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Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa
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40 Years Ago: Frank Zappa Releases ‘Apostrophe (‘)’

Frank Zappa's most commercially successful album was released on March 22, 1974.

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sheik header
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35 Years Ago: Frank Zappa’s ‘Sheik Yerbouti’ Released

On many levels — creative, personal, and business-related — 1979 would go down as a banner year in the long and storied career of Frank Zappa. But perhaps nothing else accomplished during those significant 365 days left as large and lasting an impact as the double album cheekily named ‘Sheik Yerbouti,’ which arrived in stores on March 3.

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Frank Zappa Sleep Dirt
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35 Years Ago: Frank Zappa Releases ‘Sleep Dirt’

Like much of the material that came out under Frank Zappa's name in the late '70s, 1979's 'Sleep Dirt' has a complicated history. Also like much of the work that ended the artist's most prolific decade, 'Sleep Dirt' had its roots in a shelved, four-LP set that Zappa's record company refused to release.

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
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35 Years Ago: Frank Zappa Releases ‘Studio Tan’

If Frank Zappa was still alive, you can bet he'd be the last person who'd want to celebrate the anniversary of 'Studio Tan,' an album he didn't sanction, sequence, or even approve cover art for. He was caught in a legal battle with Warner Bros. Records and former manager Herb Cohen at the time. On top of that, none of the songs included on 'Studio Tan' were even recorded in 1978; most of the tracks allegedly date from sessions between 1974 and 1976, with a couple of cuts even going as far back as 1969.

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George Duke
Gallo Images / Getty Images
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George Duke of the Mothers of Invention Dies

Keyboard pioneer George Duke, whose long list of credits included a lengthy stint with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, has reportedly passed away at the age of 67.

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Frank Zappa
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45 Years Ago: Frank Zappa Releases ‘Lumpy Gravy’

Frank Zappa is often regarded as one of the most brilliant, idiosyncratic musicians in rock music. But, looking back at his eclectic, monstrous body of work as a composer, guitarist, vocalist, and bandleader, Zappa really wasn't a "rock" musician. That fact is cemented on 'Lumpy Gravy,' Zappa's first official solo album, which was released 45 years ago last week (May 13, 1968).

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Evening Standard/Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Evening Standard/Hulton Archive, Getty Images
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Two Frank Zappa Albums To Be Reissued On Vinyl

The Zappa Family Trust, headed by Frank Zappa's widow Gail, has announced that select titles from the massive Zappa catalog will be finding their way to vinyl this summer. In June, Zappa's Barking Pumpkin label will put out editions of 1973's 'Over-Nite Sensation' and the 1966 classic 'Freak Out!,' joining the recently released 'Finer Moments,' a collection of live material from the early-'70s.

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