Weasels Ripped My Flesh
What to Get: The 2012 CD. It's slightly shorter than previous
CDs but sounds better.
Summary: Compared to the original LP, all
non-2012 CDs were slightly extended - for instance,
"Didja Get Any Onya?" was three minutes longer on the CD. The CDs do
not have a reputation for sounding very good; they come from the
"bad batch" of late-eighties releases.
1995 Ryko CD has extra
cover/booklet artwork, but is otherwise identical to earlier discs. The
2012 CD, remastered by Bob Ludwig, reverts to the original LP edits but
We Need: A description of the Old Masters
ESSENTIAL VERSIONS FOR COMPLETISTS: Original vinyl/2012 CD and
any earlier CD, as the non-2012 CDs have extra material. [completist's
- Original vinyl (Bizarre MS
2028 in the US (repressed in 1973), Reprise RSLP 2028 in the UK,
September 10 1970; Reprise MS 2028 in Canada)
- German vinyls (Reprise RS 2028 with RAT
TRAP COVER!, Reprise REP 44109 with regular
- French vinyls (Reprise 44109, Reprise MS2028)
- Greek vinyl (Reprise 44019, matrix number REP 44019 BMT 410
W 116, stamped "KAT." on back cover and label)
- Japanese vinyl (Reprise
- Taiwanese vinyl (CSJ 1008)
- Argentine vinyl: Las Comadrejas Me Arrancaron la Carne
(MusicHall 12.957, mono (maybe a stereo version too?))
- Australian vinyl (Reprise MS 2028, 1970, high-gloss cover)
- New Zealand vinyl (Reprise MS 2028, 1970, smaller back
- Israeli vinyl (Reprise MS 2028, with different back cover
and Hebrew writing on the front cover)
- Cassette (Reprise M 52028)
- 8-track (Reprise M 82028)
- Renumbered UK vinyl (Reprise K
44019, July 1971)
- 2 Originals of the Mothers of
Invention (Reprise 64 024) - Dutch and German double LP coupling
with Burnt Weeny Sandwich
- US vinyl re-issue (Reprise/Warner DSK 229K - late
- The Old Masters vinyl (Barking
Pumpkin BPR 8888-4, November 1986)
- Original CD (Ryko RCD10163 in the
US, Zappa Records CDZAP24 in the UK, May 1990; VACK 5028 in Japan; Ryko
D30376 in Australia, 1990)
- 1995 CD (Ryko RCD 10510, May 2 1995;
VACK 5119 in Japan, renumbered
5254 in 1998; also in a BMG Record Club
- 1995 Cassette (Ryko RAC 10510)
- 180-gramme vinyl #1 (UK, 1997?)
- 180-gramme vinyl #2 (Simply Vinyl SVLP
24, UK June 1 1998)
- Japanese paper-sleeve CD
(Ryko/VACK 1211, September 21 2001 - Bizarre inner sleeve; sticker
- 2012 UMe CD (Zappa Records ZR3843 July
on the weird side, parts of this album seem to have been issued in
Poland as a set
of flexi-disc postcards.
Relation to Ahead of Their Time
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
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
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"
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.
Some 1995 CD copies carry the misprint "Toad Of The
on the back cover (not booklet).
From Record Collector magazine #118, June 1989 (quoted
This album is notable as it established a couple of
precedents for Zappa: it was the first time a Zappa/Mothers album had
been issued without a gatefold sleeve in the US, plus Britain
finally caught up with America and released it almost simultaneously.
From here on, most Zappa releases would be issued within a month of
each other in both countries.
By September 1970 Warner/Reprise had established their own UK
distribution and first pressings of Weasels went straight onto
one-colour Reprise labels with the small boat logo.
From Magnus Delle:
My copy of Weasels Ripped My Flesh was bought in a
second-hand record shop in London in 1973 (Reprise RSLP 2028).
The funny thing is that the record is labelled with the Side 1
label on both sides. The LP is OK, it's just the label that is
RAT TRAP COVER!
An early German vinyl version sported a different cover: a
naked toy doll caught in a RAT
TRAP, bleeding in bright red, against a very green background.
I have transcribed an interview from German television circa
December 1970. This interview should answer all of the questions you
have about the RAT TRAP COVER, and is also a nice addition to
your Weasels page. It was the first time Zappa ever saw the RAT
TRAP COVER, but he knew about it.
GERMAN GUY: I just want to show you ... [shows
official Weasels Ripped My Flesh cover to camera]
ZAPPA: This is before ... and after ...
GERMAN: The one .... that you saw before.
ZAPPA: Yeah ... I haven't ... no, I didn't see the other one.
GERMAN: This is the other one ... [shows RAT TRAP COVER
to camera, then to Zappa]
GERMAN: This is German made, this record. [sounds like something this guy could have said - Ed.]
ZAPPA: It certainly does look like a German album cover, doesn't it.
GERMAN: You've been having trouble with the record companies ...
they've been censoring your work.
ZAPPA: Well, I haven't had any problems with the present record
company. [inspects the RAT TRAP COVER] This ...
actually, in terms of graphics it's not bad. The thing I resent most
about this album cover is that it's not the way I wanted it to come
out. I wanted it to look like that one [points to official cover].
THAT ONE is ugly enough. I don't need this one.
From this interview we can draw several conclusions:
- It is indeed German made.
- The interview is from 1970, and Zappa had heard about the
cover previously, so we can guess that it was the first German
pressing that featured this cover. The record company logo is in
the top left corner. It is a logo that I do not recognize. [It is
a logo for Reprise - Ed.]
- It was indeed an unauthorized cover. It was altered by
the German record company, however. So Frank probably couldn't do
anything about it. It certainly has nothing to do with Cal Shenkel.
From Mikael Agardsson:
The name of the cover artist was Dieter Boé.
Reprise REP 44109 - German Vinyl
with Regular Cover
Some of these copies were misprinted. From Mikael Agardsson:
I mentioned a Zoot Allures
misprint yesterday. Well, how about this one: Weasels
Ripped My Flesh (Reprise REP 44019, German issue), Frank Sinatra
on one side!
From Steve Jones:
I have a stock Japanese pressing with obi. It has a
different outlay on the back cover. It has the track list of side one
and two and where the tracks were below that on the on the left, then
the picture of Frank in the middle. Then on the right there are two
pictures of the Mothers in the top-right corner, then the players, then
another picture of the Mothers in the bottom-right corner.
Renumbered UK Vinyl
From Record Collector magazine #118, June 1989 (quoted
In 1971 ... Kinney Corporation took over the entire Warner
Brothers organisation and all UK albums (and singles) were renumbered
with a "K" prefix. Stocks of old covers were used up by adding "K"
number stickers to "RSLP" sleeves ...
Two Originals of the Mothers of
This is a
Dutch and German double issue of
the Burnt Weeny Sandwich and Weasels
My Flesh albums, housed in a fold-out cover (by a "Patrick von
Spreckelsen") depicting a pistol shooting toothpaste. The inner spread
Burnt Weeny Sandwich and
covers, left and right, but the Burnt
cover has been modified: the word "STEREO" has been stricken out with
paint, and the title is printed in red instead of black.
Old Masters LP
Since the CD is longer, what's the Old
Masters LP like? Good question; not much answered yet. From Bermuda:
It's almost identical to the original release.
We obviously need more information here, but the above is an
From Doug Obrecht:
I just picked up Weasels Ripped My Flesh on CD (I
had the vinyl) in a used bin. Weasels Ripped My Flesh is still
my favorite title for a Zappa album and has the BEST album
cover art (in my opinion). An extra 3 minutes was added to "Didja Get
Any Onya?". [These extra minutes were the track that was called
"The Jelly" on an album called We Are the Mothers
& This Is What We Sound Like, which was never released, but has
been bootlegged a lot; "The Jelly" is for example on the Apocrypha bootleg -
Ed. PS:"The Jelly" has a couple of extra seconds at the end, that are
not on Weasels.] "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Sexually
Aroused Gas Mask" has been rem*ed a bit. The song
"Weasels Ripped My Flesh" is still 2:08 of feedback and noise. Oh well.
There are no speed-ups or added instruments as far as I can determine. "RZZZZZ!"
From Sten Winfield Johnson:
This album is altered for the CD release. The opening
track is extended and segues into "Directly from My Heart to You",
which is annoying. Other tampering exists also, but I have
difficulty being specific.
From Remco Takken:
Not only does "Directly from My Heart to You" segue into the
next song, it's also 3 seconds shorter than on vinyl.
Another sonic disaster with bonus material.
Weasels has extended versions of two tracks (a few extra
minutes in "Didja Get Any Onya," and a few seconds in "Gas Mask") on
the [old discs].
The WRMF CD version of Prelude To The Afternoon of A
Sexually Aroused Gas Mask it's about 12 seconds longer than the
original vinyl edition:
the section approx. between 0:40 and 0:52 is not on the original
There was also some tampering with the cover/booklet artwork
on this CD, but the 1995 CD restored it.
Remastered, Not Remixed
There was some serious discussion on alt.fan.frank-zappa in
March 2000, as
some people had been too generous with the word "remix":
JWB: I keep seeing in print that the CD issue of Weasels
is a REMIX. I've never heard the original vinyl, but I highly
doubt this. For one thing, most of the album consists of live straight-to-two-track
recordings. You can't remix recordings that are already
two-track. For example, Doug Obrecht says: "Prelude to the Afternoon of
a Sexually Aroused Gas Mask" has been remixed a bit. Isn't that
RAPLH WAYVONE: Well, no. There are overdubs on that
particular track (I haven't heard the CD version). I remember some
snorks were added fairly late in the track (not the real deep
interesting ones, but there are some later on).
JWB: You're making an assumption and I completely
disagree with you. To me it sounds like someone snorting into a random
mike onstage, and not an overdub.
MICHAEL GULA: Even if the entire album were live
two-track, there are still matters of ambiance, equalization, etc. that
could be adjusted.
JWB: I gotcha, but that does not qualify the album as
a "remix". These factors put Weasels in the same
ballpark as Uncle Meat, and that album
is not considered a remix except for "Mr. Green Genes". It was just
tweaked with in mastering. Those are all mastering factors
(MICHAEL GULA: The opening guitar on "Get a Little"
has a much greater impact on the vinyl than it does on the CD. On the
CD, it sounds mixed at a lower level when compared to the coughs and
voices that introduce the track.)
JWB: It is NOT ok to call the Weasels CD a
remix because it's NOT a remix. You should re-word everything
all together. The difference between the Weasels vinyl and CD
are in the MASTERING. Not the mix. Uncle Meat falls under the same category. I
think the same might go for Burnt
Official Ryko statement: "New master. New timing sheet.
Restored artwork." [full statement]
It was otherwise identical to earlier CDs.
1995 CD versus the Old CD
From the 2004 Zappa CD Rundown:
Here we start the infamous "bad batch" of reissues.
"Weasels" really doesn't sound very good, with an odd digital reverb
used liberally and artificially-booming bass. All discs seem to be
sourced from the same digital tape. Oddly, while my two "Weasels" discs
were in fact digitally identical, one "lost" a few samples every thirty
seconds or so, causing it to jump abruptly out of sync. This could
be due to the fact that my '95 disc is a BMG pressing, but I'll have to
double-check to see which version was, in fact, throwing samples.
(VERSIONS COMPARED: Old Ryko, New
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.
FACT: A company called Simply Vinyl re-released Burnt
Weeny Sandwich and Weasels Ripped My Flesh on 180-gramme
vinyl in the
UK in 1998. As of spring 1999, they had a web site at http://www.simplyvinyl.com.
HOWEVER: there may have
been another 180-gramme release of these two albums in the UK in 1997,
and we'll deal with
these two releases one at a time.
Here's what happened in September 1997. Tony Burke raised the
A mail order company advertising in this month's UK Record
Collector have Weasels Ripped My Flesh and Burnt Weeny re-issues now
availalble on 180-gramme re-issue deluxe pressings with heavy-duty
sleeves and original artwork at £14.99 UK. Anyone know anything about
And Spence Chrislu at the UMRK
Beware. I know that they did not use the original masters
for these releases, so I'm sure it came from a CD or perhaps a
recording from another, lesser-quality vinyl. We've also never
authorized anyone to re-issue the original art.
John Hopkins added that:
It says "Licensed from Rykodisc" on the inner gatefold. The
record itself sounds wonderful, but there's precious little in the way
of liner notes.
Here's what happened in 1998: A company called Simply Vinyl
re-released both albums (Burnt Weeny
Sandwich and Weasels Ripped My
Flesh) on 180-gramme vinyl. As of spring 1999, this company had a
web site at http://www.simplyvinyl.com.
Burke, November 1997:
According to the latest Mojo mag, a company called
Simply Vinyl are to release Weasels Ripped My Flesh and Burnt Weeny Sandwich on 180-gramme
vinyl, complete with 30-gramme card covers, with orginal artwork and
taken from analogue masters. According to Mike Loveday, boss of SV
these will be "fresh from the farm integrity packs".
From Kristian Kier, April 1999:
Remastered by Bob Ludwig from the original analog master. Reverts to
the original LP edits of "Didja" and "Get a Little," but has far improved sound quality.
Matrix numbers: SVLP 0024 A-1-1- and SLVP 0024
B-2-1-. Made in the UK. Released in the UK on June 1 1998 and in
Germany as a UK import on March 22 1999. Price in Germany: 39,95DM
(April 1999) (fucking expensive!).
(P) 1990, 1995 Rykodisc. All Rights Reserved.
(C) 1970, 1995 The Zappa Family Trust.
Reproduced under license. Unauthorised duplication is a violation of
[Logo] Simply Vinyl
Licensed from Rykodisc
And on the right side:
All compositions by Frank Zappa and controlled for the
World by *The
Zappa Family Trust d/b/a Frank Zappa Music, BMI, and The Zappa Family
Trust d/b/a Munchkin Music (ASCAP), except "Directly from My Heart to
You" by R.W. Penniman, published by Duchess Music Corp, (BMI).
Tracklist: side one: 1. Didja Get Any Onya? (06:51), 2.
Directly from my Heart to You [Penniman] (05:16), 3. Prelude
to the Afternoon of a Sexually Aroused Gas Mask (03:48), 4. Toads of
the Short Forest (04:48), 5. Get a Little (02:31). Side two: 1. The
Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue (06:52), 2. Dwarf Nebula Processional
March & Dwarf Nebula (02:12), 3. My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama
(03:32), 4. Oh No (01:45), 5. The Orange County Lumber Truck (03:21),
6. Weasels Ripped My Flesh (02:07).
The labels were dark orange with their logo and brand name
on the top, along with all other info you might expect on a label.
Nothing spectacular about it, but still different from the original
one ... :) The cover is, I think, a complete and good reproduction
of the original gatefold cover. The record is placed in an additional
plastic outer sleeve (similar to the Baby
Snakes picture disc), which has two silver stickers on it. The
first is on the front, saying:
[Logo] Simply Vinyl
LIMITED EDITION VINYL LP
180gr. Virgin Vinyl Pressings
Heavy Quality Sleeves
The second one is on the back and its function is to be a
seal to protect the album from being opened. Round shape which says:
LIMITED EDITION VINYL LP
They left out the note "Bizarre Business by Herb Cohen",
which can be found on the original German pressing. And the fonts of
the players and description of the tracks is a little bit larger on the
new release, but those are only marginal changes. No flyer included [Simply
Vinyl's Burnt Weeny Sandwich
included a flyer advertising other releases - Ed.].
Thinman notices a typo in the booklet:
In the booklet it says Didja Get Any Onya?
3:4 instead of 3:44
The absolutely eagle-eared (?) Jetlag1 noticed a tape error in "My Guitar" at
1:34, right on the last note of the sped-up sax solo. This is presumably due to
tape wear and is on all copies of the remaster.
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.
- Mikael Agardsson
- Marcelo Gasió
- Les Harris
- Harry de Swart
- Vinoman / DEBH Enterprises
- Lewis Saul
- Isaac Baranoff
- Any details on cassette versions?
- Any details on 8-track versions?
- Any regional peculiarities?
- Old Masters vinyl? Bueller?
- Any more release dates?