My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Hot Rats was recorded during a two month period in the middle of 1969 and was released in October of the same year. It is the first album to use a sixteen channel mixer, which allowed for extensive overdubs including the recording of drums on four channels.
What I think: Looking at the cover of this I thought, “oh great a Frank Zappa album titled Hot Rats. It’s going to be full of craziness with that title. And look at him on the cover all dark a brooding looking like a proto-Alice Cooper (It’s not Zappa on the cover by the way), this is going to be a tough one to get through.” Wow was I ever wrong! This album is a complete left turn from the first two featured in this book. Hot Rats is a mostly instrumental (there is a small Captain Beefheart vocal part on “Willie the Pimp”), heavily jazz infused (I always thought Jazz Fusion was supposed to suck), soul and guitar solo soaked album. From front to back it’s a masterpiece. Highlights for me are the incredibly beautiful “Son of Mr. Green Genes” and the super jazzy “Little Umbrellas”. Zappa was into shocking people, and he couldn’t have shocked me more that he did on this album. Frank, you got me!
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? No doubt, one of the best pieces of music I have EVER heard.
Rating (Out of 5): 5
Amazon Review (Out of 5): 4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (142/183)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 78%