50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time

June 17, 2015

For close to a half century, prog has been the breeding ground for rock's most out-there, outsized and outlandish ideas: Thick-as-a-brick concept albums, an early embrace of synthesizers, overly complicated time signatures, Tolkienesque fantasies,...


Frank Zappa's Final Album 'Dance Me This' Plots Release Date

April 4, 2015

The last album that guitarist Frank Zappa worked on prior to his death in December 1993 will finally be released this June. Titled Dance Me This, the LP is considered the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's 100th and final official release, ending...



George Duke, Jazz Keyboardist, Dies at 67

August 6, 2013

Legendary jazz keyboardist George Duke, who spent his lengthy career collaborating with icons including Miles Davis, Barry Manilow, Frank Zappa and George Clinton, died on Monday, reports NPR. Duke was known for bridging jazz, funk, R&B and Brazilian...



Mothers of Invention Singer Ray Collins Dead of Heart Attack

December 27, 2012

Ray Collins, the guitarist who helped found the Mothers of Invention with Frank Zappa, died on Monday after being admitted to the hospital a week earlier for cardiac arrest, the New York Times reports. He was in his mid-70s. While the Mothers of Invention...


Questlove: New D'Angelo Album Will Be 'A Radical 180 Turn'

June 18, 2012

Questlove remembers the moment he called D'Angelo and asked him to make his first U.S. concert appearance in 12 years on June 9th, for the drummer's late-night Super Jam at Bonnaroo. "I said, 'It will be a whole night doing what we used to do at Electric...


Fricke's Picks: Frank Zappa Invades Carnegie Hall, 1971

January 23, 2012

The American composer and rock & roll provocateur, Frank Zappa, died at age 52 almost two decades ago, on December 4th, 1993. At the time of his passing, his official discography totaled 62 albums released under his own name and that of his landmark...


Frank Zappa Fans Offered Unique Access to Unreleased Music

December 18, 2012

Here's an unprecedented opportunity for Frank Zappa fans looking for a rock & roll rarity: between now and December 28th, you can license a copy of Roxy by Proxy, a collection of 76 minutes of never-before-released Zappa master recordings...


David Fricke: Lost and Found Sounds by Captain Beefheart, Can and a Mother of Invention

May 18, 2012

Don Van Vliet – the late singer-composer-provocateur known as Captain Beefheart – was recovering from the deepest nadir of his musical life, two mid-Seventies albums of straight-line rock and sugar-rhyme ballads, when he hit another: the 36-year...



Jim Sherwood, Original Mother of Invention, Dies

December 28, 2011

The original madcap woodwind player of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, Jim Sherwood, passed away on December 25th at age 69. Cause of death is not yet determined. Sherwood, an adept and classically trained multi-instrumentalist, played baritone and...


Rock & Roll Dads

June 17, 2011



Exclusive Audio: Classic Frank Zappa Live Track

December 21, 2010

Frank Zappa — a close collaborator of Captain Beefheart, who passed away last week — would have been 70 years old today. To celebrate the occasion, his estate released a three CD concert set from Hammersmith Odeon and 'The Frank Zappa AAAFNRAAAA...

Album Review

Greasy Love Songs (Reissue)

May 24, 2010

Made at the height of Cream and love beads, Cruising With Ruben & the Jets, the 1968 LP by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, was the first rock & roll tribute record: 13 original songs soaked in the oiled-pompadour cool, prom-night lust...


Remembering Experimental Rocker Captain Beefheart

December 17, 2010

Don Van Vliet, who became a rock legend as Captain Beefheart, died today from complications from multiple sclerosis in California. His passing was announced by the New York-based Michael Werner Gallery, which represented his work as a painter. Ten Essential...



Exclusive Stream: Frank Zappa's "Lonely Little Girl" Single

February 24, 2009

For the first time in 40 years, fans of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention will be able to hear the group's classic 1968 albums Lumpy Gravy and We're Only In It For the Money the way Zappa originally intended, thanks to the new three-disc set Lumpy...



Frank Zappa's Raunchy Rock Opera "Joe's Garage" Debuts in L.A.

September 29, 2008

Almost 30 years since the original release of Frank Zappa's unrealized stage play Joe's Garage, director Pat Towne has brought the Rolling Stone-dubbed "unproducible" musical to Hollywood's Open Fist Theatre. Joe's Garage imagines a world where music...


Album Review


December 13, 2007

The big brass band that Frank Zappa briefly took on the road in 1972, just before the release of his instrumental LP The Grand Wazoo, was an army of twenty out for serious business. "Nobody sings," Zappa wrote at the time. "Nobody dances. They just play...



Live Action: David Fricke on "Zappa Plays Zappa"

June 13, 2006

The late Frank Zappa was the perfect opening act for "Zappa Plays Zappa" at New York's Beacon Theater on Monday night. The show — a long, exhilirating tribute evening now touring the U.S. and hosted by his son, guitarist Dweezil — began with the Mother...



Lost Frank Zappa Unearthed

June 30, 2004

Joe's Corsage, the first in a series of unreleased Frank Zappa recordings, is available at The album consists of demos from 1965 -- the year before Zappa's Mothers of Invention released their debut album, Freak Out! -- with bits of interviews...



Guitar Gods

April 1, 1999

In his first Rolling Stone interview, published in March 1968, Jimi Hendrix described the moment that changed his life forever: "The first guitarist I was aware of was Muddy Waters. I heard one of his old records when I was a little boy, and it scared...