In recent years, many artists have teamed up with Pledge Music to bring their music direct to consumers. From small, independent do-it-yourself productions, to massive reissue campaigns by major artists (Cat Stevens’ Back To Earth, for example), it’s become one of many emerging avenues for artists who want to get their projects out there. Now, two projects by two heroes of “weird” rock have been announced – one a compilation of singles tracks from Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, and the other a reissue of one of the strangest rock films of all time, Frank Zappa and Tony Palmer’s 200 Motels.
On the heels of a reunion tour that criss-crossed North America last year, Utopia have partnered with Pledge Music to offer a new, 2-LP set, The Complete Bearsville Singles: 1977-1982. Featuring A’s and B’s originally released from 1977 to 1982, the collection includes many of the group’s biggest hits and favorites, including “Love Is The Answer,” “Set Me Free,” and “Second Nature.” The release also boasts unique edits and B-sides that are are making their debut on a long-playing collection. The Complete Bearsville Singles: 1977-1982 is due for release later this year, though a firm release date has yet to be announced by Pledge Music.
Also announced is a revamped campaign for one of the landmarks of oddball rock music cinema. Directed by Frank Zappa and Tony Palmer, 200 Motels is a 1971 surrealist comedy that loosely portrays life on the road with Zappa and The Mothers of Invention. In the film, the group “goes crazy in the fictional town of Centerville…wander around, and get beaten up in ‘Redneck Eats,’ a cowboy bar.” The episodic film also includes appearances by Theodore Bikel, Keith Moon, former Turtles Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, and Ringo Starr, cartoon pieces, choreography by Gillian Lynne (later a creator of Cats), and a wild orchestral score composed by Zappa and performed by The Royal Philharmonic.
This new version of the film is available in many configurations and bundles, many of which are signed by Tony Palmer. For those who just want visual materials, the 2-DVD set features the original film mastered, for the first time ever, from Palmer’s original 2″ analogue tapes. It also includes a second DVD of bonus features hand-picked by Palmer. A 2-CD soundtrack is also available, boasting cues from the film and bonus tracks. (The track listing is identical to the long-out-of-print 1997 MGM/Rykodisc reissue.) A 2-CD/2-DVD bundle is also available. There’s also a deluxe box set that brings together the 2-CD and 2-DVD sets, plus a 36-page book designed by Palmer, a poster, lobby cards, various promotional material, and a specially designed 200 Motels hotel door hanger. The set includes a certificate signed and numbered by Palmer. Once again, no release date is published for the set but it is expected this year.
Utopia’s The Complete Bearsville Singles: 1977-1982 and Frank Zappa and Tony Palmer’s expanded 200 Motels soundtrack and box set are available to pre-order from Pledge Music. Scroll down for full track listings and links to purchase!
Utopia, The Complete Bearsville Singles: 1977-1982 (Pledge Music, 2019) (Pledge Music)
- Communion with the Sun (Edit)
- Sunburst Finish (Edit)
- Love Is the Answer
- The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
- Set Me Free
- Umbrella Man
- The Very Last Time (Edit)
- Love Alone
- Second Nature
- You Make Me Crazy
- I Just Want to Touch You
- Always Late
- One World
- Special Interest
- Junk Rock (Million Monkeys)
Side 1, Tracks 1 and 2 originally released on Bearsville single BSS 0317, 1977.
Side 1, Tracks 3 and 4 originally released on Bearsville single BSS 0321, 1977.
Side 2, Tracks 1 and 2 originally released on Bearsville single BSS 49180, 1980.
Side 2, Tracks 3 and 4 originally released on Bearsville single BSS 49247, 1980.
Side 3, Tracks 1 and 2 originally released on Bearsville single BSS 49545, 1980.
Side 3, Tracks 3 and 4 originally released on Bearsville single BSS 49579, 1980.
Side 4, Tracks 1 and 2 originally released on Bearsville Single BSS 50062, 1982.
Side 4, Track 3 originally released on Bearsville promo single 7-29947, 1982.
Side 4, Track 4 originally released on Avatar/Bearsville promo single AAAB 126, 1982.
Frank Zappa and Tony Palmer, 200 Motels: 2-CD Soundtrack (Original soundtrack released United Artists Records LP UAS 9956, 1971 — expanded reissue Pledge Music, 2019) (Pledge Music)
* denotes bonus track
- Semi-Fraudulent/Direct-From-Follywood Overture
- Mystery Roach
- Dance of the Rock & Roll Interviewers
- This Town Is a Sealed Tuna Sandwich (Prologue)
- Tuna Fish Promenade
- Dance of the Just Plain Folks
- This Town Is a Sealed Tuna Sandwich (Reprise)
- The Sealed Tuna Bolero
- Lonesome Cowboy Burt
- Touring Can Make You Crazy
- Would You Like a Snack?
- Redneck Eats
- She Painted Up Her Face
- Janet’s Big Dance Number
- Half a Dozen Provocative Squats
- Shove It Right In
- Lucy’s Seduction of a Bored Violinist & Postlude
- I’m Stealing the Towels
- Dental Hygiene Dilemma
- Does This Kind of Life Look Interesting to You?
- Daddy, Daddy, Daddy
- Penis Dimension
- What Will This Evening Bring Me This Morning?
- A Nun Suit Painted on Some Old Boxes
- Magic Fingers
- Motorhead’s Midnight Ranch
- Dew on the Newts We Got
- The Lad Searches the Night for His Newts
- The Girl Wants to Fix Him Some Broth
- The Girl’s Dream
- Little Green Scratchy Sweaters & Courduroy Ponce
- Strictly Genteel (The Finale)
- “Coming Soon!” (1) *
- “The Wide Screen Erupts!” *
- “Coming Soon!” (2) *
- “Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels” *
- Magic Fingers (Single Edit) *