Released soon after the live Roxy & Elsewhere, One Size Fits All contained more of the material premiered during the 1973-1974 tour, but this time largely re-recorded in the studio. The band remains the same: George Duke, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Chester Thompson, Tom Fowler, and Ruth Underwood. Johnny "Guitar" Watson overdubbed some vocals and Captain Beefheart (credited as Bloodshot Rollin' Red) played some harmonica ("when present," state the liner notes). The previous album focused on complex music suites. This one is more song-oriented, alternating goofy rock songs with more challenging numbers in an attempt to find a juste milieu between Over-Nite Sensation and Roxy & Elsewhere.
Official Release #44. Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention is a transitional album that sees Zappa turning away from rock and putting more time into his Synclavier compositions. This is a year away from the computer-only (minus one live track) Jazz From Hell. So the album presents a handful of computer pieces ("Aerobics in Bondage," "Little Beige Sambo"), one rock song and one rock instrumental ("We're Turning Again" and the complex "Alien Orifice"), and a couple of attempts at pairing real performers with the computer ("Yo Cats," "What's New in Baltimore?").
Official Release #53. The first live album compiled from various performances on Frank Zappa's 1988 world tour (his final outing), Broadway the Hard Way is composed mostly of new, vocal-oriented material. The tone throughout is highly political, with Zappa taking potshots at such targets as Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Pat Robertson and other televangelists, Jesse Jackson, C. Everett Koop, and so on.
Soon after, Frank began writing the tunes that would comprise MEETS THE MOTHERS OF PREVENTION, one of his most politically charged works ever. "Porn Wars" contains actual sampled dialogue of the PMRC hearing, while "I Don't Even Care" features Johnny "Guitar" Watson on vocals. The album also proved to be a turning point for Zappa's '80s music, since it contained the first appearance of the Synclavier, which allowed Frank to finally write and record entire compositions himself, and would appear on the rest of his recordings.
Official Release #52. In his contract with Ryko, Frank Zappa had to put together 12 CDs worth of live material for the series You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore. The fact that he decided to devote two of them (all of Vol. 2) to a Helsinki concert from 1974 illustrates how good and representative he thought it was – and he was right. This two-CD set features the 1973-1974 band (Napoleon Murphy Brock, George Duke, Ruth Underwood, Tom Fowler, Chester Thompson) near the end of their tour, in a concert in faraway Finland on September 22, 1974 (there were actually two concerts performed that day and, as usual, Zappa edited the best moments together).
Official Release #51. While most of the other volumes in the You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore series would be compiled around loose themes (whether topical or historical), this first volume contained a little of everything for everyone. The material spans most of Frank Zappa's career, from 1969 live recordings by the original Mothers of Invention (the medley "Let's Make the Water Turn Black/Harry, You're a Beast/The Orange County Lumber Truck" constitutes a highlight) up to the 1984 tour, with about every incarnation of his group in-between.