Lost Frank Zappa Unearthed

Joe's Corsage begins a deluge of previously unreleased recordings

June 30, 2004 12:00 AM ET

Joe's Corsage, the first in a series of unreleased Frank Zappa recordings, is available at zappa.com. 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 interspersed throughout.

"We wanted to stay as close to the bone as we could," says Gail Zappa, Frank's widow. "Frank Zappa was a composer, and he had a bad habit, which was writing music. To support that habit, he became a bandleader and began playing other things that he liked to hear in different context, and you can hear that throughout his music."

Joe's Corsage (the title a play on Zappa's 1979 multi-part concept album, Joe's Garage) is the beginning of an avalanche of unreleased material, which will include complete albums like the guitar-solo-based Trance-fusion and the synth-heavy Dance Me This, as well as live recordings and "other little nuggets the fans know about and have been waiting for." Zappa died of cancer in 1993.

"We're sitting on forty album projects in various stages of completion," says Gail Zappa, who adds that the material was put on ice due to a ten-year deal with Rykodisc. "That period ends in October, so we'll open the doors to the vault."


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