RCD-10526 Studio Tan
Produced by Frank Zappa
Released on September 15, 1978
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
RCD-10526 cover  

L ather’s soap opera about a nocturnal, gregarious wild swine is just half the fun of Studio Tan. “Greggary Peccary” is one of the few examples where Zappa’s storytelling overshadows the music, certain to please anyone who still prays at the foot of “Billy the Mountain” (Billy and Ethel even make a brief cameo here). The gist of the story is a marketing executive who invents the calendar (and, thus, time), incurring the wrath of hunchmen (and hunchwomen). I suspect this was intended to be part of Hunchentoot, but that’s just a hunch. The remaining songs offer a little something for everyone: the silly send-ups associated with Flo & Eddie (“Let Me Take You To The Beach”) and the mutated classical/jazz/rock monsters of his early ‘70s masterpieces (Burnt Weeny Sandwich et al). It’s an eclectic venture, which is to be expected when a nine-album opus is peeled off in single albums, but among the Lather litter this is some pig. Given what Zappa was releasing at the time, you’re less likely to get burned with Studio Tan than a Zoot Allures. It’s not essential music, if only because fitting these pieces into the original puzzle calls for some historical revision, and yet it is eminently enjoyable. In fact, pound for pound, Studio Tan might be one of Frank’s funniest records. And fans of Zappa’s ambitious classical/jazz rock won’t mind hearing “Revised Music For Guitar & Low Budget Orchestra,” which I’m assuming is a re-treatment of the original “Music for Electric Violin and Low Budget Orchestra” that appeared on Jean-Luc Ponty’s King Kong. Showing such different facets of the same diamond may be initially distracting, but Studio Tan remains dazzling for forty minutes.

TRACK LISTING

  1. GREGGERY PECCARY
  2. LET ME TAKE YOU TO THE BEACH
  3. REVISED MUSIC FOR GUITAR AND LOW BUDGET ORCHESTRA
  4. REDUNZL

CREDITS

return to FRANK ZAPPA discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US September 15, 1978 Discreet LP/8T DSK/M8D 2291  
UK/GER 1978 Discreet LP K 59210  
BRA 1978 Warner Bros. LP 36096  
US 1991 Barking Pumpkin CD/CS 74237  
JPN 1993 Rykodisc CD VACK-1234  
US Apr/May 1995 Rykodisc CD RCD 10526 digital remaster

 

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