Born in Forlì (Italy) in 1951, Riccardo Zappa is widely recognized as the greatest Italian acoustic guitarist. For five consecutive years he was voted the best in the poll promoted by the famous monthly magazine "Guitar Club". After that, he was declared to be no longer eligible for nomination. His music is in fact quite unique in the whole Italian prog scene; not can many other comparisons be found outside Italy, except perhaps Mike Oldfield, for his long, acoustic-based instrumental compositions…
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 #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.
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 #102. Directed, Written, Music Composed & Performed by FRANK ZAPPA. 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. However the performances were also filmed in 16mm and this footage has been sitting in the Zappa vault ever since. Now fully restored by the Zappa Family Trust this live concert film is being made available for the first time. It captures Frank and the Mothers at the height of their powers and includes material that is unique to these performances. This is a highly anticipated release for Zappa fans who have waited many years for the concert footage to finally be released.
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.