20
42%
Sly Stone
28
58%
 
Total votes: 48

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Matt Wilson
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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby Matt Wilson » 13 Jul 2014, 18:00

Zappa's got a lot of crap in his catalog, which could be off-putting if one was exposed to it in large doses during one's formative years. Even as a fan I can see that it's the law of diminishing returns after the mid seventies or so (some would say earlier). But for that first decade (say '66 - '76) he was far more hit than miss in my estimation and that's why I rate him over Sly. In fact - even that statement isn't entirely accurate as I'm not sure if the best of Frank's songs are as good as the best of Sly's. It's just the sheer volume of quality Zappa as compared to the three-or-so great Sly albums which swings the vote for me.
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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby soundchaser » 14 Jul 2014, 11:06

I'm voting Zappa, but I'm really quite unfamiliar with Sly Stone, so that's one I need to put right. Jeff K is suggesting '76 as the cut off period, but I'd go as far as 1979 and Joe's Garage. I understand why Zappa is so decisive, but I'm a huge fan and if I was going to suggest one song that defines the best of Frank, it would be Inca Roads, from One Size Fits All...quite brilliant.

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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby SUMPTUOUS SI » 13 Jan 2018, 21:40

my arse
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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby toomanyhatz » 13 Jan 2018, 22:16

The best of Zappa vs. the best of Sly? I'll take Sly.
Average Zappa vs. average Sly? I'll take Sly.
The worst of Zappa vs. the worst of Sly? I'll take Sly.

Still. And always.
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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby fange » 13 Jan 2018, 23:47

toomanyhatz wrote:The best of Zappa vs. the best of Sly? I'll take Sly.
Average Zappa vs. average Sly? I'll take Sly.
The worst of Zappa vs. the worst of Sly? I'll take Sly.

Yep.
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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 13 Jan 2018, 23:52

The biggest imabalance in a BCB “vs.” thread ever.

Sly Stone by galaxies.
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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby The Modernist » 14 Jan 2018, 00:17

I've always found Zappa an enigma. He's regarded as some kind of genius by his fans, but it's never that clear exactly what for. Likewise, he hasn't written a single song that has reached a wider audience. He seems bizarrely marginal to me given his reputation.

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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 14 Jan 2018, 11:24

fucken OCTO-ARM wrote:Zappa as a solo artist is supremely, stunningly bad. His whole catalogue is one crime against music after another - self-indulgent buffoonery that appeals only to the shallow and the tasteless.

No man should ever be allowed that much creative freedom - and funds - again.


GoogaMooga wrote:with Zappa i like one, maybe two songs only, bobby brown, valley girl
i wonder why he didn't write more hits when he clearly had the ability and talent
but he preferred to be an ironic superstar and alienate the masses

sly stone, who doesn't like him? he crossed over to the rock market like nobody's business
people who aren't into soul always seem to have some affection for sly


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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby SUMPTUOUS SI » 14 Jan 2018, 11:44

The Modernist wrote:I've always found Zappa an enigma. He's regarded as some kind of genius by his fans, but it's never that clear exactly what for. Likewise, he hasn't written a single song that has reached a wider audience. He seems bizarrely marginal to me given his reputation.


One thing that's telling is that fans rarely single out great songs.

They'll put together a list of 85 albums and talk about personnel changes and who played that great sax solo on 'Katy Likes It From Behind Part 2' but none of this is likely to convert anyone looking for a way in. It's that tiresome - and very male - appreciation that involves doing anything but actually getting off on the beauty of a melody.

Frank's persona (counterculture, anti-everything, pseudo-intellectual) goes a long way to explaining his appeal. Of course this kind of idolatry isn't exclusive to Zappa fans, but maybe it's more of a feature in his case - because it sure as shit ain't the songs!
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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby Jeemo » 14 Jan 2018, 12:15

Inca Roads
Sofa No 2
Joe's Garage
Peaches n Regalia
Cheepnis
Willie the Pimp
How I Bummed Elastic Man
Yo Mama
Muffin Man
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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby SUMPTUOUS SI » 14 Jan 2018, 12:27

thanks!
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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby The Modernist » 14 Jan 2018, 13:05

fucken OCTO-ARM wrote:
Frank's persona (counterculture, anti-everything, pseudo-intellectual) goes a long way to explaining his appeal. Of course this kind of idolatry isn't exclusive to Zappa fans, but maybe it's more of a feature in his case - because it sure as shit ain't the songs!


I really think this has a lot to do with it. In many ways his profile should be far closer to a Sun Ra: a guy who released a dizzying succession of albums that existed in their own eccentric musical world well away from any mainstream. Yet he had ten times more the critical and commercial success of a Sun Ra, and was regarded as a major figure ( and probably still is, although I suspect his star has dimmed amongst younger critics). I think this persona you talk of was probably very important in attracting his fans in the first place, because without that he would have been a bit impenetrable.

I just listened to 'Inca Roads' btw (on youtube on crappy computer speakers which, to be fair, is not the best way to appreciate it.). I quite enjoyed it generally, the instrumental bits anyway, the vocals seemed kind of pointless. It's not a song in any conventional way, but that's fine. I didn't hear anything revelatory there though either, beyond the the obviously high standard of musicianship, it just sounded like a lot of 70s fusion and not particularly distinctive on first listen. I can certainly imagine Carlsson loving it, but I can't imagine Matt Wilson, for example, sitting down and really getting into it. That's the bit I don't get -not why some people like him, but why so many from a particular generation got into him.

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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby SUMPTUOUS SI » 14 Jan 2018, 13:16

Some of it might have something to do with what he was against (or at least appeared to be).

The anti-Beatles lot went running to him. Folk who didn't 'get' the whole hippy thing too. Misogynists. Rock academics.
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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby Rayge » 14 Jan 2018, 14:52

fucken OCTO-ARM wrote:Some of it might have something to do with what he was against (or at least appeared to be).

The anti-Beatles lot went running to him. Folk who didn't 'get' the whole hippy thing too. Misogynists. Rock academics.


No way I am answering for anybody else, but as far as I was concerned, I got into the Mothers of Invention (rather than Zappa) because they were funny and entertaining and satirical and loved doo-wop, and produced three great albums and some fine singles right off the bat. It wasn't until I saw them in their first British concert (which I think was after I bought We're Only in it for the Money) that I realized they were less social commentary and making it up as they went along (like the Fugs), but a muso band, with serious seriousness chops, and that was all down to FZ and his fucking guitar playing. I stayed with the band (Ruben & the Jets is another fine album) until they got the guys from the Turtles in (not that they were bad, The Turtles were a great group) and the Mothers name was quietly dropped as, basically, FZ struggled from his larval stage as leader of a quirky rock band to emerge as a fully fledged prog moth and all-round up-tight, cynical anal arse-ache. Jeebus he turned into a bore really quickly.

While I still think Absolutely Free, In it for the Money and Reuben & the Jets are worth a listen, the rest of it is basically landfill.

Not that I think Sly made much in the way of albums, apart from Riot, but his name is on some damnfinio singles, so he wins at a canter.
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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby Goat Boy » 14 Jan 2018, 15:57

The early stuff is very good/great. Freak Out! is one of the great, weird rock albums. A handful of others aren't far behind. There is some very good solo stuff (and a lot of crap) but it's not easy music to love. As others have said, he was a strong flavour and if you don't like that flavour you'll hate him.

I do think he had an amazing musical mind and he was one of hell of a guitar player but from a point onwards - roughly the late 60s, early 70s - it was employed mostly making music I don't wanna hear.

Was he a genius? Perhaps, but he wasn't my kind of genius.
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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby The Modernist » 14 Jan 2018, 16:06

Goat Boy wrote: There is some very good solo stuff (and a lot of crap).


Anything you recommend?

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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby Goat Boy » 14 Jan 2018, 16:23

I do like One Size Fits all which is the one Inca Roads is on. That's actually a Frank Zappa and the Mothers album but whatever. Hots Rats has some great stuff of course. After the early stuff I usually prefer him when he's not singing!

There is good stuff on the those mid 70s albums but some rubbish as well but One Size is more consistent. I have a tolerance for 70s rock jazz fusion bollocks so I can get summat out of that period but it's wildly inconsistent. I don't see you getting much out of this music really though G
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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby The Modernist » 14 Jan 2018, 19:46

Goat Boy wrote:I do like One Size Fits all which is the one Inca Roads is on. That's actually a Frank Zappa and the Mothers album but whatever. Hots Rats has some great stuff of course. After the early stuff I usually prefer him when he's not singing!

There is good stuff on the those mid 70s albums but some rubbish as well but One Size is more consistent. I have a tolerance for 70s rock jazz fusion bollocks so I can get summat out of that period but it's wildly inconsistent. I don't see you getting much out of this music really though G


I'm generally more into fusion type stuff than you are, so it's possible, but we'll see. I've tended to dislike about 4/5s of what I've heard from him, but I've never given him a go over the course of an album. Thanks for the recommendations.

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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby Goat Boy » 14 Jan 2018, 19:51

Good luck!
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Re: Frank Zappa vs. Sly Stone

Postby Diamond Dog » 14 Jan 2018, 19:56

Had it been listening to Zappa v circumcision by blunt chainsaw, I'm undoing my flies.
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