Q - 8/95, pp.150-1513 Stars
- Good - "...More songs about Eskimos, religious deceit, poodles, pancakes and imaginary diseases."
Mojo (Publisher) - 7/95, p.102
"...After six tracks of intricate whimsy, the title piece bursts through, a blues rock 'tour de force' underpinned by Jack Bruce's slithering bass, showing that Zappa could effortlessly play the power trio card if he chose to..."
Uncut (magazine) - p.70
"[W]ith his tightest, most sympathetic band playing at the peak of their powers."
Personnel: Frank Zappa (vocals, guitar, bass); Tony Duran (guitar); Sugar Cane Harris, Jean-Luc Ponty (violin); Ian Underwood (saxophone); Napoleon Murphy Brock (saxophone, background vocals); George Duke (keyboards); Jack Bruce, Erroneous, Tom Fowler (bass); Jim Gordon, Johnny Guerin, Ralph Humphrey, Aynsley Dunbar (drums); Ruth Underwood (percussion); Ray Collins, Kerry McNabb, Susie Glover, Debbie, Lynn, Ruben Ladron De Guevara, Robert "Frog" Camarena (background vocals).
Engineers include: Steve Desper, Terry Dunavan, Barry Keene.
All songs have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Frank Zappa (vocals, guitar); Don "Sugarcane" Harris, Jean-Luc Ponty (violin); Napoleon Murphy Brock (saxophone, background vocals); Ian Underwood (saxophone); Sal Marquez (trumpet); Bruce Fowler (trombone); George Duke (keyboards, background vocals); Jim Gordon , John Guerin, Ralph Humphrey, Aynsley Dunbar (drums); Ruth Underwood (percussion); Lynn Goldsmith, Susie Glover, Robert Camarena, Debbie, Ruben Ladron de Guevara, Kerry McNabb, Ray Collins (background vocals).
Liner Note Author: Frank Zappa.
Recording information: Bolic, Inglewood; Electric Lady, New York, NY; Paramount, Hollywood, CA; UMRK.
Photographers: Emerson-Loew; Mark Aalyson.
Arranger: Frank Zappa.
One of Frank Zappa's most commercially successful albums, APOSTROPHE is also among his goofiest. The album found its way to the semi-mainstream chiefly on the strength of "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow." As the title of that single indicates, the scatological humor and cheap jokes that are part of Zappa's stock in trade abound here (see also the self-explanatory "Stink-Foot"). Part of Zappa's genius, though, much like that of Gong's Daevid Allen, was to deflate his sophisticated instrumental excursions and conceptual work with lowbrow humor and downright silliness. Nowhere is that process more apparent than on APOSTROPHE.
The typically large band (including violin and horns) that accompanies Zappa here follows him through daunting twists and turns as tempos get turned around and counterpoint riffs bounce off each other at breakneck speed. In the midst of all this instrumental facility, Zappa's satirical side blazes forth, as on "Uncle Remus," which addresses racial strife, and the bluesy "Cosmik Debris," where he casts aspersions on the idea of gurus. APOSTROPHE finds Zappa at a peak: successfully mingling humor with harmonic exploration, yet succumbing to the excesses of neither.