Studio Tan

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 Tan.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 15, 1978
Recorded1969, 1974–1976 at
The Record Plant, LA;
Royce Hall, UCLA and
Caribou Studios, Nederland, Colorado
GenreExperimental rock, jazz fusion, progressive rock
ProducerFrank Zappa
Frank Zappa chronology
Zappa in New York
Studio Tan
Sleep Dirt
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]

Recording sessionsEdit

One session dates from 1969, but the songs were mostly recorded between 1974 and 1976. Primary recording locations included the Record Plant in Los Angeles and Caribou Ranch in Colorado.

All four tracks were included on the shelved Läther album which was planned for release in 1977. The songs on side two of Studio Tan are the same as side three of Läther, however, on Läther there are brief segments of musical sound effects and dialog added between the songs. Läther was officially released posthumously in 1996.

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.


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 4 more albums to Warner for release on Discreet. In March 1977 Zappa delivered all 4 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 legal battle the material was eventually released during 1978 and 1979 on 4 individual albums: Zappa In New York, Studio Tan, Sleep Dirt and Orchestral Favorites.

Much of the material from these tapes was also compiled by Zappa in 1977 into a 4-LP box set called Läther. 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.

As Zappa had delivered only the tapes to Warner Bros. Studio Tan was released with no musician credits.[2] Warner also commissioned sleeve art by cartoonist Gary Panter, which was not approved by Zappa.

Release historyEdit

The 1978 vinyl LP had a slightly early fade out on the track "The Adventures of Greggery Peccary". The album was initially released without musician credits and included artwork by cartoonist Gary Panter.

Studio Tan was first released on CD in October 1991 with the track "The Adventures of Greggery Peccary" completely remixed. Also, the early fade out on this track was eliminated. This 1991 CD has the songs from side two in a slightly different order than on the 1978 vinyl edition.

The album was first released on CD in 1991, along with Panter's artwork. Panter would later provide additional art for the album when it was reissued 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 listingEdit

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



Chart (1978) Peak
United States (Billboard 200)[4] 147
Australia (Kent Music Report)[5] 92


  1. ^ Couture, F. (2011). "Studio Tan - Frank Zappa | AllMusic". Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  2. ^ FZ vs. Warner Brs. Story or Lather/Laether/Leather, Zappa in New York,
  3. ^ Studio Tan album at
  4. ^ "Charts and Awards for Studio Tan". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
  5. ^ 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.