The material on this album originally was intended to be part of a four-record set called Läther, prepared for release in 1977. Then Frank Zappa got into a disagreement with his record company, Warner Bros., and Läther was split up into several different releases as part of a contractual agreement. The results were dumped on the market during 1978 and 1979, while Zappa moved on to his own record label. Orchestral Favorites consists of material recorded on September 17 and 18, 1975, with a 37-piece orchestra, and includes such familiar Zappa themes as "Duke of Prunes" (from Absolutely Free) and "Strictly Genteel" (from 200 Motels); "Bogus Pomp" also consisted largely of 200 Motels music. The themes are melodic and often majestic, with various startling juxtapositions and changes. This was the first release of Zappa orchestral material since Lumpy Gravy and a precursor of things to come.