Released soon after the live Roxy & Elsewhere, One Size Fits All contained more of the material premiered during the 1973-1974 tour, but this time largely re-recorded in the studio. The band remains the same: George Duke, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Chester Thompson, Tom Fowler, and Ruth Underwood. Johnny "Guitar" Watson overdubbed some vocals and Captain Beefheart (credited as Bloodshot Rollin' Red) played some harmonica ("when present," state the liner notes). The previous album focused on complex music suites. This one is more song-oriented, alternating goofy rock songs with more challenging numbers in an attempt to find a juste milieu between Over-Nite Sensation and Roxy & Elsewhere.
Over the two-record set, Zappa manages to cover the entire spread of his interests. Masquerading as a movie in progress, it is a way of highlighting the struggle of trying to keep the band together against a pretty hostile, or worse, apathetic audience. The frustration of putting something out that is artistically brilliant has a particular significance, as music and film go hand in hand. The film dialogue is either hilarious or it will leave you cold. The former is the general consensus. Zappa was so far ahead that his earth life ended before we caught up with him. Weird but highly recommended.
Recorded from October 1967 to February 1968. Includes liner notes by Frank Zappa.
UNCLE MEAT was digitally remixed with approximately 40 minutes of previously unreleased material from the original sessions.
Having blown the music world's mind with the Mothers, Frank Zappa made a left turn to indulge his childhood love of doo-wop. Recording with the rest of the Mothers, he created CRUISING WITH RUBEN & THE JETS, an album of "greasy love songs and cretin simplicity." It is also an album of authentically performed doo-wop songs that might have even been hits had they been recorded a decade earlier. From the falsetto voice singing of unrequited love, street-corner background harmonies and "Earth Angel"- styled narratives in "Love Of My Life " and "Deseri" to the questionable production values, Zappa accurately recreated the doo-wop sound. In the process, he proved that there was more to his talent than a crude sense of humor.