New Frank Zappa Release: Philly ’76

Zappa: Philly 76

Here’s the email announcement, and here’s the pre-order page.

The internet largely agrees this 2 Disc release is the Spectrum Theater in Philadelphia show from 29 October 1976. The band: FZ, Bozzio, Ray White, Patrick O’Hearn, Eddie Jobson and Bianca Thornton.

Tracklist:

  1. The Purple Lagoon
  2. Stinkfoot
  3. The Poodle Lecture
  4. Dirty Love
  5. Wind Up Workin’ In A Gas Station
  6. Tryin’ To Grow A Chin
  7. The Torture Never Stops
  8. City Of Tiny Lights (incl. The Sanzini Brothers Piramid Trick)
  9. You Didn’t Try To Call Me
  10. Manx Needs Women
  11. Titties ‘n Beer
  12. Black Napkins
  13. Advance Romance
  14. Honey Don’t You Want A Man Like Me?
  15. Rudy Wants To Buy Yez A Drink
  16. Would You Go All The Way?
  17. Daddy Daddy Daddy
  18. What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?
  19. Dinah-Moe Humm
  20. The Purple Lagoon
  21. Stranded In The Jungle
  22. Find Her Finer
  23. Camarillo Brillo
  24. Muffin Man
  25. The Purple Lagoon

This does look to be a good one, priced at $30…

79 Responses to “New Frank Zappa Release: Philly ’76”

  1. Thinman says:

    “Another fabulous mix from Mr. Filipetti.”

    Is that a bug or a feature?

  2. Compulsive Sterbus says:

    I definitely think that I WANT IT.

  3. Compulsive Sterbus says:

    I did’nt know you were all experts texperts on mixing and mastering…

  4. Noam says:

    I think there’s partial video footage of this show in Over-Nite Sensation & Apostrophe Classic Albums documentary.

  5. urbangraffito says:

    Like the Buffalo CD, a too long unrepresented line-up finally gets the spotlight. I will definitely be ordering this.

  6. basharoni says:

    yeaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh lets get 10 of that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the bag and the shopping cart too……………………thank you gail :)

  7. Rob says:

    I’d just like to echo what basharoni said; Thank you, Gail! We (we know who we are) are sometimes quick to post negative comments about her and the family. But if this is only half as good as I hope it will be, then I’m prepared to forgive the very looooooooooong time it takes to bring out the Roxy material. (And then, if the Roxy DVD finally showes up, I’ll personally write to the Nobel committee about GZ …)

  8. Jamez says:

    A quote from Noam:

    I think there’s partial video footage of this show in Over-Nite Sensation & Apostrophe Classic Albums documentary.

    Yeah, it’s Bianca singin’ Dirty Love, I wish there was more!

  9. Paul Sempschi says:

    if the bootleg is accurate, Jobson really frolics through an epic rendition of Black Napkins. And Bianca on You Didnt Try to Call Me was heavenly…

    Kudos to the ZFT for releasing it, I cant wait for the torrent

    ;)

  10. Martin Heidegger says:

    I always wanted another version of “Honey Don’t You Want A Man Like Me” and it makes me extremely happy to see that the ZFT have answered my prayers!

  11. Robert says:

    A quote from Martin Heidegger:

    I always wanted another version of “Honey Don’t You Want A Man Like Me” and it makes me extremely happy to see that the ZFT have answered my prayers!

    This piece alwas made me yawn. But maybe this version is different…

  12. Bálint says:

    It’s interesting to think of this show as a brother of Zappa In New York, minus the horns. The Purple Lagoon, The Torture Never Stops, Manx Needs Women, Titties ‘n Beer, Black Napkins, Honey Don’t You Want A Man Like Me? – it will be interesting to make comparisons between the versions of these songs, on two (hopefully) high quality recordings.

  13. Thinman says:

    I thought that ZINY contains sections from concerts without the horns and everything.

    ZINY is from two groups of shows. One group has to be the core band and the other one the additional musicians. Most parts of HDYWAMLM? must be the core band only (the mallets might be overdubbed). TIEB must be mostly from core band shows also (horns only present during the Don Pardo intro).

    I would have to do internet research to find some info on the ZINY-sources.

    I might be wrong, though.

    Th.

  14. Thinman says:

    The infos on

    http://www.globalia.net/donlope/fz/lyrics/Zappa_In_New_York.html
    http://www.globalia.net/donlope/fz/chronology/1976-1980.html

    suggest, that the augmented lineup is present on all ZINY dates.

    Hmm … any other infos?

  15. peter says:

    A quote from Paul Sempschi:

    Kudos to the ZFT for releasing it, I cant wait for the torrent

    ;)

    tee hee. you’re so radical, dude.

  16. vince says:

    How ‘straight’ is “Stranded In The Jungle”?

  17. Harry Barris says:

    My favorite tape from this tour is Chicago Auditorium, Nov. 25, after Bianca had already left the group. It has a looser, impromptu jamming quality along with a great Pound For A Brown (& guitar solo) since there had become less emphasis on vocals (and oldies). This is also the last show before the next revised line-up for the SNL tapings, etc.

    Still waiting for some live ’73 (the dvd?!?)–or even 1974–or maybe some early ’75 with Beefheart… ???

  18. P-Rip says:

    Thirty dollars? THIRTY DOLLARS!!!??? I don’t intend to steal it (torrent), so to me, 30 bucks is a lot for this type of release. To each his own, but to me, this is just not that interesting of a lineup. I just can’t get very excited about another live version of “The Torture Never Stops”. I know…it’s Zappa, so I’m sure there is some good stuff in there. Many people here have mentioned far more interesting potential releases. To me, the increasingly popular phrase; ‘the vault is a myth” means that there are almost limitless live versions of “Torture” that could be released, but most of the really unique things have some combination of legal, technical or emotional issues blocking them, so that they will never see the light of day. This release would make a great 10 or 12 dollar download, and it seems there was a tiny bit of movement by ZFT in that direction, but things seem to have stalled. Most younger music fans think that even iTunes releases are overpriced. I am in my mid-50′s, but I talk to a lot of college-age music fans. Most of them (wrongly) think music and software should be free (free-without advertising). So I just don’t see how the Zappa consumer fan base can grow or even survive at $30 a release. (BTW, I just paid $7.99 + free shipping on Amazon.com for the new live Tom Waits double-CD “Glitter and Doom” tour, packaged very nicely. Beat that, ZFT!) My main point is that it will be more difficult than Chinese algebra to build a new Zappa fan base at $30 a release. That’s just the reality of the current economy and “the mind of the foolish young consumer”.

  19. Chris says:

    I definitely don’t need to hear another version of HDYWAMLM or “The Poodle Lecture,” but otherwise, this definitely looks worthwhile (despite the steep price). I’m looking forward to hearing an official version of “Stranded in the Jungle” – I’ve heard an FZ version in the past, but I don’t think it was this band…I seem to remember Ike being on it. I think it’s circa 1978…

    I agree that this is another underrepresented lineup that’s finally getting its due. These bands should’ve been on YCDTOSA instead of the enormous amounts of 1984 band material. But I suppose I’m preaching to the choir here.

  20. Paul Sempschi says:

    A quote from Chris:

    I agree that this is another underrepresented lineup that’s finally getting its due. These bands should’ve been on YCDTOSA instead of the enormous amounts of 1984 band material. But I suppose I’m preaching to the choir here.

    I actually like the 84 line up (mostly for their heavenly vocals), and thought that they really brightened up the 3rd and 4th volumes quite nicely. But yeah, I agree that this line up, along with the Oz and Petit Wazoo are criminally under-represented.

    Though I’d prefer that Frank released a 7th guitar jam-heavy volume, sort of in the vein of the second disc on the 6th, which could have dealt with the output on these stripped down line ups. Bianca’s YDT2CM (with the rebuttle) would have made a great opening!

  21. cregg says:

    A quote from Paul Sempschi:

    Though I’d prefer that Frank released a 7th guitar jam-heavy volume, sort of in the vein of the second disc on the 6th, which could have dealt with the output on these stripped down line ups. Bianca’s YDT2CM (with the rebuttle) would have made a great opening!

    WHO WOODNT???

  22. urbangraffito says:

    While I agree with P-Rip, 30 dollars is quite expensive, even for a Zappa release – and with Chris, “I definitely don’t need to hear another version of HDYWAMLM or ‘The Poodle Lecture’,” – this line-up has always been one of my personal favorites (probably due to it’s brief life as an actual performing ensemble, I might add), and the chance to hear a high quality audio (at the time, given the recording technology FZ employed) of one of these shows is indeed a treat.

    That said, for the most part, the ZFT knows they have a large fanbase willing to pay almost (and I am extremely tentative with the use of that particular word) anything. Still, even as a completist, I am not prepared to leap and immediately purchase whatever the ZFT release when they release it.

    Releases of questionable or limited value such as the over-priced Joe’s Corsage series, Halloween (the Big One which wasn’t so big after all), The MOFO Project/Object (fazedooh), The Dub Room Special! CD (anyone who bought the DVD could easily have ripped a disc of mp3s for their personal listening), the One Shot Deal compilation, or the 2006 AAAFNRAA and 2008 AAAFNRAAA FZ Birthday Bundles.

    These releases have certainly strained my wallet. I can imagine non-completists and younger fans overlooking them altogether.

    If the ZFT wishes to insure a steady income, in my opinion, they might think well to stick to these full length concert releases, instead of attempting to sell Zappa’s music piecemeal.

    That said, I both agree with the ZFT position re iTunes and digital compression regarding FZ’s music. However, there must be some sort of middle ground where both fans of FZ’s music and the ZFT can find common cause so that no sooner does the ZFT release something than a torrent pops up somewhere offering it for free. Though it’s not really free, if you think about it. Every official Vaulternative CD somebody downloads, we all wind up paying for, don’t we, in the 30 dollar price tag for Philly ’76?

  23. La Croucharacha says:

    Well, I for one am glad that the ZFT is releasing SOMETHING!

    It’s been too long since the release of ‘Joe’s Menage’, and as a Londoner, it’s hard to get hold of the inbetweeny stuff like ‘The Torture Never Stops’ DVD. – For a couple of months I’ve been thinking that the ZFT might just have stopped producing product!

    Just be happy that we’re gonna get to hear some more of FZ’s unreleased work! – Stop complaining! This is great news!

    If you can’t afford to pay for this no-doubt fantastic CD, then just steal the money from someone weaker than you!

  24. Paul Sempschi says:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    That said, I both agree with the ZFT position re iTunes and digital compression regarding FZ’s music. However, there must be some sort of middle ground where both fans of FZ’s music and the ZFT can find common cause so that no sooner does the ZFT release something than a torrent pops up somewhere offering it for free. Though it’s not really free, if you think about it. Every official Vaulternative CD somebody downloads, we all wind up paying for, don’t we, in the 30 dollar price tag for Philly ’76?

    I see your point, though for me it’s not about the money. If I supported the ZFT and their legal suits and bully tactics, it wouldnt matter to me how much this release costs. In better days, I’ve paid $40 to import Imaginary Diseases.

    But as it stands, I cant, I wont, I wouldnt give them one red cent for any of it (maybe the Roxy, but I’m not made of stone!). Though if they do compensate and jack up the rates for their releases, me and a bunch of freaks are planning to switch tactics and chip in on the releases so that we can post the torrents up ourselves.

    So cross your fingers for the $90 single disc!

  25. Chris says:

    I agree that the ’84 band had incredible vocal harmonies (and in some ways, they’re a sentimental favorite – the only time I saw Frank was on that tour), but the cold, dated electronic sounds and the grating fake reggae make it difficult to ingest in heavy doses. My gripe with the ’84 band’s presence in the YCDTOSA series isn’t so much their presence, it’s their oversaturation. There is WAY too much of that band in the series.

  26. vince says:

    A quote from P-Rip:

    This release would make a great 10 or 12 dollar download, and it seems there was a tiny bit of movement by ZFT in that direction, but things seem to have stalled. .

    Geez, That “Mothermania” down-load only thing would’ve made a great 10 or 12 dollar download!

  27. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Paul Sempschi:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    That said, I both agree with the ZFT position re iTunes and digital compression regarding FZ’s music. However, there must be some sort of middle ground where both fans of FZ’s music and the ZFT can find common cause so that no sooner does the ZFT release something than a torrent pops up somewhere offering it for free. Though it’s not really free, if you think about it. Every official Vaulternative CD somebody downloads, we all wind up paying for, don’t we, in the 30 dollar price tag for Philly ’76?

    I see your point, though for me it’s not about the money. If I supported the ZFT and their legal suits and bully tactics, it wouldnt matter to me how much this release costs. In better days, I’ve paid $40 to import Imaginary Diseases.

    But as it stands, I cant, I wont, I wouldnt give them one red cent for any of it (maybe the Roxy, but I’m not made of stone!). Though if they do compensate and jack up the rates for their releases, me and a bunch of freaks are planning to switch tactics and chip in on the releases so that we can post the torrents up ourselves.

    So cross your fingers for the $90 single disc!

    I hear you, Paul. None of us FZ fans have a bottomless wallet. Though it does seem to me that the mail-order business paradigm that the ZFT has stuck to since before FZ’s passing has really left them in the past, technologically speaking. I mean, how many music fans actually buy hard copies of CDs anymore? The majority of my music purchases are direct downloads now (which contain all the artwork necessary for producing a CDR hardcopy) in FLAC format (from which I create a mp3 version for personal listening and use the flac for storage and backup). I don’t see musicians such as Mike Keneally having any problem offering their music as direct downloads at affordable prices (and his music doesn’t suddenly pop as torrents just after release, either). Or does this have more to do with personal animus between the ZFT and the fans of Zappa’s music?

  28. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from La Croucharacha:

    Well, I for one am glad that the ZFT is releasing SOMETHING!

    It’s been too long since the release of ‘Joe’s Menage’, and as a Londoner, it’s hard to get hold of the inbetweeny stuff like ‘The Torture Never Stops’ DVD. – For a couple of months I’ve been thinking that the ZFT might just have stopped producing product!

    Just be happy that we’re gonna get to hear some more of FZ’s unreleased work! – Stop complaining! This is great news!

    If you can’t afford to pay for this no-doubt fantastic CD, then just steal the money from someone weaker than you!

    If you really think out, we Zappa fans are like the red-headed stepchild of the Zappa family.

  29. Neal says:

    Wah wah wah.

    Quit yer bellyaching about every bleeding new release. If they limited these releases to 1000 copies and charged you $40, they would be gone in a heartbeat and you would end up paying $80-100 on ebay to the scalpers. If they had put out a single disc for $18 and left of Torture, Poodle, Romance, Honey, Dinah . . . you would complain even more.

    There is no way for the ZFT to please every fickle pickle out there, so just suck it up and spend your money wisely. If you’re only a casual fan, there is no reason to buy this one. If you are a new fan, there is no reason to buy this. If you a a life long dedicated completist, isn’t it better to give your money to the ZFT then to buy a promo Austrailian LP pressing of Hot Rats on ebay.

    Most hardcore fans will buy this, and would rather have a physical cd copy over a download any day of the week. Who the hell collects mp3s anyway? Most fans want a Vaulternative release from every single tour (ie: the best sounding, most complete, and best performed from every line-up Frank put together). Everyone else can go buy Apostrophe and Hot Rats and get on with your life.

  30. Chuck says:

    What does annoy me with these releases is that Barfko pricing is very high, but ok I can deal with that, but once shipping is included it makes buying it internationally with a weaker currency excessively expensive.

    If they could get their distribution together and have it so I could walk down to the local record store and just buy a copy I would be buying it straight away.

    At least the last few releases I could get when ZPZ toured at a nice normal, sane price.

  31. Neal says:

    A quote from Chuck:

    What does annoy me with these releases is that Barfko pricing is very high, but ok I can deal with that, but once shipping is included it makes buying it internationally with a weaker currency excessively expensive.

    If they could get their distribution together and have it so I could walk down to the local record store and just buy a copy I would be buying it straight away.

    At least the last few releases I could get when ZPZ toured at a nice normal, sane price.

    That’s what I did. I waited until MOFO came out to get all of the releases after CPIII because the shipping was ridiculous outside of the US (I’m in Canada). Then I bought the rest at the last tour. That is the one nice thing about all of the posthumous releases being still in print and available, there is none of the chaotic frenzy associated with those limited edition, tour-only, get it before it costs you an arm and a leg, cds of late (any Sunn 0))) fans out there?).

  32. Thinman says:

    I wait a little time and always buy at http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/home/search/-/lang/en/currency/EUR/fastsearch/Zappa/pd_orderby/score

    Th.

  33. John Carter of Mars says:

    Buy it used in a few months. Always the cheaper option, and the money doesn’t go to the family. It’s a win win for us fans and an F.U. to the idiotic ZFT.

    Yea!!

    :-)

  34. Harry Barris says:

    Well, I’m not going to buy it (something about a personally enforced boycott until the Roxy dvd is released) but it should have good sound quality because it comes from a ‘big bucks’ pro mobile truck 16-track multitrack recording–so it probably deserves a cd release as opposed to the more typical ‘rougher’ (mostly 4-track tape in the 70s) recorded through the board shows which could make ideal downloads, imo. Also, according to the link “Thinman” provided:

    The infos on

    http://www.globalia.net/donlope/fz/chronology/1976-1980.html

    the version of Wind Up Workin’ At A Gas Station on YCDTOSA Vol. 6 comes from this same 1976 Philly Spectrum show. So those that have this last volume can compare FZ’s stereo mix of this song to Fillipetti’s!

    Strange that since FZ had this entire concert in 16-track form (state-of-the-art remote recording in ’76) that he only decided to release just this one song from it?

  35. Theydon Bois says:

    A quote from Theydon Bois:

    a personally enforced boycott until the Roxy dvd is released

    This is definitely sensible! I haven’t bought any Zappa records since 1970 as I am still waiting for the “History And Collected Improvisations Of The Mothers Of Invention” box set that Frank promised us.

  36. Theydon Bois says:

    This quoting business isn’t as easy as it looks.

  37. Neal says:

    A quote from Theydon Bois:

    I haven’t bought any Zappa records since 1970 as I am still waiting for the “History And Collected Improvisations Of The Mothers Of Invention” box set that Frank promised us.

    I came out from 1988 through 1992. It ended up being called “You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 1-6″. If you’re waiting for an all early mothers box, MOFO is your only hope.

  38. Theydon Bois says:

    (Sorry, Neal, I was doing a satire. But even so, 18-22 years puts the wait for the Roxy DVD into the shade.)

  39. Paul Sempschi says:

    A quote from Theydon Bois:

    This is definitely sensible! I haven’t bought any Zappa records since 1970 as I am still waiting for the “History And Collected Improvisations Of The Mothers Of Invention” box set that Frank promised us.

    It’s a great point, though to be fair, by the mid-70′s Frank came out and finally said, “it aint gonna happen, now go out and get Lather!”

  40. J. Case says:

    $30 for 2 discs is entirely unacceptable. Tom Petty just released a four (4) cd set for $24.99 list, though it’s available as low as $16.99 in many places. I wish people would simply control themselves and not buy things at the obscene prices that Gail charges. As long as people feel so hard up that they allow this type of financial rape, she will continue to charge what she does unashamedly.

  41. Thinman says:

    I think they will manufacture and sell many more T. Petty CDs. What do you think how many Zappa CDs with special interest content can be sold today? Is there a significant market for Zappa product these days. I doubt that.

    Th.

  42. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    A quote from J. Case:

    $30 for 2 discs is entirely unacceptable.

    You’re kidding, right? $30 is entirely acceptable for a 2 disc “physical” release, as far as I’m concerned. Now as for shipping costs…

  43. Mondolunch says:

    I don’t care what the fkkn price is. I am going to buy it. Also, I am going to go see any FZ cover bands that come near (so FKK U ZFT) and I am going to see ZPZ when it comes around, as I recently did in Houston last month (so FKK U Snobfkker Zappa purist types)

    Relax and buy FZ music. You can’t be that poor, you are on the internet.

    HA.

    Mondo

  44. Matt says:

    It’s not a matter of rich or poor. It’s all about perceived worth and how much one is willing to spend on a product. I’m not very interested in this FZ band/tour, so the release is not worth $30 to me. However, a 2-CD synclavier project would be worth $30 to me.

  45. Mondolunch says:

    Not interested in this FZ band tour?

    What, they aren’t playing enough FZ for you?

    Picky b@st@rds aren’t we?

  46. Matt says:

    I prefer to be called selective.

  47. Bob says:

    A quote from Bob:

    A quote from Matt:

    I prefer to be called selective.

    I prefer to be called Bob.

  48. P-Rip says:

    So, there is a new Flash site intro / promo on Zappa.com for Philly 76 that results in a track listing. There are years associated with each track, anywhere from 1966 to 2009. Do the years correspond to some copyright date or publishing date?

  49. Paul Sempschi says:

    Fun game, too bad winning it doesnt unlock any Easter eggs. Still cant wait to hear this torrent

  50. Sunrise Redeemer says:

    I for one am pleased with the release. Frank was very enthusiastic on this night. I had not heard this early version of City of Tiny Lites, which Ray sings in a very straight-forward manner. It’s cool to hear Ray and Frank doing the guitar line duet out of the scat solo; I always assumed this was something Frank and Adrian Belew designed in tandem, but I guess not. Do yourselves a favor and get this release; it is worth the dough.

  51. peter says:

    This has to be my least favorite posthumous release (yep, that includes the domages). I guess having the whole concert is important to the majority of fans, I can always edit it down to one disc, but to me it’s obvious why Frank never used it. Yea, it’s neat to hear the Flo & Eddie era material but it jut makes me feel disappointed for what could have been. A surprise highlight is Dinah Moe Hum. Who whadda thunk it?

  52. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Bálint:

    It’s interesting to think of this show as a brother of Zappa In New York, minus the horns. The Purple Lagoon, The Torture Never Stops, Manx Needs Women, Titties ‘n Beer, Black Napkins, Honey Don’t You Want A Man Like Me? – it will be interesting to make comparisons between the versions of these songs, on two (hopefully) high quality recordings.

    Having listened to Philly ’76 a few times now, Balint, I don’t feel it is so much a brother of a classic live album such as Zappa In New York, as you suggest, minus the horns – rather that of an official bootleg. After listening to the October 24th, 1976, Boston Music Hall show all these years (and loving it, too), the October 29th, 1976, Philadelphia show at The Spectrum is a real treat. Yet, if any comparisons between versions are to be made, it’s between those to shows, in my opinion (that is, given the somewhat lesser audio quality of the Boston show in comparison).

    UG Highlights: The Purple Lagoon, The Torture Never Stops, City of Tiny Lites, You Didn’t Try To Call Me, Black Napkins, Advance Romance, Dinah-Moe Humm, Stranded in the Jungle, and Muffin Man.

    Except for “Stranded in the Jungle” (which has only appeared on bootlegs and field recordings with the audio equivalent of ear cancer), these highlights cover both the Boston and Philly shows. The very same elements that made the Boston show so great – Bianca Thornton’s deep and soulful voice and Eddie Jobson’s violin (particularly on “Black Napkins”, “The Torture Never Stops” and “You Didn’t Try To Call Me”) – is what made the Philly show exceptional.

    Of course, if you’re comparing Philly ’76 to Zappa In New York or Roxy & Elsewhere, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s not a release of that calibre.

    Philly ’76, like the Buffalo release in 2007, are both official bootlegs, and as such are fantastic live archival pieces well worth the price. What’s next? A live show from the Bongo Fury tour? The 84 tour? The 88 band? The original Mothers?

    Imagine that, the ZFT doing something right? Who whadda thunk it?

  53. Paul Sempschi says:

    WONDERFUL NEWS

    the Philly 76 torrent’s up and running!

    It’s such a beautiful line up, I cant wait to hear it, and I cant wait to read more of the reviews!!!

  54. peter says:

    A quote from Paul Sempschi:

    WONDERFUL NEWS

    the Philly 76 torrent’s up and running!

    It’s such a beautiful line up, I cant wait to hear it, and I cant wait to read more of the reviews!!!

    What a dork!

  55. Paul Sempschi says:

    lemme guess, not a fan of torrents?

    Or are you not a fan about getting excited over a torrent?

    Philly kicks ass btw, with Bozzio in especially good form.

  56. Stewart says:

    Hi y’all

    This album is freakin awesome. Has anyone else been blown away by Bianca’s multiphonic singing on Napkins? 3:40 if you’re looking for it – never heard anyone do this before at that range. Sounds great!

  57. Plooker says:

    Hey Peter, I know what you are but what am I?

  58. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Paul Sempschi:

    lemme guess, not a fan of torrents?

    Or are you not a fan about getting excited over a torrent?

    Philly kicks ass btw, with Bozzio in especially good form.

    Myself, I can understand some people’s aversion to torrents, especially when these torrent sites torrent commercially available releases (which is no different than going into a record store, picking up a CD, then leaving without paying for it – it’s called shoplifting, and everyone winds up paying for it in the end as higher prices for future releases).

    Yes, torrent sites have their place. Particularly when the torrent in question is not commercially available or out of print or a field recording. Personally, I would much rather see unavailable music shared between fans than bootlegged on ebay. Even the Philly ’76 torrent site has it’s place among torrent sites. That is, download and sample the release to see if it is worthy of your entertainment dollar (or euro), then order the more pristine version from Vaulternative.

    However, how many will actually do this?

    I fear that the future of these quality releases are being jeopardized by these very torrents in question.

  59. Paul Sempschi says:

    Well no, it’s not as simple as that.

    IF they’re hard up for profits, the likely cause is a faulty distribution process that keeps these releases out of major chains, or at the very least not available (even to order) from most stores. This compounded with their shitty mail-order set-up must really thin out their cost/profit margins.

    But that would involve them blaming themselves OR actually having to do something about it. It’s easy to blame others, I know local bookstores are constantly pissing and moaning about how online sales are cutting into their profits and they cant stay afloat. Though as a customer who has watched a few of em die out, I would argue that it has to do more with bad selection and a total lack of insight into what people who buy books are interested in. They stock according to their own tastes, and are too thick headed to see no one else wants to buy their garbage, but I digress…

    Zappa has established a strong fan base, who will buy anything with his face on it. BUT (to be a dead horse here), the ZFT has done a lot to alienate that fan base, who now feel conflicted, they want new releases but they know that their money also helps fund litigation against them (the fans).

    In my opinion, torrent’s are the only sensible reaction to this unreasonable situation, starve them out, sell the tapes to Warner Brothers or whoever, because now we can see why Frank wanted her to get out of the business etc. etc.

    But in general, a lot of people in the music/film industry have been playing the torrent scapegoat to explain poorer sales (or potential poor sales), when in reality they never get back to any sense of self-criticism… perhaps the summer blockbuster’s just a piece of shit.

  60. Paul Sempschi says:

    *BEAT a dead horse

    what a weird typo…

  61. urbangraffito says:

    Paul, I agree that the ZFT has completely alienated Zappa’s fanbase with their litigious behavior, but your argument seems to assume that there are a large number of posthumous recordings for the ZFT to release (and thus be torrented) which I tend to believe is only a finite number. Check out the recently posted “Freeman Report” interview regarding Zappa’s stage hands union fee of $3000.00 per concert recording.

    Certainly, torrents have little or nothing to do with the ZFT’s choice of business paradigm. And any poor sales they may be experiencing has more to do with being so far behind the times. I mean, releasing CDs in 2009/2010? The technology exists for them to release copy protected titles. Indeed, it was Frank, himself, who came up with the concept of releases on a subscription basis in the 1980s.

    Why release titles that are so easily and so quickly torrented? Only the ZFT can answer that.

    I look forward to the day they devote their energies 100% to releasing what archival recordings of FZ remain instead of living in angst and litigation of that next tribute/cover band and former alumni.

  62. Paul Sempschi says:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    Paul, I agree that the ZFT has completely alienated Zappa’s fanbase with their litigious behavior, but your argument seems to assume that there are a large number of posthumous recordings for the ZFT to release (and thus be torrented) which I tend to believe is only a finite number.

    Yes, I would assume that there are a large number of posthumous releases, according to the Mark Pinske interview, he was taken along as an inhouse recording engineer for a few tours in the early 80′s. I’d interpret that as a sign that those shows were recorded… that and along with the van they used for the 88 band, would suggest that there would be an exacerbating amount of material, at least from the 80′s.

    BUT why would my argument be dependent on that assumption? Unless ZPZ, beer logos and Gene Simmon samples are the lifeblood of the Zappa industry, I’d imagine these releases keep the whole machine going.

    Or do you think the ZFT is working under the non-profit model? That these releases are just bleeding them dry so that they depend on publishing royalties and the like to finance their cds, that it’s a lot like Bingo for the Deaf.

    Eitherway, it comes back to the fact that due to hideous and unforgivable PR, the folks running the ZFT are alienating their loyal customers, who still love the product, but find it unfortunate to have to deal with the company. If this were a corporation, she’d be fired. If she were hocking anything else under any other circumstances, she would never be able to develop the customer base, and have starved to death long ago.

    And torrenting this stuff’s a direct retaliation. Illegal downloading WONT destroy this industry, and if it does syphon off funds, you wouldnt have to be Milton Friedman to understand that the free boots are the least of Barko’s problems, therefore not a concrete obstacle re: financing new cds.

  63. urbangraffito says:

    For the most part, Paul, we are in perfect agreement, except for the number of worthwhile releasable shows in the UMRK vault. You suggest that there might be enough for the ZFT to sell outright to Warner Brothers. I’m of the view that there are not as many worthwhile shows in the vault as one might think. Just examine the posthumous releases so far. While, yes, torrenting may be a direct retaliation to the behavior of the ZFT – they are fully responsible for turning the fanbase against them.

  64. Bálint says:

    A quote from Bálint:

    I’m of the view that there are not as many worthwhile shows in the vault as one might think. Just examine the posthumous releases so far.

    Hm, Urb, I don’t think that the ZFT’s “policy” is anything that you might get conclusions from. :-) Hey, they are “repairing” the sound of Roxy for decades now!… :-D
    Since FZ recorded almost all of his show, there is no question (for me) that these are existing and usable recordings (what would destroy these tapes in 20-30 years?), and dozens of full shows, dozens of “Best of This-and-that Tour” CDs could be made.
    Just think of the YCDTOSA series, of all the show those were selected. Its PLENTY.

    I think its the total lack of informations what makes the fanbase speculate about all this things, and this speculation tends to suggest that there IS logic in the ZFT’s choices.

    I think: there is NOT. :-)

  65. Matt says:

    According to GZ and Joe Travers, many earlier tapes are in danger of decaying/shedding, and they have had to bake many of the tapes to prevent such damage:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tape_baking

  66. Bálint says:

    “According to GZ” (some other times): there are hundreds of shows to be released… According to JT… (he mostly never says anything. :-) )

    Anyway: we (or our grandchildren) will see, because no others can release any stuff than the ZFT, so any speculation is just a way to spend time.

  67. Paul Sempschi says:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    For the most part, Paul, we are in perfect agreement, except for the number of worthwhile releasable shows in the UMRK vault. You suggest that there might be enough for the ZFT to sell outright to Warner Brothers. I’m of the view that there are not as many worthwhile shows in the vault as one might think. Just examine the posthumous releases so far.

    Yes, but if Zappa Records DID go tits up, they could still sell the masters for the posthumous releases so far. I mean:

    WHOOO COULD IMAGINE, there’d be Civlization aaat HMV…

    WHOOO COULD IMAGINE, the Corsaga in a bargin bin?

    (4 forra dollar…)

    Then there’s The Rage and the Fury + Dance Me This, which were prepared by Frank before he died (the latter even has an accompanying video). And speaking of video, imagine the rerelease of 200 Motels (w/The True Story), Uncle Meat and The Amazing Mr. Bickford.

    That, alongside a rerereprint of (the now out of print) catalogue with Rykolike availability, is more than enough incentive to kill this redunzelconomics situation.

    So I guess there’s a wisdom in keeping a levelhead and not pining for any Roxyesque ecstasy, but we still must appreciate the smaller things. Remember that golden age in the mid-90′s when Zappa cds flooded the market at reasonable prices and you could jam out to it at the Chrome Dinnette? that’s more or less all I hope for in the demise of BARF-korporated…

  68. urbangraffito says:

    I once described the posthumous releases from the ZFT as gravy, and I suppose I still do. As a long time Zappa fan (entering multiple decades now), I feel fortunate for every little bit of Zappa that comes out of the vault. And, yes, there is, indeed, wisdom in keeping a level head regarding these releases. Seldom, if at all, are they going to measure up to the pre-posthumous releases many come to expect of a Zappa release. As I said, it all comes back to gravy.

    That said, for a very long time now, Gail’s and Joe Traver’s choices of releases have frankly baffled me. Why “The Rage and the Fury” and “Dance Me This” (prepared by Frank before he died) haven’t been released (where there is an actual fanbase demand for it), while a number of compilations (Joe’s Domage, Corsage, Xmasage) are released, really makes one shake one’s head.

    There are ‘hundreds of releases’, according to GZ and JT. That’s a hell of a lot of gravy, Balint.

    Obviously neither GZ or JT have a finger on the pulse of the fanbase – this is painfully obvious from their inconsistent choices of posthumous releases. While bits and pieces of what they release are equal to Zappa’s brilliance – just how many run of mill versions of “Stink-foot”, “Poodle Lecture” and “Honey Don’t You Want A Man Like Me?” does the fanbase really need anyway?

    I’ve often wondered what series of releases would be released if a bona fide Zappa fan were to make the choices instead.

    Paul, Matt, Balint, Barry?

  69. Matt says:

    If I were in charge of the Zappa estate, here is what I would release for starters:

    1. Dance Me This
    2. Rage & Fury
    3. Resolver & Brutality
    4. The Valdez Score and related Synclavier pieces
    5. Either a full ’73 show with Ponty or a YCDTOSA ’73 best-of
    6. An “odds-n-sods” disc with Bognor Regis, Junior Mintz Boogie, etc.

    All releases would be available as downloads and limited edition CDs. Dance Me This and Rage & Fury would be released by Rhino in retail stores with much advertising/publicity/interviews.

    I would overhaul Barfko-Swill completely, starting with major discounts on old stock: $40 for a shirt made in ’85? No way! I’d sell it for $3 with the purchase of a new release. All posthumous releases would be made available as reasonably-priced downloads.

    I don’t think that I would release any more full-concerts. I would dig throught the vault for more proto-versions of songs, improvs, audience participation one-offs, etc. We don’t need another Poodle Lecture. Hell, I don’t think that we ever really needed the first one.

    Was it Marc Ziegenhagen who transcribed piano reductions of some of FZ’s orchestral pieces? I would have those transcriptions performed and released. And I would try to get the Cleveland Orchestra to perform Sinister Footwear in its entirety.

    I guess that I would focus more on FZ’s “serious music” in general, be it orchestral or Synclavier.

  70. Paul Sempschi says:

    Well of course the pieces Zappa had prepared should be released, albeit annually, and maybe sparingly, since completed projects are obviously finite. Bi or triannually would be enough.

    Though I would stick with the ‘making of’ format which would concentrate on producing a whole new album mix with outtakes/concert fragments of that band’s line up AND/OR the complete show, if available, for example Roxy or Bongo Fury (along with various releases of other shows, if available).

    But to increase production on these fuckers, I’d release one from the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s per year. Along with one concert/studio album bits (Crush All Boxes) thing.

    All releases would come with codes to download exclusive unreleased material, including build reels, dialogue, Menagesque concert fragments, ‘nuggets’, overdubbs and photos. Surely, at the very least, there’s plenty of that fly on the wall type talk stuff lying around to be given out.

    Something like “The History and Collected Improvisitions” would be potentially chalk full of alternate mixes, edits and dialogue which would be unusable in any other context. The idea being to give away the garbage, not sell it. The fans would appreciate such gifts.

  71. Megan says:

    If I were in charge of the Zappa(tm) estate, I would put all the hundreds of hours of synclavier bits and pieces up on the web and into the “creative common” (cc) for other artists to use.

  72. Bob says:

    If I were in charge of the ZFT…I’d quit and turn the whole thing over to people like you.

  73. Jay says:

    Never could get into anything FZ did on the synclavier. If I was in charge of the estate aside from everything everyone’s mentioned, we’d all be Playing Rock Band Zappa right about now and I’d be kicking ass playing bass on Carolina Hardcore Estacy ;)

    Really can’t figure out why NO FZ songs are on (to my knowledge) ANY musical based games.

  74. Jay says:

    might have gotten that song title wrong, but you all know what I mean.

  75. mark fraser says:

    I agree with one of the above comments that we don’t really need another poodle lecture. Finally found FZ:OZ last year and listened to it – Zappa talking to Sydneysiders circa 1976 sounds just like Robert Friedland preaching to a bunch of miners in Western Australia circa 2006. Totally patronising – smacks of the wise NY yankie jew talking down to the backward rednecks out in one of the colonies.

    As for the prices, well what can yer do? It seems one can’t order the CD of Guitar in Australia anymore for less than A$60-70; back in ’88 I paid A$32 for a vinyl version of both it (sans the extra tracks) and YAWYI (albeit they were Barking Pumpkin pressings). Ended up getting the CD of YAWYI a few weeks ago for around A$20. Worse still, perhaps, was the original EMI vinyl pressing of Thing-Fish (not one of my favourites), which was A$56 back in 1985. Got the CD for A$26 a few weeks back. FZ has always been pricey in OZ.

    As for possible releases, yes – where is The Rage and the Fury?

    Also, why isn’t there a release of his November (17?) show at the NY Ritz in 1981? Surely it must be better than what we eventually got on Halloween!

    Also, has anybody else heard the alternative version of Civilisation Phase III with that big Gershwinesque track and the ending when it fades out on the woman singing?

  76. Dark Clothes says:

    A quote from mark fraser:

    Zappa talking to Sydneysiders circa 1976 sounds just like Robert Friedland preaching to a bunch of miners in Western Australia circa 2006. Totally patronising – smacks of the wise NY yankie jew talking down to the backward rednecks out in one of the colonies.

    Well, if you are a backward redneck, that’s what you have to deal with. Hell for you seems to be an eternity of poodle lectures, for others that’s just an ice cube melting and cooling the stuffy torture chamber.

  77. FZ addict says:

    I was There. I believe this was the show that during Dinah – Moe Hum he took a Raggedy Ann doll down the center isle at he Spectrum and ate its crotch during another players solo. For a young kid…..hell, I remember it like it was yesterday!!!!

  78. Michael L Malm says:

    This my first Frank Zappa concert,not the last!

  79. max says:

    I AM LOVING PHILLY 76!

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