Ahead of Their Time
No differences between old and new CDs. Parts of 11 tracks on this album also appear on
ESSENTIAL VERSIONS FOR COMPLETISTS: Any. [completist's guide]
- Original CD (Barking Pumpkin D2-74246 in the US, Zappa Records CDZAP 51 in the UK,
March 1993; VACK 5099 in Japan)
- 1995 CD (Ryko RCD 10559, May 30 1995; VACK 5099 in
Japan, renumbered 5234 in 1998)
- 2012 UMe CD (Zappa Records ZR 3887 [U.S.] and
0238872 [elsewhere], December 18, 2012)
Relation to MYSTERY DISC
Parts of 11 tracks on Ahead of Their Time also appear on Mystery Disc. According to the Mystery
Disc CD booklet, they are:
- an edited version of track 17 ("Harry, You Are a Beast" on Mystery Disc);
- "Progress" ("Don Interrupts" on Mystery
- "Like It Or Not" ("Piece One" on Mystery
- a heavily edited version of track 4, "The Jimmy Carl Black Philosophy Lesson"
and track 5, "Holding the Group Back" and track 6, "Holiday in Berlin"
and the spoken beginning of track 7, "The Rejected Mexican Pope Leaves the
Stage" ("Jim/Roy" on Mystery Disc);
- an edited version of the music portion of track 7, "The Rejected Mexican Pope
Leaves the Stage" and track 8, "Undaunted, the Band Plays On" ("Piece
Two" on Mystery Disc); and
- an edited version of track 9, "Agency Man", and the beginning of track 10,
"Epilogue" ("Agency Man" on Mystery Disc).
Relation to WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH
From Oscar Bianco:
This is what Zappa writes in the Ahead of Their Time liner notes:
A few bits of the show eventually found their way into Weasels
Ripped My Flesh ("Prelude to the Afternoon of a Sexually Aroused
Gas Mask" and part of "The Orange County Lumber Track"
included here in its complete original form) ...
On the other hand, in the Weasels Ripped My Flesh
booklet you can read that "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Sexually Aroused
Gas Mask" and "The Orange County Lumber Track" were recorded at
the Festival Hall in London, the same location as all of Ahead of Their
Time. Precise concert location is given in the Ahead of Their Time
booklet: Royal Festival Hall, London, England on 28 October 1968.
A comparison between the two records is not simple because, as usual, Zappa
made a lot a work on the original tapes (not to talk about the different
record editions ...)
I used these editions:
- Weasels Ripped My Flesh: the old Ryko CD
edition, RCD 10163, made in USA (1990)
- Ahead of Their Time: the Zappa Records / Barking Pumpkin Records
CD, CDZAP 51, made in England (1993)
Let's start with the simplest case: "The Orange County Lumber Truck".
This song is 03:18 on Weasels Ripped My Flesh. Only
from 01:21 to the end is it the same recording as Ahead of Their Time;
the first part of the song is from another session (the music played is quite
exactly the same as in the first part of the AOTT track, but there are
different total and internal timings and better sound quality), maybe a studio
session. The common part of the song on Ahead of Their Time starts at 01:14
of track 20, "The Orange Lumber Truck (Part II)". The Weasels
Ripped My Flesh version has a cut-end in the middle of Zappa's guitar
solo, while the Ahead of Their Time version goes ahead until 10:40
fading in a "King Kong" reprise.
More complex is the case of the Weasels Ripped My
Flesh track "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Sexually Aroused Gas
Mask" (03:48) which is a collage of different materials. From 00:00 to 00:40,
it's the same recording as (approximately) 06:50-07:30 of track 11, "King
Kong", on Ahead of Their Time. The rest of the material of the
song (in my opinion from three to five different segments) is not present on Ahead
of Their Time.
Official Ryko statement:
In the case of the last two volumes of You Can't Do That on Stage
Anymore (Vol. 5 & Vol. 6), Playground
Psychotics, Ahead of Their Time and The
Yellow Shark, new timing sheets were created, but because they had been mixed and
mastered as recently as 1991-1993, the original masters were simply error-checked and OK'd
(in other words, new masters weren't delivered on these). [full statement]
2012 UMe CD
Taken from the 1992 digital master. Reported to be the same as older
- Was this ever issued on cassette? A 1992 catalogue lists a TZAPPA51 to be released that
year, but a 1993 catalogue does not list it as having been released.