Frank Zappa's music has always been fascinating, confusing and unpredictable. Bringing together every single musical genre, instrument and sensibility, Zappa's vast output is a legacy of some of the most complex and brilliant music of this century.
Frank Zappa Concert Films
Classic Albums: Apostrophe & Over-Nite Sensation
Runtime: 50 minThe Classic Albums series strives to be definitive, and this must-have program is fully authorized in the scope of its coverage. With complete cooperation and participation from the remaining Zappa family (sons Dweezil and Ahmet, daughter Moon, and widow Gail are all extensively interviewed) and additional interviews with Billy Bob Thornton, Alice Cooper, guitarist Steve Vai, veteran Rolling Stone critic David Fricke, and many of Zappa's closest associates and collaborators, this 97-minute documentary is packed with highlights and fascinating revelations, like the pristine precision of Zappa's hand-written compositions, Zappa's childhood fascination with the compositions of Edgard Varse, and his diligent, prolific, and disciplined, drug-free approach to recording and touring. Zappa's studio process is amazingly revealed when Dweezil and Zappa "Vaultmeister" Joe Travers sit down at a mixing table to analyze the master tapes of classic Zappa tracks like the hilariously controversial "Dyna-Moe Humm." In addition to vintage archival clips of Zappa discussing his music and career, and home movies of Zappa's band on tour during the mid-1970s, this program also includes the complete video of Zappa performing "I'm the Slime" on Saturday Night Live in 1976, live footage of a 1973 performance of "Montana," and a new performance of "Camarillo Brillo" by Dweezil's tribute band, Zappa Plays Zappa (with Dweezil playing one of his father's favorite Gibson guitars). Bonus features also include a Travers-hosted trip into the massive Zappa archives, and further deconstruction of Zappa tracks "Dirty Love" and "Nanook Rubs It." If you're a casual Zappa fan, this program will turn you into a passionate convert. For those who've loved Zappa all along, it's a little bit of heaven here on Earth.
The Torture Never Stops
Runtime: 1 hr 57 minFrank Zappa's New York Halloween 1981 concerts were filmed Live at The Palladium. This 'thing' entitled "The Torture Never Stops” was created in its entirety by FZ from the original concert production and intended by the Artist as one of 3 Television Specials. This is the longest version of the three - the others, "You Are What You Is" and "Dumb All Over", having actually aired. Halloween was Frank Zappa’s favourite holiday, and New York was the site of Frank Zappa Halloween concerts for years! The billion and a half airings by MTV of the concerts (non-edited) followed on closely from the release of the double album “You Are What You Is” in September of that year on Frank Zappa’s own recently founded and thoroughly independent label, Barking Pumpkin. Much of the set list is drawn from that work. All Frank Zappa shows were unique experiences with Zappa on guitar and baton, leading his band on flights of improvisation and drawing ever more intense performances from them. “The Torture Never Stops” cements Zappa’s reputation as one of the most innovative and challenging composers and performers of the 20th century.
Frank Zappa Top Tracks
In Rio: Part 1
Runtime: 1 hr 13 minRevered and idolized, RUSH - Geddy Lee on bass and vocals, Alex Lifeson on Guitar and Neil Peart on drums - give an outstanding performance in this amazing show shot in the world famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Live at Montreux
Return To Forever
Runtime: 1 hr 49 minReturn To Forever were at the forefront of jazz/rock fusion in the seventies and like their contemporaries Weather Report and Mahavishnu Orchestra were formed by a former Miles Davis sideman, in this case the great Chick Corea. Return To Forever hit their commercial and artistic peak with a string of albums in the mid-seventies featuring the line-up of Chick Corea on keyboards, Stanley Clarke on bass, Al Di Meola on guitar and Lenny White on drums. In 2008 this classic line-up reunited for their first tour in 25 years and proved that their musicianship and the chemistry within the band were as strong as ever. This concert was filmed at Montreux in July 2008 with the bonus tracks being filmed in Clearwater, Florida later the same month.
Classic Albums: So
Runtime: 59 minThe latest addition to the Classic Albums series tells the story behind the making of Peter Gabriel's 1986 album 'So'. It was Gabriel's 5th solo album and the first one to have a title (the others simply being called 'Peter Gabriel'). The album spawned a number of hits including 'Sledgehammer', 'Big Time', 'Don't Give Up' (a duet with Kate Bush) and 'In Your Eyes' which drove 'So' to multi-platinum worldwide sales and No. 1 in the UK and No. 2 in the US. 'So' was very much an album of the MTV generation and the distinctive videos for tracks like 'Sledgehammer', 'Red Rain', 'Big Time' and 'Don't Give Up' were key factors in the album's success. Featuring contributions from many of those involved in the making of the album and the videos, including Peter Gabriel himself, co-producer Daniel Lanois, the sound engineer, backing musicians and many more.
Rock and Roll Party Honoring Les Paul
Runtime: 1 hr 27 minFilmed on 9 June 2010 at the Irridium Jazz Club in New York City, forever associated with the legendary Les Paul, this Film captures Jeff Beck celebrating the great man with a selection of Les Paul songs and other great rock 'n' roll tracks on what would have been Les Paul’s 95th birthday. Jeff Beck is joined by some very special guests including Imelda May and her band led by Darrel Higham on many of the tracks plus appearances by Gary US Bonds, Brian Setzer and Trombone Shorty. The intimate setting puts you right there in the audience for a performance featuring stunning musicianship and truly great songs.
Teenage Cancer Trust
Runtime: 1 hr 4 minShot in HD in the Fall of 2007, this energizing concert features an incredible line up of classic and modern rock performances. Since 2002 Roger Daltrey, a patron of the Teen Cancer Trust, has been masterminding these annual week-long concerts at The Royal Albert Hall in London, and they have fast become one of the most anticipated events of the British Music calendar.
Dedicated to improving the lives of teens with cancer, TCT charities build special teen units and support groups in UK hospitals to boost survival rates.
Live at Montreux, 2003
Runtime: 1 hr 57 minJethro Tull is one of the most successful British acts of all time with a career reaching from the late sixties to the present day. In 2003 they made their first (and so far only) visit to the Montreux Festival. Split into a semi-acoustic first half and a full on electric second half, the concert was a triumph combining newer songs such as “Dot Com”, “Pavane” and “Budapest” with classic favorites. As ever Ian Anderson leads from the front with his instantly recognizable voice and inimitable style of one-legged flute playing.
Zappa Plays Zappa
Runtime: 57 minDweezil Zappa has led an extended and industrious rockin teenage combo dedicated to re-acquainting the world with the sights and sounds of his father, Frank. They revive Franks music in a fresh context that is -- above all else -- true to the elder Zappas unique and impeccable sonic heritage.
The junior Zappas guitar craft is at once like his fathers, and yet hes mature enough to have already developed his own signature touch.
ZPZ travels with a fairly substantial ensemble. Joining Dweezil are core constituents Joe Travers, Pete Griffin, Jamie Kime, Aaron Arntz, Scheila Gonzalez, and Billy Hulting. Another of Dweezils primary tethers to his father's legacy are the artists who at one time or another passed through the 60s, 70s, or 80s bands that Frank fronted.
Runtime: 26 minIn December 1970, the English band Yes recorded a few of their hits from their second album, Time and a Word, for the show Pop Shop. Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, and Alan White join the RTB team in studio, then in Bruges, to the North Sea, and finally in a convertible car to sing “Astral Traveller,” “Everydays,” “Then,” and “No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed.”
40th Anniversary Reunion Concert
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Runtime: 1 hr 28 minThe legendary rock band reunited to celebrate their 40th Anniversary and headlined London's first High Voltage Rock Festival. This was the historic moment when Emerson Lake and Palmer performed for the first time since 1998. This spectacular performance recaptured the musical genius of Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer as they performed their greatest hits in front of thousands of fans.
Sum Of The Parts
Runtime: 1 hr 30 minThis is a feature-length documentary about Genesis - one of the most successful bands in rock history. And also one of the most vilified. A band that almost died in the mid-1970s with the loss of its leader ; it then survived a change of lead singer and style to storm the charts in the 1980s. Remarkably, its principle members developed successful solo careers in parallel with the band’s.
With full access to the key players, including Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, the film recounts an extraordinary musical story .
They were British public school boys, whose experimental progressive rock band, led by Peter Gabriel, attracted for much of the 1970s a fervent, mainly young male, following. But then in the 1980s, the Phil Collins-led Genesis kicked into an altogether different, more pop, sound , attracting a massive following - including many young women fans . In the process, they became one the most successful bands in the world. Their 1986 album “Invisible Touch”, for example, produced five US top ten singles including number one with the title song.
Live at Montreux - 1974
Runtime: 51 minFormed by John McLaughlin in 1971, the Mahavishnu Orchestra pioneered the fusion of jazz elements into rock music while still undeniably retaining the power and muscle of a full on rock band. With McLaughlin as the ever-present, the line-up went through various phases and these two concerts from Montreux showcase the band at distinctively different times of their career, with the seventies show featuring later stars Jean-Luc Ponty and Michael Walden and the eighties concert featuring saxophone maestro Bill Evans.