Studio Tan

Released: September 15 1978


  1. The Adventures Of Greggery Peccary
  2. Revised Music For Guitar And Low-Budget Orchestra
  3. Lemme Take You To The Beach
  4. RDNZL

Frank Zappa (guitar, keyboards), Dave Moire (vocals), Eddie Jobson (keyboards, yodeling), George Duke (keyboards), Max Bennett (bass), Paul Humphrey (drums), Chester Thompson (drums), Don Brewer (bongo’s), James “Bird Legs” Youman (bass), Ruth Underwood (percussion, synthesizer)

17 thoughts on “Studio Tan”

  1. This is a complete rip-off. The original vinyl and the 1980’s and 1990’s Ryko and Barking Pumpkin CD editions sound terrible, plus all the material appears on Läther, in much better sound quality. For those of you who still might want a copy of Studio Tan to listen to seperately, burn yourself a copy from the tracks on Läther.

  2. This album always showed up in the cut-out bin of the record stores in the “80’s!’ Its all on LATHER… where its supposed to be.

  3. Hey, guys, don’t be that cruel. This is a really nice album (I didn’t hear the Läther version), nowadays I listen to it a lot. Greggary is crazy, and after getting tired of laughing, one can listen to the nice arrangements, the fine companion of instruments… great. Revized Music… is great also – it’s intimacy, professionalism, sensitiveness can really be judget after one listens to the way Ensemble Modern tried to play it in 2000 (well, the difference is GREAT…) RDNZL is an all time favorite, the players are really together. This album shows how FZ could handle or use an orchestra as a WHOLE, as an instrument.

  4. The Läther versions of the Studio Tan tracks is the same mix as on Studio Tan, with much better sound quality, Balint.

  5. I alway’s liked this album, except for the bad cover art, but the release of “Lather” has made it redundant. Gregory Peccary is probably FZ’s best long “story piece”. “Rdnzl” and “Revised Music…” are two great “serious” instrmental compositions and “..Beach” is good fun pop silliness.

  6. I agree with a lot of reviewers from all over the place that reviewing “Studio Tan”, “Sleep Dirt” and “Orchestral Favorites” separately is kind of sacriligious, considering that “Lather” is the real deal where all these differing tracks were meant to be. However, as long as one still realizes that “Lather” itself is one heck of a monstrous hodge-podge (although FAR more creatively and intelligently sequenced by Frank), you still can “deal” when it comes to listening to these releases. I agree with so many other fans when they complain about Frank “messing” with the mixes and re-recording parts for any of this stuff (not to mention “We’re Only In It For the Money” and “Cruisin’ With Ruben…”, etc…). However, I put “Studio Tan” on just the other week, and just loved it for what it was: mainly “Greggary Peccary” (which is still so amazing, one can only marvel at it), and for me, “RDUNZL” may be my all time favorite Zappa piece, (rivaled only by “Inca Roads”). It is a shame that “RDUNZL” never made it onto the earlier ’73/’74 bands albums, because it is arguably the finest studio playing that group of musicians ever laid down, and their dazzling, virtosic stamp is all over it. Oh, yeah, how could any self-respecting Zappa fan hate ANYTHING that contains “Lemme Take You To The Beach”? I mean, COME ON!!!!

  7. Revised music… is a terrific piece and as some of the other reviewers also state, Greg Pecc instrumentation is wonderful. The Steno Pool singers section (Ain’t yer life boring don’t you think?) is a timeless melody. This album almost captures everything about FZ. Great lyrics/humour, great musicianship/arrangments both clasical and modern. Cheesey pop and almost incomprehensible MUSIC to the average consumer. A gem.

  8. I love the parts of those albums (Sleep Dirt, Studio Tan and Orchestral Favorites) that were left off the Lather versions. For example, the extra stuff in Spider of Destiny, …Ultimate Solution, etc. When I listen to Lather I miss that stuff.

    As far as sound quality, my stereo is not really good enough to notice the difference.

    All in all I am still (after many, many years of listening to this stuff) very impressed with it.

  9. Studio Tan will be next to you in bed the next morning. You will cook it breakfast and it will use your toothbrush and forget to flush the toilet. But, you love Studio Tan. When you close your eyes and imagine what your life would be like without Studio Tan, it makes you panic and want to just hold Studio Tan throughout the night. Studio Tan cares, and so do you.

  10. greggary peccery is the sickest!!!!!!!! what a bunch of crappa from mr. zappa

  11. took me a long while to get into the Greggery Peccary side, but I always thought side two was amazing… back when i only knew zappa from his records, i thought this was his surprising late 70s return to greatness, but i think i later read that this side was recorded a few years earlier. anyway i later grew to like the whole thing but yes the short answer is BUY LATHER

  12. Ditto. This is a great album. “Greggary Peccary” blew my mind when I was a teenager and it is still an amazing track. Back then I thought Pink Floyd’s “Ummagumma” was as weird as it got – wrong. But, the great thing about FZ’s albums is that are endlessly interesting while most of “Ummagumma” is a tough listen. That said, only a few people that I have known in my life have been fans of the avant garde Zappa albums, but I would think that this is one of them that could sway listeners. FZ could make totally dissonant avant garde music palatable, at least to my ears. I can’t listen to most avant garde mod. classical such as Cage or Stockhausen, but FZ – I love it!! RDNZL is almost jazz, but more intricate and composed…it’s just a stunning piece of music, as is “Revised Music For Guitar And Low-Budget Orchestra”.

    But, “Lemme Take You To The Beach” is so freaking brilliant and hilarious that it has to be heard to be believed. Genius.

  13. On a side note, ive noticed that in “Greggary Peccary” after the eternaly young line, the bass line ( played by the piano) for Charmelion, a hedhunters riff is played. has anyone noticed that?

  14. This one was played constantly my first few years of college. This was before the definitive Lather versions were available,

  15. without this most of us would not have gotten to listen to this essential music for nearly twenty years (until Lather came out).
    If you don’t know GP, it’s as definitive FZ as anything else.

  16. I love this album, and would listen to these versions in this order way before I would even think of wading through Lather.

    There’s no padding here, just perfection. A chance to hear FZ’s incredible rhythmic compositions, and also his wonderful melodic sensibilities. Plus there is a minor pop masterpiece sandwiched in between. And, George Duke’s playing is all over this album, and it’s wonderful. Not to mention the other players of course.

    This is one of my very favourite Zappa albums. Lather left me cold when I first heard it, and I haven’t changed my mind in the 13 years since it was officially released. So, for that reason, I would recommend that anyone new to Frank should listen to this album! A masterpiece!

    Note: I prefer this mix of Greggery Peccary to the one on Lather too: the instruments are somehow louder and clearer here (eg, the flutes, trombones, saxes), allowing a better understanding of what notes exactly are being played.

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