In a message dated 1/28/07 6:55:50 AM Eastern Standard Time, [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes: I was just freaking out to a bit of Stage Vol 2 yesterday when I looked at the back of the cd case to see when it came out.
I couldn't believe it when it said 1988,well I suppose I could when I thought about it but blimey how time flies. Superb show though. Vol 1 is ace. Three is excellent. The 82 stuff on 4 is great. Vols 5 & 6 are ok but not so good,and seem a bit rushed perhaps understandably ;-(( What do others think of the Stage series ? Volume 1 is excellent, and is an album that I would term "essential" for Zappa fans and people just getting into Zappa. YMMV. Volume 2 is Ok. I don't want to use the term "overrated", but it's very tempting. The first disc is really good. The second one drags down with a lesser performance of "Dupree's Paradise". The sprint thru "Uncle Meat / Dog Breath" could be a lot more enjoyable. I wonder why more people don't complain about the mix on this album. The overall sound is pretty 1980s for it being a 1974 recording. I'm not just talking about the bass drum, either. FZ's guitar in particular was reprocessed in such a way that it doesn't even sound like his tone circa 1974. I find it kind of annoying. That and the regrettable overuse of digital reverb. Volume 3 is a hell of a lot of fun. I know a lot of people don't love the 1984 band. And almost an entire album's worth of stuff in this volume might be a little much. But it's fun. The 1973 "Dickie's" is great, and the extended, multi-edited "King Kong" is awesome. Volume 4 is too inconsistent. This could have been an amazing volume of the series, but too many selections sabotage it. The 1982 stuff is great, but there's a lot of other stuff on it that leaves me unsatisfied. Think of what else could have been used from the Bongo Fury tour instead of the long and boring "original" Torture Never Stops, for instance. Volume 5. Hm. I don't listen to the first disc very often. It's great when I want an early Mothers fix, but I don't come back to it very often. The 1982 band.. what can I say. 2nd disc is great, but there certainly could have been better song choices than another version of "Dancing Fool". That said, it's one of my favorite individual discs of the series. Volume 6 is actually probably my 2nd favorite overall of the series, after Volume 1. I'm not crazy about a couple of the choices on the first disc, but the second disc is excellent. It's really a shame the series ended here, as there was obviously so much more of this kind of live stuff that FZ could have put together, but.. he probably spent an awful lot of time on these 6 volumes anyway and needed to move on to other projects at some point. --Milhouse