Frank Zappa

~ Person


The Mothers of Invention have their own entry. Please do not add CDs by the Mothers to this artist.

Annotation last modified on 2013-10-20 17:56 UTC.

Also performs as: Kansas J. Kanzus


Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American musician, songwriter, composer, record producer, actor and filmmaker. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa composed rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band the Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. While in his teens, he acquired a taste for 20th-century classical composers such as Edgard Varèse, Igor Stravinsky, and Anton Webern, along with 1950s rhythm and blues music. He began writing classical music in high school, while at the same time playing drums in rhythm and blues bands; he later switched to electric guitar.

Zappa was a self-taught composer and performer, and his diverse musical influences led him to create music that was often difficult to categorize. His 1966 debut album with the Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!, combined songs in conventional rock and roll format with collective improvisations and studio-generated sound collages. His later albums shared this eclectic and experimental approach, irrespective of whether the fundamental format was rock, jazz or classical. His lyrics—often humorously—reflected his iconoclastic view of established social and political processes, structures and movements. He was a strident critic of mainstream education and organized religion, and a forthright and passionate advocate for freedom of speech, self-education, political participation and the abolition of censorship.

He was a highly productive and prolific artist and gained widespread critical acclaim. He had some commercial success, particularly in Europe, and worked as an independent artist for most of his career. He also remains a major influence on musicians and composers. Zappa was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at No. 71 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", and in 2011 at No. 22 on its list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1967 Lumpy Gravy Frank Zappa 3.5 7
1969 Hot Rats Frank Zappa 4.55 11
1970 Chunga’s Revenge Frank Zappa 5
1972 Waka/Jawaka Frank Zappa 5 6
1974 Apostrophe (’) Frank Zappa 4 6
1976 Zoot Allures Frank Zappa 4 7
1978 Studio Tan Frank Zappa 3 6
1979 Sleep Dirt Frank Zappa 3 5
1979 Sheik Yerbouti Frank Zappa 4.5 12
1979 Orchestral Favorites Frank Zappa 7
1979 Joe’s Garage: Act I Frank Zappa 3.5 3
1979 Joe’s Garage: Acts II & III Frank Zappa 3.75 4
1981 You Are What You Is Frank Zappa 5 10
1982 Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch Frank Zappa 3.5 8
1983 London Symphony Orchestra, Volume 1 Frank Zappa 1
1983 The Man From Utopia Frank Zappa 5 6
1984 Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger Frank Zappa 7
1984 Them or Us Frank Zappa 5 7
1984 Francesco Zappa Frank Zappa 3
1984 Thing‐Fish Frank Zappa 3.5 5
1985 Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention Frank Zappa 7
1985 We’re Only in It for the Money / Lumpy Gravy Frank Zappa 2
1986 Apostrophe (’) / Over‐Nite Sensation Frank Zappa 2
1986 The London Symphony Orchestra Frank Zappa 1
1986 Jazz From Hell Frank Zappa 4.35 6
1987 Joe’s Garage: Acts I, II & III Frank Zappa 6
1987 London Symphony Orchestra, Volume II Frank Zappa 1
1988 The Man From Utopia / Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch Frank Zappa 1
1994 Civilization Phaze III Frank Zappa 5 2
1995 London Symphony Orchestra, Volume 1 & 2 Frank Zappa 2
1996 The Lost Episodes Frank Zappa 1
1996 Läther Frank Zappa 2
1996 Frank Zappa Plays the Music of Frank Zappa: A Memorial Tribute Frank Zappa 1
1998 Mystery Disc Frank Zappa 2
1999 Everything Is Healing Nicely Frank Zappa 1
2003 Ensemble Modern Plays Frank Zappa: Greggery Peccary & Other Persuasions Frank Zappa; Ensemble Modern, Jonathan Stockhammer 3
2004 Joe's Domage Frank Zappa 1
2005 Joe’s XMasage Frank Zappa 1
2006 The Making of Freak Out! Project/Object Frank Zappa 2
2006 The Frank Zappa AAAFNRAA Birthday Bundle Frank Zappa 1
2008 One Shot Deal Frank Zappa 1
2009 The Lumpy Money Project/Object: An FZ Audio Documentary Frank Zappa 1
2010 “Congress Shall Make No Law…” Frank Zappa 1
2011 Feeding the Monkies at Ma Maison Frank Zappa 1
2012 Finer Moments Frank Zappa 1
2012 The Lost Episodes Frank Zappa 1
2013 A Token of His Extreme Frank Zappa 1
2014 Perfect Strangers Heiner Goebbels, Frank Zappa; The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Thomas Søndergård 1
2014 Roxy by Proxy Frank Zappa 1
2015 Dance Me This Frank Zappa 1

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