DiscReet DS 2175
Released: March 1974
Chart Peak: #10
Weeks Charted: 43
Certified Gold: 4/7/76
Having proven his stellar musicianship on a series of instrumental-based solo albums, Frank Zappa is now returning to the musical satire on which his formidable reputation was built. Apostrophe turns out to be so brilliantly successful, though, that it seems as though he's never left this field. Songs like "Stinkfoot" and "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast" again attest to Zappa's abilities at contorting song forms to serve his distorted purposes: They're a welcome reminder that comic lunacy is still alive and well. "Don't Eat Yellow Snow" spotlights Zappa's public-spiritedness, and just in case anyone might still have doubts about his guitar virtuosity, Zappa dispels such thoughts quite convincingly on the title cut -- an outrageous jam with Jim Gordon's thundering drums and Jack Bruce's bumblebee bass. Truly a mother of an album.
- Gordon Fletcher, Rolling Stone, 6/6/74.
- Billboard, 1974.
Disillusioned acolytes are complaining that he's retreated, which means he's finally made the top ten, but that's just his reward for professional persistence. If anything, the satire's improved a little, and the title piece -- an improvisation with Jack Bruce, Jim Gordon, and rhythm guitarist Tony Duran -- forays into quartet-style jazz-rock. Given Frank's distaste for "Cosmik Debris" you'd think maybe he's come up with something earthier than Mahavishnu, but given his distaste for sex you can be sure it's more cerebral instead. B-
- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.
Apostrophe is Zappa's only gold-selling Top Ten album, featuring the satiric "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow," along with other parodic songs in the same style as Over-Nite Sensation. * * * *
- John Floyd, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.
Not necessarily one of Zappa's best albums, Apostrophe is certainly among his best-known, thanks in large part to the FM rock staples "Cosmik Debris" and the suite compromising "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" and "St. Alphonso's Pancake Breakfast." Apostrophe was Zappa's sole gold record, and the only one to crease the Top 10. * * * 1/2
- Daniel Durchholz, Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, 1996.
The most commercial album from this scrambled genius may not be his zenith, but his mediocre is better than many others' best. Revealing his avant-garde leanings and compositional competence, the most underrated guitarist ever retains his art-rock integrity while deftly joining the absurd with kick-ass riffs for a witty workout. It's slightly more accessible, but like all of his intellectual music, it's an acquired taste. * * * * *
- Zagat Survey Music Guide - 1,000 Top Albums of All Time, 2003.
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