Friday, August 5, 2016

CD Review: Universal Music & Zappa Records Raid The Vault For Two New Releases

Even though Frank Zappa has been gone for over two decades, his family continues to roll out new releases each year featuring some never before heard material. The latest batch of new Frank Zappa releases arrived July 15 via Zappa Records in association with Universal Music. The first new album is titled "Frank Zappa For President" and is timed perfectly with the race for the white house heating up. One can only imagine what Frank Zappa would have thought of this upcoming election, but his family has put together a soundtrack for this political endeavor. After mining through the Zappa vaults, this new seven-track release begins with the fifteen-minute experiment, "Overture To Uncle Sam." It is a jazzy, atmospheric piece of music that has many tempo changes, just like this election season. One of the highlights of the disc features Frank Zappa discussing his premise for "If I Was President...," as a jazzy musical piece plays in the background. The 40+ minute disc closes with "America The Beautiful" performed live at the Nassau Coliseum in 1988. 
The second release is titled "The Crux Of The Biscuit" and was created in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Frank Zappa's album, "Apostrophe." This new release features outtakes and alternate mixes of songs from that album, beginning with an extended version of "Cosmik Debris." The songs "Uncle Remus" and "Apostrophe" are the full, unedited versions as the song "Apostrophe" goes past the nine-minute mark. Also featured is a live version of "Don't Eat Yellow Snow/St. Alphonzo's Pancake Breakfast," which goes on for almost twenty minutes, showcasing one of Zappa's best live bands. The second half of the disc is geared for the diehard fan as it dissects songs like "Energy Frontier" and "Nanook Rubs It," giving multiple versions of each song. The disc closes with "Frank's Last Words" as he wraps this studio recording with a little xylophone work. To find out more about the two new releases from the Frank Zappa catalog, please visit

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