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.
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.
Frank Zappa's live shows, much like his studio albums, were regarded as much for their irreverent playfulness as their technical virtuosity.
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.
Frank Zappa once referred to 'Joe's Garage' as a "stupid little story about how the government is going to do away with music."
Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention released 'Uncle Meat' on April 21, 1969.
Frank Zappa's most commercially successful album was released on March 22, 1974.
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.
Frank Zappa was one of the most innovative and versatile rock musicians of his generation, creating a vast body of work that encompassed almost every genre of music -- but he wouldn't have wanted to hear it. The mercurial genius actively resisted those kinds of labels and effusive public praise, focusing instead on the work itself in a career that spanned more than three decades. He died on Dec. 4, 1993 at the age of 52 after a long battle with prostate cancer.