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Published: 2012/10/31

Frank Zappa Compilation Album Released

The Zappa Family Trust released Understanding America on CD and iTunes yesterday. The two-CD set is one of only three compilation albums produced and titled by Frank Zappa himself. The collection contains a number of songs that have not yet been released, including a 25-minute work titled “Porn Wars Deluxe.” The Zappa Family Trust is headed by Frank Zappa’s widow, Gail Zappa. A full tracklisting for Understanding America can be viewed below.

A message from Zappa’s proximate Laurel Canyon studio, Utility Muffin Research Kitchen, proclaims: “This work is about ethics and honor. It’s about time and it is about money. And bogus pomp and circumstance. Predictions and politics. It is the low-down on high altitudes. Check out the menu for yourself and you will see that the main ingredients, each in their own persuasion and marinating well into the next century, have been carefully skewered and roasted to the peak of perfection by the Master chef, author of one of the all time great cook books, Understanding America. Oh, and finally, it is about Music. Put some in your cauldron and please, don’t forget to vote!”

Tracklisting for Understanding America

Disc 1:

1. Hungry Freaks, Daddy
2. Plastic People
3. Mom & Dad
4. It Can’t Happen Here
5. Who Are The Brain Police?
6. Who Needs The Peace Corps?
7. Brown Shoes Don’t Make It
8. Concentration Moon
9. Trouble Every Day
10. You’re Probably Wondering Why I’m Here
11. We’re Turning Again
12. Road Ladies
13. What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are
14. Camarillo Brillo
15. Find Her Finer
16. Dinah-Moe Humm
17. Disco Boy
18. 200 Years Old

Disc 2:

1. I’m The Slime
2. Be In My Video
3. I Don’t Even Care
4. Can’t Afford No Shoes
5. Heavenly Bank Account
6. Cocaine Decisions
7. Dumb All Over
8. Promiscuous
9. Thing-Fish Intro
10. The Central Scrutinizer
11. Porn Wars Deluxe
12. Tinseltown Rebellion
13. Jesus Thinks You’re A Jerk


There are 10 comments associated with this post

J-Brewz October 31, 2012, 17:52:33

anyone know if this is a “greatest hits” kind of compilation? I’ve been trying to get into Zappa and figure this might be a good place to start. Happy Halloween!

Ultimatelywhogivesafuck October 31, 2012, 20:56:57

its a way of life! ..youll love it!

criticalPEDAGOGIST October 31, 2012, 21:59:21

I was wondering the same thing as JBrewz… And where’s Peaches en Regalia? I only know Hot Rats and I don’t see any of those tracks on here. Is that not his best stuff?

Trevor October 31, 2012, 22:28:48

where’s joe’s garage?

bootch October 31, 2012, 23:14:09

start with one size fits all and roxy and elsewhere… then you can move on to apostrophe…zoot allures…waka/jawaka… chunga’s revenge… and on and on

Jim Fay November 1, 2012, 07:05:40

This is not a greatest hits album, per se. It is FZ’s look at America, warts and all. The track listing shows mainly his vocal work that skewers American culture or lack thereof.

erik November 1, 2012, 09:35:34

trouble everyday…greatest rap lyrics ever…IMO

Fatty November 1, 2012, 13:33:26

Strictly Commercial is an easy way to hear some of Zappa’s easier to absorb songs. I’d recommend jumping into “Freak Out” if you want to jump into a full album of Zappa.

Frank Z November 2, 2012, 20:05:40

Mothermania was compilation album of his earliest stuff. Since FZ put out around 80 albums, it’s tough to get all the best stuff on one or two CD’s.
The “You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore” collection comes pretty close, but that’s a 12 disk set. For a new FZ fan, I recommend starting at the beginning with the first album (double album actually) Freak Out. From there, I have a list of essentials that all FZ fans must have. One Size Fits All, Apostrophe, Sheik Yerbouti, Hot Rats, Reuben And The Jets, and Bongo Fury should get you well on your way to being Zaptized.

Frunobulax November 7, 2012, 15:20:17

The way I see it Larry, this would be a ‘alt’ best of that focuses particularly on the ‘anthropological’ aspect of FZ’s project/object. There are of course overlaps, but if you want the best of Zappa’s compositional skills, or the greatest musician-y chops, look elsewhere. As a compendium of his ‘social commentary’ recordings though, this fits the bill nicely.

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