Frank Zappa’s 100th Album, “Dance Me This,” To Be Released On June 1st

By on April 4, 2015

Dance Me This, the last album Frank Zappa recorded before his death in 1993, will be finally released on June 1, 2015. The album will be Zappa’s 100th release, beginning with 1966’s Freak Out. Track titles include “Pachuco Gavotte,” “Goat Polo” and five movements of “Wolf Harbor.”

We found one of his last television interviews, a rather sobering reminder of his genius and honesty, dating back to sometime in 1993, when he was quite ill with prostate cancer. Have a look.

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The cover art

Despite news of the long-anticipated album initially emerging on April Fool’s Day on Zappa’s website, the post still remains online with a pre-order link and a message that urges fans to “Tap your foot algorithmically to this!” Frank’s wife, Gail Zappa, and the Zappa Family Trust, have been promising Dance Me This would be released for over 10 years. According to an email sent by Frank’s family, Dance Me This “is the last title FZ finished in 1993 along with Trance-Fusion; the last chapter in his Master Work, Civilization, Phase III; and of course, The Rage & The Fury, The Music of Edgard Varèse.”

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Zappa discussed the project with Guitarist Magazine in June 1993, just six months before his death, in a 9-page article/ interview with by David Mead entitled “Unholy Mother.” “What I’m working on right at the moment is a Synclavier album called Dance Me This, which is designed to be used by modern dance groups,” he said at the time. “It’s probably not going to come out until next year.”

There’s been nearly three dozen posthumous Zappa albums released by his estate over the past decade. Supposedly, promo cassettes for Dance Me This first surfaced in 2004, even though the record never made it to the public.

According to Rolling Stone, Zappa switched to the Synclavier as his main compositional tool in 1984 with a pair of albums, Francesco Zappa and Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger.  Zappa continued to experiment with the pioneering electronic music device even as he battled terminal prostate cancer, resulting in both Dance Me This and 1994’s Civilization Phaze III.

Frank Zappa died of prostate cancer on December 4, 1993, aged 52.

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Here’s a BBC Documentary about Zappa from 1993

About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.