A Completist's Guide to Regular Frank Zappa Records

"Don't worry about the website going too far ... going further was what Frank was all about!" 

Many Zappa albums exist in more than one version. LP may be different from CD; there may be two CD versions, etc. What if a crazy Zappa fan had all the albums in some form, and wanted to look for every different version of every album - not each and every edition ever made, but every version where the audio content was somehow unique? Which versions would they need? Here's a table that tries to address that kind of question.

NOTE: Old out-of-print versions are of course hard to find. People are actually taking to trading CD-R copies of these with a spirit comparable to the popular trading of live tapes! NOTE: Don't take this too seriously. No one collects all these, especially not the items marked with "insane completists". NOTE: Details about the differences are on other pages. NOTE: This is only about "regular" (and official) Zappa albums. Weird albums (some of which completists may also want to have) and singles are not included (some singles tracks are unique non-LP versions).

COLOUR-CODING: Green is for the regular completist, yellow for the insane completist only, orange indicates "not sure" and pink is a special case or comment. On with the muppetshow.

Freak Out! Any CD, or Old Masters LP old LP mono LP single-LP version
Absolutely Free! Any CD LP mono LP  
We're Only In It for the Money 1995 CD, or 1995 LP Old CD (coupled with Lumpy Gravy), or Old Masters LP mono LP "heavily censored" version
Lumpy Gravy 1995 CD any LP, or old CD (coupled with We're Only In It for the Money) original, instrumental version for insane completists (CD-Rs do exist among traders!)  
Cruising with Ruben & the Jets Any CD, or Old Masters LP old LP    
Mothermania (The Best of the Mothers) LP (never re-issued on CD)      
Uncle Meat Any CD old LP    
Hot Rats Any CD (Old Masters LP OK?) old LP    
Burnt Weeny Sandwich Any CD (Old Masters LP OK?) old LP    
Weasels Ripped My Flesh Any CD (Old Masters LP OK?) old LP    
Chunga's Revenge Any CD old LP    
Fillmore East, June 1971 Any CD old LP    
200 Motels CD or LP      
Just Another Band from LA CD or LP      
Waka/Jawaka CD or LP      
The Grand Wazoo CD or LP      
Over-Nite Sensation CD or (stereo) LP quadraphonic LP or tape (or fan DTS CD-R transfer)    
Apostrophe (') pre-1998 CD (or Old Masters LP) 1998-or-later CD, orAu20 CD, or old LP quadraphonic LP or tape (or fan DTS CD-R transfer)  
Roxy & Elsewhere 1995 CD (remix of "Cheepnis") old CD or LP (some old CDs also have the "Cheepnis" remix, though)    
One Size Fits All CD or LP (Au20 CD sounds best)      
Bongo Fury CD or LP      
Zoot Allures CD and/or LP - LP sounds better (and has 3 extra seconds of drums :)      
Zappa in New York CD LP (uncensored LP version for insane completists - may or may not be in circulation)  
Studio Tan CD LP    
Sleep Dirt CD LP    
Sheik Yerbouti non-EMI CD LP or EMI CD    
Orchestral Favorites CD or LP (LP has reversed stereo image :)      
Joe's Garage Acts I, II & III CD maybe LP, not sure (at least the "digitally remastered" vinyl seems a bit different from the CD)    
Tinsel-Town Rebellion remastered 1998 CD EMI CD :) LP :)  
Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar LP or CD (3-CD box sounds best)      
You Are What You Is remastered 1998 CD LP or EMI CD    
Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch CD or LP      
The Man from Utopia 1993 CD or 1995 CD EMI CD, coupled with Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch, or digitally remastered EMI LP old LP  
Baby Snakes CD or LP      
The London Symphony Orchestra 1995 CD (Volumes I & II) 1986 CD ("LSO", neither volume I nor II) LSO Volume II LP  
Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger non-EMI CD LP or EMI CD    
Them Or Us 1995 CD (very slightly extended) Old CD or LP    
Thing-Fish [newish CD] [LP and/or at least one old CD, not sure which]    
Francesco Zappa CD or LP      
Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention 1995 CD (or both US and European older versions on LP or CD) Zappa Records CD has a shorter edit of "I Don't Even Care"    
Does Humor Belong in Music? 1995 CD EMI CD    
Jazz from Hell post-1990 CD (1990 or 1995) Pre-1990 CD or LP, if you're real obsessive    
Guitar CD LP is in vouge among insane completist, for the "different segues" :) (mix may also differ!)    
You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore Sampler CD or LP (unique edits of two tracks)      
You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore (Volumes 1-6) CD      
Broadway the Hard Way CD LP    
The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life CD with "Bolero" (1995 CD sounds better; US & Japanese 1995 CDs have "Bolero")      
Make a Jazz Noise Here CD with "Royal March from L'Histoire du Soldat" & "Theme from the Bartok Piano Concerto #3" [Zappa Records CD without "Royal March from L'Histoire du Soldat" and "Theme from the Bartok Piano Concerto #3" not in vogue among insane completists for the "different segues" (see Guitar :)]    
Playground Psychotics CD      
Ahead of Their Time CD      
The Yellow Shark CD      
Civilization Phaze III CD      
Strictly Commercial - the Best of Frank Zappa US or European CD LP or Japanese CD with "Dancin' Fool" disco mix (unless you already have that track on the original 12" single)    
The Lost Episodes CD      
Läther CD      
Frank Zappa Plays the Music of Frank Zappa: A Memorial Tribute CD (mail-order from zappa.com)      
Have I Offended Someone? CD      
Strictly Genteel (a Classical Introduction to Frank Zappa) [no new material]      
Cheap Thrills [no new material]      
Mystery Disc CD (unless you have the original Old Masters boxes 1-2 with Mystery-Disc LPs)      
Son of Cheep Thrills [no new material]       
Everything Is Healing Nicely CD (mail-order from zappa.com)      
Threesome #1 [no new material]      
Threesome #2 [no new material]      
FZ:OZ CD (mail-order from zappa.com)      
Halloween DVD-audio, with some video content      

(Again, if you want to read more about what the differences are in each particular case, read the entry for each album in the Return of the Son of the alt.fan.frank-zappa Vinyl-vs-CDs FAQ.)

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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