Official Release #104. All Master Recordings Produced By Frank Zappa. The Crux Of The Biscuit was created in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Frank Zappa's 1974 album Apostrophe('). As part of the ongoing Project/Object Audio Documentary Series, it contains rare alternate mixes, live performances & studio session outtakes. This release celebrates the creation of a truly iconic record that reached the Top Ten in the Billboard Chart and earned FZ an RIAA Gold Record Award.
Official Release #91. In October 1971, Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention played two shows in one night at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. The album, Carnegie Hall, celebrates that night's marathon – two shows (7:30 and 11:30 p.m.) with ticket prices ranging from $3.50 to $6 – featuring Zappa (lead guitar, vocals) with Mark Volman (vocals, percussion), Howard Kaylan (vocals), Ian Underwood (keyboards, alto sax), Don Preston (keyboards, gong), Jim Pons (bass, vocals) and Aynsley Dunbar (drums).
Frank Zappa’s concerts at the Roxy Theatre in Holywood in December 1973 are legendary. Frank and the Mothers played three nights on December 8th, 9th & 10th and these shows formed the basis of the “Roxy & Elsewhere” album that was released in 1974…
Official Release #61. The date is October 28, 1968. The Mothers of Invention are playing the Royal Festival Hall in London. Frank Zappa has booked 14 musicians from the BBC Symphony Orchestra to accompany them during the first part of the show. He had been writing chamber music pieces in the hotel rooms he visited and wanted to try them out. He strung them together by devising a psychodrama he called "Progress?" This was meant (and indeed turned out) to be a one-time performance, so he made sure to record it. He released the whole thing as Ahead of Their Time 25 years later. The first half of the disc is comprised of the "play."
Just Another Band From L.A. was recorded live at the Pauley Pavillion, UCLA (Los Angeles), on August 7, 1971. Released in early 1972, it is the last album to document the Mothers of Invention lineup that included singers Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan (aka Flo & Eddie). The other bandmembers on this particular recording are: Ian Underwood, Aynsley Dunbar, Don Preston, and Jim Pons. A previous LP, Fillmore East, June 1971, focused on material related to life on the road that had to be dropped from the movie and album 200 Motels. …
In 1966, when even the Doors and the Grateful Dead were still at a garage band level, Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention took great pride in being the ambassadors of freakdom. The hippie/flower power culture was just getting under way, but the Mothers' debut album found them already taking great delight in turning Aquarian imagery inside out. No starry-eyed rainbow people, the Mothers were the living incarnation of underground comics such as R. Crumb's Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers: nasty, ugly, and downright dirty.
A fascinating collection of mostly instrumental live and studio material recorded by the original Mothers of Invention, complete with horn section, from 1967-1969, Weasels Ripped My Flesh segues unpredictably between arty experimentation and traditional song structures. Highlights of the former category include the classical avant-garde elements of "Didja Get Any Onya," which blends odd rhythmic accents and time signatures with dissonance and wordless vocal noises; these pop up again in "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Sexually Aroused Gas Mask" and "Toads of the Short Forest."
Aside from the experimental side project Lumpy Gravy, Hot Rats was the first album Frank Zappa recorded as a solo artist sans the Mothers, though he continued to employ previous musical collaborators, most notably multi-instrumentalist Ian Underwood. Other than another side project – the doo wop tribute Cruising With Ruben and the Jets – Hot Rats was also the first time Zappa focused his efforts in one general area, namely jazz-rock. The result is a classic of the genre.