24/07/2019: “Camarillo Brillo” by Frank Zappa

“Camarillo Brillo” is a typically crazy Frank Zappa. With his distinctively droll style of singing and vaguely dirty sounding lyrics, it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

That’s just as well, because as far as the song is about anything, it’s about a lady who has crazy hair from electro-shock therapy in Camarillo Mental Hospital. A bit crude maybe, but Zappa was often intentionally offensive and vulgar. This is not a particularly bad take by his standards.

The song is fleshed out magnificently with all kinds of percussion flourishes, euphoric guitar and piano licks, and sombre brass.

Like many Zappa songs, there’s a fair amount of chopping and changing, including a key change for the chorus. Nevertheless, it is a cohesive piece, flowing naturally throughout.

The song was released in 1973 on Over-Nite Sensation, but was played faster during later live performances because Zappa found it boring.

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