Unearthed Frank Zappa Album ‘Funky Nothingness’ Set for Release
A previously unheard album of Frank Zappa material called Funky Nothingness will be released on June 30.
Recorded in 1970, the songs are believed to have been earmarked for a follow-up to Zappa’s 1969 solo debut, Hot Rats. He recruited many of his previous collaborators for the sessions, including Mothers of Invention member Ian Underwood, violinist and singer Don “Sugarcane” Harris, and Wrecking Crew bassist Max Bennett. Drummer Aynsley Dunbar rounded out the quintet.
The musicians recorded much material for the project. Tracks were mixed for release, but Zappa – known for his prolific output – became engrossed in other work. Chunga’s Revenge would also be recorded and released in 1970, and Zappa’s film 200 Motels also stole much of his attention.
Now, the music that was rendered to Zappa’s vault decades ago is finally getting its release. Funky Nothingness will be available in multiple formats. The two-LP vinyl contains Zappa’s 11 vintage mixes, while a three-disc expanded deluxe CD edition includes additional outtakes, alternate edits and unedited masters.
In advance of the album’s release, fans can stream the previously unheard track “Work With Me Annie/Annie Had a Baby” below.
Funky Nothingness was produced and assembled by Ahmet Zappa (Frank’s son) and Zappa historian Joe Travers. “It’s very rare to find that amount of music from one set of sessions that has gone unheard for such a long period of time,” Travers noted in a press release.
“With archival releases from the vault, it is normal to find different arrangements of past tunes featured in live concerts and studio settings with other bands, but actual new compositions are few and far between, especially from within Zappa’s golden years of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Funky Nothingness delivers on all fronts, showcasing Zappa’s love for rhythm and blues, picking up where Hot Rats left off with extended instrumental work-outs fusing rock, jazz and classical elements into music that can only be described as Zappa. The guitar work and virtuoso musicianship are in full effect.”
Funky Nothingness is available for preorder now. You can see the track listing below.
Frank Zappa, 'Funky Nothingness' Track Listing
CD 1: 'Funky Nothingness' - The Album
1. "Funky Nothingness"
2. "Tommy/Vincent Duo I"
3. "Love Will Make Your Mind Go Wild"
4. "I'm a Rollin' Stone"
5. "Chunga's Revenge" (Basement Version)
6. "Basement Jam"
7. "Work With Me Annie / Annie Had A Baby"
8. "Tommy/Vincent Duo II"
9. "Sharleena" (1970 Record Plant Mix)
10. "Khaki Sack"
11. "Twinkle Tits"
CD 2: Zappa/Hot Rats ’70 Session Masters and Bonus Nothingness
1. "Chunga’s Revenge" (Take 5)
2. "Love Will Make Your Mind Go Wild" (Take 4)
3. "Transylvania Boogie" (Unedited Master)
4. "Sharleena" (Unedited Master)
5. "Work With Me Annie/Annie Had A Baby" (Alternate Edit)
6. "Twinkle Tits" (Take 1, False Start)
7. "Twinkle Tits" (Take 2)
CD 3: Zappa/Hot Rats ’70 Session Masters and Bonus Nothingness
1. "The Clap" (Unedited Master-Part I)
2. "The Clap" (Unedited Master-Part II)
3. "Tommy/Vincent Duo" (Unedited Master)
4. "Chunga’s Revenge" (Take 8)
5. "Halos and Arrows"
7. "Fast Funky Nothingness"