What to Get: The 2012 CD.
Summary: Pre-2012 CDs have copious amounts of
additional reverb. The 2012 CD is dry and matches the vinyl.
ESSENTIAL VERSIONS FOR COMPLETISTS: The vinyl or 2012 CD. [completist's guide]
- Original vinyl (Bizarre MS
2094 in the US, July 5 1972 (repressed in 1973); Reprise MS 2094 in
Canada; Reprise K44203 in the UK, August 1972)
- French vinyl (Reprise 44203)
- German vinyl (Reprise REP 44203)
- Dutch vinyl (Reprise REP 44203, 1972, cover made in
Germany, disc made in Holland by NV Negram, Haarlem, "STEMRA" on label)
- Italian vinyl (44 203 / 2094, blue Bizarre
label - lists "Big Swifty" as "Swifty")
- Japanese vinyl (Reprise P-8277R, white-label promo also
- Mexican vinyl (Gamma GX01-566)
- Argentine vinyl (MusicHall 12.976 - there was both a
hard and a soft cover version)
- Uruguayan vinyl (Cave label)
- Brazilian vinyl
- Australian vinyl (Reprise Ms 2094, 1972 - "more or
- Cassettes (Bizarre M 52094 and Reprise 444203)
- 8-track (Bizarre M 82094)
- 7 ips reel-to-reel tape
- The Old Masters vinyl
(Barking Pumpkin BPR 9999-1, December 1987)
- Original CD (Ryko or RCD 10094 in
the US, January 1989 (imported into Australia by Festival Records and
re-stickered Ryko D40734); Zappa Records CDZAP10 in the UK, January or
June 1989; VACK 5032 in Japan)
- Zappa Records cassette (TZAPPA10)
- 1995 CD (Ryko RCD 10516, May 2 1995;
VACK 5123 in Japan, renumbered
5258 in 1998)
- Japanese paper-sleeve CD
(Ryko/VACK 1215, October 24 2001 - Bizarre inner sleeve)
- 2012 UMe CD (Zappa Records ZR3848
August 28, 2012)
On the weird side, half of this album has been issued, backed
with music by
the Kinks, on an American Forces
& Television Service release.
Handwritten sheet music from the recording sessions reveal
was originally written as "Waka=Jawaka". It boggles the mind! (You can
picture of it on Fred
Banta's web page.)
From Juha Sarkkinen:
On the original LP, the title on the label and back read Hot
Rats - Waka/Jawaka.
From Dan Buxbaum:
I was perusing the wares in a local used record store and
made the brave journey to the back of the shop where the used cassettes
are ("the bottom of the barrel"). I saw this tape which was printed
"Waka/Jawaka Hot Rats" on the side. Turned out to be just the regular
old-time Reprise cassette of Waka/Jawaka. I found it
interesting that the tape actually had "Hot Rats" in the title printed
on it (not just on the painting faucets as on the CD), and that "Big
Swifty" was the cassette Side 2 selection.
From Chris Roe:
I had an old 1980s rock LP price guide that actually said
there was a 2-LP set of Waka Jawaka/Hot
Rats but have never seen any proof that it existed.
From Mr Slone or Mrs Lone:
Nice 8-track and Zappa is great! Plays well and has a
cardboard slip cover. This tape plays well.
1. Big Swifty (Beg.)
2. Big Swifty (Conc.)
3 Your Mouth; It Just Might Be a One-Shot Deal; Waka/Jawaka (Beg.)
4 Waka/Jawaka (Conc.)
From David van Noortwijk:
One of the most treasured icons of my adolescence was the
climactic fashion in which a vinyl "Big Swifty" gloriously resolved,
punctuated with some amazingly genius church bell percussion (or
whatever they're called). On my new Ryko release CD this moment has
truly been buggered to oblivion. The bells are still there, but much
too prominent and too separated. Ah well ... that's growing up for
From Michael Pabst:
Just put the german vinyl release on (after many years).
Sounds direct, dry and warm. Everything is just in front of you. My
Zappa Records CD release from the '80s instead has the "added reverb
during mastering" problem like some other Zappa CDs (Apostrophe ('), Zappa
in New York, etc.). Seems they just couldn't avoid to (over)use the
then new studio toys like digital reverb.
From Pat Buzby:
I do know that Grand Wazoo is
missing the musician photos from the original album, and that
Waka/Jawaka is missing the FZ photos. Boo! [Patience, Pat! This will be
restored on the 1995 re-issue!]
Official Rykodisc statement: "New master. New timing sheet.
artwork". [full statement]
1995 CD versus the Old CD
From the 2004 Zappa CD Rundown:
Barring some slight level differences, the old and new discs
seem to be identical; in other words, when the slight
volume difference is corrected via normalization, the audio cancels
out. Note that this might have been quietly upgraded at some point.
(Versions compared: "One Shot Deal" on old WAKA/JAWAKA Ryko CD with
"One Shot Deal" on "Left of the Dial"/"Son of Cheep Thrills")
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
Mastered by Doug Sax with Robert Hadley & Sangwook "Sunny" Nam from
the original analog masters. Reverts to the dry version of the album
found on the LP (seriously; put on "One Shot Deal"). Essential! Mike
Espinoza questions his previous heresy:
It's amazing how much better my hearing has gotten. I
was actually defending the Ryko Waka/Jawaka! Compared to the new CD, it
is unlistenable. I kept trying to tell myself that they didn't ruin
as many CDs as they did without buying all of them on LP myself.
- How does the 1995 CD compare to the original CD?
- Any details on cassette versions?
- Any details on 8-track versions?
- Any regional peculiarities?
- Any more release dates?
- Steve Jones
- Christof Ha▀linger
- Steve & Cindy Jones