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Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa was one of rock’s true oddballs, innovators and all-around contradictory guys. He made freak-out music but didn’t take drugs. He turned out tons of music every year but had little interest in being a star. And he developed a cult reputation while composing and playing music that never stayed in one place. He was born in Baltimore and came of age in the ’60s, when he recorded doo-wop music and other pop forms. By 1965 he had formed the Mothers of Invention, one of rock’s most influential groups. Their early albums were pointed, political affairs that also skewed pop culture and the mainstream that was consuming American youth. He made a couple movies, turned out solo albums that ranged from instrumental works to full-on rock operas and explored music from jazz and classical to pop and prog. He died of cancer at the age of 52 in 1993.

46 Years Ago: Frank Zappa Mixes Genres on the Experimental ‘Uncle Meat’

Ron Case, Getty Images
Ron Case, Getty Images

By the time Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention released their fifth album, Uncle Meat, in April 1969, it was evident that he was a creative, prolific and adventurous force.

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Filed Under: Category: Anniversaries, News

Frank Zappa’s Last Album to Be Released in June

Evening Standard, Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Evening Standard, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

The last album Frank Zappa completed before his death from cancer on Dec. 4, 1993, will be released in June.

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Filed Under: Category: New Albums, News

36 Years Ago: Frank Zappa Releases ‘Sheik Yerbouti’

Zappa Records
Zappa Records

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.

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Filed Under: Category: Anniversaries, News

45 Years Ago: Frank Zappa Cooks Up a ‘Burnt Weeny Sandwich’

Bizarre / Reprise
Bizarre / Reprise

After guiding the Mothers of Invention to significant critical respect and even modest commercial success over the second half of the ‘60s, Frank Zappa welcomed 1970 as a newly minted solo artist.

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Filed Under: Category: Anniversaries, News

43 Years Ago: Frank Zappa Pushed Offstage in London

Frank Zappa
Evening Standard, Getty Images

Frank Zappa's live shows, much like his studio albums, were regarded as much for their irreverent playfulness as their technical virtuosity.

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Filed Under: Category: Anniversaries, News

45 Years Ago: Frank Zappa Puts the Mothers Behind Him

Ron Case, Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Ron Case, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Several months after the release of the fifth Mothers of Invention album, 'Uncle Meat,' in March 1969, Frank Zappa pulled the plug, at least for now, on the band.

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35 Years Ago: Frank Zappa Makes Another Pointed Political Statement on ‘Joe’s Garage Act I’

Gary Merrin, Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Gary Merrin, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Frank Zappa once referred to 'Joe's Garage' as a "stupid little story about how the government is going to do away with music."

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Filed Under: Category: Anniversaries, News

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

Frank Zappa

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

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Filed Under: Category: Anniversaries, News

35 Years Ago: Frank Zappa Releases ‘Sleep Dirt’

Frank Zappa 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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Filed Under: Category: Anniversaries, News

Top 10 Frank Zappa Albums

Evening Standard, Getty Images
Evening Standard, Getty Images

Before he died at the age of 52 on Dec. 4, 1993, Frank Zappa released a vast body of work that remains frustrating, complex, confusing and brilliant. He was as prolific as he was restless, jumping from genre to genre, and from target to target, with all the control and tempe

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Filed Under: Category: Lists, Original Features

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