Zappa Records/UMe will release a 40th anniversary 3CD deluxe edition of Frank Zappa’s Orchestral Favorites on 30 August. The Zappa Family Trust is giving the 1979 album the audiophile detail and respect it deserves and that was lacking in the original release.
Unpromoted at the time and issued alongside several other titles without Zappa’s permission or quality control, it was publicly criticised by the artist for its lack of liner notes or credits and unapproved artwork. The new edition from Zappa Records/UMe commemorates the event at UCLA’s Royce Hall where the album compositions were recorded in September 1975.
The 3CD deluxe edition features brand new, proper hi-fi transfers of the original tapes. It has a newly created cover and extensive liner notes from Zappa Vaultmeister Joe Travers as well as former Zappa band member Terry Bozzio. He reminisces about performing at the concerts and provides the collection with some unique illustrations. Proper musician credits are featured in the stunning packaging for the first time, as are an extensive selection of rare and never-before-seen photos of the event from the archives of the Zappa estate.
Produced by Ahmet Zappa and Joe Travers, the new edition of Orchestral Favorites will feature not only the original album but the entire evening performance from 18 September 1975, spread across two additional discs. Extensive searches in the Vault uncovered the elusive master tone reel, which crucially contains the alignment tones that help set up the playback of the master tapes. Zappa reportedly did not provide this reel when he delivered the album.
The Zappa Family Trust is now thus able to present the audio as originally intended. Hi-res transfers from the original tapes have been completed, and with mastering by Bob Ludwig, the audio quality is now better than ever. The bonus concert features brand new mixes for 2019 by Craig Parker Adams, taken from the original two-inch, 24-track masters. The digital deluxe edition, which mirrors the 3CD version, includes an instant grat download of ‘Revised Music For Low-Budget Symphony Orchestra,’ available in this version for the first time.
There will also be a vinyl edition of Orchestral Favorites, with the original album mastered by Bernie Grundman and the newly-created anniversary art and cover. This will be pressed at Furnace MFG on 180 gram, audiophile grade black vinyl.
Listeners will be transported back to September 1975, when Zappa scheduled the Royce Hall event in between trying out new band members and preparing for a tour. “Frank supervised everything,” recalls Travers in the liner notes, “hired sound and lights, mixed the front of house sound at times, conducted the orchestra on occasion, and played guitar with them.
“The programme repertoire consisted of complex and challenging music that originates from all time frames of FZ’s career. Older themes that predate the original Mothers Of Invention, to brand new pieces hot off the pen, mixed in with some good ol’ FZ directed improvisation.”
Zappa reworked Orchestral Favorites for the CD format in 1991, and it has been reissued several times since his death. But the matching of the new master to the project tone reel means that the album can now be presented as he intended.
The Zappa Family Trust and UMe are also excited to announce the 50th anniversary reissue, on 17 July, of Zappa’s Mothermania compilation on vinyl. The album was made by Zappa in 1969 as a response to the many compilations that were being issued with the same material. He decided to release his own collection, using exclusive edits and mixes of Mothers of invention tracks from the albums Freak Out!, Absolutely Free and We’re Only in It for the Money.
The record includes different mixes of both ‘The Idiot Bastard Son’ and ‘Mother People,’ as well as the tracks that originally appear on Freak Out! The vinyl, out of print since 1972, has been mastered from the original analog tapes by Bernie Grundman. It’s being pressed on 180-gram black vinyl by Furnace MFG, and can be pre-ordered here.
ORCHESTRAL FAVORITES – 4OTH ANNIVERSARY DELUXE EDITION
Disc 1 – Original Album
1. Strictly Genteel
2. Pedro’s Dowry
3. Naval Aviation In Art?
4. Duke Of Prunes
5. Bogus Pomp
6. Strictly Genteel (Keyboard OD Version)
Disc 2 – Performance From September 18, 1975
1. Show Star/Bogus Pomp Explained
2. Bogus Pomp
3. Revised Music For Low-Budge Symphony Orchestra
4. The Story Of Pedro’s Dowry
5. Pedro’s Dowry
6. The Story Of Rollo
Disc 2 – Performance From September 18, 1975 (continued)
1. Black Napkins Instructions
2. Black Napkins
4. The Players
5. Naval Aviation In Art?
6. “Another Weirdo Number”
7. Lumpy Gravy (Extract)/Improvisation
8. Evening At The Hermitage
9. “A Special Guest Artist”
10. Duke Of Prunes
11. “Absolutely Disgusting”
12. The Adventures Of Greggery Peccary
13. Strictly Genteel
1. Brown Shoes Don’t Make It
2. Mother People
3. Duke Of Prunes
4. Call Any Vegetable
5. The Idiot Bastard Son
1. It Can’t Happen Here
2. You’re Probably Wondering Why I’m Here
3. Who Are The Brain Police?
4. Plastic People
5. Hungry Freaks, Daddy
6. America Drinks And Goes Home
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