Lumpy Gravy is the
debut solo album by Frank Zappa, recorded with a group of session players he dubbed the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra. It is his third album overall. Released on August 7, 1967 on Capitol Records, it was subsequently reedited and reissued by Verve Records, and later reissued independently by Zappa.
In its original incarnation, Lumpy Gravy served as an album of
orchestral music written by Zappa and performed by an orchestra assembled for the album. Zappa conducted the orchestra's performance, and did not perform any instrument on the album. However, MGM Records claimed that the album's production and release violated Zappa's contract with Verve Records. Lumpy Gravy was subsequently reedited by Zappa as part of a project called No Commercial Potential, which produced three other albums: We're Only in It for the Money, Cruising with Ruben & the Jets and Uncle Meat.
The reedited Lumpy Gravy, released by Verve on May 13, 1968, consisted of two
musique concrète pieces which combined elements from the original orchestral performance with elements of surf music and spoken word dialogue. Produced simultaneously with We're Only in It for the Money, the reedited Lumpy Gravy served as the second part of a conceptual continuity which later included Zappa's final album, Civilization Phaze III. The reedited Lumpy Gravy was critically appraised for its unique music and innovative editing techniques.