As a singer, songwriter, rock guitarist, classical composter, recording producer and even occasional film director, Frank Zappa was as difficult to describe as his eclectic music was throughout his 30-year career. Zappa was without peer, a singular entity who branched out in countless directions, and in the process, became one of the most important and influential musical artists of the latter-20th century. With his most famous band, The Mothers of Invention, he blended rock, jazz, classical, doo-wop, R&B and avant-garde stylings with strange, sexually-tinged lyrics and absurd stage theatrics to create a wholly unique live experience, while in the studio producing outside-the-mainstream albums like Freak Out! (1966), We're Only in it for the Money (1968) and Uncle Meat (1969). Though he fared better in Europe, particularly Germany and Soviet Bloc states, Zappa's influence was felt everywhere, as he branched off into big band jazz fusion on The Grand Wazoo (1972), while producing more conceptual albums with Zoot Allures (1976) and Joe's Garage (1979). Always prone to satirizing hypocrisy in religion, politics and elsewhere, Zappa was cemented as a staunch defender of first amendment rights when he delivered Senate testimony in 1985 against the Parents Music Research Center's idea of labeling records for obscene material. In later years, he shifted away from rock-oriented music toward his classical roots, while waging a battle with pancreatic cancer that he ultimately lost. With his death in 1993, Zappa left behind a legacy that influenced countless musicians and fans.