Congress Shall Make No Law...
Compilation album by
ReleasedSeptember 19, 2010
Recorded1985-1993, various locations
GenreSpoken word
LabelZappa Records[1]
ProducerGail Zappa
Frank Zappa chronology
Greasy Love Songs
Congress Shall Make No Law...
Hammersmith Odeon

Congress Shall Make No Law... is an album by Frank Zappa, released posthumously in 2010 by the Zappa Family Trust on Zappa Records. It contains a full recording of Zappa's September 19, 1985, testimony before the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, during which he spoke in support of the recording industry and against censorship. In his testimony, Zappa criticized the Parents Music Resource Center, formed in 1985 with the stated goal of increasing parental control over the access of children to recordings deemed to have violent, drug-related or sexual themes by labeling them with Parental Advisory stickers. The album's release commemorates the 25th anniversary of the hearings.

The album's title refers to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states,

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

In a press release, Gail Zappa said of the album,

"'Congress Shall Make No Law...' is released as an educational project, representing Zappa's tireless commitment to the First Amendment which he felt his duty to protect by providing (in his words) "stimulating digital audio entertainment" in the form of "material which a truly free society would neither fear nor suppress."[2]

Congress Shall Make No Law... also includes Zappa testimony before the Maryland State Legislature the following year, as well as various quotes and interview excerpts on the subject of censorship and an alternate version of the song "Reagan at Bitburg", one of the last pieces Zappa finished before his death in 1993. The first official version of the track was included on the 1994 album, Civilization Phaze III.[3] Many of the tracks are named after the Ten Commandments, each corresponding to the particular topic of Zappa's opinion.

Track listing

1."Congress Shall Make No Law"32:46
2."Perhaps in Maryland"10:54
3."Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me"2:56
4."Thou Shalt Not Make Unto Thee Any Graven Image - Any Likeness of Anything in Heaven Above, Nor in the Earth Beneath, Nor in the Water Under the Earth"2:31
5."Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of the Lord Thy God in Vain"2:26
6."Thou Shalt Keep Holy the Sabbath Day"2:05
7."Thou Shalt Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother"2:21
8."Thou Shalt Not Kill"2:06
9."Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery"0:55
10."Thou Shalt Not Steal"0:39
11."Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor"1:48
12."Thou Shalt Not Covet the House of Thy Neighbor, the Wife of Thy Neighbor, Nor His Male Servant, Nor His Female Servant, Nor His Ass, Nor Anything That Belongs to Thy Neighbor"1:13
13."Reagan at Bitburg Some More"1:10


  1. ^ "Allmusic: Congress Shall Make No Law..." AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-02-11.
  2. ^ "Zappa Records Commemorates 25th Anniversary of Frank Zappa's Testimony Against Censorship on Capitol Hill with New CD 'Congress Shall Make No Law...'". 2010-09-27. Retrieved 2011-02-11.
  3. ^ "Information Is Not Knowledge: Reagan At Bitburg". Retrieved 2011-02-11.