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Archive for November 14th, 2012

Frank Zappa Hits the Road: First Volume of “Road Tapes” Arrives, Track Listing Confirmed [UPDATED 11/14]

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It really is Mothermania.

With Zappa Records’ and Universal Music’s campaign to reissue the Official Albums of Frank Zappa drawing to a close in December, there are still a few surprises up the Zappa Family Trust’s sleeves.  In our newly-updated ongoing rundown of the main campaign, we have already reported on the reissue of the Mothers of Invention’s “greatest hits” Mothermania, originally released on Verve Records in 1969 and only now appearing on authorized CD.  We’ve also passed on news of an all-new 2-CD FZ compilation, Understanding America, released to coincide with the recent election.  But that’s not all.  While we wait for the final batches of the core reissues to arrive in November and December,  Zappa Records has announced the beginning of a new series.

The official Barfko-Swill store is currently accepting orders for the first volume of Road Tapes, which appears to be a series of live concerts in the style of Grateful Dead’s Dick’s Picks or certain volumes of Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series or the Elvis Presley Follow that Dream series.  Volume 1 of Road Tapes takes listeners all the way back to August 25, 1968 at Vancouver’s Kerrisdale Arena.  Very little is known about this show, as Zappa is keeping details (as usual) close to the vest until the actual release and the show appears to be uncirculated in collectors’ circles.  What can be gleaned from other sources, however, is that the band likely consisted of Zappa, Ray Collins, Roy Estrada, Jimmy Carl Black, Art Tripp, Ian Underwood, Don Preston, Bunk Gardner, and Jim “Motorhead” Sherwood.   Chronologically in the Zappa studio discography, this gig falls between the release of We’re Only In It for the Money (released March 4, 1968) and that of Cruising with Ruben and the Jets (released December 2, 1968).

There’s more after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 14, 2012 at 10:18

Posted in Frank Zappa, News, Reissues

It’s Mancini! It’s Disney! It’s “Condorman” and It’s Flying to You from Intrada! Plus: “Battlestar” and More!

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The Intrada label is going up, up and away with their latest slate of releases – but Superman doesn’t have much to fear.  No, the Intrada/Disney partnership is taking off instead with another heroic release: Henry Mancini’s original soundtrack of the zany family comedy Condorman!

Last August, when prepping a Wish List of possible releases from the Disney vaults, I wrote of Condorman that “this loopy superhero comedy can count among its assets a high-flying, fun score by Henry Mancini.  The composer brought his typical ingenuity to the tale of a comic book artist (Michael Crawford) who dons the guise of his own creation to defeat some villainous Soviets!  Directed by Charles Jarrott (Lost Horizon) and starring Michael Crawford and Oliver Reed, Condorman has gained a cult following of late.  [Despite a critical drubbing and weak box office take, the film lived on via numerous airings in the early days of the Disney Channel, and subsequently on a VHS and a now-costly DVD release.  Pixar’s animators even paid homage to Condorman with an appearance of a Condorman toy in the short Small Fry.]  Mancini’s score is highlighted by a tongue-in-cheek choral theme (‘Con-dor-man!’) for the hero, in addition to melodic love themes, taut suspense cues and strong action sequences.  None of Mancini’s score has ever been commercially released, but the time is definitely right for Condorman to take flight again!”

And so, at long last, Condorman is available now at Intrada, filling a major gap in the Mancini library.  (Due to licensing issues at the time, the beloved composer/conductor didn’t even re-record the film’s themes for one of his own studio albums.)  For its debut presentation as part of the Intrada Special Collection, Condorman has been derived from the mint-condition multi-tracks scored in the Disney vaults, and the hour-long, stereo release also includes bonus material such as alternates and outtakes.  Though this marquee release from the House of Mouse is hard to top, it’s not Intrada’s only new release.  Hit the jump for the scoop on releases from Stu Phillips and Christopher Young, plus track listings and pre-order links for all titles!  And watch the skies! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 14, 2012 at 09:46