On June 1, the final album recorded during the lifetime of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and musical iconoclast Frank Zappa will, at last, see the light of day. The Zappa Family Trust has announced the release of Dance Me This as the landmark 100th Official Release from the composer-artist.
Though the ZFT has provided scant information, only indicating “This is it. # 100. The LAST album by Frank Zappa. It’s 1993 and YOU ARE HERE!” on the official pre-order page, it’s believed that Dance Me This was the last album recorded by Zappa prior to his death in December 1993 at the age of 52. The Guardian reports that Zappa told Guitarist Magazine in June 1993 that he was working on “a Synclavier album called Dance Me This, which is designed to be used by modern dance groups. It’s probably not going to come out until next year.” (The Synclavier, of course, was an early digital synthesizer/digital sampling system extensively used by Zappa on albums including Francesco Zappa and Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger, both from 1984.) A promo cassette surfaced in 1994, but no commercial release of the material followed.
The Zappa Family Trust stated in email to its mailing list that Dance Me This is “the last title FZ finished in 1993 along with Trance-Fusion; the last chapter in his Master Work, Civilization Phaze III and, of course, The Rage and the Fury: The Music of Edgard Varese.” (Civilization Phaze III was posthumously released on Halloween, 1994. It continued Zappa’s “conceptual continuity” begun with 1968’s We’re Only in It for the Money and the re-edited Lumpy Gravy. The Rage and the Fury has yet to see release.) The album’s title track is said to feature a recording of Tuvan “throat singers,” accompanied with a Synclavier composition. Other track titles believed to be on the album include “Pachuco Gavotte,” “Goat Polo,” “Rykoniki,” “Piano,” “Calculus” and five movements of “Wolf Harbor.”
Dance Me This, the 100th release in Frank Zappa’s Official Release series, is available for pre-order now at the Barfko-Swill online store. It’s due to arrive on June 1 from the Zappa Family Trust!