Revisit The Great Nostalgia
More than twenty-one years after its first release, The Great Nostalgia has been expanded by six additional tracks. Frank Zappa heard the album in 1986 and thought that the track “Ageless Love” was outstanding and should kick off the album. Bob Harris, who is currently working with '80s rock legends Axe, wanted to change the song order because he highly valued Zappa’s opinion, but the album had already been pressed. Out of respect for Frank Zappa, “Ageless Love” is now the first track on Crossfire’s reissue, and Jeremy Barber’s violin has replaced the original keyboard emulation of that instrument.
Suzannah (Thana) Harris, known to Zappa fans for her vocals on the revised Sleep Dirt album, can be found throughout The Great Nostalgia on the tracks “Ageless Love,” “The Flower” and three of the bonus tracks. Of the additions to the album, Thana and Bob’s duets on the standard “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (live at the Zappanale 13 festival) and It’s A Beautiful Day’s “White Bird” (from Thana’s album Thanatopsis) are obvious highlights.
Guitar legend Steve Vai played electric sitar on “Autumn In Nepal,” presented here in Vai’s remixed version. He also played lead guitar on a remixed version of the bonus track “There’s Still Hope.” Fellow FZ band member Tommy Mars played on “Autumn In Nepal,” and noted bassist Stuart Hamm contributed to the track “The Flower.” Billy James, known to music fans as the Ant-Bee, played percussion on the entire album. James’ tasteful use of percussion instead of drum machines is a very important asset to the longevity of The Great Nostalgia, as it sounds fresh without the usual ‘80s trappings.
One instrumental track recorded at the original sessions, “The Blue Gazebo,” has been included on this edition. Two more recent tracks complete the album: the brilliant piano ballad “Magnet And Iron” and “Nobody Wins In A War,” featuring sped-up vocals from Bob, Thana and son Nathan Harris.