Thursday, August 4, 2011

Frank Zappa - "Valley Girl"

(Not Available on iTunes)

(Debuted July 17, 1982, Peaked #32, 12 Weeks on the Chart)

Believe it or not, "Valley Girl" was the only Top 40 song Frank Zappa ever had. But judging from some of his better-known material, it really isn't hard to realize his better material wasn't exactly safe for radio consumption.

The voice in the song belongs to Zappa's 14 year-old daughter Moon Unit. During the song's time in the Top 40, Casey Kasem related a story about Zappa waking his daughter up in the middle of the night to record the vocals, but that ended up being debunked. While Zappa was working out the song, he gave his daughter an idea of what to say, and she mocked some of the girls from her school, using the "Val-Speak" slang they used.

A lot of listeners missed the point of the song, though. It should be little surprise that many listeners saw it as a novelty and missed Zappa's wry delivery of lines like "she's got a whole lot of nothing in there." Perhaps that was the point all along...

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