The Grand Wazoo

matrix number MS 2093No differences between the vinyl and CD, apparently, except for track order on some CDs. The 1995 Ryko CD is louder than the earlier Ryko CD, and adds some extra cover/booklet artwork. (There was a rumour that "For Calvin" was shortened on the CD, but it was not true.)

What We Need: A comparison between all three CD issues. Why do some variants of this title sound "upgraded," while others do not?

ESSENTIAL VERSIONS FOR COMPLETISTS: Any version, probably. (The 1995 CD is remastered.) [completist's guide]


  • Test pressing (Columbia / Santa Maria MS 2093)
  • Original vinyl (Bizarre MS 2093 in the US, December 1972 (repressed in 1973); Reprise K44209 in the UK, January 1973)
  • Canadian vinyl (Bizarre/Reprise MS 2093, gatefold cover with a black maple leaf in the upper-right back corner)
  • French vinyl (Reprise 44209)
  • German vinyl (WEA Reprise 44209)
  • Dutch vinyl (Reprise REP 44 209, matrix number 31450)
  • Japanese vinyl (Reprise P-8306R)
  • Mexican vinyl (Gamma GX01-587, with the inner spread story in Spanish)
  • Argentine vinyl (MusicHall 50-14.052, with the inner spread story in Spanish)
  • Uruguayan vinyl (Warner Brothers - record pressed in Uruguay, cover imported from the US)
  • Brazilian vinyl
  • Australian vinyl (Reprise MS 2093, 1973 - "more or less unaltered")
  • Cassettes (Bizarre M 52093 and Reprise 444209)
  • 8-track (M 82093)
  • Reel-to-reel tape ("Bizarre-Reprise Records RST-2093C", 7.5 ips)
  • The Old Masters vinyl (Barking Pumpkin BPR 9999-2, December 1987)
  • Original CD (Ryko RCD10026 in the US, September 1986 (imported into Australia by Festival Records and re-stickered Ryko D40707); Zappa Records CDZAP31 in the UK, September 1990; VACK 5033 in Japan)
  • IRS 970.731 CD (?)
  • 1995 CD (Ryko RCD 10517, May 16 1995; VACK 5124 in Japan, renumbered 5259 in 1998)
  • Japanese paper-sleeve CD (Ryko/VACK 1216, October 24 2001 - Bizarre inner sleeve; sticker included)

Track Titles

  • On an old reel-to-reel tape, "Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus" was called "The Legend of Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus".

Test Pressing

matrix number MS 2093From Erik Alberius:

This is a test pressing of the Grand Wazoo album by Frank Zappa released in 1972. As far as I know, this is the only copy - no others exist. I bought it at the Record Finder on 258 Noe Street for $25. It is probably worth millions and millions of dollars by now. :)

Reel-to-Reel Tape

This package had an insert with liner notes, and the track list was:

1. For Calvin (And His Next Two Hitch-Hikers)
2. The Grand Wazoo

3. The Legend of Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus
4. Eat That Question
5. Blessed Relief

Note "The Legend of Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus", which is usually known only as "Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus".

Dutch Vinyl

  One time I was out by Anza driving with Katy to look at some desert property that was for sale real cheap and right in the middle of nowhere came across Elliot Ingber hitch-hiking.
Cal Schenkel,, July 2000

From Harry de Swart:

My LPs of Apostrophe (') and The Grand Wazoo have a German sleeve (made in Germany by Kinney Music), but have a Dutch label (made in Holland by NV Negram-Haarlem), and that's the way I bought them.

Original CD

The original European Zappa Records CD was re-sequenced, with tracks 1 and 2 flipped around. The original American CD, on Ryko, had the vinyl track order, but the 1995 CD flipped tracks 1 and 2 once and for all, just like the Zappa Records release. (There was a rumour that "For Calvin" was shortened on the CD, but it wasn't true.)

From Pat Buzby:

I do know that The Grand Wazoo is missing the musician photos from the original album, and that Waka/Jawaka is missing the FZ photos. Boo! [Now he's happier, because Ryko restored them in 1995! - Ed.]

1995 CD

(There was a rumour that "For Calvin" was shortened on the CD, but it wasn't true.) Official statement from Ryko:

New master. New timing sheet. Restored artwork. Frank flipped tracks 1 and 2 around, so that the title track is first. Louder dBs than first Rykodisc CD.

From Cal Schenkel:

The tray art is a laser print incorporating sketches from the preliminary drawings for the album cover.

1995 CD versus the Old CD

From the 2004 Zappa CD Rundown:

An odd one, this. I think a new master might have been created when Frank switched the track order, as I have no fewer than THREE versions of "Blessed Relief" floating around (the versions on my old GW disc and "Radio" are close, but I couldn't get them to sync for some reason, while the version on "Clean American Version" is a totally different transfer, and is probably representative of the '95 disc, which I don't have). Anybody have multiple copies of this title?

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).

From Biffy the Elephant Shrew:

The lyric sheet for The Grand Wazoo presents only the first verse of "For Calvin" ... there are hardly any lyrics on the whole album; you'd think they could squeeze the other lines in there!


  • Any details on cassette versions?
  • Any details on 8-track versions?
  • Any more regional peculiarities?
  • Any points to make about the Old Masters version?
  • Any more release dates?
  • CD variants. Wuh happen?

Additonal Informants

  • Neil in the UK
  • Phillip A. Freshour
  • Biffy the Elephant Shrew
  • Marcelo Gasiˇ
  • Richard Kolke
  • John Henley
  • JWB
  • Gonšalo
  • Mexpressings

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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