Studio Tan

Studio Tan

Frank Zappa planned to release the four-LP set Lather, only to be met with resistance from his record company and eventually the label released a series of albums without Zappa's full participation, including Studio Tan. In later years, Zappa was allowed to tweak the albums to his satisfaction. Lather was released as a 3-LP set after his death. The 21-minute opening track, "The Adventures of Greggery Peccary," is the grand opus here, veering from the silly humor of the Flo & Eddie years to the jazz-rock and dark narration of The Grand Wazoo and onward. "Revised Music for Guitar and Low-Budget Orchestra" and "RDNZL" are satisfying instrumental pieces that again show what a masterful arranger and compositional strategist Zappa was at heart. The use of a "low-budget orchestra" doesn't cheat anyone and Zappa got his money's worth. For those looking for something accessible, there's always the synthesizer-led "Lemme Take You To The Beach" that balances smooth 70s-pop with the emerging New Wave.

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