11 October 2019
Eccentric music genius FRANK ZAPPA released his first solo LP called ‘HOT RATS’ on
10 October 1969, 50 years ago. Zappa called it a ‘movie for the ears’ as five of the six
jazz influenced compositions were instrumental. Only ‘Willie the Pimp‘, the opening track featured vocals by his equally kooky mate and legend Captain Beefheart. The only member of Zappa’s Mothers Of Invention band who played on the record was multi-instrumentalist Ian Underwood.
AllMusic wrote: “Aside from the experimental side project Lumpy Gravy, Hot Rats was the first album Frank Zappa recorded as a solo artist sans the Mothers, though he continued to employ previous collaborators, most notably multi-instrumentalist Ian Underwood. The result is a classic of the genre. Hot Rats’ genius lies in the way it fuses the compositional sophistication of jazz with rock’s down-and-dirty attitude, there’s a real looseness and grit to the three lengthy jams, and a surprising, wry elegance to the three shorter, tightly arranged numbers… Zappa is unquestionably the star of the show. Hot Rats still sizzles; few albums originating on the rock side of jazz-rock fusion flowed so freely between both sides of the equation, or achieved such unwavering excitement and energy.” Full review here. Score: 4.5/5
Album in full…
FRANK ZAPPA: Facebook