If you like music made by musicians, as opposed to lip syncing beautiful people and pitch corrected “bands”, there’s a good chance Mister FZ is already high on your list of all-time faves. But just to be on the safe side, here’s a handful of the classics.
My best advice to the uninitiated, however, is to find a quality record store and buy anything you can find by the 20th century’s finest American composer, the guitarists guitarist, Sir Frank Vincent Zappa and discover his music for yourself.
An incredibly mean sounding incarnation of the Zappa band, featuring the immense vocal talents of Napoleon Murphy Brock, last seen playing in 2007 with the Zappa plays Zappa band.
City of Tiny Lights
Featuring the unmistakable vocal stylings of Adrian Belew, later of King Crimson and Terry Bozzio, bashing his skins for your twisted pleasure. Tiny is as tiny do!
As part of ‘The Yellow Shark’ Zappa assembled ‘The Ensemble Modern’ to perform original compositions which appeared in one form or another on his last album, ‘Civilisation Phase 3’. This is a German TV appearance of the man himself conducting.
Sofa No. 1
Here’s a nice fan-made clip to the sound of the original Sofa, with it’s mad sub-synth bass line. The Michael Hedges acoustic guitar version of Sofa was played as a fitting tribute to Frank, on his website, when he died. I can’t find it anymore, but if anyone knows where it is, please send it to me using the Mail link opposite. TIA
Zappa plays Zappa is Dweezil, Frank’s son, joined by the above mentioned Napoleon Murphy Brock and various ex-Zappa band members – touring the world to keep Frank’s music where it belongs; live on stage played by the best of best musicians in the world.
Bobby Brown Goes Down
“I can take about an hour on the tower of power, so long as I gets a little golden shower.”
Nightschool & You Are What You Is
Flawlessly beautiful chords, arranged on and played by the most expensive musical instrument money can buy, the synclavier. Frank won a grammy for this, the first all-digital album ever recorded (with the exception of the last track which was a live recording of the band playing Massaggio Galore). Clay animation by Bruce Bickford.
Interview on Letterman
The man himself talking about the London Symphony Orchestra vol 1 album.