DVD-Audio may not be your preferred format, but here's a release that actually needs its special capabilities. There have been a number of high-profile albums that have been remixed to take advantage of Surround Sound, a case of retooling the recordings to take advantage of a new consumer format. Music consumers who began their music purchases during the digital era may not be aware that an attempt was made at "more than stereo" recordings back in the '70s, utilizing a four-channel system known as quadraphonic.
Yes!! Finally, here it is: "200 Motels" in all its glory. We've all seen this movie as it got released on VHS video years and years ago. And now, here's the high quality DVD version. "200 Motels" got shot in 1971 and featured Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention plus Ringo Starr and Keith Moon, to drop just two names. Now that I think of it, Zappa always had this thing for drummers… Anyway, "200 Motels" is a milestone in Zappa's career. I'm not too big a fan of the vaudeville aspect and the on-the-road stories, as you cannot keep on laughing with it, but the music is fabulous. It's Zappa at his best.
Official Release #7. Mothermania, subtitled The Best of the Mothers, is a compilation album by the Mothers of Invention. While the songs were previously released on Freak Out!, Absolutely Free and We're Only in It for the Money, it contains unique mixes or edits done specifically for this compilation. Mothermania is a collection of previously released tunes culled from the first three Mothers of Invention albums. So why bother? Well, it's the only early collection actually compiled by FZ. Verve released a bunch of early compilations without permission, but more importantly, this is the only place you can hear some of these mixes and edits. Many of the tunes from Freak Out! appear in different mixes, while "It Can't Happen Here" plays through without the interruptions of the Freak Out! version.
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).
Official Release #99. After numerous delays those who pre-ordered Frank Zappa’s Roxy By Proxy have finally received their CDs. The 13-track release was recorded at The Roxy in Los Angeles on December 9 and 10, 1973. Frank is listed as the producer of the project, which was mixed in 1987, though Gail Zappa and Joe Travers are listed as producers for the CD and compilation. John Polito mastered the CD in 2011 and it includes liner notes from band member Ruth Underwood.
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.
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 #100. The LAST album by Frank Zappa. The last album that guitarist Frank Zappa worked on prior to his death in December 1993 will finally be released this June. Titled Dance Me This, the LP is considered the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's 100th and final official release, ending a legacy that began with the Mothers of Invention's landmark 1966 album Freak Out! In talking to Guitar Magazine prior to his death at the age of 52, Zappa described his final LP as "a Synclavier album called Dance Me This, which is designed to be used by modern dance groups. It's probably not going to come out until next year," the Guardian reports. The album was ultimately shelved indefinitely, and while a steady stream of posthumous releases and reissues have satisfied Zappa fans in the following decades, Dance Me This was all but forgotten until Zappa's widow Gail Zappa began hinting at the final album's eventual arrival in 2011.
Official Release #101. On the evening of October 23, 2013, Walt Disney Concert Hall was the place to be in Los Angeles, as Esa-Pekka Salonen conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale in a spectacular, sold-out orchestral performance of Frank Zappa's 200 Motels (The Suites). Recorded for posterity, the acclaimed, one-night-only 13-suite performance of Zappa's 1971 masterwork will be released worldwide on November 20 by Zappa Records/UMe. This 2CD release's expertly recorded audio brings the listener back to Walt Disney Concert Hall to experience the exciting 200 Motels (The Suites) spectacle, complemented by photos from the evening and essays by the show and recording's producers, Gail Zappa and Frank Filipetti, the evening's director James Darrah, 'Scoremeister' Kurt Morgan, and performers including Diva Zappa, Michael Des Barres, special guest 'Rock' rhythm section drummer Joe Travers, and former Zappa band member Scott Thunes. Essays by some notable members of the audience, including Steve Vai and Peter Asher, are also included.