Frank Zappa's Läther Finally to Be Released

No, not a new Pink Floyd album. That's the cover art to Zappa's epic three CD set.

It might be a stretch to call Läther (pronounced leather) Frank

Zappa's Smile , but after almost 20 years in the vaults, it is

certainly a release Zappaphiles have been waiting a long time for. The

three-disc set has lingered so long because legal hassles with Zappa's label at

the time, Warner Bros., prevented the original from being released in 1977.

According to Rycodisc (which is releasing the album), Warner refused to release

the four-LP box set, and furthermore, blocked Zappa from releasing it on

another label, forcing him to break the material up and reformat it into

separate albums that would fulfill his contractual obligations. When Zappa

later alleged that the label hadn't paid him for the albums, a series of

lawsuits and court cases were set in motion, culminating with Zappa taking to

the air in December off 1977 to play the entire set on Pasadena's KROQ and

instructing listeners to tape the show for their own archives. DJ Zappa said at

the time, "This is Frank Zappa as your bogus temporary disc jockey making it

possible for you to run your little cassette machine and tape an album which is

perhaps never going to be available to the public at large." Set for release on

September 24, the three-disc set is a mix of live rock performances, orchestral

works, musique concrete, jazz compositions, guitar improvisations, sci-fi

musicals, cartoon soundtracks and rare works that compile unreleased tracks,

unreleased versions and alternate mixes from four released albums ( Zappa in

New York , Studio Tan , Sleep Dirt and Orchestral

Favorites ) and an additional 20-minute composition that brings the whole

thing up to three full hours of fresh Zappa meat.