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1. Frank Zappa: The Freak-Out List

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Frank Zappa: The Freak-Out List

On the liner notes to Freak Out!, the 1967 debut album by Zappa's original band the Mothers of Invention, Zappa listed some seventy-two names on the liner notes and cited them as influences. The Freak Out List intends to explore who these artists are and what influence they had on Zappa's music. This listing encompasses all sorts of music, from classical composer Edgar Varese to R&B star Johnny "Guitar" Watson to jazzman Eric Dolphy to flamenco guitarist Sabicas. By mixing footage and songs by some of these artists and comparing them to some of Zappa's music, the DVD explains how it's possible to hear their influence on his music. You can hear for instance, how the esoteric classical influence of Varese shaped Zappa's long-form epics like "Lumpy Gravy" or how Dolphy's instrumental prowess led Zappa to incorporate jazz-fusion on albums like Weasels Ripped My Flesh! (1970), which even included a song titled "The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue."