Frank Zappa

The Deathless Horsie

Song Review by

Frank Zappa really liked the motif he wrote for the song "Outside Now," first released on the 1979 album Joe's Garage. He rearranged it on his Synclavier, giving this new version the title "Outside Now, Again," but also used it for an instrumental piece, "The Deathless Horsie." In this case, he cut the last note of the original 11/8 motif to give the piece a slightly squarer 5/4 vamp and wrote a new guitar theme, stated a couple of times before the piece opens up for an extended solo. Zappa tried to stretch the motif's melancholia by confronting it with playful, lively guitar lines. On a good night it sounded great, but also held a strong potential for catastrophe.

"The Deathless Horsie" was used as a show opener in 1978 and 1979, usually preceding "Dancin' Fool" and "Dead Girls of London," respectively. It also made very selected apparitions during the 1981 and 1984 tours. It first appeared on record in 1981 on Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar Some More.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar 1981 Rykodisc 6:20
No Image 1981 Barking Pumpkin Records
Poughkeepsie 2018 Chrome Dreams / Smokin' 9:11