The previously unreleased ‘Dame Margret’s Son To Be A Bride (1969 Quick Mix),’ an outtake from the sessions for Frank Zappa’s landmark solo debut Hot Rats, has been shared by the Zappa Trust. It comes from the 50th anniversary box set The Hot Rats Sessions, to be released by Zappa Records and UMe on 20 December.
The instrumental, written by Zappa and recorded at T.T.G. Studios in Hollywood during the album sessions, features the basic rhythm tracks eventually used much later for ‘Lemme Take You To The Beach,’ from1978’s Studio Tan. They feature Max Bennett on bass and Paul Humphrey on drums. Featured on disc 6 of the box set, it also contains multi-instrumentalist Ian Underwood’s tack piano performance that has since been lost, giving the only opportunity to hear the original version.
This mix was run off by Zappa following the basic track sessions so that he could listen back to the musicians’ work. ‘Dame Margret’s Son To Be A Bride (1969 Quick Mix)’ is available now to stream and as an instant grat download with preorders of the anniversary set.
The Hot Rats Sessions is an expansive commemoration of the groundbreaking LP first released on 10 October 1969. It established the writer-musician as a virtuosic guitarist with a record that he described as a “movie for your ears.”
The conceptual, compositional and technological innovations on Hot Rats followed the dissolution of Zappa’s band the Mothers Of Invention, as he pursued a new musical direction melding jazz sophistication and rock’n’roll attitude. The LP is now widely seen as a pioneering release in the jazz-rock movement. Zappa’s two complete Halloween shows recorded on 31 October 1973 in Chicago were released on October 25 via Zappa Records/UMe.
The Hot Rats Sessions documents and compiles every composition taped during the several days of sessions in July 1969 at which Zappa recorded Hot Rats and a wealth of other material that emerged on multiple releases during his lifetime. The Hot Rats Sessions is crammed with a vast array of rare and unedited mixes, work mixes, relevant Vault nuggets and complete basic tracks, mixed from the original multi-track master tapes by Craig Parker Adams and mastered by Bob Ludwig in 2019. It’s a fascinating window onto the creation of the classic album, featuring essentially every musical entity that was recorded during the landmark sessions.
The Hot Rats Sessions has been overseen by the Zappa Trust and produced by Ahmet Zappa and Zappa Vaultmeister, Joe Travers. It will be available in a 6CD box set and as a digital release, including Apple Digital Master. The set features a 28-page booklet with striking, never-before-seen images of the recording sessions by Bill Gubbins; photographs of the master tapes and tape boxes, and outtakes from the shoot with Miss Christine by the original Hot Rats cover photographer Andee Nathanson. She provides the new cover image for the box set and several unreleased images, all from the same shoot, captured on Infrared film, which gave the original album its otherworldly look.
Nathanson describes the shoot in vivid detail in the liner notes, which also have essays by Zappa collaborator Ian Underwood and Vaultmeister Travers, plus an appreciation from The Simpsons creator and lifelong Zappa fan, Matt Groening. He recounts his first time listening to Hot Rats as a teenager: “From the opening moments of that unforgettable drum fill, I was transported,” he writes. “The kaleidoscopic, calliopean, dare-I-say-callipygian, mini-masterpiece ‘Peaches En Regalia’ elevated my scrawny body into the air, spun me around like a propeller beanie, and melted my brain.”
The Hot Rats Sessions also includes a unique “Zappa Land” board game, in which fans have the task of helping Zappa get back to the studio to finish Hot Rats. The instant grat download of ‘Dame Margret’s Son To Be A Bride (1969 Quick Mix)’ followed the unreleased outtake made available in October, ‘It Must Be A Camel’ (1969 Mix Outtake).
The Hot Rats anniversary has been further celebrated with two more exciting releases. A limited edition, translucent hot pink 180 gram vinyl edition features the 1969 mix mastered from the original analog master tapes by Bernie Grundman in 2008, and pressed at Pallas in Germany. A limited edition 10-inch Peaches En Regalia picture disc EP was released in conjunction with Record Store Day’s Black Friday on 29 November. The EP has rare mono mixes on Side A of ‘Peaches En Regalia’ and ‘Little Umbrellas,’ intended in 1969 as a promotional single, as well as the 1969 unreleased rhythm track mixes from the forthcoming boxed set on the flipside.
Zappa composed, arranged, produced and played guitar on all six tracks on Hot Rats, which became one of the bestselling albums of his career. The frequent Zappa collaborator Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart, provides his trademark vocals on the album’s only non-instrumental ‘Willie The Pimp.’ Also appearing in the sessions were multi-instrumentalist Ian Underwood, violinists Don “Sugarcane” Harris and Jean-Luc Ponty, bassist Max Bennett, drummers Jon Guerin, Paul Humphrey and Ron Selico. Also contributing are rhythm and blues trailblazer Johnny Otis and his 15-year-old son Shuggie Otis, who serves notice of his precocious talent with superb basslines on ‘Peaches En Regalia’ and elsewhere.
The box set reveals the genesis and evolution of its component tracks and others that went on to be featured on the acclaimed Zappa albums Burnt Weeny Sandwich, Weasels Ripped My Flesh, Studio Tan and Chunga’s Revenge. Hot Rats was the first record to be recorded on a prototype 16-track tape machine; the new technology of the time, coupled with Zappa’s overdub techniques, gave him further inspiration to create and innovate.
The first three and a half discs in the set contain the basic track sessions, recorded at T.T.G. Studios in Hollywood on 18, 28, 29 and 30th July 1969. The fifth and sixth discs present the original Hot Rats album with Zappa’s digital remix of 1987, plus such extras as as promotional audio ads for the album; the mono singles of ‘Peaches En Regalia’ and ‘Little Umbrellas’; and rare mixes of more than a dozen tracks. Also featured is the first-ever official release of ‘Bognor Regis’ and unedited masters of such songs as ‘Peaches En Regalia,’ ‘Twenty Small Cigars,’ ‘Toads Of The Short Forest,’ ‘Lil’ Clanton Shuffle’ and ‘Directly From My Heart To You.’
The Hot Rats Sessions is released on 20 December. Scroll down for the full tracklisting, and pre-order it here.
THE HOT RATS SESSIONS
Piano Music (Section 1)
Piano Music (Section 3)
Peaches En Regalia (Prototype)
Peaches En Regalia (Section 1, In Session)
Peaches En Regalia (Section 1, Master Take)
Peaches Jam – Part 1
Peaches Jam – Part 2
Peaches En Regalia (Section 3, In Session)
Peaches En Regalia (Section 3, Master Take)
Arabesque (In Session)
Arabesque (Master Take)
Dame Margret’s Son To Be A Bride (In Session)
It Must Be A Camel (Part 1, In Session)
It Must Be a Camel (Part 1, Master Take)
It Must Be a Camel (Intercut, In Session)
It Must Be a Camel (Intercut, Master Take)
Natasha (In Session)
Natasha (Master Take)
Bognor Regis (Unedited Master)
Willie The Pimp (In Session)
Willie The Pimp (Unedited Master Take)
Willie The Pimp (Guitar OD 1)
Willie The Pimp (Guitar OD 2)
Transition (Section 1, In Session)
Transition (Section 1, Master Take)
Transition (Section 2, Intercut, In Session)
Transition (Section 2, Intercut, Master Take)
Transition (Section 3, Intercut, In Session)
Transition (Section 3, Intercut, Master Take)
Lil’ Clanton Shuffle (Unedited Master)
Directly From My Heart To You (Unedited Master)
Another Waltz (Unedited Master)
Dame Margret’s Son To Be A Bride (Remake)
Son Of Mr. Green Genes (Take 1)
Son Of Mr. Green Genes (Master Take)
Big Legs (Unedited Master Take)
It Must Be a Camel (Percussion Tracks)
Arabesque (Guitar OD Mix)
Transition (Full Version)
Piano Music (Section 3, OD Version)
Peaches En Regalia (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
Willie The Pimp (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
Son Of Mr. Green Genes (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
Little Umbrellas (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
The Gumbo Variations (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
It Must Be A Camel (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
The Origin Of Hot Rats
Hot Rats Vintage Promotion Ad #1
Peaches En Regalia (1969 Mono Single Master)
Hot Rats Vintage Promotion Ad #2
Little Umbrellas (1969 Mono Single Master)
Lil’ Clanton Shuffle (1972 Whitney Studios Mix)
Little Umbrellas (Cucamonga Version)
Little Umbrellas (1969 Mix Outtake)
It Must Be A Camel (1969 Mix Outtake)
Son Of Mr. Green Genes (1969 Mix Outtake)
More Of The Story Of Willie The Pimp
Willie The Pimp (Vocal Tracks)
Willie The Pimp (1969 Quick Mix)
Dame Margret’s Son To Be A Bride (1969 Quick Mix)
Hot Rats Vintage Promotion Ad #3
Bognor Regis (1970 Record Plant Mix)
Peaches En Regalia (1969 Rhythm Track Mix)
Son Of Mr. Green Genes (1969 Rhythm Track Mix)
Little Umbrellas (1969 Rhythm Track Mix)
Arabesque (Guitar Tracks)
Hot Rats Vintage Promotion Ad #4
HOT RATS (TRANSLUCENT HOT PINK VINYL) TRACKLISTING
1. Peaches En Regalia
2. Willie The Pimp
3. Son Of Mr. Green Genes
1. Little Umbrellas
2. The Gumbo Variations
3. It Must Be A Camel