Frank Zappa’s Estate Including His Song Catalog Is Sold To Universal Music Group


After an agreement, Frank Zappa‘s estate, which also includes his whole song catalog, was recently purchased by Universal Music Group.

Throughout his music career, which almost spanned four decades, Frank Zappa released numerous successful musical efforts. He composed rock, pop, jazz, orchestral, and fusion works and produced nearly all of the albums he released with his band, the Mothers of Invention, and as a solo musician.

Frank Zappa released 62 albums during his lifetime, and the Zappa Family Trust has released 57 posthumous albums since 1994. So, the rocker’s music catalog contains 122 albums. However, according to recent news, Universal Music Enterprises now owns Zappa’s estate and his entire discography.

As reported recently, the Universal Music Group announced an agreement between the Zappa Trust, which made them acquire the musician’s estate, including his recordings, publishing catalog of his classic songs, his film archive, and the complete content of The Vault, a facility which stores Zappa’s lifework.

After the news, The Zappa Trust said that Gail Zappa teamed with UMe to bring the musician’s work into the digital ten years ago and expanded the Zappa business worldwide, which marked the beginning of a fruitful partnership. They then said UMG proved their passion for Zappa’s art, and the Zappa family is content with the agreement.

As reported by PR Newswire, The Zappa Trust said the following about the agreement:

“Ten years ago, Gail Zappa partnered with UMe to bring Frank Zappa’s music into the digital era and help expand the Frank Zappa business around the world, setting in motion a fruitful partnership that has resulted in exponential growth.

Together with over the last decade, we made Frank’s vast catalog of music available for streaming and download, reissued many of his pivotal albums on vinyl, and created a slew of exciting archival releases, and expansive box sets, including a series celebrating FZ’s legendary Halloween concerts, and were nominated for a Grammy for the ‘200 Motels (The Suites)’ orchestral album.”

They then continued:

UMG has more than proven its passion for Frank’s art, so the entire Zappa family, Moon, Dweezil, Ahmet, and Diva, is thrilled to pass the baton to the new forever stewards of all things Frank Zappa. Old and new fans will get more of what they want, more Frank Zappa music for years to come.

Frank released his first album with Verve Records in 1966 with The Mothers Of Invention’s debut album, ‘Freak Out!’ so this is a very full-circle moment more than five decades later. We know that his music and legacy will be in the best possible hands for generations to come.”

So, this agreement gave Universal Music Group the rights to the materials Zappa has produced throughout his four-decade career. As Zappa was a highly-prolific artist with an enormous catalog, UMG now owns all of the artist’s hundreds of classical hits, including  ‘Watermelon In Easter Hay,’ ‘Cosmik Debris,’ ‘Peaches En Regalia,’ ‘Uncle Remus,’ and more.