Frank Zappa’s ‘Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch’

Frank Zappa’s ‘Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch’ is an album (featuring the song, ‘Valley Girl’ co-written with Moon Unit Zappa) released on May 3, 1982 by Barking Pumpkin.

Track Listing : 1.No Not Now (Frank Zappa) – 05:50 . 2.Valley Girl (Frank Zappa) – 04:49 . 3.I Come From Nowhere (Frank Zappa) – 06:13 . 4.Drowning Witch (Frank Zappa) – 12:03 . 5.Envelopes (Frank Zappa) – 02:46 . 6.Teen-Age Prostitute (Frank Zappa) – 02:43

Musicians : Frank Zappa – Lead Guitar, Vocals . Steve Vai – Guitar . Ray White – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals . Tommy Mars – Keyboards . Bobby Martin – Keyboards, Sax, Vocals . Ed Mann – Percussion . Scott Thunes – Bass On (4 – 5 – 6 – 2) . Arthur Barrow – Bass On (1)And The First Part Of (3) . Patrick O’Hearn – Bass On The Guitar Solo In (3) . Chad Wackerman – Drums . Roy Estrada – Vocals . Ike Willis – Vocals . Bob Harris – Vocals . Lisa Popeil – Vocals On (6) . Moon Unit Zappa – Vocal On (2)

Production : Produced By Frank Zappa . Jo Hansch – Mastering . Mark Pinske – Engineer

Package : John Vince – Graphic Design

Recorded During September 1981– Early 1982 At Umrk.

Released May 3, 1982 By Barking Pumpkin.

Frank Zappa


Anyway, there’s no linking concept. It’s not an art project. It’s just an album. Sometimes an album is just an albumand that is totally okay with me. It makes for a shorter review, requiring little in terms of back story and letting the songs just play out as their own pieces. […]

SHIP ARRIVING TOO LATE TO SAVE A DROWNING WITCH – THEM OR US: THE MODERN ROCK BAND AND INSTRUMENTATION On the album liner notes Steve Vai gets credited for the playing of “impossible guitar parts”. Vai commented that Zappa would frequently come up with try-out scores to see if it was feasible for him to do things on guitar that Zappa himself thought was impossible. […]

It’s quite the scattered LP, covering lots of things like guitar jamming, silly comedy rock, lengthy atonal ensemble arrangingand freaky porn opera metal (my best description of “Teenage Prostitute” that I can think of)and the studio recordings are interspersed with some live material so it’s a strange, fractured listen, but it’s also only 34 minutes long and it seems to fly by even quicker than that. […]


Frank Zappa’s ‘Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch’