Posts Tagged ‘Hot Rats’

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Hot Rats was released 10th October in 1969!

“The Hot Rats Sessions” box set celebrates the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest albums in the history of recorded music, and will be released on December 20th .

The original 1969 Frank Zappa album was the first to be recorded on a prototype 16-Track Tape Machine. Self described as a “Movie For Your Ears,” it was the first solo outing for the composer and the album that put Frank Zappa on the map as a guitar player. The recording sessions produced a wealth of material that ended up being sprinkled among multiple releases during FZ’s lifetime.

The mostly-instrumental LP came on the heels of the breakup of the original Mothers of Invention, making it clear that Zappa was a force with which to be reckoned as a composer. Described by the artist as “a movie for your ears,” Hot Rats was a fusion of jazz and rock as only Zappa could create. Recorded on 16 tracks (a first for a Zappa album), it featured the producer/arranger/guitar virtuoso (who also played bass and percussion) joined by The Mothers’ Ian Underwood as well as Max Bennett, Johnny Otis, Shuggie Otis, John Guerin, Paul Humphrey, Ron Selico, Don “Sugarcane” Harris, and Jean-Luc Ponty. Don Van Vliet, a.k.a. Captain Beefheart, provided the vocals on the lone non-instrumental, “Willie The Pimp.”

The “Hot Rats” album, the 2nd solo album by American musician Frank Zappa, released on October 10th, 1969. Five of the six songs are instrumental; the other, “Willie the Pimp”, features vocals by Captain Beefheart. It was Zappa’s first recording project after the dissolution of the original Mothers of Invention. In his original sleeve notes, Zappa described the album as “a movie for your ears”. Zappa composed, arranged and produced the album himself, his primary instrument being lead guitar. The song “Peaches en Regalia” is widely recognized as a modern jazz fusion standard and is one of Zappa’s best-known songs. The colourful, psychedelic aura of the late sixties is apparent in the graphic design and photography of Hot Rats, though Zappa himself disdained the psychedelic movement. The front and back cover photos by Andee Nathanson use infrared photography and reflects Zappa’s taste for striking visual images, combined with the absurdly humorous. ecause Hot Rats largely consists of instrumental jazz-influenced compositions with extensive soloing, the music sounds very different from earlier Zappa albums, which featured satirical vocal performances with extensive use of musique concrète and editing.

This new Anniversary mammoth six disc collection documents and compiles every composition recorded during those days in July 1969, along with an abundance of rare mixes, Vault nuggets and complete basic tracks mixed from the original multi-track masters by Craig Parker Adams, and mastered by Bob Ludwig in 2019. Additional gems include images by original Hot Rats cover photographer, Andee Nathanson, session photos taken by Bill Gubbins, liner notes by Matt Groening and essays by Ian Underwood, Andee Nathanson and Vaultmeister Joe Travers. The box set also includes a Zappa Land board game in celebration of this release.

Track listing and more info here: