Just Another Band from LA

What to Get: The 2012 CD is the best of an iffy set of options.

Summary: Zappa heavily re-tweezed this album in 1986 for the second "Old Masters" box; it sounds nothing like the original, and some prefer this version, which is bright instead of muddy and bassy like the original LP (which was on the Old Masters LP and all pre-2012 CDs; however, those later CDs have some audio problems). The 2012 UMe CD is like the LP, but some people complain about it.

ESSENTIAL VERSIONS FOR COMPLETISTS: The 2012 CD or original vinyl. If you want the "old CD" version, the best release of it is on the Old Masters LP, but otherwise any non-2012 CD will do [completist's guide]

Issues

  • Original vinyl (Bizarre MS 2075 in the US, Reprise MS 2075 in Canada (with and without gatefold cover), March or May 1972 (repressed in 1973); Reprise K44179 in the UK, June 1972)
  • French vinyl (44179)
  • German vinyl (WEA Reprise 44179)
  • Japanese vinyl (Reprise P-8245R, also as blue-label promo)
  • Brazilian vinyl
  • Australian vinyl (Reprise MS 2075, 1972 - "more or less unaltered")
  • Cassettes (Bizarre M 52075 in the US, Reprise ZCK4 44179 in the UK)
  • Reprise M 82075 8-track tape cartdridge (left) and slip cover (right)8-track (Reprise M 82075, 1972, with custom slip cover)
  • Reel-to-reel (Bizarre/RepriseRecord RST 2075-B, green label)
  • The Old Masters vinyl (Barking Pumpkin BPR 8888-7, November 1986)
  • Original CD (Ryko RCD10161 in the US, Zappa Records CDZAP25 in the UK, May 1990; VACK 5031 in Japan; Ryko D30374 in Australia, 1990)
  • 1995 CD (Ryko RCD 10515, May 2 1995; VACK 5122 in Japan, renumbered to VACK 5257 in 1998)
  • Russian pirate copy of RCD10161 (no catalogue number, 1999)
  • Japanese paper-sleeve CD (Ryko/VACK 1214, October 24 2001 - Bizarre inner sleeve)
  • 2012 UMe CD (Zappa Records ZR3847 July 31, 2012)

Vinyl

Steve Cobham has a UK issue with fun etchings in the run-out groove:

"Kipper" on one side and "Bobil" on the other. Nicknames of the guy who cut it, perhaps?

Reprise ZCK4 44179 - UK Cassette

this cassette was green with yellow labelsThis tape had a funky colour scheme: army green with murky yellow labels. From Ben H:

Interestingly enough, this tape was manufactured by Precision Tapes (big on making cassettes and 8 tracks in the 1970s) who were part of the Pye company ... a touch ironic when you consider the events of 1968 ...?

The Old Masters Vinyl

This album was released in the second "Old Masters" box, which debuted the (remixed?) brighter, leaner version that was in print until the 2012 CDs.

Original CD

The original CD was missing some artwork that had been on the vinyl; this was restored on the 1995 re-issue. Reports are that the stereo spectrum was altered and Zappa had seriously modified the equalization. We could use more details.

Jasper Emiliano reports:

This should be in the "bad batch," but I only hear major problems on one track: "Eddie, Are You Kidding?" The right channel flutters in and out. I don't hear the same problems on the Old Masters LP.

1995 CD

The 1995 CD re-issue includes a little new artwork: a behind-the-tray inlay of "Billy the Mountain hisself - fabricated storyboard [pencil] drawing (slightly visible over my head in interior photo)", as Cal Schenkel put it. Official Ryko statement: "New master. New timing sheet. Restored artwork." [full statement]

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-2012-update: It appears as if the Japanese may be warming up the mini-LP ovens for a new batch based on the 2012 UMe remasters. We'll let you know if this happens.

2012 UMe CD

2012 remaster by Bob Ludwig. Supposedly reverts to the original LP mix, but some maintain that it sounds worse. Quotes from Kevin5brown:

The low end of the new one being boosted (in comparison) so much so as to overwhelm the entire balance of the CD. Brickwall freakin' Bob strikes again. He had no reason to compress this, but he did anyway. Too bad.

One thing I noticed, and I'm still comparing, and I can't quite figure out why this would be, but the multi-vocal parts at the beginning of Vegetable sound more recessed for the new one. More forward for the '95 (the one I have).

In general, the older CD sounds more balanced to me than the new one for JABFLA. The new one seems to have the (mid?) bass boosted some vs the older CD.

Rick Wood likes it, and points out a difference:

On JABFLA compare the end of the last track "Uncle Meat" on Ryko vs 2012 UmeCD. The 2012 track is 7 seconds longer, so you can hear Mark, Howard and FZ all say "Thank you very much", and a few keyboard clinks after applause. Also in this section there's a persistent humming noise on the Ryko (60 Hz onstage hum?), suppressed  on the 2012 CD. Much nicer.

Various

From Wiffles:

When the first series of ryko re releases came out I pu**hased Weasels Ripped My Flesh. However, the music on the disc is Just Another Band from LA. Everything - the booklet and the track listing on the back and the disc - shows Weasel material.

Questions

  • Any details on cassette versions?
  • Any details on 8-track versions?
  • Any regional peculiarities?
  • Any Old Masters type spooky details?
  • Old CDs. New CDs. What's the connection?

Additional Informants

  • Klaatu
  • Patrick David Neve
  • Gonšalo
  • Adam Biser
 

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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