I recently counted that have over 40 Frank Zappa albums in my collection. As Zappa fans will know, this makes me a bit of a casual fan, owning about a third of his output. To be fair though, I do have most of the albums he released in his lifetime, missing the odd You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore here and the odd Bongo Fury there (and having actually heard Bongo, it’s likely to stay over there).
One of the albums I’ve never owned is Thing-Fish. I got into Zappa buying second hand CDs as a student. Even second hand, the double CD was quite the investment, and Thing-Fish never had the best of press. It still doesn’t. The reviews on All Music have it pretty down as for Zappa completists only, which in effect is saying that there may be 100 Zappa albums you want to buy before this one.
So I ask the Zappaphiles of The Afterword – do I need this album? Is it unfairly maligned and overlooked, or it just another 80s Zappa clunker?