Released: February 4 2003


  1. NY Audience
  2. Ancient Armaments
  3. Dancin’ Fool
  4. Easy Meat
  5. Magic Fingers
  6. Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow
  7. Conehead
  8. “Zeets”
  9. Stink-Foot
  10. Dinah-Moe Humm
  11. Camarillo Brillo
  12. Muffin Man
  13. Black Napkins (interpolating The Deathless Horsie)

Frank Zappa (lead guitar, vocals), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Arthur Barrow (bass), Patrick O’Hearn (bass), Tommy Mars (keyboards), Denny Walley (guitar, vocals), Peter Wolf (keyboards), Ed Mann (percussion), L. Shankar (special guest on electric violin)
Dweezil Zappa (producer), Joe Chicarelli (original remote engineer, 2002 stereo and multi-channel mix), Steve Genewick (second engineer), Bill Smith (third engineer), David Duncan (DTS encoding), Jeff Levison (DVD authoring production), Len Dell’Amico (“Suicide Chump” video director), Dave Wilson (“Dancin’ Fool” video director for Saturday Night Live)

11 thoughts on “Halloween”

  1. When I heard about this release I immediatley went out and purchased a dts decoder. I mean, this is the long-notorious, four-hour Zappa concert from Halloween, 1978, considered by many to be one of his crowning acheivements in concert performing. Imagine my disappointment when I put it in my dvd player only to discover IT’S ONLY 70 MINUTES LONG! Where’s the other 170 minutes??

    Technically it’s great. All 13 tracks sound fantastic in dts (especially “Zeets”, Vinnie Colaiuta’s solo that swirls around your room like a whirlwind). I just wish Dweezil and Joe Travers could’ve selected more from that night.

  2. I think that a better selection would’ve improved this album, but as for length there just isn’t that much space on a DVD-AUDIO title.
    With the DVD-AUDIO MLP (advanced resolution) format being a hi-res audio format, the 96/24 DTS surround mix and the LPCM stereo mix there isn’t any room at all if the duration is 70+ mins.
    I s’pose you could drop either the DTS or stereo mix, but that wouldn’t give much space. The MLP tracks are the space leeches.
    What I’d like to see is a mega-dvd video release of live and archival material. And of course either a DVD-audio reissue of all Zappa albums or SACD of the same.

  3. This is a good compilation/sampler of the 1978 Halloween shows of legend creating the feel of a live concert. Also, it is a good introduction to the consumer of another audio format that is a huge sonic improvement over the standard cd format. The surround audio image makes you feel like (if you close your eyes) you’re in the middle of the audience. Even the PCM stereo track, when listened to through headphones, has a nice live ambience that one doesn’t always get on standard cds. I’d like to see ZFT release more of this and other live material that hasn’t yet been unleased .

  4. I was disappointed that despite FZ’s spoken introduction promising the esoteric delights to come after the usual stuff, it wasn’t there. The producer (Dweezil) should have spotted this inconsistency and used the editing facility. And if they didn’t have such a hang-up about promoting 5.1 they could instead have released a double CD of Halloween along the lines of YCDTOSA. That said, it is a good album and captures the moment.

  5. Now if only I could afford a dts decoder and a bad ass surround system with somekind of monsterous Klipsch speakers (dream on) I would most likely be in “Hog Heaven” by now(shrugs)..It really sucks that I have only been able to listen to it on a sony playstation 3so I know i havent got the full effect at all..I do hope that the rest of the supposed 4 hours worth of show gets released for the ear and soul to absorb…keep up the good work Dweez and Joe your efforts can’t be appreciated enough in words …Christophe’

  6. SACD seems to be catching on, slowly, in the UK. Can’t wait to be able to get hold of some FZ in this format – it’s certainly much better than standard CD.

  7. For a lucky bastard like me, who has got the whole concert this is a bit useless. But the sounds here is fantastic, and in the bootleg sucks. So take it! (8/10)

  8. I seem to differ a bit from the average listener – sorry for that in advance. I don’t have too much problems with the length (okay, could have been longer…), or with the selected songs (though yes, I could imagine a better selection, too) – my main problem is the SOUND.
    Interestinly enough I have problem with a thing that everyone likes – I just couldn’t get used to the way this recording sounds. I especially dislike Colaiuta’s drum sounds: too hard, too… I don’t know. And the way he plays… (to me) it’s far from good, and lightyears for Buffalo. Because the way he plays in Buffalo: simply amazing, the Best Drumming Ever. But on Halloween?… I don’t find it interesting or inspiring at all. Not in Zeets, nor under FZ’s improvisations. So my greatest disappointment is Colaiuta – how could he get THAT far after this not-so-very-inspired period? Because in 80 (autumn) he is simply THE BEST.
    One more complaint: Black Napkins/Deathless Hoarsie is also not my favourite. Way too long, with some uninspired moment – would have needed some editing.
    After finally getting the original DVD release, my opinion did not change, unfortunately. After a while I tend to get bored, and take it out from the player. Okay, I may like Conehead and Stinkfoot. But I don’t like Denny Walley’s vocals.
    (I might be deaf, but I’ve never really heard the two basses… are they audible somewhere as two independent instruments?…)
    Okay, sorry folks, that’s just one opinion, I’ve felt like sharing it.

  9. After reading Bálint’s review, I went and listened to Halloween again, and then The Big One bootleg of that 31 October 1978 Palladium show. It’s quite obvious that the original concert had been cannibalized by the time Dweezil and Joe Travers got around to releasing what was left unreleased on the YCDTOSA series. Comparing the two, Halloween comes of quite thin indeed. Why not release the entire show? Only the ZFT knows the answer to that question.
    I certainly agree with Bálint’s comment regarding the SOUND of Halloween. The drums are too hard, too harsh, and too forward in the mix. For example, compare the drums in “Ancient Armaments” on Halloween with the same song on the B-side of the I Don’t Want To Get Drafted EP. And why pick “Zeets” as an example of Colaiuta’s drumming? It’s not inventive at all, and really does Colaiuta a disservice (listen to Colaiuta’s drumming in “Little House I Used To Live In” alongside Tommy Mars’ keyboard and skat improv — it really comes alive).
    That being said, Halloween does have highlights: L. Shankar on “Conehead”, “Black Napkins (The Deathless Horsie)” and the video trick or treat “Suicide Chump” (although it wasn’t even from the same concert — 13 October 1978, Capital Theatre, NJ).
    Yet just imagine if these other songs had made their way onto Halloween: A Pound For A Brown, Thirteen, Tryin To Grow A Chin, Ms. X, Little Rubber Girl, Suicide Chump, Little House I Used To Live In, Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance, Peaches III. We know they are in the vault because at 6:07 of “Suicide Chump” Frank announces to the Palladium audience that “we’re recording this fucking thing…”
    Until that happens, we’ll just have to enjoy the scattering of this show’s songs wherever we can find them, on Halloween, on YCDTOSA, or on The Big One bootleg (which doesn’t sound as bad as Aqualung would have you believe).

  10. Love this one! Not only do you get the DVD-Audio but you get some videos in black-and-white and colour and a Zappa radio interview!
    The DVD-Audio is outtasite, my only complaint is that Ike Willis wasn’t there (was he sick on the day?).

  11. Coliauta on Buffalo is better, but I dunno, he’s human, and probably a little overwhelmed by this event to be honest. I have a boot of the original show, and the crowd was nuts, Frank even had to yell a little he lost his cool a little bit, so put a 20 y.o kid plucked from obscurity despite him being on his way to being one of the best and shit’ll happen. Napkins/Horsie is fantastic and is the highlight for me, I wou8ld love this released as a full show. Now, here’s an idea that even the big Z would likely love – you know that soccer team that is owned by like thousands of people? we all one day throw in $100 bucks, have a board, vote on who does the remastering and buy the fucken library and release what WE want.

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