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Thing-Fish is one of Frank Zappa's most complex, and most misunderstood works. Originally released as a triple album, and currently available as a double CD, the album was conceived as a Broadway musical.

The story, as told by the narration, is complex, but can be boiled down to: an Evil Prince (Napoleon Murphy Brock) who moonlights as a theatrical critic, invents a special substance to get rid of gay and black influence in the musical theatre, and puts it in 'galloot cologne' which is used by those groups of people. It turns them into 'Mammy Nuns' who talk like the Kingfish from Amos And Andy (this is roughly a version of Zappa's conspiracy theory about the creation of AIDS by the CIA.

A yuppie couple ,Harry and Rhonda (Terry Bozzio and Dale Bozzio, go to a Broadway show performed by these nuns and in a story with parallels to the Rocky Horror Show end up acting out their repressed desires.

On its release the album was criticised as racist for the 'negrocious' language of the narrator, Thing-Fish (Ike Willis), - a rather hard accusation to defend given that Willis, Brock, Johnny Guitar Watson and Ray White are/were all very politically aware black men. Perhaps slightly more justifiable were the accusations of homophobia due to the inclusion of the song He's So Gay, but while the album is non-PC, it attacks everybody - especially PC hypocrites and right-wing religious demagogues. Zappa considered the album one of his major works, and despite his re-use of older backing tracks for several songs, it's hard to disagree.

Track listing:

  1. Prologue
  2. The Mammy Nuns
  3. Harry & Rhonda
  4. Galloot Up Date
  5. The Torchum Never Stops
  6. the Evil Prince
  7. You Are What You Is
  8. Mudd Club
  9. The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing
  10. Clowns On Velvet
  11. Harry As A Boy
  12. He's So Gay
  13. The Massive Improve'lence
  14. Artificial Rhonda
  15. The Crab-Grass Baby
  16. The White Boy troubles
  17. No Not Now
  18. Briefcase Boogie
  19. Brown Moses
  20. Wistful Wit' A Fist-full
  21. Drop Dead
  22. Won Ton On

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