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Frank Zappa – Undocumented 1967 Stereo Acetate of Capitol Records Version of “Lumpy Gravy” LP , With Unreleased Music

A previously undocumented stereo acetate of the unreleased Capitol Records version of Frank Zappa’s Lumpy Gravy, with unreleased music.  This is likely unique, as the Verve Records version of the album was released in 1967, and no other examples of this have surfaced to date.

As Wikipedia explains, Lumpy Gravy was the debut solo album by Frank Zappa, “written by Zappa and performed by a group of session players he dubbed the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra.  Zappa conducted the orchestra but did not perform on the album. It is his third album overall: his previous releases had been under the name of his group, the Mothers of Invention.”  As the leader of the Mothers, Zappa’s was signed to Verve and MGM Records as an artist, but because those labels hadn’t specifically signed him as a conductor or composer, he signed a second deal with Capitol Records, to make Lumpy Gravy.

Before Capitol could release the album, MGM sued Zappa,claiming this violated their contract.  A handful of copies of the Capitol version on 4 track tape leaked out, but Capitol was prevented from releasing the album, and Zappa extensively re-worked it, “adding spoken word and musique concrete interludes, as well as some pieces of music from his pre-Mothers archives. The original Lumpy Gravy was not re-released until 2008, with the Zappa Records triple-CD release, The Lumpy Money Project/Object.”

This 1967 Capitol Records acetate of the original Lumpy Gravy differs in two significant ways from the 2008 issue.  The Project/Object version is in mono, while this acetate is in stereo.  This acetate also begins with 44 seconds of unreleased music, similar to what eventually morphed into “Oh No” from The Mothers of Invention’s 1970 album Weasels Ripped My Flesh.  The 2008 mono version begins a completely different 22 second piece, also similar to”Oh No”.  There are also minor EQ differences between the two versions.

The acetate is in VG++ condition, and plays well throughout with some light surface noise.  A digital transfer is included.  To our knowledge no other acetate nor test pressing of the original Lumpy Gravy has surfaced in the 53 years since its scheduled release.

With Recordmecca’s written lifetime guarantee of authenticity.  (Thanks to Zappa scholar Andy Zax for help in cataloging this.)

 

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