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Frank Zappa’s “Freak Out!” Remastered for Vinyl at Bernie Grundman’s

Gail and Diva Zappa Join Session for Historic Album Reissue

Frank Zappa’s wife Gail and daughter Diva visited Bernie Grundman’s during the vinyl remastering by Chris Bellman of the historic “Freak Out!,” which is the 1966 debut album of Frank Zappa with the Mothers of Invention. Also on hand were Zappa archivist Joe Travers and British TV personality Noel Fielding, who is a solid Zappa fan and popular chronicler.

“One of the things I hate about a re-release, is that people today feel they should re-review it,” Gail Zappa remarked. “No thanks, because this album was designed for a certain mindset at that time, 1966. If no one had made that record in the first place, we would still be waiting for an artist to make an album like that. ‘Freak Out!’ really opened the doors in many ways for what is possible today.”

“Freak Out!” is the debut album by The Mothers of Invention, released June 27, 1966 on Verve Records. Recognized as the first concept album and the first double rock ‘n’ roll album, “Freak Out!” is a satirical expression of composer Frank Zappa’s perception of American pop culture.

“Once he got an idea, Frank actually designed what he was imagining,” Gail continued. “Frank was 24 when he wrote this music and taught it note-by-note to the band members, who had experience with many forms of music but none of them could sight read for what would become the first concept album in rock and roll history.”

The album was produced by Tom Wilson with band leader Frank Zappa on guitar, and featured vocalist Ray Collins, along with bass player Roy Estrada, drummer Jimmy Carl Black and rhythm guitar player Elliot Ingber, who would later join Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band.

“Tom Wilson went to see Frank and the band at The Whisky-a-Go-Go,” Gail recalls. “He was producing a lot of records at that time and thought he was going to see another R&B band, West Coast style, when he heard Frank’s song about the Watts Riots, ‘Trouble Every Day.’ Fate stepped in and the result was a remarkable groundbreaking album: ‘Freak Out!’ It should be seen for what it was when it came out. We don’t need to re-write history and reinvent Frank Zappa for today.”

The musical content of “Freak Out!” ranges from rhythm and blues, doo-wop and standard blues-influenced rock to orchestral arrangements, devices, and avant-garde sound collages. In 1999, it was honored with the Grammy Hall of Fame Award, and in 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it among the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

The newly re-mastered “Freak Out!” will be available for the first time in 47 years as a 180 gram vinyl re-issue, with exact reproduction of the original double LP cover artwork. Release date: June 18, 2013 on Zappa Records.

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