The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- Boasting two outstanding Double Plus (A++) sides, this original Bizarre Blue Label copy (the only kind we offer as a Hot Stamper) will be very hard to beat
- Unusually quiet vinyl for this album - this is 1971, and noisy vinyl from Reprise is the rule, not the exception
- The sound is big, lively, open and clear with Tubey Magical richness that only the best of these vintage pressings can show you
- Most pressings of this album are just awful, if you can even find one that's clean enough to bother playing
- If you’re a fan of The Firesign Theater, Zappa, improv comedy and such like, you might just fall in love with this album the way we have
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Vintage covers for this album are hard to find in exceptionally clean shape. Most of the will have at least some amount of ringwear, seam wear and edge wear. We guarantee that the cover we supply with this Hot Stamper is at least VG
We’re big fans of this album, and Zappa in general, but it’s incredibly difficult to find copies that do justice to the music. The vinyl is typically thrashed, and even the copies in relatively clean condition usually don’t sound good. This one has about the quietest vinyl you could hope for, playing Mint Minus on both sides, and the sound is just about as good as it gets!
So many pressings don’t let you hear INTO the music. This is a live recording with musicians sprinkled all over the stage -- three-dimensional transparency is absolutely key to the better pressings, the ones that let you immerse yourself in the spectacle, never losing sight of the individual performances of Zappa and his merry band of obscene nut jobs. This band works blue. It will have you in hysterics if you get into the down and dirty spirit of the show. If that doesn’t sound like your thing, steer clear of this one. It’s raunchy as hell, and the raunchiest bits are the most hilarious.
What the Best Sides of Fillmore East - June 1971 Have to Offer Is Not Hard to Hear
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1971
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange -- with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there's more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
The Greatest Rock Opera Ever
As for the music, it’s a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. This, to me, is the ultimate rock opera. In point of fact, it’s actually a parody of a rock opera, which makes it doubly enjoyable. The two former leaders of The Turtles (aka Flo and Eddie) variously play groupies (What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are) and members of the band. As the saying goes, hilarity ensues.
What makes this album so special is that the rock songs that are generated out of this story are actually great rock songs. They’re not filler. They’re not connecting tissue. They’re good songs with strong melodies that stand up on their own.
Moreover, connected to each other through this crazy story sung by men pretending to be women, they become something even greater: a True Rock Opera. Better than that: A True Rock Opera Parody that’s as hilarious as it is musically satisfying. Zappa missed his calling -- he should have dedicated himself to musical theatre. He has a real gift for it. This album is proof.
The entertainment value of this record is off-the-charts as good as it gets.
What We're Listening For On Fillmore East - June 1971
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren't "back there" somewhere, lost in the mix. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- The Big Sound comes next -- wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information -- fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass -- which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency -- the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don't have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.
If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that's certainly your prerogative, but we can't imagine losing what's good about this music -- the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight -- just to hear it with less background noise.
A Must Own Rock Record
Fillmore East - June 1971 is a recording that belongs in any serious Rock Music Collection. Others that belong in that category can be found here.
- Little House I Used to Live In
- The Mud Shark
- What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are?
- Bwana Dik
- Latex Solar Beef
- Willie the Pimp, Pt. 1
This is the place where the super spacious wall to wall sound found on the Hot Stamper copies can really be heard. Your speakers should disappear at about this point. Let the games begin.
- Willie the Pimp, Pt. 2
- Do You Like My New Car?
- Happy Together
- Lonesome Electric Turkey
- Peaches en Regalia
- Tears Began to Fall
Listen for rich full keyboards on this track, with solid bass below. Most copies thin out these instruments and those copies are what we refer to as Not So Hot Stampers.
This track should also rock. It needs to be dynamic and punchy to convey the energy of the music. We love Hot Rats and this is the only way to hear Hot Rats Live (other than a bootleg), so turn it up and rock it out man!
… the beginnings of Frank Zappa’s tactic of making complex music more accessible with half-sardonic arena-frontman antics and crowd-pleasing dirty jokes. Whether one considers the results funny and parodic or crass and pandering, the band is undeniably good, especially as showcased on “Little House I Used to Live In,” “Willie the Pimp, Pt. 1,” and “Peaches en Regalia.”
The Mud Shark and More
Fillmore East – June 1971 was a live concept-like album. It was a peek-behind-the-curtain of the life of a rock band on the road as narrated by Frank Zappa, and contains many thematic elements that, because of time and budget constraints, couldn’t be included in the similar movie 200 Motels.
The most famous part of the album is “The Mud Shark,” a telling of a story told to Mother Don Preston by some members of Vanilla Fudge about a hotel, Seattle’s Edgewater Inn, where guests could fish from their rooms. In the tale, a mud shark is caught by one of the members of Vanilla Fudge or its crew and, when combined with a groupie and a movie camera, depravity ensues. Although not stated in “The Mud Shark,” this 1969 incident, now referred to as “the Shark episode,” also involved Led Zeppelin’s drummer John Bonham and road manager Richard Cole, with Vanilla Fudge’s singer/keyboardist Mark Stein operating the movie camera.
Frank and the Mothers then portray stereotypically egotistical members of a rock band “negotiating” with a groupie and her girlfriends for a quick “roll in the hay.” The girls are insulted that the band thinks they are groupies and that they would sleep with the band just because they are musicians. They have standards; they will only have sex with a guy in a group with a “big, hit single in the charts – with a bullet!” and a “dick that’s a monster.”
In “Bwana Dik,” singer Howard Kaylan assures the girls that he is endowed beyond their “wildest Clearasil-spattered fantasies.” And, not to be put off by the standards of these groupies, the band sings the girls the Turtles (of which Kaylan, Volman, and Pons had been members) hit “Happy Together,” to give them their “bullet."
The album ends with an encore excerpt including both Zappa’s familiar “Peaches en Regalia” and what was possibly his most successful early-rock and roll pastiche, “Tears Began to Fall” (also issued as a single).