Home Read Classic Album Reviews: Frank Zappa | Mystery Disc / Cucamonga

Classic Album Reviews: Frank Zappa | Mystery Disc / Cucamonga

The workaholic packrat's estate coughs up two discs of high-quality rarities.

This came out in 1998 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Along with being a prolific workaholic, iconoclastic rocker Frank Zappa was also a musical packrat.

So it’s no surprise that years after his passing, Zappaphiles are still seeing discs of rare material on a regular basis. These two latest releases chronicle Zappa’s early weirdness, both before and during his Mothers of Invention days. If it’s full-band freakouts you’re after, go for the Mystery Disc. It’s 80 minutes of hand-picked Mothers outtakes — from demented doo-wop to Captain Beefheart cameos — all on CD for the first time. Or go further back with Cucamonga, a gaggle of loopy tracks FZ wrote, performed and produced for other folks while he owned his own studio in the early ’60s (on the downside, most of these cuts have already surfaced on various releases). Or do what any real Zappa fan would do: Get ’em both.