Hear Frank Zappa’s Thrilling ‘City Of Tiny Lites’ Performance From 1980 Concert In Munich

Check out the latest preview of the forthcoming Zappa 80: Mudd Club/Munich live archival release.

By Scott Bernstein Feb 17, 2023 1:30 pm PST

On July 3, 1980 Frank Zappa brought a lineup of his band that would only be intact for five months to the behemoth arena Olympiahalle in Munich, Germany. The sextet delivered a fierce version of “City Of Tiny Lites” at Olympiahalle that has been shared to preview the upcoming live archival release Zappa 80: Mudd Club/Munich.

The maestro’s ensemble from March – July 1980 featured FZ (guitar, vocals), David Logeman (drums), Ray White (guitar, vocals), Arthur Barrow (bass), Ike Willis (guitar, vocals) and Tommy Mars (keyboards). Logeman replaced Vinnie Colaiuta who would reclaim his seat in time for the start of Zappa’s fall tour on October 8, 1980.

Zappa 80: Mudd Club/Munich, as the title implies, documents both the Olympiahalle gig and a performance at the tiny Mudd Club in New York City held on May 8, 1980. The 3-CD set shows the versatility of an outfit that could wow at both a 12,000-seat arena and 240-capacity night club. Both shows are previously unreleased with the exceptions of “Love Of My Life” from Mudd Club and “You Didn’t Try To Call Me” from Munich, which are featured as part of the You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore series.

“City Of Tiny Lites” was played more than any other song in Zappa’s repertoire as per Setlist.FM. Adrian Belew handled lead vocals on early versions beginning with its debut on October 14, 1976 before Ray White started helming the song in 1978. The version in Munich showcases White’s bombastic vocals and features an otherworldly guitar solo from Frank Zappa.

Zappa 80: Mudd Club/Munich arrives via Zappa Records/UMe on March 3. Stream “City Of Tiny Lites” from the set below:

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