JahFurry sez,

The ZAPPA FAMILY TRUST is excited to announce a new 2-CD set: UNDERSTANDING AMERICA is one of only three compilation albums produced and titled by FZ himself. The project includes the title, "Porn Wars Deluxe," a 25-minute work, unique to this release.

A message from the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen (Frank Zappa's Laurel Canyon studio) proclaims: "This work is about love, peace, justice and the American way. It's about compassion and responsibility. It's about ethics and honor. It's about time and it is about money. And bogus pomp and circumstance. Predictions and politics. It is the low-down on high altitudes. Check out the menu for yourself and you will see that the main ingredients, each in their own persuasion and marinating well into the next century, have been carefully skewered and roasted to the peak of perfection by the master chef, author of one of the all time great cook books, Understanding America. Oh, and finally, it is about music. Put some in your cauldron and please, don't forget to vote!

"From the uniquely specialized repertoire of an artist who never failed to understand that he was working for a highly specialized audience, this is for you."

Understanding America



  1. The new 25-minute “Porn Wars” (a collage of politicians and Zappa testifying at the PMRC music warning-label/censorship debates of 1985) meant I was going to buy this regardless, so it’s nice to see that the rest of the collection looks like a well-thought-out assemblage of Zappa’s more politically pointed stuff. Already familiar with almost all of the selections from their original albums, I can see the care taken in building thematic blocks across these two discs. I’m chuffed to see a few off-the-wall selections like “Central Scrutinizer” and “Promiscuous”, both highly unlikely choices for a run-of-the-mill hits collection, and some neglected gems, like “Cocaine Decisions” and “Thing-Fish Prologue,” that are buried on shall-we-say-lesser albums.

    Also, it’s nice to see the “smut” contained to a reasonable selection of songs on the back half of CD1, unlike his other compilation “Have I Offended Someone?” which, true to its title, really rubs the listener’s nose in the fouler side of the Zappa catalog. I have no idea who’s still buying Zappa these days, but this compilation gives me hope that it’s not just 13-year-old boys looking for titty jokes. “Dumb All Over”, “Trouble Every Day”, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” & several other songs herein truly ought to be required listening for any student of ‘Mairkin culture.

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