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Lumpy Gravy
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Product Description

Imported from Japan by Rykodisc.

Packaged in deluxe mini-album jacket sleeves, these 10 classic albums by rock legend FRANK ZAPPA are now available as limited edition Japanese Imports! These packages re-create the original vinyl packaging in miniaturized form!

Japanese limited edition reissue of 1968 album, packaged in a miniature gatefold LP sleeve.

Japanese Version featuring a Limited LP Style Slipcase Cover. Strictly Limited to 2000 Copies!

Customer Reviews:

  • A strange collage
    This is one of the weirder Zappa outings (and that is saying a lot). It consists of snippets of people talking intercut by music. The music is of course great and represents the first time Zappa recorded with an orchestra. As for the talking it might be interesting the first time but the next time you just want to push the fast forward button on your cd player and skip to the music. Now Zappa made other cds wit talking (thing-fish, joe's garage) but on those cds the talking was meant to explain the story of the album. The talking on Lumpy Gravy is pretty much about nothing and is not very amusing. This is another album that is more for true fans than for the casual ones....more info
  • Like the 1st three LPs & Hot Rat, LG is Zappa at his best
    Okay, so I wish I could skip over some of the dialog, mostly because words become tiresome with repetition long before music does, but parts of the monologues and dialogues are brilliant: they alternate between evocative/elusive musings on cosmic fears and hopes and affectionate verbal snaphots of the mindless mass-American mind. The symphonic comp's and connecting pop and found-sound segments that make up 85% of LG are some the best music FZ put to vinyl. I just wish someone would issue an LG CD that makes the spoken word separate tracks, so one could choose to skip them.
    I find most of the later FZ busy, musically uninspired jazz-rock fusion--with inferior, sophomoric lyrics--that can't hold a candle to the first 4 albums, Hot Rats, and parts of Uncle Meat and Weasels RMF....more info
  • Not for Every Zappa Fan
    For older Zappa fans the Apostrophe album is a bright line dividing early Zappa from his middle and later work. Lumpy Gravy is definitely from the early Zappa playlist, although it is not another Freak Out. Lumpy Gravy is more akin to the jumpy Absolutely Free than anything from Apostrophe on, and you can hear some of musical themes from Burnt Weenie Sandwich even Waka Jawaka under rumination. A running theme, especially percussion, will remind you of the send-ups of 50-ish Rock 'n Roll pieces all over Chunga's Revenge or Cruising with Reuben & The Jets, but it should not be equated to that album. The closet complement to Lumpy Gravy is We're Only in It for the Money. You'll find Lumpy Gravy somewhat less frenetic (a relative statement if ever one uttered), but cut from the same mold and its social commentary as biting. With that said, Lumpy Gravy is not for every Zappa fan. But if your Zappa "golden era" is pre-Apostrophe, then Lumpy Gravy belongs in your collection. ...more info
  • Curious Zappa novices beware
    Lumpy Gravy is much beloved by most hardcore Zappa fans, but I think it's mostly due to "conceptual continuity" and historical reasons. Lumpy Gravy does set some real precedence for Zappa's later orchestral work and particularly for his Civilization Phaze III album much later. But in my opinion, his advant garde and orchestral material after this is mostly superior to Lumpy Gravy.

    When you approach LG for what it stands for alone what do you have? You have a lot of dialogue that sounds at first like it's spontaneous but is ultimately not; it's people acting and the dialogue itself makes little sense. The musical bits are all too brief and a lot of the time it's percussive and random. This is advant garde stuff for sure. And don't get me wrong, I enjoy advant garde a lot of the time. In fact, I do enjoy throwing Lumpy Gravy on from time to time when I'm in the mood. But this is not an album I would want to put in "heavy rotation." And I certainly wouldn't recommend it as a first Zappa album unless the listener really wants to dive into the weirder, free-form side of Zappa from the beginning....more info
  • For Experienced Zappa Fans and Fans of Musique Concrete Only
    Warning *** If you have never listened to Frank Zappa's music and are interested in experiencing it, this is "definitely" not the place to start. I recommend either "Freak Out!" or "Over-nite Sensation" as the albums to first listen to.

    This album is divided into two 15 minute parts (a short album at less than 32 minutes).

    The problem with the cd version of this album is the decision not to divide the many different sections of each part into separate tracks. Therefore, there are only 2 tracks that are each 15 minutes long.

    Lumpy Gravy Part 1 is, by far, the superior part of the album. You hear the opening Lumpy Gravy Theme, which unfortunately is only available on only one other FZ album (Make A Jazz Noise Here).

    The song "Oh No" first appears here in an instrumental version...the vocal version would first appear on the "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" album.

    It's difficult to fully enjoy the song since it is too short (the superior instrumental "Oh No" version is found on the concert album "Ahead Of Their Time") and it does not contain a separate cd track so that you can repeat it.

    There is more talking in Part 2 and more Musique Concrete -- very fast experimental and disorganized musical instruments played together-- although one plus is that "King Kong" makes its first appearance here (the superior "King Kong" version may be found on either "Uncle Meat" or Jean-Luc Ponty's album "King Kong").

    The instrumental version of "Take your clothes off when you dance" makes its premiere here but, again, it is performed better in later albums ("Ahead of their time" and "Lost Episodes").

    The brief instrumental part from "Mother People" that occurs near the end of that song is heard on this album too (but it is not longer than the original and a longer version would have been fun to listen to and would have improved this album).

    This is not a bad album but it can be considered the weakest FZ album of the 60's and the 2 long cd tracks is no help to its credibility either.
    ...more info
  • Not exactly typical or accessible, but great stuff
    Some deem Zappa to be a weirdo that other weirdos could identify with while others consider him the one true musical genius of the 20th Century. Whatever you think of him, there's no denying that he was a creative and innovative force and could also come up with some great guitar solos (proving that you don't need to be a technical virtuoso to be a great guitarist).

    Personally, I consider him a little hit and miss. Some of his intrumental music (the side of him I prefer) is outright incredible, while some seems unfocused and unplanned. Likewise, some of his more humourist works are great fun to listen to, but personally I feel nothing compelling about them that would make me want to listen to them regularly or consider their creator to be a musical genius. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

    However, with Lumpy Gravy I have found an album that I can't listen to regularly, but am genuinely impressed with whenever I do. As others have said this is a collage - there are no obvious themes here and everything is rather unstructured and often abstract. I doubt the music was even conceived to be put together - they sound like they have been randomly placed together. At times its upbeat, melodic and hints at both blues and jazz while other parts are darker and eerier, aping modern classical and flirting with avant-garde. Some parts of the album are people talking, and they don't seem to be saying much worth listening to. I'd say that the all too frequent conversations are perhaps the only negative point about this album.

    Lumpy Gravy is certainly not easy to listen to or something that can be played very regularly and, as others have said, its certainly not the place to start with Frank Zappa (I'd recommend Hot Rats for that). But its still great stuff, and personally I prefer it over most other things I've heard from him. If I'm in the mood for something crazy and random, that is....more info
  • Great "going to sleep" album (not an insult......)
    Howdy. This is my favorite Frank Zappa album. My tastes are strange, I suppose, but in my opinion this is a wonderful, intuitive work, very stream-of-conscious. Imaginative orchestral/'60's music parodies interspersed with curious, often hilarious dialogue. It is unpredictable and insanely imaginative, and therein lies its appeal for me. Did I mention it is imaginative? I thought so. I have been listening to this album A BUNCH recently. Just seem to be in the mood for it or something. It is NOT typical of most FZ releases, which usually tend to be very deliberately crafted. This one makes me laugh. ...more info
  • Hysterically Significant
    Right off the bat I have to poo-poo the bad matching by whichever genius at Amazon paired this album up as "better together with" Absolutely Free. Lumpy Gravy IS part two of "We're only in it for the Money." Says so right on the cover (posed, tongue-in-cheek, as a sarcastic rhetorical question).

    The two albums together comprise a psychedelic operetta in which the atrocities of the united states in viet nam are terrifyingly overshadowed by the Johnson administrations' domestic mass abductions of counter-culture teenage runaways and their internment in concentration camps, where they were used in experiments that make Joseph Mengala look like a pretty nice guy.

    With such weighty subject matter, comedic relief reeks of anachronism, but Zappa and his Mothers pull it off. The stories are true; the crimes against humanity really happened.

    Anyone unfamiliar with - or doubtful of - the truly evil undertakings of the amerikan government under LBJ against its own citizens shouldn't merely listen to these two albums; they should STUDY them!...more info
  • Sounds Like A Dream
    One thing that I noticed right away upon listening to this for the first time, was how essential Frank Zappa is to his own work. Let me explain. I have been a fan of Zappa's music for as long as I can remember, but I didn't hear "Lumpy Gravy" for the first time until I bought the box sets called "The Old Masters, (Volumes One, Two, and Three)" released in the 1980's. The front cover (and rear, for that matter) features a picture of him, as he looked in 1967; strange clothes, grubby appearance, and that Mediterranian intensity he always had about him. He is listed as composer, producer, and conductor. I didn't know what to expect. When I looked at the musician credits, I noticed he didn't play one note of this music, nor did he speak or sing a single word. But that was okay, it was his work. And right away, I noticed the missing element. FZ, and the Mothers. Bunk Gardner is in the orchestra, and the voices of "Motorhead" Sherwood, Roy Estrada, and Jim Black are featured, but Zappa is conspicuous in his absence from the sound. Even though he wrote, arranged, and conducted the music passages, and edited the tapes from the sessions. It is his work, and I haven't found any comments by him dismissing this work, so I am sure it is what he wanted it to be.

    I understand the fragmented approach to this recording, and I often think of it as a dream set to music. The random-sounding dialogue, the sound effects, the augmenting of traditional instrument sounds into something new, all figure into later works. His "Conceptual Continuity" is all over this release. Though it was released after "We're Only In It For The Money," it was recorded before, and it features many similarities, even with the word balloon on the inside picture calling it 'Phase 2 of "We're Only In It For The Money.'"

    Personally, I enjoy listening to this recording, even though it is a little frustrating at times to only hear fragments of what would become full-length, better-known pieces. I also look at it as a sampler of the ideas he expanded on in later years. So many of the little things here pop up all over his catalogue, and it reminds me a lot of one of his final works, "Civilization, Phaze III," only not quite as sophisticated. And it is a good companion to "Civilization..." or "We're Only In It..." But a lot of his work can be jumbled together, even at random, and still make sense.

    "Lumpy Gravy" is the first solo release by Frank Zappa, but still has the spirit of the Mothers Of Invention's records, a sense of people working together, a mood that seemed to slowly fade away as the 70's wore on, and disappeared quicker through the 80's. Every band had a lot of incredible talent, but as time wore on, the "group" idea diminished as the "soloist" idea became more prevalent. And even though the band that performed on the "Broadway The Hardway" tour in 1987 and 1988 was the quote-unquote, "Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life," the elements that brought "Lumpy Gravy" about, twenty years earlier, were all but history, maybe for the better, but alienation became his career's most prominent theme, as rock and jazz musicians were gradually replaced by classically trained musicians exclusively, and ultimately, the digitally sampled recordings from his Synclavier were all he needed. "Lumpy Gravy" WAS "Civilization Phaze III," but done on real instruments.

    Don't expect mainstream, accessible "songs," per se, and it really is a good piece of Zappa's recorded legacy....more info
  • The "Lumpy Gravy CD " I Think more or Less.
    I think Frank Zappa musician genius, but some discs are more or less. The Lumpy Gravy is one....more info
  • The Ultimate Goofball Nightmare Opera Gone Haywire
    No normal person can enjoy this.
    I love being strange, And this is one of my top 10 most out there albums, it gets alot of play on my stereo, odd noises talking about living in a drum and a couple of chicano teens talking about boogeymen.
    deranged orchestrations, opera and surf music parody,
    plus it sounds way ahead of it's time, it still does
    now in the 2000's. crazy, sounds like a psycho's sweetest nightmare....more info
  • Essential Early Zappa
    Frank Zappa was gifted with a long and stylistically varied career that few before or since have been able to equal. Like any other artist/composer his style changed over time. By the time "Lumpy Gravy" was recorded in 1968 for the Verve Records label he had already released two great albums of biting social satire set against quirky musical compositions with highly unusual instrumentation and arrangements (Freak Out! and "Absolutely Free", both credited to "The Mothers Of Invention"). One need only compare these albums to what the Beatles, the Rolling Stones were doing at the time to see just how brave Verve was to release them at all.

    With "Lumpy Gravy" and it's companion piece "We're Only In It For The Money" (released at the same time, and to me, two halves of a single work), Zappa reached his zenith at poking his finger into the eyes of the musical and political/social establishments respectively. With "Gravy" Zappa seems to be trying to open the ears of his audience to something different than the dance-along-to three-minute love songs that they were hearing on the radio while "Money" takes sharp lyrical aim at the vapid `Peace and Love' generation and their parent's empty lives, with an accuracy and humor that no one else in the pop music world seemed capable of and that Zappa himself was never again able to equal.

    "Lumpy Gravy" is essential listening for anyone who wishes to get a complete picture of what the genius of Frank Zappa was all about. If such a thing exists, it is a surrealist musical painting; a mixture of musical styles (from surf-like rock to jazz to Varese-esque pieces) interspersed with humorous spoken word dialogs about subjects like what its like to live in a drum, dark water, hot rods, jobs or agressive pigs and ponies, interupted by electronically produced sounds, or "normal" voices and instruments either sped up or slowed down. It is challenging listening if your experience with Zappa's work runs more toward his "Watch out where the huskies go and don't you eat that yellow snow" period, or one of his self-indulgent "Shut Up and Play Your Guitar" albums.

    My guess is that you will either love or hate this album, but I can't imagine anyone being ambivelent toward it.




    ...more info
  • Daring Ugliness
    Zappa liked the concept of sounding ugly, thus the review's title. But actually there are moments filled with beauty mixed with furious sound collages and delirious talking from inside the piano. It can sound shocking when first listened, but later on the listener gets accostumed and finds a real sense in this piece that (in FZ's words) started out to be a ballet but probably did not make it. Furthermore, this is, in a way, the birth of "conceptual continuity" and the first record in which FZ showed why he was one of the best editors to ever work in a recording studio. Try and imagine Frank cutting and pasting tape like a mad sciencetist and putting bags of sand over the sustain pedal of a piano while already thinking about what to do on the next album.
    It must be said, though, that this album is not recommendable for those not interested in deep in FZ or avant-garde music....more info
  • Do NOT start here
    This album is amazing, every listen uncovers another hidden suprise. The music is woderful. If you are new to Zappa look elsewhere, this album will be better appreciated later on your journey. For the more experienced fan, this is a must....more info
  • Bull Dada Insanity
    This is not "nice" rock and roll Zappa, with the goof ball lyrics and ten minute solos. This is full music concrete, at least as it is practiced by junior college dropouts from the high desert of California. Prepare to get hit with a layered club sandwich of styles: Stravinsky, Varese, doo-wop, acid rock freak-out, often within the same bar. I wouldn't call anything on here a song, in fact I think you could drop in at any moment and it would make as much sense as starting at the beginning. But that's the charm. I've had friends complain that this is a difficult album, but I'm not so sure. Zappa got his hands on a studio, and a impressively large group of competent and willing musicians, two tools he struggled with his entire career. This is the sound a fiercely iconoclastic and talented musician putting his favorite toys through their paces. Wonderful, weird album. ...more info
  • A curiously inconsistent piece which started out to be a ballet but probably didn't make it...
    This is one of Zappa's most unique recordings, and that's saying something. It's a sound collage mixed with an orchestra and rock band. It has some beautiful, borderline pop music passages, mixed in with strange noises, strange narration and vocals, and lots of surreal music.

    The whole album is reminiscent of sound collages/experiments similar to that of Edgard Varese (one of Zappa's idols) and Luigi Nono, an avant garde Italian composer. Zappa really never attempted anything like this again until the sequel (and his final album released during his life) Civilization Phaze III (I think Phaze III is better). This album, like Zappa's other adventurous works (like Weasels Ripped My Flesh), become more interesting and fascinating with repeated listenings. This is not an album for Zappa novices, but it is essential to any Zappa fan and is one of his most unique and fascinating recordings. ...more info
  • A dynamite show
    Conceptual Continuity fans take note. Lumpy Gravy is a fascinating and interesting listen. Casual fan's of Peaches En Regalia and Don't Eat the Yellow snow may find little to love about these two pieces but for the devoted this album is a delight. Follow up with the more accessible We're only in it For the Money and the more challenging Civilization Phaze III. Be sure to take your clothes off when you dance....more info