Frank Zappa's music has always been fascinating, confusing and unpredictable. Bringing together every single musical genre, instrument and sensibility, Zappa's vast output is a legacy of some of the most complex and brilliant music of this century.
Frank Zappa Concert Films
Classic Albums: Apostrophe & Over-Nite Sensation
Runtime: 50 minThe Classic Albums series strives to be definitive, and this must-have program is fully authorized in the scope of its coverage. With complete cooperation and participation from the remaining Zappa family (sons Dweezil and Ahmet, daughter Moon, and widow Gail are all extensively interviewed) and additional interviews with Billy Bob Thornton, Alice Cooper, guitarist Steve Vai, veteran Rolling Stone critic David Fricke, and many of Zappa's closest associates and collaborators, this 97-minute documentary is packed with highlights and fascinating revelations, like the pristine precision of Zappa's hand-written compositions, Zappa's childhood fascination with the compositions of Edgard Varse, and his diligent, prolific, and disciplined, drug-free approach to recording and touring. Zappa's studio process is amazingly revealed when Dweezil and Zappa "Vaultmeister" Joe Travers sit down at a mixing table to analyze the master tapes of classic Zappa tracks like the hilariously controversial "Dyna-Moe Humm." In addition to vintage archival clips of Zappa discussing his music and career, and home movies of Zappa's band on tour during the mid-1970s, this program also includes the complete video of Zappa performing "I'm the Slime" on Saturday Night Live in 1976, live footage of a 1973 performance of "Montana," and a new performance of "Camarillo Brillo" by Dweezil's tribute band, Zappa Plays Zappa (with Dweezil playing one of his father's favorite Gibson guitars). Bonus features also include a Travers-hosted trip into the massive Zappa archives, and further deconstruction of Zappa tracks "Dirty Love" and "Nanook Rubs It." If you're a casual Zappa fan, this program will turn you into a passionate convert. For those who've loved Zappa all along, it's a little bit of heaven here on Earth.
The Torture Never Stops
Runtime: 1 hr 57 minFrank Zappa's New York Halloween 1981 concerts were filmed Live at The Palladium. This 'thing' entitled "The Torture Never Stops” was created in its entirety by FZ from the original concert production and intended by the Artist as one of 3 Television Specials. This is the longest version of the three - the others, "You Are What You Is" and "Dumb All Over", having actually aired. Halloween was Frank Zappa’s favourite holiday, and New York was the site of Frank Zappa Halloween concerts for years! The billion and a half airings by MTV of the concerts (non-edited) followed on closely from the release of the double album “You Are What You Is” in September of that year on Frank Zappa’s own recently founded and thoroughly independent label, Barking Pumpkin. Much of the set list is drawn from that work. All Frank Zappa shows were unique experiences with Zappa on guitar and baton, leading his band on flights of improvisation and drawing ever more intense performances from them. “The Torture Never Stops” cements Zappa’s reputation as one of the most innovative and challenging composers and performers of the 20th century.
Frank Zappa Top Tracks
Live at Montreux
Return To Forever
Runtime: 1 hr 49 minReturn To Forever were at the forefront of jazz/rock fusion in the seventies and like their contemporaries Weather Report and Mahavishnu Orchestra were formed by a former Miles Davis sideman, in this case the great Chick Corea. Return To Forever hit their commercial and artistic peak with a string of albums in the mid-seventies featuring the line-up of Chick Corea on keyboards, Stanley Clarke on bass, Al Di Meola on guitar and Lenny White on drums. In 2008 this classic line-up reunited for their first tour in 25 years and proved that their musicianship and the chemistry within the band were as strong as ever. This concert was filmed at Montreux in July 2008 with the bonus tracks being filmed in Clearwater, Florida later the same month.
Rock and Roll Party Honoring Les Paul
Runtime: 1 hr 27 minFilmed on 9 June 2010 at the Irridium Jazz Club in New York City, forever associated with the legendary Les Paul, this Film captures Jeff Beck celebrating the great man with a selection of Les Paul songs and other great rock 'n' roll tracks on what would have been Les Paul’s 95th birthday. Jeff Beck is joined by some very special guests including Imelda May and her band led by Darrel Higham on many of the tracks plus appearances by Gary US Bonds, Brian Setzer and Trombone Shorty. The intimate setting puts you right there in the audience for a performance featuring stunning musicianship and truly great songs.
Classic Albums: Aja
Runtime: 50 minA vivid portrait of a '70s record that is still as fresh and memorable today as when it was released more than two decades ago. Pioneering pop/jazz band Steely Dan, formed by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker in the early seventies, had already secured five Top 40 albums before the release of Aja in 1977. Aja, however, was to prove to be the biggest selling album of Steely Dan's illustrious career, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard chart and spending a year in the Top 40. Becker and Fagen, renowned for their relentless perfectionism in the recording studio, recall the history of an album that was a year in the making, but rewarded with a Grammy Award and three hit singles. Steely Dan's Aja has proven to be one of the most outstanding jazz-rock albums in the history of popular music and now its story is told in this fascinating documentary.
Live in Hyde Park
Runtime: 1 hr 49 minFilmed on June 26th this year as The Who celebrated their fiftieth anniversary, this stunning show from London's famous Hyde Park is a triumphant return to their home city. On a glorious summer evening, the band delivered a brilliant performance of all their greatest hits in front of a 50,000 strong crowd. With a series of stunning backdrops making full use of the huge screens surrounding the stage and an exceptional light show this is a Who concert on a grand scale but as Pete Townshend says at the start of the show - 'You're a long way away...but we will reach you!' He's absolutely true to his word.
Secret World: Live
Runtime: 1 hr 42 minPeter Gabriel’s Grammy Award winning film “Secret World Live” has now been newly restored and remastered from the original film to be seen and heard in the best possible quality. Filmed in Modena, Italy across two nights in November 1993 as part of Peter Gabriel’s acclaimed “Secret World Live” tour in support of the “Us” album, the show is elaborately presented and choreographed with two stages joined by a narrow pier. Peter Gabriel has always been a charismatic live performer with the ability to draw his audience into the onstage world he has created and rarely has this been better captured than on “Secret World Live”.
Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson: Thick As A Brick Live In Iceland
Runtime: 1 hr 54 minJethro Tull's famous concept album 'Thick As A Brick' was originally released in 1972, and featured one continuous track spread across two sides of an LP telling the story of a young boy called Gerald Bostock. 40 years later in 2012, Jethro Tull's founder and leader Ian Anderson created 'Thick As A Brick 2: Whatever Happened To Gerald Bostock?'
Following this release Ian Anderson took both albums on the road to perform the complete story of Gerald Bostock and this concert from the tour was filmed in Iceland. The show combines music, video screens and mime to bring Gerald's tale to life as never before, and create the definitive presentation of 'Thick As A Brick'.
Live at Montreux - 1974
Runtime: 51 minFormed by John McLaughlin in 1971, the Mahavishnu Orchestra pioneered the fusion of jazz elements into rock music while still undeniably retaining the power and muscle of a full on rock band. With McLaughlin as the ever-present, the line-up went through various phases and these two concerts from Montreux showcase the band at distinctively different times of their career, with the seventies show featuring later stars Jean-Luc Ponty and Michael Walden and the eighties concert featuring saxophone maestro Bill Evans.
Up Close and Personal
Runtime: 51 minGet to know the men behind the music that has sold over 150 million albums worldwide. This immaculately researched documentary presents the pick of interviews with band members from global archives to get to the truth behind the Genesis story. Stunning live performance footage from both the Gabriel and Collins era showcases the talents of the band, as leading journalists and critics review the band in performance. Featuring highlights from: Silent Sun, Entangled, Ripples, The Lady Lies, Turn It On Again, Afterglow and more...
Time Machine: Live in Cleveland
Runtime: 2 hr 36 min'TIME MACHINE 2011: Live In Cleveland' is an evening with Rush performing their classic hits and features the legendary 'Moving Pictures' album, performed live in its entirety. Released in 1981, 'Moving Pictures' is their most successful album, certified 4x Platinum, and features some of the band's most well known songs and perennial radio favorites, including “Tom Sawyer,” “Limelight” and the Grammy®-nominated instrumental “YYZ.” Captured in April, 2011 in Cleveland during the renowned trio’s extensive world tour, 'TIME MACHINE 2011: Live In Cleveland' marks the band’s first live concert filmed in the United States. The choice to record in Cleveland was a deliberate nod of gratitude to the first city to support Rush on its airwaves, as former WMMS DJ Donna Halper is widely credited for helping break the band in 1974 by spinning “Working Man.” The reinterpreted live version of “Working Man” was the encore closer on the Time Machine tour and is included on this release. In addition to the 26-song concert set, Rush’s notorious concept tour videos are included: The first short film, entitled “The ‘Real’ History of Rush Episode No. 2 ‘Don’t Be Rash,’” and the opening second set video, "The ‘Real’ History of Rush Episode No. 17 ‘...and Rock and Roll is My Name.'"
40th Anniversary Reunion Concert
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Runtime: 1 hr 28 minThe legendary rock band reunited to celebrate their 40th Anniversary and headlined London's first High Voltage Rock Festival. This was the historic moment when Emerson Lake and Palmer performed for the first time since 1998. This spectacular performance recaptured the musical genius of Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer as they performed their greatest hits in front of thousands of fans.
Live at Soundstage
Runtime: 55 minThe longest lasting and the most successful of the '70s progressive rock groups, the band YES comes together with their classic lineup (Rick Wakeman, Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Alan White) celebrating their 35th year together. Captured at the Tsongas arena in Massachusetts, this concert is on the grand scale of past years with new stage designs by famed artist Roger Dean. The show opens with the band entering the arena to Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite." From that moment forward, Yes delivers an unforgettable performance including classics such as "Going for the One," "Your Move/All Good People" and "Yours is No Disgrace."
Midway through the set they scale things down a bit and perform dazzling acoustic versions of "Long Distance Runaround," "Roundabout," and "Owner of a Lonely Heart", among others. The concert culminates with a rousing rendition of "Starship Trouper." Howe and Wakeman's dueling solo's coupled with Anderson's powerful yet delicate vocals make for an unforgettable finale.