"Lumpy Gravy" by Frank Zappa Is Released
Lumpy Gravy is the first solo album by Frank Zappa, originally released in 1967, but not generally available until May 1968.
Zappa was credited as conductor on the album cover and he described the contents as "a curiously inconsistent piece, which started out to be a BALLET, but probably didn't make it." The album consists of pieces of Zappa's orchestral music interspersed with surreal spoken dialogues and linked with many odd sound effects and musical fragments. The title was inspired by an advertisement for Loma Linda Gravy Mix. In later years Zappa claimed Lumpy Gravy and Joe's Garage among his proudest achievements.
Much of Zappa's orchestral music was strongly influenced by his love of Igor Stravinsky ballets such as The Rite of Spring. Earlier in his career Zappa wrote music for a few independently produced Hollywood films, such as The World's Greatest Sinner (1962) and Run Home Slow (1965). Lumpy Gravy is closely related to these early soundtrack works. The juxtaposition of highbrow and Pop art cultural influences was a radical idea at the time. It is also a defining characteristic of Zappa's entire musical output.
In 2008, the Lagunitas Brewing Company put out an American Strong Ale named after the album, featuring the cover art on the label. This is one in a series of beers planned to be released on the 40th anniversary of each of Zappa's studio albums.