Although the final album that Frank Zappa worked on before his death came out earlier this year, the rock legend's family has many more releases planned. A new partnership between the Zappa Family Trust and Universal Music Enterprises will allow for new product releases, film and theatrical productions and trademark licensing.
Some of the items in the works include Joe's Garage, The Musical, the long-fabled Roxy Movie and an orchestra performance of 200 Motels featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The first release will be a remastered edition of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention's 1974 album, One Size Fits All, which will come out on October 16th on 180-gram vinyl.
The new partnership spans Zappa's creative canon and includes a long-term, global licensing agreement for the artist's entire recorded catalog, as well as a rights-management agreement that covers everything else. Zappa's son, Ahmet – who will be taking over daily operations of the Zappa Family Trust from Frank's widow Gail – has been working closely with Universal Music Enterprise's President and CEO, Bruce Resnikoff, on the partnership.
"This is literally an opportunity of a lifetime for me," Gail said in a statement. "I am universally thrilled with this partnership because the fans will have unparalleled access to Frank Zappa's works. The doors to the vault are now officially wide open."
"The fans of Frank Zappa will have more music and more access – when they want it and how they want it," Ahmet said. "With Universal as our partner, I look forward to bringing to life Joe's Garage, The Musical, the release of The Roxy Movie, the release of the Disney Hall performance of 200 Motels under the baton of [conductor] Esa-Pekka Salonen and so many more projects of this caliber. I couldn't be more excited about the future."
In addition to the One Size Fits All 40th anniversary reissue, the new union hopes to put out more releases before year's end. The Zappa Family Trust began remastering the artists' works from analog masters for vinyl reissues when the rights to his masters reverted back to the family in 2012. That same year, the family also put his discography on iTunes for the first time.
The Zappa family put out Dance Me This, the final album Zappa worked on in his lifetime and the artist's 100th release, last month. A Frank Zappa documentary, helmed by actor-director Alex Winter, is also in the works for a planned 2017 release.