Capitol issue said
to be a 4-track; front (above) and
The regular Verve
box front (above - interestingly,
the spine label doesn't mention
Zappa's name, just "The
Abnuceals Emuukha Electric
Symphony Orchestra and
Chorus") and cartridge (below)
4-track (this, though
rare, holds the regular version of
The original CD is just like the vinyl, but worse. The 1995 CD is just like the vinyl,
but better - it sounds better overall, and has index separation, but unfortuntately
it also adds a little "audio error": from about 01:48 to around 03:31, it's in
(Also, an old 8-track tape is very peculiar.)
ESSENTIAL VERSIONS FOR COMPLETISTS: Depends on how picky you are. The 1995 CD sounds a lot better than the old CD,
except for an audio error where it goes into mono for a couple of minutes;
least one of the between-section edits is also different. The old CD
is no hot poop, but allegedly matches the vinyl exactly. The Capitol
8-track is a unique all-orchestral version, but it is also the world's rarest Zappa
item and not
realistic. (Completists would also want to have the sampler album for the Old Masters box I,
which has an excerpt of an otherwise unreleased remix of Lumpy Gravy. [completist's guide]
- Capitol 8-track (and/or 4-track!?) (4CL-2719)
- Original vinyl (black Verve V6-8741 in the US, May 1968;
Verve SVLP 9223 in the UK, October 1968 - perhaps released in some parts of Europe in
May or June. Yellow-label DJ promos also reported, perhaps in mono)
- Mono vinyl (black Verve V8741 in the US, May 1968; Verve VLP 9223 in the UK, October
- New Zealand vinyl (Verve V 8741 in mono, V6 8741 in
- Verve 8-track
- German vinyl (black Verve V6 8741)
- Dutch vinyl re-issue: Superstarshine Volume 26: Frank Zappa
(Metro Records 2356 098, different cover, 1975)
- British vinyl re-issue (Verve/Polydor Select 2317 046, October
- Canadian vinyl (black Verve V/V6 8741, re-issued
- "Facsimile Bootleg" vinyl
- The Old Masters vinyl (Barking Pumpkin BPR
- Original CD, coupled with We're Only In It for
the Money (Ryko RCD40024 in the US, Semptember 1986 (imported into Australia by
Festival Records and re-stickered Ryko D40705); Zappa Records CDZAP13 in the UK, December
1988; VACK 5023 in Japan; JPCD 9707442 DORA in
- 1995 CD (Ryko RCD 10504, April 18 1995; VACK 5105 in Japan,
renumbered 5240 in 1998; also in a BMG Record
Club version (1086347))
- Japanese paper-sleeve CD (Ryko/VACK-1205,
From Dan Watkins:
On the vinyl, the words "Francis Vincent Zappa" were printed on the front
cover. On the two Ryko CD releases, it was changed to "Frank Vincent Zappa".
Capitol 8-Track and/or 4-Track
According to Zappa himself, the Capitol 8-track tape of Lumpy Gravy is
one of the rarest official Zappa releases - if not the rarest. It
contained only orchestral music, and none of the dialoge or band music. (The only words
uttered on the tape were "I don't know if I can go through this again", which
was spoken by one of the orchestral musicians, and not part of the piano dialogue.)
It contains only a couple of minutes of unreleased material. (Fantastic link:
on the original Lumpy Gravy?)
It was manufactured by AMPEX, and can be distinguished from the Verve
version because it has a Captiol logo instead of a Verve logo. The track
1. Sink Trap
2. Gum Joy
3. Up and Down
4. Local Butcher
5. Gypsy Airs
6. Hunchy Punchy
7. Foamy Soaky
8. Let's Eat Out
9. Teenage Grand Finale
According to a seller ("Delta Haze") on ebay
in January 2000, the item sold was "issued by Madman Earl Muntz for his
revolutionary 4-track tape loop auto-stereo but immediately withdrawn for
contractual reasons ... The 4-track format is similar to, but was promptly
overshadowed by, the 8-track format. It can only be played on a 4-track
To be honest, we cannot yet be sure whether or not this was a 4-track or an
8-track issue, or both. From Frank Daniels:
The tape pictured on your website is definitely a four-track, not an
eight-track. First of all, 4-tracks are easily distinguished from 8-tracks by
looking at the back. A four-track tape has a large hole in the back, where the
capstan came up out of the machine into the tape. Secondly, the 4-tracks that
Capitol licensed from Muntz had clear front shells; their 8-tracks in 1967-68
were opaque white. Finally, the usual prefix of a Capitol 4-track was 4CL,
exactly as your 4-track has it. The prefix of a Capitol 8-track was 8XT.
This is all true, for example, for all Beatles 4-tracks made before early
1969. I collect Beatles 4-tracks, among other formats, and have a few of them
pictured on my website. Capitol made two different outer boxes for their 4-tracks.
The one that would have gone with your Zappa four track is the mostly white
one that is shown on my copy of Beatles VI, at the top of my four tracks page:
Now, it's possible that Zappa himself actually knew of an 8-track copy of
the album. If that is so, the 8-track shell would be white. The 8-track would
have separate front and back slicks. The back cover slick would be mostly
white (with possibly a pink border).
... perhaps copies also got out in the reel-to-reel tape format, too! If
any exist, they would have been housed in brown boxes with a cover slick
attached. The tape would have the number Y1T 2719. If a reel-to-reel tape
exists, it would be much scarcer than the already rare 4-track (or LP, or 8-track),
so it's quite possible that none have been discovered.
A blurred photo of a Verve 4-track can be viewed to the right. (The torture
never stops, does it?) As on the Verve 8-track, "the title tag on the
slipcase as well as the end label and back title label on the tape itself all
credit the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra & Chorus; Zappa's
name is only visible in the front cover artwork (which is the same as the Verve
Anyway, courtesy of NOBBI, here's how it came about:
Zappa had a contract with MGM Records, when Capitol Records wanted him to record an
orchestral album. Zappa was to appear only as conductor and this wouldn't have touched the
contract with MGM. Zappa recorded this album with the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Orchestra
in New York, but it wasn't released. Only 8-track tapes exist. Later Zappa added some
Mothers music to the recordings and MGM released the well-known Lumpy Gravy
album in may 1968.
(This half-unreleased instrumental Lumpy Gravy has an entry in the Weirdo Discography,
but if you've already read the above, there's no need to go there.) From David Goodwin:
Presuming that some of the orchestral music in the We're Only In
It for the Money demos is legit, I think some of it may be from the 8-track tape of Lumpy
Gravy, as I've been relistening to the demos, and some of the music sounds like
it's from the Lumpy Gravy sessions, but doesn't appear on Lumpy
Gravy ... and yet would fit in quite well.
From an interview in Society Pages USA #2, 1990:
FRANK ZAPPA: Alright, let's see. It was, uh ... '66. This
guy named Nick Venet, who was a producer at Capitol, came to me, and offered
me the chance to write something for a forty-piece orchestra, to do a
recording of that kind of stuff. I looked at my contract with MGM, 'cause we
were signed with MGM at the time. Nowhere in my contract did it preclude me
from being a composer, or a conductor. So long as I didn't perform on an album
that was released by another company, I didn't think I had a problem.
DEN SIMMS: By "performing", you mean something with
||"In 1966, Nick Venet
me the opportunity to write
[LUMPY GRAVY]. I thought
is fabulous. I'll just
dive in there and compose my
little buns off, and
I'll get this
performance.' I was writing
around the clock."
FRANK ZAPPA: Right. I wasn't singin', I wasn't playin'.
DEN SIMMS: Right.
FRANK ZAPPA: Nonetheless, MGM refused to allow this album to be
released, and there was an argument over it for a year, finally resulting in
MGM buying the master tape from Capitol, and then, I added the vocal parts in
there, and it came out.
From Record Collector magazine #93, May 1987 (quoted by Mikael
The US release was the first Zappa album to be issued with a black
Verve label instead of the blue one which MGM normally used for their "pop
releases". The story goes that since Lumpy Gravy was largely an
orchestral work, it was given the black label which was usually reserved for MGM's more
"serious and worthwhile" jazz releases. The exception to this rule was the
compilition Mothermania which appeared in 1969 with
both black and blue labels.
Once again, EMI excelled themselves by issuing the original UK version
with its intended gatefold sleeve although, as before, the laminated sleeve and
"flaps" distinguish it from the Polydor re-issue.
From Dan Watkins:
The balloon on the back cover of the vinyl reads "Is This Phase 2 of: Were Only In
It For The Money?" with the apostrophe missing. On the CD
release, this was corrected.
From René Camphorst:
Some time ago I bought a vinyl copy of Lumpy Gravy. It has the black
Verve label and is numbered V6-8741, so it seems to be an original one.
However on the inner sleeve and on the label it says "Made in Germany".
BERNELIS: Here's something that always interested me. In the US, the vinyl Lumpy
Gravy Verve release came out in two versions of the cover. One version had
a red background with a green "Pipco" shirt. The other version had a
green background with a red "Pipco" shirt. What is the story of
LEWIS SAUL: I'm not sure if this is what [you're] talking about, but
this is from my interview with Cal:
CAL SCHENKEL: Uh-huh. Well, let me go back to this first ...
[back to looking at Lumpy Gravy] ... this part here, this stuff here,
which you can see here - this is the same spread as the vinyl ...
LEWIS SAUL: I have the vinyl, too ...
CAL SCHENKEL: Oh yeah, let's look at the vinyl. Now this was
originally going to be green and black and they printed a bunch of them and I
wonder if any still exist ...
LEWIS SAUL: Uh, you're saying green and black, the cover?
CAL SCHENKEL: No, the inside. Black on green. They printed samples.
Some of them exist somewhere - this is photos I took in London ...
FAST FRANK: ... you know, I remember looking at the original album
when it came out (which I didn't have the foresight to buy on the spot), and
then again when I bought a copy in 1974, and I always had this nagging feeling
that the covers of each were different. I've never seen any reference to it ...
and I just figgered it was one of those faux nagging feelings.
From Paul E Curtis:
I own a monaural promo copy of this LP, and unlike the first three Mothers
albums, this is simply a reduction of the stereo mix (with perhaps a bit of
added compression, to make it sound better on radio). I've never seen any
stock copies of the mono Lumpy Gravy, but it's possible that they exist -
according to the Billboard album chart for 8 June 1968, it was available in
both mono and stereo.
alt.fan.frank-zappa, March 2002:
LEONARD J LOS: I own mono DJ copies of both We're
Only In It for the Money and Lumpy Gravy and the sound is by far
superior to any other releases of these two LPs. I wish I had a mono copy of Cruising
with Ruben & the Jets but I'm sure this was never released either as a
stock copy or DJ. I have seen stereo copies of the yellow Verve and the
white Verve promos.
BIFFY THE ELEPHANT SHREW: Is the Lumpy Gravy really mono? On
both sides? The only "mono" copy I've ever seen had (judging by the
matrix numbers; I didn't get to play it) one side mono and one side stereo.
LEONARD J LOS: Yes, true mono. As for the one side mono/ one side
stereo, this brings to mind the late seventies reissue of the first Velvet
Underground LP which was released this way. That LP also was released on
From Erik Steaggles:
I used to own a mint UK mono copy (which I regrettably sold for a measley
£50 ...) and remember the mix was only slightly different to the stereo
mix (in fact, I remember taping it, I'm sure I still have it ... I must
find it ...). It was a reduction the the stereo mix but the sound was
much, much cleaner and in some ways sounded better than the stereo mix. When I
find that tape, I'll let you know!
New Zealand Vinyl
From Collecting Frank Zappa in Australia - Part
1: The Early Years, an article by Stuart Penny in it - The Australian Record
Collectors Magazine, Issue #14 June-July-August 1995 (provided by Henry
Griggs, Sydney, Australia):
Staying in New Zealand for a moment, we'll deal quickly with Lumpy Gravy.
Although a copy couldn't be located for the purposes of this feature, it seems fairly
certain that Zappa's first solo LP was issued in NZ (Verve V/V6 8741).
This 8-track version was not at all like the ultra-rare, orchestral and instrumental Capitol version - it was
like the vinyl, but with the sides reversed. Tracks 1-2 are side 2 of the LP,
and tracks 3-4 are side 1.
Superstarshine Volume 13: Frank Zappa
This is a Dutch re-issue, in a different cover. The front cover has a colour picture of
Zappa playing guitar, and the back cover says (in a curious brand of English):
Frank is eighteen when he hops on a Greyhound headed for Los Angeles to seek his
He gets a job selling records, he practises the guitar and through a friend producing
films he becomes the youngest person ever to score a motion picture. A few more years of
writing filmscores, when at 22 the idea of forming a band started taking shape in his
He started with a highschoolband in the fifties and by the time when the English
invasion was in full force he had a pretty weird group that was called Captain
Glasspack and his Magic Mufflers. Quite a few musicians came and went before they
became an important influence on rock music. In spite of their outlaw position with
deejays, record chain owners, and theatre-managers, their first album Freak out!
[sic], which is probably the freakiest of them all, became a chart success. One
of Frank's musical experiments that are now generally considered as rock & roll
masterpieces is certainly the ballet Lumpy Gravy. Some of the Mothers and
a huge orchestra made up of America's best session men, became the Abnuceals Emuukha
Electric Symphony Orchestra and Chorus with Frank conducting Lumpy Gravy
part 1 and 2. It is this album, that is released as Superstarshine vol. 26,
that every Mothers-fan should turn on to.
(Volume 13 in the Superstarshine series was also
devoted to Zappa (the Mothers), as a compilation. Read about it in the Weirdo Discography.)
UK Vinyl Re-Issue
Ben H reports a weird variant:
My copy is a Polydor UK issue, with the usual Polydor catalogue number on the label,
&c. However, the sleeve has the SVLP catalogue number and is a Garrod & Lofthouse
flipback, with laminated front, like the EMI/Verve issue, but is has no mention of EMI or
Polydor on it whatsoever. Odd? I can only assume that Garrod and Lofthouse had a load of
covers left over when distribution changed from EMI, but as to why the covers have no EMI
information on them, frankly, I'm stumped. The period between 1969 and 1972ish seems like
a real grey area with regard to the Verve albums.
Canadian Vinyl Re-Issue
From Ryan Davenport:
I have ... early Zappa albums (Lumpy Gravy, We're
Only In It for the Money) that are reissues that use black labels and silver
writing - they have a (C) 1973 on the cover, and the gatefold is gone, replaced by a
regular cover. Both ... are Canadian pressings. Lumpy Gravy has the left side of the inner
gatefold as its back cover (with chorus and symphony orchestra credits). We're Only In It for the Money also uses the left inside cover,
which is the lyric sheet. Thus the Sgt. Pepper parody photo and the back
cover with Zappa on it are not on this non-gatefold. Lumpy Gravy seems to
date from 1973, but We're Only In It for the Money is
later - the copyright notice on the back contains an address with a Canadian postal
code, and I don't think we had those by 1973.
From Ralf Maurer:
Postal codes were introduced in 1972 or 1973.
"Facsimile Bootleg" Vinyl
From Román García Albertos:
Well, I call 'em "facsimile bootlegs", because they reproduce the cover and
the label and the vinyl of the original releases. But they aren't. They don't sound very
good (well, they sound good, but they're at least second generation), and the covers seem
to be xerocopies of the originals. When the original releases were impossible to find and
the CD era hadn't come yet, I think this was the only way to hear the records.
From Kristian Kier:
The main differences between the counterfeit and the original are the covers and the
matrix numbers. The covers show some damages which weren't caused by handling, they were
copied (xeroxed might be the wrong terme, since they seem to be printed professionally)
due to photo transfer. Best examples: We're Only In It for the Money
and Zappa in New York.
The matrix numbers on the counterfeits are all hand-written. Original records by
Verve/Polydor don't have hand-written numbers! That's the easiest way to check wether it's
a fake, or not!
The "hand-written rule" is valid only for European Verve/Polydor
pressings, not for Verve US pressings. So if the record you are interested in
has a V(6)/5045 number, it should have hand-written matrix numbers.
Another clue: Most of these counterfeits do not have track separation
between the songs.
I do have the fakes of Freak Out!, Absolutely Free, We're Only In It for
the Money, Cruising with Ruben & the Jets, Lumpy Gravy
and Zappa in New York (with "Punky's
Whips"), all coming from Italy. I remember having seen Roxy &
When this album was first released on CD, it was coupled with We're
Only In It for the Money on one disc, in one CD case, with the original mix but with
severely truncated cover artwork (restored on the 1995 CD). As the
original vinyl had no track separation, just side 1 and side 2, the CD only had two
tracks, "Lumpy Gravy" parts one and two.
(This twofer version of We're Only In It for the Money was
heavily remixed and had new bass and drum tracks; Zappa's sound engineer, Bob Stone, has
revealed that Lumpy Gravy was THIS CLOSE to a similar treatment, but he
managed to talk Zappa out of it.)
I accidentally bought two copies of We're Only In It for the Money/Lumpy
Gravy. The first one I got in the mail featured a black spine, like a normal
CD. Opened up the package, nothing on the inside. The second copy featured a
clear spine with a grey background. I didn't open it to see if it had the
"Ugly Mothers" cover, because I was going to send it back. Where is
this clear spine from? When was it issued? Any ideas?
From Isaac Baranoff:
All of the 1986 CDs were reissued in 1994, probably because Rykodisc had just
got these green CD trays, and wanted to use them. The 1994 issues now have an
image of a vinyl record playing on a turntable, with the text "Rykodisc
... since 1986" on the label of the record behind the CD tray, and a
CD label featuring a image of Zappa that had probably been converted to black
and white, with the black parts changed to purple. Same mix as the regular
1986 copies with regular jewel cases.
Russian Version of Original CD (Coupled with LUMPY GRAVY)
From Jos van Galen:
On the back cover (the Lumpy Gravy side, so the speak), there is a
tiny little message which says in Russian (and translated into English)
something like: "All Rights Reserved. License Agreement no. 2132/M3-97
between RAO and OOO DORA d.d. 20.1.97. Apply no. 431." The CD comes with
no information about the contents of the CD at all, except that Frank Zappa
made and produced the music. Now of course there could have been put in
something when it was manufactured but then it probably fell out of the case
on its no doubt long and dark way to my record shelf, where for now this Russian
orphan has found a warm place between the other Zappa records and CDs.
(It is probably old news but did anybody notice that the line on the cover
of the original Lumpy Gravy LP which says
"a curiously inconsistent [etc] ..." is repeated on the back
cover of the CD but with a mistake in so far that they printed the "a"
of "a BALLET" twice so it says "a a BALLET"?)
From István Fekete:
About Russian CDs, I had two of them in my hands one or two years ago, but
didn't buy them since they were in a very bad shape, scratched all over. One
of them was the We're Only In It for the Money/Lumpy
Gravy twofer, with the purple Zappa face on the disc from the old Ryko
edition. The booklet was just a single folded sheet with two random pages from
the booklet inside. The other one was The Lost
Episodes, with the label name changed to RICODISK.
When Ryko re-released this album, it was separated from We're Only
In It for the Money (the original CD had been a two-for-one), and
the disc had CD indexes - provided and titled by Zappa himself. It also included some new
artwork: an inlay sheet behind the tray - in the words of Cal Schenkel, a "photo by
CS from one of the recording (actually mixing?) sessions at Apostolic (left to right -
Richard Kunc, FZ, Don Preston)".
Official statement from Ryko:
Separated from We're Only In It for the Money. New digital
master made from original edited analog master and other raw mix segments, and re-edited.
Restored artwork. This one really sounds superior to the last CD -
increased level, clarity and dynamics. Still only two tracks (Part I and Part II) but all
the movements were named, à la a classical record. Some CD players will pick up
some won't. [full statement]
From Dan Watkins:
The balloon on the back cover of the vinyl reads "Is
This Phase 2 of: Were Only In It For The Money?" with the apostrophe missing. On the
CD release, this was corrected.
From Román García Albertos:
I've found there's two extra bass notes at the beginning of King Kong in the Lumpy
Gravy 1995 Ryko CD, compared with the We're Only In It for
the Money/Lumpy Gravy CD from 1985. I don't know if those two notes
are in the original vinyl also or what.
Michael Gula's Complaint;
Sound Quality Discussion;
A Note from Spencer Chrislu
The only complaint about this new and otherwise better mix comes from Michael Gula:
Putting it briefly, the new mix lapses into MONO from approximately
01:48 to just after 03:31.
On many recordings made in the '60s, using a mono mix causes no damage and, in some
cases, actually improves the sound. Such is not the case with this particular recording.
To these ears, the stereo rendition of this section is beautifully done for its time.
Listen to this passage through headphones. Suddenly at 01:48 all the instruments are at
the center of the soundscape with some digitally added ambiance giving the aural illusion
of spaciousness, but there is no separation. Then suddenly, just after 03:31 a rather
jarring thing happens. The instruments "fly" into the left- and right-hand
speakers in your headphones - not on the beat, mind you. It sounds like someone in
the engineering booth suddenly woke up and realized he was mixing it in mono, and hit a
switch to separate the instruments into right-and-left.
Now, remove this CD from your player and insert the older CD release.
You will have to turn it up louder, but does that really cause a problem?
Now listen to this same passage on the older CD. Beautiful stereo sound! You can easily
imagine you are in the same room as the musicians as they play. On the new mix, it sounds
like you are in the same room with merely a mono recording of the musicians.
Is this a big deal? For most people, no. But this was my most cherished Zappa LP. I
wore out my first one and had to buy another. I can't think of any other LP I replaced due
to wear. This LP is a big part of the soundtrack of my life and if I must now listen to a
CD of it, I want to hear it with as few technical glitches as possible. In fact, I am
hoping that this error has been quietly rectified in subsequent pressings, in which case I
will probably buy it yet again.
From Patrick David Neve:
Egads, you're right! I always noticed the change in mix, but never bothered to
compare with the twofer release mix. I figured it was just part of
the music. I was much more into We're Only In It for the Money
when it came out on CD for the first time, the release of which was what cause me to buy a
CD player. It took until '95 to really get "into" Lumpy Gravy.
But there is a vast difference, with a distinct preference to these ears, to the 1986
version of this section. Two "buts", though:
- The 1995 CD does sound overall better, if nothing else due to the higher resolution
realized by a louder recording.
- The mono edit is "on the beat". In my opinion. I believe it was, for some
twisted reason, an artistic decision.
Michael Gula replies:
- I'm not convinced that simply being louder means better sound. Could you pass a
"blindfold" test, and identify which CD you're listening to if the older one
were turned up to match the volume level of the newer one?
- OK, the edit is "on the beat" but not "on the bar line". So the
whole 7/4 section (or 4/4 + 3/4 if you prefer) is in mono except for the last beat of
the last measure. That seems really odd. An artistic decision - except for that last
beat? What could possibly justify that?
I will say this in favor of the new CD - it fixes that annoying little drop-out
during the yawn after the statement "'Cause round things are ... are
boring." That nearly ruined it for me.
Patrick returns to the same points 1 and 2:
1. In theory it does mean better sound. Bit depth is
expressed in terms of maximum potential amplitude, which is rarely reached since going
beyond 0dB means distortion. And since dB are measured exponentially, a master peaking out
at -12 (the 1986 master) is using, er ... a lot less than half of the available
bandwidth than a master peaking out at -6 (the 1993 master). If you gave me the exact same
source mastered at both dB levels I could definitely hear the difference
in resolution. Low-end clarity and apparent depth are the two main characteristics of a
higher usable bit depth resolution.
However! This does not take into account a number of factors including compression.
I'm doing a closer inspection of the two versions of Lumpy Gravy,
and at least from A/B'ing "Duodenum" numerically, visually, and aurally, I
conclude that the 1993 version has certainly undergone some compression that the 1986 did
not. I've already given you my rant on how 200 Motels sounds,
so I'll spare you the same diatribe against compression. I need to hear the entire piece
side by side of the other to make an informed judgement, but from only the first tune, I'd
have to say that the 1993 version was somewhat squashed but not as badly as 200 Motels. This opinion may change. Please listen and make up
your own mind. I do very clearly hear some distortion in the 1993 version, right at 35.6
seconds, that does not exist on the 1986. The horns distort out at that point. The other
thing I notice right away is a relative "flatness" of the '95 master which is so
very characteristic of engineers these days ... compress the master so the details
will come clear, despite the decreased apparant depth.
2. I have no idea. But it's rhythmic ... sounds like the engineer
(Spencer?) hit the mono button like you suggested, but was keen enough to do it on a beat.
The engineer (Spencer Chrislu) comments:
Uh-oh. I'm afraid this is one of those that slipped past me (and FZ). As has been
mentioned here before, both We're Only In It for the Money and Lumpy
Gravy were resurrected after safety copies of both were unearthed in the vault.
It was from these safety copies that most of the '95 release of Lumpy Gravy
was taken. This tape had just as many razor-blade edits in it as the original (I guess
that's the way FZ assembled safeties in those days ... I would have just made a copy
of the newly edited master) so I guess we just assumed it was the same exact material with
the exception of being played many fewer times than the original master.
The switch to mono went unnoticed by me and FZ and now I'm itching to get back in and
fix it! [Note: this was in late November 1998, when Spencer was just leaving
the Zappa Family Trust - Ed.] The
switch back to stereo was on a beat chosen by FZ probably for ease of razor blade editing.
As for the credits on the record, there are a few of the Ryko re-releases that still
credit Bob Stone for the mastering (artwork on the Au20s [Apostrophe
(') and Over-Nite Sensation], Does Humor Belong in Music?) and Ryko claims that the reason for
that is that they wanted to leave the original artwork intact. Of course, that didn't stop
them from removing some of the original Zappa logos and inserting their own. However, I
can assure you that nothing was re-mixed. It was simply re-transferred using better
converters and re-edited to fix any parts that had gone away completely.
Also, there is no "mono" button on my system. And if there was, it's not the
type of thing where I would pop the "mono" button in for a while and then decide
to remove it later.
From Juha Sarkkinen:
It was only recently that I bought me a CD player that picks up indexes. Of
course I was intrigued to see if those indexes on Lumpy Gravy were correct.
Here's what happened: everything was going fine all the way to index 8 ("Switching
Girls"). Then at 07:12 where "Oh No Again" (index 9 according
to sleeve) is supposed to start it's still index 8 according to my CD player.
Same thing with "At the Gas Station" (index 10 according to sleeve)
at 09:18. CD player still shows it's index 8. With "Another Pick Up"
at 11:05 index finally changes to 9 (it's 11 on the sleeve) and "I Don't
Know ..." which is supposed to be index 12 at 11:59 is in fact index
10. However, the second part is OK.
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).
- What about some details on cassette versions?
- How about the Old Masters version?
- Are there any other changes on the '95 version?
- Are there any regional peculiarities?
- Biffy the Elephant Shrew
- "The Nude Ad Guy"
- The Bob Stone
- Dan Watkins
- Mikael Agardsson (Superstarshine)