What to Get: The 2012 CD is a clear upgrade.
Summary: The original vinyl is generally
considered to be superior to the Old Masters LP (which utilized a
partially reverb-soaked digital master, one which also trimmed the
intro to "Disco Boy") and all pre-2012 CDs (which are made from a
potentially be-futzed-with version of the Old Masters transfer). The
2012 CD reverts to the dry vinyl version and is Swell.
From Harry de Swart:
From Mikael Agardsson:
DAN WATKINS: I was checking out a web page full of Zappa interview clips and came across one in which Frank mentions a censored Canadian pressing of Zoot Allures, which censors out "Black Napkins" and "The Torture Never Stops" (the latter being for the screams) by a sheet of paper that was actually placed over the vinyl. Has anyone ever seen one of these?
RICK STILES: I have a vinyl copy of this, bought in Canada. It doesn't appear to be censored as you describe. However, it was bought used ...
STAN: The Canadian release itself wasn't censored; the management of one radio station put tape or something across the front of their copy to prevent "The Torture Never Stops" from being played on the air. Frank did an interview at that particular station and complained that the tape also blocked them from playing "Black Napkins." (I have that interview on tape.)
JON NAURIN: A similar thing happened at a 1975 interview (KSAN 12/26, I think), where Zappa claims that the station would never play "Dinah-Moe Humm" on the air. The interviewer wants to prove him wrong, asks Zappa what album it's on, and then digs up Over-Nite Sensation from their archives. It turns out that the vinyl is badly scratched, someone has crossed it over with a yellow crayon and put a "contains dirty, dirty words" label on it. The interviewer sounds noticably embarrased, and lets Zappa recite the whole song on the air. Frank seems amused and keeps stopping to ask whether the interviewer had heard any "dirty, dirty words" yet.
RCA Record Club Vinyl
From CSTMAS's ad on ebay, March 2000:
Originally, Zappa planned a different track order for Zoot Allures, but changed his mind (well, orignally-originally he planned a double album, but that's another story - see the Weirdo Discography for details). This track order shows up on the cover (only) of some copies of the released album, at least in Germany:
From Mikael Agardsson:
A Brazilian edition of this LP had a light-blue "DISCO DO MĘS STATUS" logo stamped or printed in the lower-right corner of the front cover. Edumilk explains this:
Old Masters Vinyl
The Old Masters LP came out in late 1987, and featured a "digitally tweezed" master: there's extra reverb (particularly noticeable on formerly super-dry tracks like "Find Her Finer"), and the EQ is very different. The drum-machine intro to "Disco Boy" is also missing. This version was later used (perhaps unmodified) on the various CDs.
Like the Old Masters vinyl; contains additional reverb and missing the intro to "Disco Boy."
From Pat Buzby:
From Michael Pierry:
From David G.:
Like the original CD. Official Ryko statement: "New master. New timing sheet." [full statement]
Mikael Agardsson has compared the WB 2970 vinyl and 1995 CD versions:
JWB weighs in:
This one sounds like absolute garbage compared to the original LP.
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 Bob Ludwig from the original analog master (this info may be missing
from the back cover of some copies). Reverts to the
dry LP version and restores the introduction to "Disco Boy."
Definitive; buy this.
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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