Zappa on iTunes

Zappa on iTunesAs some of you know, I’m a bit of a Frank Zappa fan. So I was pleasantly surprised this morning to discover that 48 Frank Zappa albums are now available on iTunes. Given that Zappa himself proposed a very iTunes-like idea way back in 1983, it’s about time his work appeared on iTunes.

If you haven’t listened to Zappa before, it can be duanting figuring out where to start – partly because he was so prolific, but also because so much of his stuff is crap (yeah, I know I’ll get dinged by Zappa-heads for that, but it’s true). So here’s an iMix I created which I hope will be a good introduction to his music.

I should warn readers that Zappa wasn’t exactly politically correct, so he’s not for the easily-offended. If you’d rather skip his sometimes raunchy lyrics, try this iMix of Zappa instrumentals instead.

Update: Sadly, Zappa is no longer available on iTunes – here’s why.

14 thoughts on “Zappa on iTunes

  1. – Note: I should warn readers that Zappa wasn’t exactly politically correct, so he’s not for the easily-offended. –
    Sounds like a ringing endorsement to me. ;) Now I finally have something to spend my free iTunes credits on. (I’m buying way too many Slurpees since I got that iPod mini.)
    That proposal is truly visionary for its time. Amazing how much he got right without even an inkling of the net.

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  2. I am relatively old for our world but one great thing about that is that I was 12 in 1960 and I am a music nut and caught the whole 60’s thing and beyond – live!. Zappa was immense and I agree with Nick, some of his stuff was meandering crap but he was a genious as a composer and a pretty mean musician also. The first two albums I bought of his were “Freak Out” and “Uncle Meat” (with The Mothers of Invention and showed him at his Diminutive Symphonic best. Another classic album was “The Best Band You Never Heard”, unbelievable live sets. Good mix btw way Nick.

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  3. That proposal link is awesome, Nick. For those of us that are demented music fans (aka the kind of stuff played on the Dr. Demento show) Zappa holds a special place in our hearts :). We always knew he was 20 blinkin’ years ahead of his time.
    —————-
    “One of my legs is shorter than the other
    N both my feets to long” – F. Zappa, Dancin’ Fool

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  4. In case anyone might be just checking out Zappa for the first time, lemme throw in a few disclaimers to an otherwise fine post.
    One, *most* of his work was brilliant and it was nearly all well done. He was light years beyond most of his contemporaries (and still is). He was an American original and easily one of the, if not *The*, greatest composers of the 20th century.
    Two, if you’re easily offended then you most of all should be listening to Mr. Zappa.
    Three, don’t let anybody’s list of greatest hits sway you. Every Zappa fan’s is different. It’s one huge body of work that is both wide ranging and incredibly consistent. The stuff you start out hating might end up being your favorite. Don’t be a wuss.
    Four, Zappa was a monster guitarist. I can fully recommend the Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar set. Get that and One Size Fits All and you’ll be well on your way.
    – BAM

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  5. “Mower,” while I don’t agree that most of Zappa’s work was brilliant, I certainly agree that he was (and is) light years ahead of his contemporaries. I also agree about Zappa compilations – his music was so far-ranging that it’s unlikely that any two Zappa fans would have the same list of his “greatest hits.”
    Although I do admire his guitar work, I’m not really a fan of his “Play Yer Guitar” albums (with the notable exception of “Five Five Five,” which I love). “One Size Fits All,” though, remains one of my favorite albums from any artist, and is also one of his more listenable works.

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  6. Thanks for link, Nick. I’m a big fan :)
    And by the way… Do you know there’s only one monument in the world for Frank Zappa and it’s in my country :)

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  7. Nick,
    I just downloaded your software to learn about the RSS features offered now on so many news sites. I was pleasantly surprised to see that you are a ZappaFreak, too. I actually saw him perform twice in Texas (Austin and Arlington-near Dallas) and most people don’t understand his satire or appreciate his musical genius. I downloaded iTunes to listen to your selections and was disappointed that iTunes only played 30-second sound bites. Is there a way to stream the entire musical selections in iTunes?
    Thanks… Kevin in Dallas

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  8. Not on iTunes. All the songs have 30 second demos so you can make sure it’s the song you’re interested in, but you have to buy the song/album to hear the entire track.

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  9. Good link the the 1983 Zappa article!
    Here is another link found on zappa.com about a showing of “The Amazing Mr. Bickford”
    http://groups.google.com/group/alt.fan.frank-zappa/msg/cf71045f3e67545b?hl=en&lr=&rnum=4
    Best quote from the article:
    Neil Shoreman
    said. “The music was just awful, notes all over the place. It wasn’t a tune; there was just a continual collection of
    sounds…
    Jazz from Hell is another great FZ album. When JFH came out the blashphemy crowds went up in arms simply over the title of the album. What an instrumental!

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