Official Release #85. This triple volume package contains an audio documentary tracing the conception and construction of Frank Zappa's We're Only in It for the Money (1968) and Lumpy Gravy (1968) masterworks. As the second entry in the Project/Object series (the first being the MoFo Project/Object in 2006 that gathered four CDs worth of goodies from the Freak Out! era), the modus operandi for Lumpy Money (2009) remains much the same as its predecessor. Presented within are primary components from both works in several unique – and formerly unissued – incarnations and configurations. It should also be noted that neither of Zappa's mid-'90s approved masters for We're Only in It for the Money or Lumpy Gravy are found here. Instead of retreading those – which (as of this 2009 writing) remain in print on the Rykodisc label – the nearly three-and-a-half hours served up here offer an embarrassment of insight into the development of the music, as well as the modular recording style that Zappa was evermore frequently incorporating into his craft.
Was it that Zappa's music was so far ahead of its time, or was it just not what we thought a weirdo genius like him should be doing? Either way, since his death, his stature as a serious composer has grown. Lumpy Gravy missed most by a mile … Full Descriptionbecause it was the first of Zappa's 'challenging' orchestral pieces, and not what his audience had come to expect. Performed by the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, it was a lengthy instrumental suite broken up by equally 'challenging' dialogue. On the back cover, Frank looks out and asks, 'is this phase 2 of We're Only In It For The Money?'. No, we don't think so.
Ranked #23 in Mojo's "The 50 Most Out There Albums Of All Time"
Ranked #23 in Mojo's "The 50 Most Out There Albums Of All Time" - "Apparently Frank's favourite, LUMPY GRAVY is certainly a masterpiece. Of sorts."
Was it that Zappa's music was so far ahead of its time, or was it just not what we thought a weirdo genius like him should be doing? Either way, since his death, his stature as a serious composer has grown. Lumpy Gravy missed most by a mile because it was the first of Zappa's 'challenging' orchestral pieces, and not what his audience had come to expect. Performed by the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, it was a lengthy instrumental suite broken up by equally 'challenging' dialogue. On the back cover, Frank looks out and asks, 'is this phase 2 of We're Only In It For The Money?'. No, we don't think so.
The early Zappa albums were treasured by the few and totally misunderstood by the majority. The brilliant SGT. PEPPER satire of the cover should have garnered extra sales, but no. Zappa's scathing wit homed in on modern middle-class America and West Coast hippies. The album offered 19 vignettes incorporating avant garde, doo-wop, some relatively conventional pop music and a lot of hilarious dialogue that was so hip it has never dated.
Lumpy Gravy, Frank Zappa's first solo album, was released months before the Mothers of Invention's third LP (even though its back cover asked the question: "Is this phase two of We're Only in It for the Money?") and both were conceptualized and recorded at the same time. We're Only in It for the Money became a song-oriented anti-flower power album with one contemporary/musique concrète/sound collage hybrid piece by way of conclusion. Lumpy Gravy collaged bits of orchestral music, sonic manipulations, spoken words, and occasional pop ditties into two lumps of 16 minutes each.
Official Release #53. The first live album compiled from various performances on Frank Zappa's 1988 world tour (his final outing), Broadway the Hard Way is composed mostly of new, vocal-oriented material. The tone throughout is highly political, with Zappa taking potshots at such targets as Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Pat Robertson and other televangelists, Jesse Jackson, C. Everett Koop, and so on.
Official Release #103. Performed/Arranged/Conducted by Frank Zappa. Road Tapes, Venue #3 features two complete shows from Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN. The July '70 Mothers line-up featured Flo & Eddie, George Duke, Ian Underwood, Aynsley Dunbar & Jeff Simmons. FZ's vast Vault does not contain many full shows from this time period, so that alone makes this release a special one. The tapes were recorded to stereo reel-to-reel, but not without problems. Due to their historical relevance, we felt it was worth it, warts 'n all! Venue #3 does not disappoint.
Official Release #96. Live recordings from 3 shows in Finlandia Hall, Helsinki Finland - August 23 & 24 1973. One year after the release of Frank Zappa‘s “Road Tapes, Venue #1” the Zappa Family Trust have announced a second volume in this series of “primitive audio documentary attempts to capture the essence of what was highly and improbably and even impossibly out there on the road in some of the worst audio terrain imaginable”.
Official Release #92. Road Tapes, Venue #1 is a double live album by Frank Zappa, released posthumously on 31 October 2012, by the Zappa Family Trust on Vaulternative Records. It was recorded at Kerrisdale Arena, Vancouver, on August 25, 1968. Fantastic audio artifact of the Mothers of Invention in their live prime, in my opinion. A total must for Zappa fans, and the whole conceptual continuity thing. Even my wife, who generally loathes Frank's music, particularly when he sings, found the whole record compelling, except for Help I'm a Rock, which can rub even the most jaded musical obscurist the wrong way. I liked it just fine. Loved the Orange County Lumber Truck medley. Pick this one up, Zappa fans, you will not be disappointed.
Official Release #97. Frank Zappa produced a television program aired by KCET in Los Angeles in 1974, featuring a sextet that included keyboardist George Duke and the zany saxophonist and singer Napoleon Murphy Brock. This bootleg opens with a blistering medley of "The Dog Breath Variations" and "Uncle Meat," followed by a rather overly long "Florentine Pogen." Zappa offhandedly ends "Stink-Foot" with the comment of "Oh, that's enough of that," before launching into one of his best pieces of the 1970s, "Inca Roads"; this version contains a particularly potent Zappa guitar solo and Duke's excellent keyboard work, too, but it is also contains a sudden fadeout near its conclusion.