"All Night Long" Review

If you are younger than 50, you probably won't enjoy this review. The tune reviewed here comes from a time when things were much simpler. There were no cell phones, no Walkman CD players, and only three channels on the TV, which had tubes. At least, where I grew up that is all there was. So, I guess you can say this is for simple minded people.

In 1966-67, I listened to one record and one tune in particular until the tracks just wore out. That tune was "All Night Long" on GM Records E4414 - Animalism. And I still can’t figure out the chords played by William Roberts even after 51 years of listening to it.

That tune was very different from anything else they played on every other album. For one thing, the muscicianship is very advanced for the time and far beyond anything the original band members could have worked up.

So how did the lowly Animal band members record such an amazing, complex track? They didn’t. "All Night Long" was written and arranged by Frank Zappa and played entirely by other musicians. The album producer, Tom Wilson, hired Zappa to manage the album. He showed up at the studio ready to record, but except for Eric Burdon, no Animals band members were there. So Zappa hired union musicians who were also people he already knew. According to WIKI, muscians on the tune were as follows:

So the entire tune was written and arranged by Frank Zappa. Wilson must have asked for a conventional blues rock tune, something like what the Animals might have recorded had they been in the studio.

To my ears it is clearly obvious that Zappa played the lead on this. I hear many of those riffs on other Zappa albums. Now, Zappa wrote a big crappy lot of pure drek. He was usually more interested in shocking people with obnoxious lyrics than crafting a great tune. In this case, in my opinion, he crafted a master piece, particularly if viewed from the musical perspective of the ’60s.

Another Zappa tune worth listening to is "Road Lady Blues" on Chunga’s Revenge. The lead part is top notch Zappa at his best and sounds like they recorded it live.

So, if anyone out there knows how to play the chords on "All Night Long", I sure wish you would send them to me. I got the lead parts down cold. In fact, I am offering $100 off any Harmony rebuild for the correct chords.