The Lost Episodes by Frank Zappa review by Dan Glaister

This review was taken from the 1st March 1996 edition of The Guardian

Rating: **** Excellent

DEAD rock star in interesting new recording shock! `This album is not available to the public,’ sneers a voice on Tiger Roach [Don Van Vliet’s voice]. `Even if it were, you wouldn’t want to listen to it.’ Unlike most of the other dead rock stars currently releasing new material, Zappa knew he was heading for his last encore and worked on this album of out-takes, studio tomfoolery and unreleased tracks in the years before he died in 1993.

The result is a stimulating addition to the bulging FZ catalogue and one of the best introductions to his music. Highlights include his 1979 single I Don’t Want To Get Drafted, the instrumental arrangement of Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance, and some silly Clanger impersonations on The Big Squeeze. Zappaphiles will probably have half this material on bootlegs. The rest is new. But it’s worth buying for the Zappa-Beefheart collaborations. Lost In A Whirlpool, from the late fifties, has the Captain doing a passable Bessie Smith impersonation, while Alley Cat could be a missing track from Clear Spot.

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