Classic Rock

Frank Zappa catalog, film archive and “Vault” acquired by Universal Music Group

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Rob Verhorst/Redferns

The late Frank Zappa‘s entire song publishing and recording catalog, his film archives and the full contents of his expansive storage facility, known as The Vault, have been acquired by Universal Music Group from the Zappa Trust, the family company overseen by Frank’s four children.

In addition, the agreement, which also includes Zappa’s name and likeness, will see UMG’s catalog and music-publishing companies — Universal Music Enterprises, known as UMe, and Universal Music Publishing Group — continue its ongoing partnership with the Zappa Trust, which began 10 years ago when Frank’s late wife, Gail, was overseeing the trust.

“UMG have more than proven their passion for Frank’s art and so the entire Zappa family — Moon, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva — is thrilled to pass the baton to the new forever stewards for all things Frank Zappa,” the Zappa Trust says in a joint statement. “Old and new fans will get more of what they want — more Frank Zappa music for years to come …[W]e know that his music and legacy will be in the best possible hands for generations to come.”

Adds UMe President and CEO Bruce Resnikoff, “We will continue to develop innovative ways to celebrate [Frank’s] vast and influential catalog for both longtime fans and those just discovering his genius … Frank Zappa was constantly creating and recording and he left behind a treasure trove of extraordinary still-unreleased music and video in his Vault that will help us usher in the next era of Frank Zappa fans.”

During his lifetime, Zappa obsessively documented his recording sessions, live performances and jams on audio and video formats. UMG is planning to pore through his archives to create many new releases in the coming years.

Zappa died of prostate cancer in 1993 at age 52.

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