From the Vault...


Frank Zappa
"The Lost Episodes"

© Rykodisc Records

Year of Release: 1996

track listing
  • The Blackouts
  • Lost In A Whirlpool
  • Ronnie Sings?
  • Kenny's Booger Story
  • Ronnie's Booger Story
  • Mount St. Mary's
    Concert Excerpt
  • Take Your Clothes Off
    When You Dance
  • Tiger Roach
  • Run Home Slow Theme
  • Fountain Of Love
  • Run Home Cues, #2
  • Any Way
    The Wind Blows
  • Run Home Cues, #3
  • Charva
  • The Dick Kunc Story
  • Wedding Dress Song
  • Handsome Cabin Boy
  • Cops And Buns
  • The Big Squeeze
  • I'm A Band Leader
  • Alley Cat
  • The Grand Wazoo
  • Wonderful Wino
  • Kung Fu
  • Basement Music #1
  • Inca Roads
  • Lil' Clanton Shuffle
  • I Don't Wanna
    Get Drafted
  • Sharleena

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    Frank Zappa
    "The Lost Episodes"

    In 1992-1993, Frank Zappa was working on The Lost Episodes, an "after hours, possibly recreational, project." At the same time, he was working on future releases The Yellow Shark, Ahead Of Their Time and Civilization Phase III, as well as other yet-unissued projects. The Lost Episodes is mostly creative pieces from the vaults of the Zappa Empire, a compilation of tracks that would surface on past and present releases.

    The blues/jazz of "Lost In A Whirlpool" displays a comedical look lyrically, yet the music itself you can visually the blues playing in a smoke-filled "dirty" bar. Featuring the vocals of Ronnie Williams, "Ronnie Sings?" sounds like a warped Wolfman Jack singing. "Kenny's Booger Story" and "Ronnie's Booger Story" tells the story of Kenny and Roger Williams and how they would showcase their nasal passages on a window. Orchestral Classical/Jazz best describes "Mount St. Mary's Concert Excerpt, as Frank Zappa had experimented with Classical music in his final years of life. (Yet Zappa had a unique approach than the standard Classical pieces, as this song proves...)

    "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance" is quite impressive -- featuring your common Jazz. "Tiger Roach" features Captain Beefheart on vocals, as he sounds like another Wolfman Jack impersonator, as the music could pass as surf music, and the song itself could easily fit the format of any Dr. Demento program. "Run Home Slow Theme" and the short-pieces "Run Home Cues, #2 and #3" are theatrical jazz; "Fountain Of Love" could easily fit the 1950s music style, likewise "Any Way The Wind Blows" could fit the late 1950s, early Beatles style. (another impressive tune)

    Early rock with a demented twist describes "Charva"; "The Dick Kunc Story" has studio engineer Dick Kunc recollecting his memories of when he first became an enginner, and had worked with Frank Zappa when Zappa was starting out with the Mothers of Invention, and their first album, Freak Out (1966). "Wedding Dress Song" is another off-jazz piece, done Frank Zappa style.

    "Handsome Cabin Boy" is another (short) instrumental offbeat rock/jazz piece, that could of easily fit the Hot Rats album; "Cops & Buns" is a spoken-word piece, with the dialogue sounding something from a dramatic Joe Pesci movie. "The Big Squeeze" is definitely demented, as if the use of tape recorder sound effects. Another spoken-word'er is "I'm A Band Leader," featuring Captain Beefheart. "Alley Cat" is a cool, bouncy jazz'er, featuring the vocals of Captain Beefheart.

    "The Grand Wazoo" is another theatrical piece, featuring spoken-word storyline dialogue and (strange) music. "Wonderful Wino" is a rock song, with vocals by Ricky Lancelotti, a Stephen Tyler-Aerosmith / Brian Johnson-AC/DC screamer. "Kung Fu" and "RDNZL" are other Frank Zappa jazz-styled tunes. "RNDZL" is a very impressive jazz number, by the way, likewise the jazz-fusion progressive "Basement Music #1," featuring the moog-synthesizer, that Zappa had used on previous releases. And on that same note, "Inca Roads" is another impressive jazz-fusion song, where once again, Frank Zappa experimented in different styles of music, adding his own creative sound.

    "Lil' Clanton Shuffle" is an instrumental jazz-boogie jam, (another impressive tune)... "I Don't Wanna Get Drafted" is a funky-boogie, and one of Zappa's popular songs from previous releases. The album's closing number, "Sharleena" is a mix of progressive rock.

    Frank Zappa's The Lost Episodes is an album of various creations that were recorded in the process of past releases, yet these recordings were placed back in the vaults, making their appearance on this "outtake" album. Frank Zappa passed away later in the year, after this release, and to his final days, he was always experimenting with his music, and as most performers do not exactly record everything on major releases, it's always a thrill to listen to these tracks that didn't make it, and some are obvious they should of been released, and others definitely not.

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    The Bob Seger System--Ramblin' Gamblin' Man