Q - 8/95, pp.150-1513 Stars
- Good - "...vulgar songs of sleaze and dirty love done with pornographic gusto..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 7/95, p.102
"...a rock album that demonstrates [Zappa's] vast production skills and ability to coax fine playing from the likes of Jean-Luc Ponty, George Duke and Ruth Underwood..."
Personnel: Frank Zappa (vocals, guitar); Sal Marquez (vocals, trumpet); Jean-Luc Ponty (violin, baritone violin); Ian Underwood (flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Bruce Fowler (trombone); George Duke (keyboards, synthesizer); Ruth Underwood (vibraphone, marimba, percussion); Ralph Humphrey (drums).
Recording information: Bolic Sound; Paramount; Whitney.
Illustrator: Cal Schenkel.
Arranger: Frank Zappa.
Combining rock and intricate, experimental jazz with biting social commentary and a healthy dose of juvenile humor, Zappa's music was never less than provocative and often quite challenging. He manages to be musically ambitious, ironic, scatological and just plain weird, often within the same song. If you're looking to dive into his voluminous oeuvre, 1973'S OVER-NITE SENSATION is a good place to start. Following a string of experimental, nearly instrumental releases, the record is about as accessible as Zappa gets, and features some of his catchiest, wittiest songs.
Even with musicians such as George Duke and Jean-Luc Ponty and several horn players, the album is more rock than jazz. Awash with references to tweezers, dental floss, dandruff, ponchos, poodles and dwarves, OVER-NITE SENSATION is laugh-out-loud funny. The opener, "Camarillo Brillo," which recounts a nutty sexual encounter, is full of intricate wordplay, and the more explicit "Dinah Moe Hum" surely delighted legions of brainy high school boys when it was released. The wonderfully demented "Dirty Love" belongs in the pantheon of great Zappa songs, as does "I Am the Slime," a hilariously astute, prescient take on couch-potato culture, decades before the term was coined.