Friday, October 8, 2010
Frank Zappa - Lump Gravy
Was it that Zappa's music was so far ahead of its time, or was it just not what we thought a weirdo genius like him should be doing? Either way, since his death, his stature as a serious composer has grown. Lumpy Gravy missed most by a mile because it was the first of Zappa's 'challenging' orchestral pieces, and not what his audience had come to expect. Performed by the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, it was a lengthy instrumental suite broken up by equally 'challenging' dialogue. On the back cover, Frank looks out and asks, 'is this phase 2 of We're Only In It For The Money?'. No, we don't think so.
Much of Zappa's orchestral music was strongly influenced by his love of Igor Stravinsky ballets such as The Rite of Spring. Earlier in his career Zappa wrote music for a few independently produced Hollywood films, such as The World's Greatest Sinner (1962) and Run Home Slow (1965). Lumpy Gravy is closely related to these early soundtrack works. The juxtaposition of highbrow and Pop art cultural influences was a radical idea at the time.