Guitar is a 1988 album by Frank Zappa and a follow-up to Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar (1981). Just like its predecessor it is another Distinct Double Album with nothing but guitar solos. The major difference is that "Guitar" doesn't have comedic dialogue interludes between solos.
The CD release of the album notably features a considerably different tracklist to the LP release, with 13 new tracks added to the former, spread across both discs rather than just being confined to bonus tracks at the end of the album. As a result, the way the tracks are organized per disc differs between the CD and LP releases. While the LP version ends disc one with "That Ol' G Minor Thing Again" and starts disc two with "Move It Or Park It", on the CD release the multitude of extra material causes the dividing point to be between "Sunrise Redeemer" and the bonus track "Variations on Sinister #3". Given this, plus Zappa's own enthusiasm towards the CD format, this wiki uses the CD tracklist as its main point of reference.
- "Sexual Harassment In The Workplace" (3:42)
- "Which One Is It?" (3:04)*
- "Republicans" (5:07)
- "Do Not Pass Go" (3:36)
- "Chalk Pie" (4:51)*
- "In-A-Gadda-Stravinsky" (2:50)*
- "That's Not Really Reggae" (3:17)
- "When No One Was No One" (4:48)
- "Once Again, Without The Net" (3:43)
- "Outside Now (Original Solo)" (5:28)
- "Jim & Tammy's Upper Room" (3:11)
- "Were We Ever Really Safe In San Antonio?" (2:49)
- "That Ol' G Minor Thing Again" (5:02)
- "Hotel Atlanta Incidentals" (2:44)*
- "That's Not Really A Shuffle" (4:23)*
- "Move It Or Park It" (5:43)
- "Sunrise Redeemer" (3:58)
- "Variations On Sinister #3" (5:15)*
- "Orrin Hatch On Skis" (2:12)*
- "But Who Was Fulcanelli" (2:48)
- "For Duane" (3:24)
- "GOA" (4:51)
- "Winos Don't March" (3:14)
- "Swans? What Swans?" (4:23)*
- "Too Ugly For Showbusiness" (4:20)*
- "Systems Of Edges" (5:32)
- "Do Not Try This At Home" (3:46)*
- "Things That Look Like Meat" (6:57)
- "Watermelon In Easter Hay" (4:02)
- "Canadian Customs" (3:34)*
- "Is That All There Is?" (4:09)*
- "It Ain't Necessarily The Saint James Infirmary" (5:15)*
*Bonus track on CD releases.
- Frank Zappa: guitar
- Ray White, Steve Vai, Ike Willis, Denny Walley, Warren Cuccurullo: guitar
- Arthur Barrow, Scott Thunes: bass guitar
- Tommy Mars, Bobby Martin, Allan Zavod, Peter Wolf: keyboards.
- Ed Mann, Chad Wackerman, Vinnie Colaiuta: percussion.
Troping Harassment in the Workplace:
- The Alcoholic: "Winos Don't March". As explained by Zappa in The Real Frank Zappa Book on page 230:I have a theory about beer: Consumption of it leads to pseudo-military behavior. Think about it- winos don't march.
- Alliterative Title: "When No One Was No One", "Canadian Customs".
- Continuity Nod:
- The album itself is the Spiritual Successor to Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar.
- "Outside Now" and "Water Melon In Easter Hay" appeared earlier in different versions on Joe's Garage.
- Two tracks have similar titles: "That's Not Really Reggae" and "That's Not Really A Shuffle".
- "Variations On Sinister #3" is a variation on "Sinster Footwear", a track that first appeared on You Are What You Is (1980).
- Cool Old Guy: "Orrin Hatch On Skis" imagines older Republican politician Orrin Hatch trying out winter sport.
- Cover Version: "In-A-Gadda Stravinsky" is a crossover cover between Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" and Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and also quotes "Taps". "It Ain't Necessarily The St. James Infirmary" is a George Gershwin cover of "It Ain't Neccessarily So" from Porgy and Bess, combined with the jazz standard "St. James Infirmary Blues". "For Duane", fittingly, is excerpted from a live cover of "Whipping Post".
- Distinct Double Album: Two CD's.
- Do Not Try This at Home: "Once Again, Without The Net" and, of course "Do Not Try This At Home".
- Face on the Cover: A close-up of Zappa playing guitar.
- Homage: "For Duane", dedicated to Duane Allman of the The Allman Brothers Band.
- Heavy Meta: "That's Not Really Reggae", which is a reggae track, sort of. "That's Not Really A Shuffle", which is also a sort of shuffle. "That Ol' G-Minor Thing Again", which has parts played in G-Minor.
- Instrumental: All tracks are guitar solos.
- Intentionally Awkward Title: "Sexual Harassment In The Workplace".
- Lampshading: "That's Not Really Reggae" is an instrumental reggae track, but not typical of the genre, since this is Zappa we're talking about.
- Non-Appearing Title: The album title doesn't appear in any of the title tracks.
- One-Word Title: "Republicans".
- Questioning Title?: "Which One Is It?", "Were We Ever Really Safe In San Antonio?", "But Who Was Fulcanelli?", "Swans? What Swans?", "Is That All There Is?"
- Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!: Subverted by "Too Ugly For Show Business".
- "Do Not Pass Go" is a reference to Monopoly.
- "In-A-Gadda-Stravinsky" combines "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" by Iron Butterfly with Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring an also quotes "Taps".
- "Jim and Tammy's Upper Room" refers to televangelist Jimmy Bakker who was convicted for tax evasion during the 1980s, as well as his flamboyant then-wife Tammy Faye Bakker.
- "Orrin Hatch On Skis" references elder Republican politician Orrin Hatch.
- "But Who Was Fulcanelli?" is a shout-out to mysterious 20th century French alchemist Fulcanelli, whose simply disappeared from the face of the Earth and practically became an Un-person as it is not clear where he came from either.
- "It Ain't Necessarily the Saint James Infirmary" combines "It Ain't Necessarily So" by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin from Porgy and Bess and the jazz traditional "St. James Infirmary Blues".
- Spiritual Successor: To "Shut Up 'N' Play Yer Guitar". "Guitar" itself received another followup in 2006 with the posthumous album "Trance-Fusion".