'Zappa Original Motion Picture Soundtrack' Available Now As 5LP Vinyl Box Set; Documentary Streaming On Hulu

Article Contributed by Universal Musi… | Published on Friday, May 7, 2021

The Zappa Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, the companion album to the highly acclaimed Alex Winter-directed documentary “Zappa” about the prolific genius composer, free speech activist, cultural ambassador to Czechoslovakia and legendary musician, Frank Zappa, is now available as a 5LP deluxe vinyl box set via Zappa Records/UMe. The collection follows the surprise digital release of the soundtrack released in conjunction with the film on Franksgiving, November 27th, 2020 and the 3CD version released in February. The box set is available on 180-gram black vinyl as well as on limited edition 180-gram smoke vinyl, exclusively via Zappa.com, uDiscover and Sound of Vinyl online stores. An abbreviated 2LP edition on 180-gram clear vinyl is also available. “Zappa” is now streaming via Hulu: https://www.hulu.com/movie/zappa-a3d996df-569c-4e33-be35-f18667a8dd1c

Listen and purchase Zappa Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: https://FrankZappa.lnk.to/Soundtrack

Watch “Zappa”: https://www.thezappamovie.com

With unfettered access to the Zappa Vault and all its archival footage, “Zappa,” directed by Alex Winter and distributed by Magnolia Pictures, explores the private life behind the mammoth musical career that never shied away from the political turbulence of its time. Winter’s assembly features appearances by Zappa’s widow Gail Zappa and several of his musical collaborators including Mike Keneally, Ian Underwood, Steve Vai, Pamela Des Barres, Bunk Gardner, David Harrington, Scott Thunes, Ruth Underwood, Ray White and others. Announced on Kickstarter in 2016, the film became the highest-funded documentary in the crowdfunding site’s history.

Certified “Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes with 96% on the Tomatometer, the film has received overwhelmingly positive reviews with the Wall Street Journal hailing it as “Compelling. Epic. Accomplishes the acrobatic act of doing justice to a figure like Frank Zappa,” and Variety declaring, “ZAPPA creates an emotional through line that lends a rare clarity to the life and work of this most idiosyncratic of all rock stars,” adding, “A multimedia immersion. When Winter takes on a subject like this one, he doesn’t just explore it; he surrounds and penetrates it. The movie insists on seeing Frank Zappa not from the outside but, rather, in the way that he saw himself: as a deadly serious and obsessive aesthete-musician in freak’s clothing, a man consumed by breaking out of what he viewed as the shackling boundaries of the pop-music business." Washington Post calls it, "a whirlwind yet comprehensive journey through pop culture and politics. Winter gives Zappa pride of place among the most important composers of the 20th century,” while Rolling Stone raves, “ZAPPA does exactly what it sets out to do: establish its subject as one of 20th-century music’s most innovative and uncompromising composers. A perfect roadmap for future generations of fans,” and Mojo describes it as “dazzling and gripping.”

Showcasing Zappa’s unique sonic brilliance and nearly every song heard in the film, the 68-track soundtrack features 12 previously unreleased recordings from The Vault, which include performances from the Whisky A Go-Go in 1968, the Fillmore West in ‘70 and Zappa’s famed performance of “Dancin’ Fool” on “Saturday Night Live” in ’78, and spans Zappa’s expansive catalog with 25 additional songs from across his peerless and influential career, from his seminal 1966 debut double album with the Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!, to the final release of his lifetime, 1993’s The Yellow Shark, a live orchestral album performed by the Ensemble Modern in Europe in 1992.

The soundtrack includes songs from Zappa’s record labels Straight and Bizarre Records such as “No Longer Umpire” from Alice Cooper’s debut album, Pretties For You, originally released on Straight in 1969; “The Captain’s Fat Theresa Shoes” by GTO’s, from the all-girl group’s one and only album, Permanent Damage, produced by Zappa. It also includes two classical compositions by Zappa’s lifetime inspirations Edgard Varese and Igor Stravinsky as well as several interview clips. The soundtrack is rounded out with 26 original score cues newly composed by John Frizzell for the documentary.

Taken together “Zappa” and the companion soundtrack offer a riveting, revealing and emotional portrait of Frank Zappa, a trailblazer, iconoclast, virtuosic musician and fearless artist who forever changed music and culture with his unconventional and uncompromising vision. From his early psychedelic rock beginnings to his avant-garde experimentation, jazz-rock explorations, symphonic suites and satirical send-ups to his conceptual, compositional and technological innovations, Zappa shattered the norms every step of the way and his influence and ethos continues to reverberate as strongly today as ever.