Personnel includes: Frank Zappa (vocals, guitar); Jim Haynes, Tommy Tedesco, Al Viola, Dennis Budimer (guitar); Ted Nash, John Rotella, Bunk Gardner, Gene Cipriano (woodwinds); Jimmy Zito (trumpet); Vincent De Rosa, Richard Parisi (French horn); Kenneth Shroyer (trombone); Paul Smith, Mike Lang, Pete Jolly (keyboards); John Balkin, Jimmy Bond, Lyle Ritts (bass); Johnny Guerin, Frankie Capp, Shelly Manne (drums); Emil Richards, Victor Feldman (percussion); Louie The Turkey, Spider, Pumpkin (background vocals).
Recorded in February 1967.
Was it that Zappa's music was so far ahead of its time, or was it just not what we thought a weirdo genius like him should be doing? Either way, since his death, his stature as a serious composer has grown. Lumpy Gravy missed most by a mile because it was the first of Zappa's 'challenging' orchestral pieces, and not what his audience had come to expect. Performed by the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, it was a lengthy instrumental suite broken up by equally 'challenging' dialogue. On the back cover, Frank looks out and asks, 'is this phase 2 of We're Only In It For The Money?'. No, we don't think so.
Q (8/95, pp.150-151) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "A vibrant musique concrete collage spliced from bits of pop, Motorhead Sherwood's reminiscences of cars and girls, found sounds and exuberant avant-garde orchestral themes..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.139) - "A lesson in how to deconstruct rock music...the equivalent of spinning through your radio dial and enjoying snatches of unconnected dialogue..."
Mojo (Publisher) (7/95, p.102) - "...a journey close to the centre of the Zappa mind. [LUMPY GRAVY] intercuts cheesy rock 'n' roll, orchestral avant-gardisms and snatches of demented babble from assorted Mothers of Invention and girlfriends..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.50) - Ranked #23 in Mojo's "The 50 Most Out There Albums Of All Time" - "Apparently Frank's favourite, LUMPY GRAVY is certainly a masterpiece. Of sorts."