Cruising with Ruben & the Jets, 1968 Mix

It’s completely understandable why many new and old fans alike skip over this particular title in the Zappa catalogue. Of all of Zappa’s official releases, it’s no doubt the most controversial among fans because it’s original version has never been officially released since Zappa reissued it in an alternate mix with newly recorded bass and percussion and added several vocal overdubs and heavily remixed the album in 1984. To many fans, including myself, they are now two distinct albums. Given that only the 1984 mix is made widely available does make any comparison between the two difficult at best. Still, periodically a vinyl rip of the 1968 recording does slip by the censors at YouTube, thus giving new fans an opportunity to hear the original recording in all of it’s doo wop glory – and a little bit of nostalgia for us older Mothers of Invention freaks. Take a listen to these tracks while they are still available:

Side One:

“Cheap Thrills” (Zappa)
“Love of My Life” (Zappa)
“How Could I Be Such a Fool” (Zappa)
“Deseri” (Buff, Collins)
“I’m Not Satisfied” (Zappa)
“Jelly Roll Gum Drop” (Collins) [above]
“Anything” (Collins, Zappa) [below]

Side Two:

“Later That Night” (Zappa)
“You Didn’t Try to Call Me” (Zappa) [below]
“Fountain of Love” (Zappa)
“No. No. No.” (Zappa)
“Anyway The Wind Blows” (Zappa)
“Stuff Up The Cracks” (Zappa) [below]

Mothers of Invention:

Frank Zappa – guitar, keyboards, sound effects, vocals, bass, drums
Jimmy Carl Black – guitar, percussion, drums, rhythm guitar
Ray Collins – guitar, vocals
Roy Estrada – bass, electric bass, sound effects, vocals, voices
Bunk Gardner – alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
Don Preston – bass, piano, keyboards
Euclid James “Motorhead” Sherwood – baritone saxophone, tambourine, guitar, vocals, wind
Art Tripp – drums, percussion
Ian Underwood – guitar, piano, keyboards, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, wind

Note: Many thanks to “vinzer72frie” for posting these vinyl rips. Their audio quality are quite excellent.

39 Responses to “Cruising with Ruben & the Jets, 1968 Mix”

  1. Grimpo says:

    Wow. My first time hearing these. Still don’t enjoy the drumming in early Frank but wow that bass should have never been taken off the record and the vocals sound much better stripped down here.

  2. jonnybutter says:

    I always really liked ‘No No No’, and bought the remixed ‘Ruben’ mainly to hear that song once in a while. A mistake! It sounds like shit on the remix. Check out the original vinyl version, and listen to the bass part especially – it makes the whole song work.

  3. Robert says:

    I must confess now. Throughout the years, whenever someone complained about FZ’s decision to remix & redo the whole thing, i always thought that FZ owns the rights so he can do with the stuff what he wants. The flaw with this thinking always was that i *never* had the chance to listen to the original version in decent audio quality. This has now been rectified and i’m changing my mind *now*. Still, however, the original tapes are probably actually gone forever, so it needs folks like this vinzer72fre guy to do the work and make it available. Thanks!

  4. jonnybutter says: