February 7, 2010 – 4:10 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Amsterdam 1968 [no label, 1CD]

Live at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, October 20, 1968. Good to very good audience recording?

Listening to and watching Frank Zappa live (for those fortunate enough) is only half the story to Zappa’s mastery. How he structures or puts together his songs is equally important. It’s already tough enough to juggle with the usual four-piece but in Zappa’s lineups, the band is more like an orchestra and how he cuts up the music for the players is a fascinating study.

In March 1968, Zappa released We’re Only In It For The Money, an album that’s commonly seen as the peak of the group’s late 1960s work. But when he went on tour in Europe later that year, he didn’t really push the album. Instead of presenting any of the satirical slant of the album, Zappa and the Mothers were only too glad to have what can be said to be a really extended jam session [but what groove!], with many fans praising Zappa’s guitar playing.

But for Zappa, who was already working with tape edits for his records, it was a question of how to reproduce the complexity of the record on stage. Neil Slaven, in Electric Don Quixote: The Definitive Story Of Frank Zappa, reported what Zappa said: “I was interested in the juxtaposition of various musical textures - pieces of recordings from different times - one from now, one from a few years ago. At the same time, I got interested in the editing technique. All the albums were heavily edited to make abrupt changes, then we were faced with the problem of duplicating that on stage. So I devised the hand signals that would allow things to change, and so we rehearsed in such a way that it was a question of… keep your eyes open for a signal every once in a while… so that when it comes, it will sound just like an edit on stage.”

A two-minute extract (?) of Dog Breath is found on Electric Aunt Jemima of Zappa’s long-out-of-print Beat The Boots II boxset. Here is the complete 31-minute version. Another track from the Amsterdam show on Electric Aunt Jemina is Pound for a Brown (On the Bus) but that’s not on the CD.

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Jam (incl Smoke Gets In Your Eyes) [7:26] (10.2MB)
Click here if you reside in the United States
Click here if you reside outside the United States
Track 02. Help I’m A Rock/Transylvania Boogie/Drum Duet [20:23] (28.6MB - visit the html page to download the track)
Track 03. Jam [10:46] (14.7MB)
Click here if you reside in the United States
Click here if you reside in Europe
Click here if you reside in the Asia-Pacific region
Track 04. Dog Breath [31:49] (44.7MB - visit the html page to download the track)
Track 05. The String Quartet [1:58] (2.7MB)
Track 06. Gas Mask [1:47] (2.4MB)
Track 07. Orange County Lumber Truck Medley (cut off) [0:34] (804k)

Click on the link to order Frank Zappa albums.

  1. 12 Responses to “FRANK ZAPPA - AMSTERDAM 1968”

  2. Fantastic Stuff Man!Great!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By udo on Feb 7, 2010

  3. hey bigo, thanks!!! it’s been awhile on zappa. i remember bigo offering 1969 weasel music acetate in sept 08. it’s a pretty good. more zappa!!!


    By Ed Saad on Feb 7, 2010

  4. Thanks Big O! I was fortunate to see Zappa & The Mothers several times in the 70’s and 80’s, but not the original line-up. This is a real treasure of jazz-rock-art sophistication. Thanks so much for sharing this great ROIO!

    By Adam Dean on Feb 9, 2010

  5. nice to see more Zappa.

    By Matt on Feb 9, 2010

  6. Thanx for this one,any product of Zappa’s willful mind is worth a listen these days. Any chance of some more?

    By BLUEFOOD on Feb 10, 2010

  7. Thank you Team Big O.

    This will sound good by the fire, on County Line Road this Saturday. Zappa was a musician and philosopher of no mean accomplishment. He is missed, also greatly under-appreciated as a guitarist. When he wanted he could give the Claptons, Pages, Hendrixs and Californias a run, but to him there was more to music.

    Thanks again, keep it coming, especially any Wishbone Ash you come across.

    As always,


    By James on Feb 11, 2010

  8. thanks MUCH: always keeping FRANK alive; in my heart, and into my hard drive-
    Cheers & Many Thanks

    By John P McNea III on Feb 11, 2010

  9. does anyone know the line-up?

    By walter on Feb 13, 2010

  10. Thanks - happy he’s not forgotten…

    By eddy on Feb 13, 2010

  11. Thanks so much for this–I saw the original lineup twice–and if memory serves it was 1966 or 1967 when they opened for Cream (yes!) and then in early-to-mid 1968 at the Kinetic Playground in Chicago, where Canned Heat opened and during the Mothers’ show, Jimmy Carl Black hurled on my shoes. No, I didn’t save them as many have asked…would love to have a soundboard of that whole show. Canned Heat were amazing and the Mothers’ repertoire was Freak Out & Absolutely Free for the most part.

    By beelz on Feb 22, 2010

  12. Great! I was there in Amsterdam. Thanks for the memory.

    By Berend on Jul 25, 2013

  13. Thanks! I’ll listen to this tomorrow..

    By Tom on Jul 26, 2013

Post a Comment