Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Frank Zappa Reissues, Unreleased Live Shows Coming In May

Frank Zappa's triple CD Lumpy Money Project/Object set and his double-CD Road Tapes, Venue #1 and Road Tapes, Venue #2 performance albums will be reissued, and Road Tapes, Venue #3 will debut on May 27 from Zappa Records/UMe. All four titles will be available on CD and digitally.

In 2008, to mark the 40th anniversaries of Frank Zappa's masterworks Lumpy Gravy and We're Only In It For The Money, the Zappa Family Trust assembled an anniversary edition of their Project/Object Audio Documentary series entitled Lumpy Money Project/Object. The expansive release contains three CDs of unique and rare versions of the legendary albums, including the mono mixes for both, as well as many nuggets from the Vault, from various studio outtakes to single versions, instrumental mixes, and Frank Zappa interview excerpts. Lumpy Money Project/Object also includes a booklet filled with photos, oddities and featuring liner notes from David Fricke and Gail Zappa. Both albums' mono mixes make their download debuts with the new digital release of Lumpy Money Project/Object.

Zappa worked on Lumpy Gravy and We're Only In It For The Money during essentially the same time period in 1967 and 1968. The original Lumpy Gravy sessions were produced by Nick Venet and recorded at Capitol Studios with a host of primo studio musicians, including members of the famous Wrecking Crew. After delays from Zappa's record company, Lumpy Gravy began anew. Armed with the Lumpy Gravy session tapes and a razor blade, Zappa sat in his New York City apartment and transformed the project into the masterwork collage we know today.

We're Only In It For The Money has gone down in history as one of the most essential rock albums of our time. With its scathing messages, use of parody, musique concrète & DADA-ist tendencies, there truly is nothing like it.

The Road Tapes series focuses on Frank Zappa concert audio from the Vault that is historical yet sonically less than stellar. Described by the man himself as "Guerilla Recordings," Zappa tried to document every performance. Road Tapes, Venue #1 takes us to summertime 1968, Vancouver, B.C., where the Mothers of Invention played Kerrisdale Arena to an enthusiastic crowd. Captured on mono reel-to-reel, the concert is inspired and showcases a mixture of classic Mothers and live improvisations.

Road Tapes, Venue #2 takes us back to August 1973 in Helsinki, Finland. The performances, compiled from three shows at Finlandia Hall, were recorded by engineer Kerry McNabb while on his first tour with Zappa. This band consists of a lineup that is often regarded as one of Zappa's finest. Stars like George Duke, Jean Luc Ponty, and Ruth Underwood shine. The compositions become increasingly challenging yet still maintain the humor expected at a live Zappa show, making for a potent and rewarding release.

New to the Road Tapes series, Road Tapes, Venue #3 features two complete shows from Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN. The July 1970 Mothers line-up featured Flo & Eddie, George Duke, Ian Underwood, Aynsley Dunbar & Jeff Simmons. Frank Zappa's vast Vault does not contain many full shows from this time period, making this release a particularly special one. The tapes were recorded to stereo reel-to-reel, but not without problems. Due to their historical relevance, Zappa Records determined it was worth it, warts 'n all! Venue #3 does not disappoint.