Roxy & Elsewhere
The original CD seems to be like the vinyl, but some CDs have a
different mix of "Cheepnis"; see below for the rundown. The 1995 disc
has restored cover/booklet artwork, but is otherwise identical to earlier discs.
ESSENTIAL VERSIONS FOR COMPLETISTS: one CD with the "Cheepnis"
remix and one CD or LP with the original mix of it. [completist's
- Original vinyl (DiscReet 2DS 2202 in the US, K 69201 in the UK, September 10 1974)
- French & German vinyl (DiscReet 69201, gatefold sleeve)
- Other German vinyls (DiscReet DIS 89 200, WEA DiscReet 89200-0)
- Other French vinyl (DiscReet 2DS2202, gatefold cover)
- Japanese vinyl (DiscReet P-5174D, white-label promo also reported)
- Australian vinyl (DiscReet 2DS 2202, 1974)
- "Facsimile bootleg" vinyl
- South-Korean vinyl (K-1045)
- Cassette (DiscReet D 52202)
- 8-track (DiscReet 82202)
- The Old Masters vinyl (Barking Pumpkin BPR
- US vinyl re-issue (Zappa Records ZAPPA 39, 1990)
- Original CD (Zappa Records CDZAP39 in the UK, January of
February 1992; Barking Pumpkin D2 74241 in the US, February 1992; VACK 5082 in Japan)
- Zappa Records cassette (TZAPPA39)
- 1995 CD (Ryko RCD 10520, May 2 1995; VACK 5082 in
Japan, renumbered 5217
- 1995 cassette (Ryko RAC 10520, May 16 1995)
- Japanese paper-sleeve CD (Ryko/VACK 1219,
October 24 2001)
- Bootleg CD (CDT Berlin 54374)
And around midsummer 2001, Jonathan Gatarz unearthed an old
ad for quadraphonic Zappa albums, which included Roxy & Elsewhere -
so maybe, even if it wasn't actually released in quad, it was at one time
planned for 4-channel release. Interesting!
"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
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 &
Old Masters Vinyl
From Rip Alexander:
The first version of "Cheepnis" I heard was from the Old
Masters version of "Roxy". I remember when the Barking
Pumpkin CD came out I was completely taken by surprise by its version of
"Cheepnis" - there was definitely a difference between the Old
Masters version and the CD version. The second guitar chord fill after the
line "I ate a hot dog, it tasted real good" was at a much higher
level than the Old Masters version. There may
have been many more smaller differences, but the chord fill was one that
couldn't be missed. Whether the Old Masters
version was similar to the original vinyl mix or a new mix altogether I'm not
sure of (I've never heard an original vinyl copy).
This seems to mean that the Old
Masters, as can be expected, had the original "Cheepnis" mix. It
was remixed later - see CD section below.
From Neil in the UK:
Same mix. Good sound quality.
The original US CD was released in 1992 on Barking Pumpkin D2 74241. The artwork was
identical to the 1995 reissue.
Some or all Barking Pumpkin runs had the "Cheepnis" remix that was
officially announced only in 1995. From David G.:
The odd "changing" Barking Pumpkin CDs have always interested me.
For what it's worth, my Barking Pumpkin Roxy (with the "Cheepnis"
remix) sounds almost identical to my later Rykodisc copy. (Ed: It is, in
fact, identical. See below)
I've now listened to four older copies of Roxy and Elsewhere: two Barking
Pumpkin CDs and two Zappa Records CDs. My findings: both Barking Pumpkin discs
have the "Cheepnis" remix, while both Zappa Records CDs have the
original vinyl mix (yay!). Offhand, both discs seem pretty similar except for
that one difference. (Ed: Once again, see below
for a subsequent update)
Obviously, this doesn't really prove anything, but as my findings here
mirror what I've found re Sleep Dirt (ie my Zappa
Records CD has the old "Regyptian Strut", whereas the Barking Pumpkin
CD I listened to has the new one and sounds suspiciously like the current Ryko
master), it might be that Frank never bothered supplying new masters for these
Zappa Records issues.
Consequently, at least for now, if people're looking for the
totally-superior vinyl "Cheepnis" mix, the Zappa Records disc seems
to be the best place to find it.
Something interesting I'd also like to note: perhaps thanks to the
film-soundtrack nature of the Roxy material, the original version of "Cheepnis"
and the remix sync up surprisingly well, although there is one extra bar in
the latter (which can easily be edited out). As the two mixes are almost
"mirror images" of each other with regard to instrument placement, you can
have lots of fun attempting to create homebrew mixes. Do it today!
Official statement from Ryko:
New master. New timing sheet. Restored artwork. New FZ-approved remix of
"Cheepnis". [full statement]
From Ryko Aquires Zappa's Masters by Steve Marshall, in the E-zine Cosmik
Debris #4 (September 1995):
"Cheepnis" has been remixed. The result sounds almost too clean. The vocals
are the thing that really stands out, as well as the percussion. In this particular
instance, the album [English for "vinyl"] sounds better. Tracks like
"Penguin in Bondage" and "More Trouble Every Day" sound better than
ever, but Frank should have left "Cheepnis" alone.
BOSSK (R): After years of listening to the 1995 remix, the original
"Cheepnis" is a treat to hear ... it sounds a lot more like a real
band playing instead of something that has had everything about it boosted to
JWB: I cannot tell the difference between the original 1992
Barking Pumpkin CD and the 1995 reissue mixes of "Cheepnis". I
have never heard the original vinyl. Could BOTH CDs contain the remix?
(And UMRK and Ryko fucked up their information, similar to the "Re-Gyptian
Strut" Läther bonus track mix-up?)
CAPTAIN BIFFHEART: I have the original American CD and can
confirm that the LP mix of "Cheepnis" was used there. If any Barking
Pumpkin CD has the remix, it must be a later press run ... if the two
drummers are mixed left and right, that's the original mix. If the drums seem to
be centered, that's the remix.
CD Versions Compared (or: Significantly More
than a Comparison of the 1995 and Older Discs)
From the 2004 Zappa CD Rundown:
Roxy presents one of the first "pre-1995"
variation, in that some older copies of the disc have a remix of "Cheepnis" (as
does the '95
disc), while some have the original vinyl mix. Out of the 5 older discs I've
listened to, the
two Zappa Records CDs had the original mix, and the 3 BP CDs had the remix; this
just be a coincidence, but...
Anyway, "Cheepnis" remix aside, all three
Records without the remix, BP with the remix, '95 disc-are absolutely identical,
the BP and '95 disc being completely identical. As Roxy made its CD debut
this isn't too surprising. Interestingly, only the *body* of Cheepnis differs,
as the spoken intro is
identical on all three discs.
In other words, all CDs (barring that
bootleg version, of course) are completely identical, barring the "body" of
the song "Cheepnis." For that song, all versions with the remix have a
digitally-identical version of the remix. Phew!
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).
Roxy & Elsewhere wasn't re-released on CD until 1992, and someone
made a counterfeit CD at
least two years before it was officially released.
- Any details on cassette versions?
- Any details on 8-track versions?
- Any regional peculiarities?
- Any points to make about the Old Masters version?
- There's probably no way to know, but is it possible that the Cheepnis
remix is in some way derived from the unreleased quad mix?
- Mikael Agardsson
- Steve Jones