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This 50th anniversary reissue is something of a beast and it contains so much new material that you might even consider a new release.
Yes, 1971’s classic Frank Zappa soundtrack 200 Motels is 50 and they’ve turned it into a six, count them, CD box-set that doesn’t just include the original but demos, studio outtakes, adverts, interviews, alternative takes and much, much more.
Of course, it’s also been remastered and Bernie Grundman’s work here is absolutely definitive: every instrument is given space to shine and the vocals are clearly set apart.
200 Motels is a project of so much ambition that it would have been easy to overdo it and leave it sounding confused and muddled.
But there’s nothing to worry about and it’s the perfect introduction to Zappa’s zany but brilliant musical talent for those unfamiliar with his work and an absolute treat for long-term fans.
It’s been a good week for music but this reissue of 200 Motels is, possibly, the best of it, and it’s worth buying too, the liner notes really bring the movie and the songs around it to life.