Chunga's Revenge

Mexican cover detailMinor differences between the CD and vinyl versions; many find the CD version dull and inferior (it's part of the infamous "bad batch" of Zappa reissues). The 1995 Ryko CD adds some extra cover/booklet artwork.

We Need: A comparison of the various old discs and the 1995 disc, and a definitive description of the Old Masters LP. A description of exactly what was changed between the LP and CD "mixes" would also be verily appreciated.

ESSENTIAL VERSIONS FOR COMPLETISTS: Any vinyl plus any CD (or Old Masters LP). The 1995 CD is a remaster, but may or may not differ from older discs. If the CD turns out to just be a "tweaked" version of the vinyl mix, then the vinyl is actually the only version one would need. [completist's guide]


  • Original US vinyl (Bizarre MS 2030, October 23 or November 1970, repressed in 1973; Reprise MS 2030 in Canada)
  • Original UK vinyl (Reprise RSLP 2030, October 23 or November 1970, originally with weird-coloured cover borders, repressed in 1971 with red)
  • Spanish vinyl: La Venganza de Chunga (Reprise HRES 291-40)
  • German vinyls (WEA Reprise 44020, Reprise RS 2030)
  • French vinyls (Reprise 44020, Reprise MS2030 (gatefold sleeve))
  • Greek vinyl (Reprise RS 0353, steamboat label, no picture of Zappa on back cover, track and personell lists only)
  • Japanese vinyl (Reprise P-8045R and/or P-008045R (promo))
  • Mexican vinyl: La Venganza de Chunga (Gamma GX 01-425)
  • Argentine vinyl: La Revancha de Chunga (MusicHall 12.976)
  • Chilean vinyl: La Revancha de Chunga (orange Reprise MS 2030, 1975)
  • Australian vinyl (Reprise MS 2030, 1971, high-gloss cover)
  • Cassette (Bizarre M 52030)
  • 8-track (Bizarre M 82030)
  • Renumbered UK vinyl (Reprise K 44020, July 1971)
  • Double Dynamite - coupled with Hot Rats (Reprise RRD 11707, South Africa, mid-1970s)
  • The Old Masters vinyl (Barking Pumpkin BPR 8888-5, November 1986)
  • Original CD (Ryko RCD 10164 in the US, Zappa Records CDZAP23 in the UK, May 1990; VACK 5029 in Japan (MAY have been titled "Chunga's Revenge June 1971"); Ryko D30377 in Australia, 1990)
  • Russian CD (Spurk UL 98753, red disc)
  • 1995 CD (Ryko RCD 10511, May 2 1995; VACK 5120 in Japan, renumbered 5255 in 1998)
  • Hungarian cassette (AUTO FOTO AMC 031, 1996 or 1997)
  • Japanese paper-sleeve CD (Ryko/VACK 1212, September 21 2001 - Bizarre inner sleeve; released with both red & "green" cover variants)

And on the weird side, parts of this album seem to have been issued in Poland as a set of flexi-disc postcards.

Original Vinyl

From Juha Sarkkinen:

On the original LP, "The Nancy & Mary Music" is divided into three parts: 02:42, 04:11 and 02:37.

From Biffy the Elephant Shrew:

BTW, anyone who believes there was a US Chunga with the yellow/gold cover because you saw it in The Torchum Never Stops: that was a misprint in the book.

Original UK Vinyl

From Record Collector magazine #118, June 1989 (quoted by Mikael Agardsson):

The initial UK pressings of Chunga's Revenge was something of an oddity, having a green sleeve instead of the red one used for the US and elsewhere. The UK cover was reprinted in red shortly before the Kinney takeover in July 1971 but quite why the green sleeve was peculiar to Britain has never been fully explained.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew has a copy of this "green" version, and calls the colour gold instead of green:

But when you see references to it being yellow, green or gold, they're all describing the same version. It is a very weird color ... (BTW, anyone who believes there was a US Chunga with the yellow/gold cover because you saw it in The Torchum Never Stops: that was a misprint in the book.)

Japanese Vinyl

In 1998, Electric Obiland advertised a blue-label promo version of the Japanese vinyl, with "rare ROCK AGE obi" (an obi  is a wrap-around paper strip inside the shrink wrap. Obi means "sash" in English. It can also be translated as "I increase the book price of an item approximately 500% with my magic!"). From Steve Jones:

I own a blue-label promo of Chunga's Revenge from Japan but with no obi. And I have Just Another Band from LA too, blue label promo too.

From Electric Obiland:

First of all, we appreciate the link! Secondly, we wanted to assist by providing your readers a link they can click that will search all our inventory for any Frank Zappa Albums:

La Venganza de Chunga

  • Mexican & Spanish versions

Mexican cover detailFrom Biffy the Elephant Shrew:

I picked up this Mexican edition of Chunga's Revenge at a record convention yesterday. Instead of the familar bright red border, the cover is dominated by dark maroon, with the yawning FZ photo moved to the bottom (with an inset in the upper left corner of the photo proclaiming "ESTEREO"). "Frank Zappa" is written in orange letters bordered in yellow, drawn to imitate the original. Below this is the vacuum cleaner text, translated into Spanish, and the title La Venganza De Chunga in green letters, also bordered in yellow. The back cover has a reduced, black & white version of Cal Schenkel's inner-spread painting, obviously photographed from an American copy of the LP (the fold down the middle is clearly visible).

But the real reason I'm posting about it is to express my amusement that "The Clap" is translated on the back as "El Aplauso".

From Román García Albertos:

In the Spanish version of the album, also called La Venganza de Chunga, the title is translated as "La Palmada", which means "The Clap", but sure "The Clap" doesn't mean "La Palmada".

(Biffyshrew also provides a full track listing of the Mexican release:

1. Boogie De Transilvania
2. Damas Del Camino
3. Viente Cigarritos
4. La Música De Nancy Y Mary

5. Dime Que Me Amas
6. ¿Irías Hasta El Final?
7. La Venganza De Chunga
8. El Aplauso
9. Rudy Quiere Invitarte Una Copa
10. Sharleena)

Chilean Vinyl

From Hasi:

It has a single sleeve, the title on the front cover is in white; the back cover has "EL DISCO ES CULTURA" in the upper left corner, "SERIE ESPECIAL DE LUJO" just below the song titles, and "EDITADO Y DISTRIBUIDO POR 'ASFONA' MR SANTIAGO DE CHILE - FONO 83877" in the lower left corner. The reproduction of the two pictures of Zappa is in such bad quality - if you don't know you would not recognize him! The title on the orange Reprise label is "LA REVANCHA DE CHUNGA"; the song titles are in English, most of the other information on the label is in Spanish.

Renumbered UK Vinyl

From Record Collector magazine #118, June 1989 (quoted by Mikael Agardsson):

In 1971 ... Kinney Corporation took over the entire Warner Brothers organisation and all UK albums (and singles) were renumbered with a "K" prefix Stocks of old covers were used up by adding "K" number stickers to "RSLP" sleeves ...

Double Dynamite

the little "DOUBLE DYNAMITE" logos, from front and back cover, respectivelyApparently, there was a coupling of Hot Rats and Chunga's Revenge in South Africa, called Double Dynamite. From Mikael Agardsson:

It doesn't say that it was pressed in South Africa, but I've had it confirmed from various sources. Year of release unknown, probably in the mid-1970s. The front cover is Hot Rats with the words "DOUBLE DYNAMITE / 2 ORIGINALS", and the back cover is Chunga's Revenge. The gatefold cover has the Hot Rats back cover on the left and the Chunga's Revenge back cover on the right.

Original CD

From Lewis Saul:

When I play my vinyl, I feel like I'm in a warm place and I can actually taste the augmented fourths and it feels like the very day I first bought the album!

When I play the CD, I feel like I'm listening to some Frank Zappa music I used to know which has been squeezed through a 76-mile-long tube of zirconian toothpaste and run through the sound system at the Palace in Kyrgyzstan ...

From Brian J. Bernstein:

The "melody guitar" on "Tell Me You Love Me" is mixed slightly differently on the CD ... its level is reduced?

From Dan Watkins:

The CD has some sort of reverb added to Ian's sax solo on the song "Chunga's Revenge". [Ed: This may be the most noticeable effect of reverb added to the entire programme]

From David G:

Chunga's Revenge is part of the "bad batch" of Zappa CDs, and the general consensus seems to be that it doesn't sound very good. It seems to have been spared the right-channel-drop-out problem, but that's also damning with faint praise. If you've never heard the vinyl, you might not object to the sound of the CD quite as much; just keep in mind that the monster reverb which reduces some tracks (Nancy and Mary Music) to absolutely mush is not present on the LP.


Hoh boy, I was wrong; it has the right channel defect, and how! Here's a sample of Transylvania Boogie (80 kb OGG file), where the compression on the treble causes the track to flutter in and out.

The first CD was also missing some artwork from the vinyl; this was restored on the 1995 re-issue.

1995 CD

The 1995 CD re-issue sported some new artwork: an inlay sheet behind the tray, which Cal Schenkel identified as "floor-scrap from rejected cover idea prelim". Official Ryko statement: "New master. New timing sheet. Restored artwork." [full statement]

Sound-wise, it's likely the same as the older discs.

1995 CD versus the Old CD

From the Zappa 2004 CD Rundown:

This CD doesn't sound very good. The tinny, reverb-laden sound of the CD is nonexistent on the LP, which sounds great by comparison. Presumably, all digital variants are taken from the same miserable digital transfer, but I don't have any other versions with which to compare.

Japanese Paper-Sleeve Version (2001-2002)

Starting in 2001, Video Arts Music released a limited-edition series (2000 copies each) of Zappa CDs in paper sleeves - miniature LP sleeves. There was nothing special about this series other than the covers, which were very well done - inserts and "bonuses" were reproduced, the albums that originally had gatefold covers got little miniature gatefolds, and cover track lists were exactly as on the corresponding LPs, even in cases where the CD has bonus tracks or a different track order. Included in this series were some entries that never had "proper" LP issues, i.e. Läther. Additionally, some rarities--like the "green/gold" cover of Chunga's Revenge--were reproduced as special items in this run.

We need to stress that the sound quality of these discs matches the US Ryko issues, which they are clearly derived from. These are collectors items, not new remastered editions.

LATE-2005-UPDATE: Ryko USA has apparently been importing the overstock of these releases to sell as domestic "special editions," causing the speculators who paid top dollar for the entire collection to hari-kari themselves. This includes some of the discs that, as of August 2005, were pretty hard to find ("Money" and others).

Hungarian Cassette

From Dr. István Fekete:

There's a hungarian cassette release with the first two trax swapped, probably not legal, 1996 or '97. Catalogue number: AUTO FOTO AMC 031. The cover picture is from the back of the Zappa Records catalogue (the booklet that came with the CDs).


  • Any other vinyl vs CDs issues?
  • How does the 1995 CD compare to the original CD?
  • Any details on cassette versions?
  • Any details on 8-track versions?
  • Any other regional peculiarities?
  • Can the Old Masters vinyl be presumed to use the CD remix?
  • Any more release dates?
  • Any details on the Russian CD?
  • Is the Greek vinyl legit?

Additional Informants

  • Victor Dubiler
  • Patrick Neve
  • Gonçalo
  • Steve Jones

home - vinyl vs CDs - weirdo discography - bootlegs - misc - hot lynx - e-mail us at zappa dot patio at gmail dot com 2006-04-22 20:02

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