Playground Psychotics

No difference between old and new CDs.


  • Original CD (Barking Pumpkin D2-74244 in the US, Zappa Records CDZAP 55 in the UK, October 1992; VACK 5097/8 in Japan)
  • 1995 CD (Ryko RCD 10557/58, May 30 1995; VACK 5097/8 in Japan, renumbered 5232/3 in 1998)

Related Issues

  • John Lennon: Some Time in New York City
  • John Lennon: Some Time in New York City special cassette & 8-track issues with only the Fillmore 1971 material on them
  • John & Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band: The Mothers of Invention (vinyl, Japan, EAS67110~1) [?]

Relation to John Lennon's SOME TIME IN NEW YORK CITY Album

Some parts of Playground Psychotics, that feature John Lennon & Yoko Ono, were also released on John Lennon's album Some Time in New York City in 1972 (20 years before Zappa's release). On Lennon's album (outrageously), "King Kong" was given the fictitious title "Jamrag", and miscredited to Lennon. JWB has straightened out which parts are on which release, and how the releases differ:

I have the video and the only thing that is missing from both versions is a bit of jamming in "Well (Baby, Please Don't Go)". Lennon's version has a fade out in the middle of "Well", where it crossfades into the improvisation right after the meltdown of "Well". (This improvisation is also known as "Say Please".) Afterwards, the entire performance is intact.

Zappa's version is shorter, but is much better. It has a jam edited out of the middle of "Well". The meltdown connecting "Well" and "Say Please" has been edited out and the tracks segue. The main theme to "King Kong" has been removed, so the end of "Say Please" edits right into the "King Kong" keyboard solo ("Awwwk"). From that point on, the performance is intact. I should also mention that the introduction is edited differently on both versions.

Lennon's is the most complete, but it was butchered by Phil Spector, with possible help from John and Yoko. Also, Yoko was insecure about the performance. She was heckled by the audience and teased by Flo & Eddie. Flo & Eddie were removed from Lennon's mix, as well as Don Preston. And Jim Pons's bass was replaced. Then a nice layer of echo was laid right on top. A disgrace.

(John also elaborates a little on the Yoko-teasing bit:

... some (including Zappa himself) have cited that Flo & Eddie were teasing Yoko, and that is why their vocals were mixed out. But I have a film of this performance, and Flo & Eddie & Yoko are laughing and having great fun during the whole thing. Maybe they felt that people would misinterpret the vocals. ("I'm gonna put my Yoko records in a scumbag ... now Yoko's in the scumbag ... [Yoko gets in a big white bag] ... eveybody's got a scumbag ..." I mean, it certainly wasn't a mean-spirited performance on anybody's part. Who knows what the real reason was. Don't forget, John & Yoko's tapes were handled by Phil Spector, who is notorious for inexplicably butchering things.)

From Ben H:

The inner bag for Some Time in New York City was a xerox of the original Mothers LP cover, with extra graffiti scribbled on it by J&Y.  Also, this part [the second record, live with the Mothers] of the double album became a separate release as a cassette and 8-track with it's own seperate catalogue number. I've never seen an 8-track copy (I'm told it's super rare, not surprising considering the awful racket it contains) but I did use to own a cassette copy, but for some reason I sold it ... I've never seen another.

From Isaac Baranoff, regarding the 2005-era reissue of Lennon's "STiNYC"

Some Time In New York City and Live Jam were recently remixed for new CD re-releases, fixing many of the problems with the original Phil Spector-butchered version(s) of the album(s). Unfortunately, Yoko Ono chose to delete the other three tracks from the Zappa/Lennon/Ono/Mothers jam...and therefore, there hasn't yet been a completely uncut release of this performance. It's truly unfortunate that neither widow (Zappa's nor Lennon's) has many any sort of effort to release the complete performance from this concert appearance.

1995 CD

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]


From Arfbarker:

I bought a Playground Psychotics that had two of disc one in it.


  • Was this ever issued on cassette?

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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