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Published: 2013/04/13
by Ron Hart

Frank Zappa
Reissues

Zappa/Universal

So after nearly two decades of industry strangling and legal wrangling, one of rock’s most coveted back catalogs is finally back where it belongs in the hands of the Family Trust that bears his name. But with 60 recordings being doled out through the end of 2012, anyone new to the world of Frank Zappa will need one helluva roadmap to navigate all of its twists and turns. For those who have yet to dive into this charismatic chasm, perhaps the best advice is to start off with what aspect of Zappa appeals to you most. Do you prefer Frank the funnyman? We’re Only In It for the Money and Sheik Yerbouti are for you. You want to hear him at his mama-killing guitar playing best? Go with Hot Rats and Chunga’s Revenge. You feeling Zappa at his weirdest? Uncle Meat and Jazz from Hell are where it’s at. Maybe Frank the kingpin of AOR radio? Look no further than Apostrophe, Zoot Allures and Joe’s Garage. Classical music fan? Dig into Lumpy Gravy and The Yellow Shark. But that’s what makes this long-overdue revamp of this legendary composer’s catalog so great—the thrill of discovering a literal universe of different sounds, styles and moods that came from the mind of one man. And hearing it overhauled for 21st century consumption by the people who love him most makes this latest campaign the most satisfying one to date.

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