Studio Tan is the 24th album by American musician Frank Zappa, first released in September 1978 on his own DiscReet Records label. It reached #147 on the Billboard 200 albums chart in the United States.

Studio Tan
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 15, 1978
Recorded1969*, 1974–1976 at
The Record Plant, LA;
Royce Hall, UCLA;
(*) Whitney Studios, Glendale, CA; and
Caribou Studios, Nederland, Colorado
ProducerFrank Zappa
Frank Zappa chronology
Zappa in New York
Studio Tan
Sleep Dirt
Professional ratings
Review scores

Recording sessions Edit

The basic tracks for Let Me Take You to the Beach date from a 1969 session for the album Hot Rats. The rest of the material was recorded between 1974 and 1976. Primary recording locations included the Record Plant in Los Angeles and Caribou Ranch in Colorado.

History Edit

In April 1975 Zappa had a one sided demo acetate disc cut at Kendun Recorders in Burbank, California. This unreleased disc contains "Revised Music for Guitar and Low-Budget Orchestra", a nearly 8 minute version of "200 Years Old" and "Regyptian Strut".[2]

In the notes to the June 1975 album One Size Fits All Zappa mentioned a planned studio album which never appeared. Many fans believe that this was to have included The Adventures of Greggery Peccary, filling one side, and that the April acetate was to have been the other side.[2] Instead, Zappa opted to release a new (mostly) live album Bongo Fury in October the same year. This album contained a four minute edit of the same "200 Years Old" studio recording.

In May 1976, Zappa's relationship with manager and business partner Herb Cohen ended in litigation. Zappa and Cohen's company DiscReet Records was distributed by Warner Bros. Records. When Zappa asked for a reassignment of his contract from DiscReet to Warner in order to advance the possibility of doing special projects without Cohen's involvement, Warner agreed. This led to the October 1976 release of Zoot Allures on Warner. But Warner changed its position following legal action from Cohen.

At this point Zappa was contracted to deliver four more albums to Warner for release on Discreet. In March 1977 Zappa delivered all four albums to Warner to fulfill his contract. Zappa did not receive payment by Warner upon delivery of the tapes, which was a contract violation.

After a long legal battle between Zappa and Warner the material was eventually released during 1978 and 1979 on 4 individual albums: Zappa In New York (a two LP set), Studio Tan, Sleep Dirt and Orchestral Favorites.

Much of the material from these four albums was also edited by Zappa into a four-LP box set called Läther. Zappa announced this album in a mid September 1977 interview where he described it as his "current album".[3] Zappa negotiated a distribution deal with Phonogram Inc. to release Läther as the first release on the Zappa Records label. The album was scheduled for a Halloween October 31, 1977 release date. But Warner claimed ownership of the material and threatened legal action, preventing the release of Läther and forcing Zappa to shelve the project.

All four tracks on Studio Tan were also included on the shelved Läther album. The songs on side two of Studio Tan are the same as side three of Läther, however, on Läther there are bits of musique concrète and dialog linking the songs. More of these same bits, or "grouts" as Zappa allegedly called them,[4] appear on other albums such as Sheik Yerbouti.[5] Läther was officially released posthumously in 1996.

As Zappa had delivered only the tapes to Warner, Studio Tan was initially released with no musician or songwriting credits.[6] Warner also commissioned sleeve art by cartoonist Gary Panter, which was not approved by Zappa.

An excerpt from an otherwise unreleased alternate version of "Revised Music for Guitar and Low-Budget Orchestra" appears on the 1987 compilation The Guitar World According to Frank Zappa, with drum overdubs by Chad Wackerman.

Release history Edit

The 1978 vinyl LP had an early fade out at the end of the track "The Adventures of Greggery Peccary". This shortens the song by about 10 seconds.

Studio Tan was first released on CD in October 1991 on Zappa's Barking Pumpkin label along with the Panter artwork and added credits. On this version the track "The Adventures of Greggery Peccary" was completely remixed. Also, the early fade out on this track was eliminated. The 1991 CD has the songs from side two in a slightly different order than on the 1978 vinyl edition.

Panter would later provide additional art for the album when it was reissued on CD by Ryko in 1995. When the CD was reissued on CD in 2012, the complete original 1978 vinyl version was used, while also eliminating the early fade out on "The Adventures of Greggery Peccary".

Track listing Edit

All songs written and composed by Frank Zappa.

Side one
1."Greggery Peccary" (Titled "The Adventures of Greggery Peccary" on CD)20:40
Side two
1."Let Me Take You to the Beach" (Titled "Lemme Take You to the Beach" on CD)2:44
2."Revised Music for Guitar & Low-Budget Orchestra"7:36
3."REDUNZL" (Titled "RDNZL" on CD)8:12

Personnel[7] Edit

Charts Edit

Chart (1978) Peak
United States (Billboard 200)[8] 147
Australia (Kent Music Report)[9] 92

References Edit

  1. ^ Couture, F. (2011). "Studio Tan - Frank Zappa | AllMusic". Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Frank Zappa – Kendun Recorders 4/1/75". April 1975. Retrieved 2022-01-23.
  3. ^ John D'Agostino, "Zäppa (pronounced Zappa)", San Diego Reader, 15 September 1977, p26
  4. ^ "unconfirmed source "Dave Lane" on, May 28, 1998". Retrieved 2021-12-18.[full citation needed]
  5. ^ "Leather dialog". Retrieved 2021-12-17.
  6. ^ FZ vs. Warner Brs. Story or Lather/Laether/Leather, Zappa in New York,
  7. ^ Studio Tan album at
  8. ^ "Charts and Awards for Studio Tan". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
  9. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 348. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.