Two previously unreleased Frank Zappa concerts from 1980 set for release later this year

Frank Zappa
(Image credit: Rob Verhorst/Redferns)

Previously unheard recordings from two Frank Zappa concerts in 1980 are to be released later this year.

Zappa ’80: Mudd Club/Munich – a new release sanctioned by the Zappa family – will arrive March 3, featuring two complete shows performed by Zappa’s short-lived five-piece lineup at New York City’s Mudd Club and Munich’s Olympiahalle on May 8,1980 and July 3, 1980, respectively.

The release showcases tracks from Zappa’s 1979 albums, including Joe’s Garage, Keep It Greasy and City of Tiny Lites, as well as various cuts that would subsequently be released on Zappa’s sprawling 1981 album, You Are What You Is.

Its liner notes feature an introduction from Zappa vault master Joe Travers, a detailed track-by-track of the setlists by bassist Arthur Barrow, who was a member of the five-piece lineup, and an essay by Steve Vai, who attended the Mudd Club show as a 19-year-old fan.

Vai would, of course, then be hired by Zappa to transcribe guitar and drum tracks, and go on to actually join the band. “From that point on, the whirlwind world of Frank Zappa that I embarked on for the next 3 years was intense, funny, terrifying at times, but deeply and soulfully rewarding,” Vai says.

Accompanying Zappa for the shows were vocalists Ike Willis and Ray White, bassist Arthur Barror, keyboardist Tommy Mars and drummer David Logeman. The latter’s tenure with Zappa lasted only a year, and Zappa ’80: Mudd Club/Munich is the first release to feature entire shows he played.

Prior to this release, only two tracks from both shows – Love of My Life from the Mudd Club and You Didn’t Try to Call Me from Munich – have been released officially. Both appeared on Zappa’s You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore live CD series.

Ahead of the release, you can listen to Outside Now, recorded at the Mudd Club.

As well as the 3CD set that includes both shows, both the Mudd Club and Munich concerts will be released separately on 2LP and 3LP vinyl, respectively. Pre-orders are available now.

See below for the release's full track list.

Disc 1: Mudd Club, New York, May 8, 1980

  1. Mudd Club Show Start
  2. Chunga’s Revenge
  3. Keep It Greasy
  4. Outside Now
  5. City Of Tiny Lites (Edited)
  6. Pound For A Brown
  7. You Are What You 
  8. You Didn’t Try To Call Me
  9. I Ain’t Got No Heart
  10. Love Of My Life
  11. Easy Meat
  12. Mudd Club
  13. The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing
  14. Joe’s Garage
  15. Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?

Disc 2: Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany, July 3, 1980

  1. Munich ’80 Show Start
  2. Chunga’s Revenge
  3. Keep It Greasy
  4. Pick Me, I’m Clean
  5. City Of Tiny Lites
  6. Pound For A Brown
  7. Cosmik Debris
  8. You Didn’t Try To Call Me
  9. I Ain’t Got No Heart
  10. Love Of My Life
  11. You Are What You Is

Disc 3: Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany, July 3, 1980 (continued)

  1. Easy Meat
  2. Mudd Club
  3. The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing
  4. Joe’s Garage
  5. Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?
  6. Dancin’ Fool
  7. Bobby Brown Goes Down
  8. Ms. Pinky
  9. Stick It Out
  10. Nite Owl (T. Allen)
  11. The Illinois Enema Bandit

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.