LISTEN: Zappa at 80

Celebrating Frank through his greatest instrumentals

Frank Zappa (Art: Ron Hart)

Happy Heavenly Birthday to Frank Zappa, whose spirit turns 80 on this Winter solstice.

When I first started taking classes at SUNY New Paltz in the fall of 1995, Frank Zappa was a constant on my stereo and in the tape deck of my beloved 1985 Ford Bronco II.

At 22 and full of goo, I was a total target market for such dirty, dirty ditties as “Dinah Moe Humm,” “Titties N Beer” and “Crew Slut.” But really the rude crude humor of his secular music was not what made me a Frank Zappa fan. It was his qq1qQ,,,, playing, which soon evolved into a deep appreciation for his work as a composer.

And when I wanna listen to some FZ in 2020, especially in the wake of Alex Winter’s most excellent documentary and the slew of incredible archival releases from the Zappa Family Trust, I still stick to albums I’ve kept close to my heart since college like Lumpy Gravy, Hot Rats and The Yellow Shark. So to celebrate this milestone birthday for the great American composer, I’ve put together this career-spanning collection of my favorite (largely) instrumental works of the maestro below.


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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

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