Like the first volume of the series, You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 4 was put together without a specific theme in mind. It has a little of everything, from straight rock songs to more complex numbers, from stage antics to guitar solos. All eras of Frank Zappa's career are visited (including tracks from the 1988 tour), but the '80s provided the majority of the material. Highlights include the only official recording of the live arrangement of "The Evil Prince," very different from the Thing-Fish version and truly a must-have for the fan; a rare performance of "Filthy Habits"; and impressive performances of "Stevie's Spanking" (with "Church Chat" explaining its story), "Disco Boy," and the challenging "Florentine Pogen." Doo wop lovers will appreciate the closing six-track medley that ends with "The Man From Utopia Meets Mary Lou." Those looking for historically significant recordings have only little bits to chew, like the 1969 improvisations "Are You Upset?" and "You Call That Music?" (the latter with Dave Samuels guesting on vibes), or "Tiny Sick Tears," an impersonation of Jim Morrison's Oedipus-inspired delirium. The real treat is the original version of "The Torture Never Stops," sang by Captain Beefheart over a blues motif -- not a fantastic music moment, but an important piece of Zappa history. Neglected songs, live rarities, old favorites: volume four aims at both the die-hard fan and the casual listener, but it probably doesn't fully satisfy either of them.
AllMusic Review by François Couture
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2