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22 Modern Musicians Frank Zappa Would’ve Loved

Twenty-two years ago today, the world lost Frank Zappa – one of the 20th century’s most fearless musical innovators. Zappa practically personified many of the changes that occurred in popular music during the three decades he was active, starting with his sarcastic psychedelic excursions with Mothers of Invention to his ’70s jazz-rock freak-outs to his unapologetic parodies and naked social critiques. Along the way, he also dove deep into baroque composition, sound collage, musique concrète and ribald comedy. When he left us, he left behind 62 official albums of astonishing breadth, plus enough material for 38 posthumous releases.

There are, of course, no precise modern analogues for Zappa, and to even attempt to think of another artist in the modern era that trod so much ground so fearlessly is to be reminded of his singular prodigiousness. There are, however, scores of artists who, either through their fearless experimentalism, defiant genre skipping, wacked out sense of humor, or uncompromising social critique help to keep Zappa’s truly unique spirit alive and well. In honor of Zappa and the staggering amalgam of creative work he put out into the world, we’ve compiled a list of 22 artists who keep his creative fire burning. Check them out in the gallery above.

Next: Frank Zappa Invented Music Streaming

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