Official Release #107. Uncle Meat gets the deluxe treatment in this three CD Project/Object Audio Documentary. Included is the original 1969 vinyl mix (restored, remastered and available digitally for the first time), an original sequence that includes unique source material and bonus vault tracks mostly compiled from the recording sessions at Apostolic Studios in NYC between 1967 and 1969.
Official Release #52. In his contract with Ryko, Frank Zappa had to put together 12 CDs worth of live material for the series You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore. The fact that he decided to devote two of them (all of Vol. 2) to a Helsinki concert from 1974 illustrates how good and representative he thought it was – and he was right. This two-CD set features the 1973-1974 band (Napoleon Murphy Brock, George Duke, Ruth Underwood, Tom Fowler, Chester Thompson) near the end of their tour, in a concert in faraway Finland on September 22, 1974 (there were actually two concerts performed that day and, as usual, Zappa edited the best moments together).
Over the two-record set, Zappa manages to cover the entire spread of his interests. Masquerading as a movie in progress, it is a way of highlighting the struggle of trying to keep the band together against a pretty hostile, or worse, apathetic audience. The frustration of putting something out that is artistically brilliant has a particular significance, as music and film go hand in hand. The film dialogue is either hilarious or it will leave you cold. The former is the general consensus. Zappa was so far ahead that his earth life ended before we caught up with him. Weird but highly recommended.
Recorded from October 1967 to February 1968. Includes liner notes by Frank Zappa.
UNCLE MEAT was digitally remixed with approximately 40 minutes of previously unreleased material from the original sessions.
Official Release #108. Original recordings produced by Frank Zappa. In September of 1978, Frank Zappa took the stage with his rockin' teenage combo (Ike Willis, Denny Walley, Tommy Mars, Peter Wolf, Arthur Barrow, Ed Mann, and the great Vinnie Colaiuta) at the Uptown Theater in Chicago. This album is the entire show and fans are going to love it. The leadoff track is a cool unheard guitar instrumental called "Twenty-One." Played in a 21-beat rhythm, it seems related to "Thirteen" from around the same time period (on YCDTOA, Vol. 6). "Easy Meat" features an earlier arrangement and a nasty guitar solo, while "Village of the Sun" adds a weird interlude with some additional lyrics that sets up the vamp for another fantastic guitar solo.
By the closing months of 1981 Frank Zappa had already released five albums during that productive year. Three of these records were his instrumental guitar collections - Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar, Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar Some More, and The Return of the Son of Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar - initially sold via mail order but later released through CBS. There was also the live double Tinseltown Rebellion and the 2-LP studio set You Are What You Is, released in September. Zappa also hit the road in September 81, performing a largely domestic tour that criss-crossed the US and took in a couple of shows in Canada between September and Christmas. On board for the tour were Frank s latest touring band, comprising Chad Wackerman on drums, Ed Mann on percussion, Tommy Mars on keyboards, Scott Thunes on bass, with Steve Vai and Ray White on guitar.
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 #94. Finer Moments is a curious but mostly excellent compilation of (mostly) instrumental odds and ends put together by FZ in 1972 that went (mostly) unreleased until 2012. Disc one concentrates on the 1968-1969 Mothers. The first four tracks are from a 1969 Royal Albert Hall show that was partially documented in the film Uncle Meat. "Sleazette" is a great guitar solo, but the Mozart piece loses quite a bit without the "ballet" visuals. "The Wailing Zombie Music" sounds part-composed/part-conducted improvisation. "The Old Curiosity Shoppe" is a nice jam from 1971 featuring some nice wah-wah alto sax from Ian Underwood and wicked soloing from FZ.