More Great 2016 Reissues and Finds: David Fricke's Picks

Expanded classics, unearthed obscurities and other historical gems

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Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, 'Meat Light: The Uncle Meat Project/Object Audio Documentary'
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Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, 'Meat Light: The Uncle Meat Project/Object Audio Documentary'

Released in April 1969, Uncle Meat was a two-LP set that, as the Mothers' leader wrote in his liner note, featured music from "a movie of the same name which we haven't got enough money to finish yet." In fact, it was the culmination of an epic span of sessions that had already produced the '67-'68 triad Lumpy Gravy, We're Only in It for the Money and Cruising With Ruben & the Jets. This was Zappa's vision of modern American music in all of its rigorously exuberant bloom, ignited by his big-band version of the founding Mothers: doo-wop, greasy R&B, free improvising on stage, explosive symphonettes and a dense whiplash of tape-speed and overdub manipulation. This edition addresses the mountain of music made on the way to the '69 release with the addition, across two of the three CDs, of an alternate, longer sequence, originally programmed by Zappa, plus relevant outtakes – rock's most assured composer and his greatest Mothers at their most absolutely free.

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