This site too slow? Try a mirror  --  Subscribe to the Guide  --  Find artist:
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

Frank Zappa

Country of origin:


Type of music generally:

Experimental rock


Frank Zappa died in 1993. Most recent release, Zappa '88: The Last U.S. Show (live, 2021)

See also:

The Official Zappa site

Wikipedia's entry on Frank Zappa


Captain Beefheart, King Crimson had a similar-ish aesthetic

Covers/own material:


General comments:

I've lost count of how many Frank Zappa albums I have. Apostrophe' was the first album I *ever* bought (I was about 10, I think). What can I say, the man was a friggin' genius. And funny as hell. Dammit, I'm gonna miss 'im. (

"watermelon in easter hay". wow. what a great piece of music. i usually introduce it to people as "the world's only existential guitar solo". although skeptical at first, everyone always agrees after they hear it. (

Recommended first album:

Hard call, as he changed style over the years


See The Official Zappa site or the All Music Guide, or this fan site (this is the simplest/clearest version), for a full discography—it's long

The Yellow Shark

Release info:

1993—Barking Pumpkin/Rhino



Ecto priority:


Group members:

Frank Zappa—conductor, performer

Guest artists:

Michael Gross—trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet
Wolfgang Stryi—clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor sax, contrabass trombone
Todd Yvega—synclavier assistance
Herman Kretzschmar—piano, celeste, harpsichord, voices
Uwe Dierksen—trombone
Friedemann Dahn—violoncello
William Formann—trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet
Rumi Ogawa-Helferich—percussion, cymbalom
Franck Ollu—horn
Jürgen Ruck—banjo, guitar
Claudia Sack—violin
Veit Scholz—bassoon, contrabassoon
Hilary Stuart—violin, voices
Michael Svoboda—trombone, euphonium, didjeridu, alphorn
Mathias Tacke—violin
Detlef Tewes—mandolin
Ellen Wegner—harp
Ueli Wiget—piano, cello, harp, harpsichord
Andreas Bottger—percussion
Daryl Smith—tuba
Dietmar Wiesner—flute
Peter Rundel—violin, conductor

Produced by:

Frank Zappa


To be honest, I'm still warming up to this album, but I felt it necessary as a matter of principle to include something by Frank on my year's best list, owing to his untimely passing. But anyway, the album has a few bits that worked for me right away, most notably "Welcome to the United States," which made me laugh uproariously. Ya gotta hear it, especially if you're a non-US resident who's ever had to fill out that stupid card ("Were you involved in any way in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany?"). (

Why the ads?
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2022-08-16 16:19:50.
Please request permission if you wish to
reproduce any of the comments in the
Ectophiles' Guide in any context.

The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music is copyright © 1996-2004 by the editors.
Individual comments are copyright © by their authors.
Web site design and programming copyright © 1998-2004 usrbin design + programming.
All rights reserved.