Listen To Roy Thomas Baker’s Rare Mix Of Frank Zappa’s ‘Sharleena’

The track is set to appear on the hotly-anticipated 4CD set of ‘The Mothers 1970’

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rank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention posed in Amsterdam, Netherlands on December 06 1970. Frank Zappa 2nd from right (Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns)

Producer and engineer Roy Thomas Baker’s rare, early mix of Frank Zappa’s ‘Sharleena’, which will feature on Zappa Records/UMe’s upcoming four-disc box set, The Mothers 1970 is out now.

As uDiscover Music previously reported, the new collection, which is set for release on 26 June contains 70 previously unreleased recordings and live renditions of songs from 1970. The Mothers personnel at the time featured Zappa, drummer Aynsley Dunbar, keyboardist and trombonist George Duke, organist and keyboardist Ian Underwood, bassist Jeff Simmons, and Flo and Eddie (the Turtles’ Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan). The membership remained the same for eight months when Simmons left during the making of the movie 200 Motels.

Frank Zappa & The Mothers - Sharleena (Roy Thomas Baker Mix)

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“It’s no secret that Frank was excited about this group,” Zappa Trust “Vaultmeister” Joe Travers said in a statement. “The cast of characters and their personalities, musically and personally, made for a very eventful and humorous chapter in Zappa’s career. Frank had a blast with these guys. Their sound was unique, their humour was like no other, and yet their time was ultimately short-lived.”

The Mothers 1970, highlights some of the work future Queen and The Cars producer Roy Thomas Baker did with Zappa, including his rare early mix of ‘Sharleena’ the track that later closed out Zappa’s Chunga’s Revenge album.

The group held a recording session at London’s Trident Studios on 21 and 22 June 1970, for which Baker sat behind the mixing desk, serving as engineer while Zappa produced. The alternate interpretation of ‘Sharleena’ arrived early in the mix-down process, and the finished version of ‘Sharleena’ was the only recording from the session that came out.

Baker’s mix of ‘Sharleena’ is just one of the many highlights of The Mothers 1970’s studio recordings which also boast several unearthed rough mixes of the Zappa/Simmons co-write, ‘Wonderful Wino,’ including a rare version that showcases vocals and an alternate guitar solo by Zappa that has been lost to the ages as the original multi-track stems were recorded over.

Of that London material, ‘Sharleena’ was the only song ever officially released. Accordingly, tracks such as ‘Red Tubular Lighter,’ ‘Giraffe’ and an unheard version of ‘Envelopes’ are completely brand new to fans half a century later.

The rest of The Mothers 1970 discs contain live recordings, with the setlists featuring numerous tracks also recorded for Mothers of Invention albums Freak Out!, Absolutely Free, and We’re Only in It for the Money, among others.

The Mothers 1970 is out on 26 June. Scroll down to read the full tracklist and pre-order it here.

Disc 1: Trident Studios, London, England June 21-22, 1970
1. ‘Red Tubular Lighter’
2. ‘Lola Steponsky’
3. ‘Trident Chatter’
4. ‘Sharleena’ (Roy Thomas Baker Mix)
5. ‘Item 1’
6. ‘Wonderful Wino’ (FZ Vocal)
7. ‘Enormous Cadenza’
8. ‘Envelopes’
9. ‘Red Tubular Lighter’ (Unedited Master)
10. ‘Wonderful Wino’ (Basic Tracks, Alt. Take)
11. ‘Giraffe’ – Take 4
12. ‘Wonderful Wino’ (FZ Vocal, Alt. Solo)

Disc 2: Live Highlights Part 1 – “Piknik” VPRO June 18, 1970 / Pepperland September 26, 1970
‘Introducing…The Mothers’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘Wonderful Wino’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘Concentration Moon’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘Mom & Dad’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘The Air’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘Dog Breath’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘Mother People’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘You Didn’t Try To Call Me’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘Agon’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘Call Any Vegetable’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘King Kong Pt. I’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘Igor’s Boogie’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘King Kong Pt. II’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?’ (Live at Pepperland September 26, 1970)
‘Bwana Dik’ (Live at Pepperland September 26, 1970)
‘Daddy, Daddy, Daddy’ (Live at Pepperland September 26, 1970)
‘Do You Like My New Car?’ (Live at Pepperland September 26, 1970)
‘Happy Together’ (Live at Pepperland September 26, 1970)

Disc 3: Live Highlights Part 2 – Hybrid Concert: Santa Monica August 21, 1970 / Spokane September 17, 1970
1. ‘Welcome To El Monte Legion Stadium!’ (Live)
2. ‘Agon’ (Live)
3. ‘Call Any Vegetable’ (Live)
4. ‘Pound For A Brown’ (Live)
5. ‘Sleeping In A Jar’ (Live)
6. ‘Sharleena’ (Live)
7. ‘The Air’ (Live)
8. ‘Dog Breath’ (Live)
9. ‘Mother People’ (Live)
10. ‘You Didn’t Try To Call Me’ (Live)
11. ‘King Kong Pt. I’ (Live)
12. ‘Igor’s Boogie’ (Live)
13. ‘King Kong Pt. II’ (Live)
14. ‘Eat It Yourself…’ (Live)
15. ‘Trouble Every Day’ (Live)
16. ‘A Series Of Musical Episodes’ (Live)
17. ‘Road Ladies’ (Live)
18. ‘The Holiday Inn Motel Chain’ (Live)
19. ‘What Will This Morning Bring Me This Evening?’ (Live)
20. ‘What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?’ (Live)

Disc 4: Live Highlights Part 3 – FZ Tour Tape Recordings
1. ‘What’s The Deal, Dick?’
2. ‘Another M.O.I. Anti-Smut Loyalty Oath’ (Live)
3. ‘Paladin Routine #1’ (Live)
4. ‘Portuguese Fenders’ (Live)
5. ‘The Sanzini Brothers’ (Live)
6. ‘Guitar Build ’70’ (Live)
7. ‘Would You Go All The Way?’ (Live)
8. ‘Easy Meat’ (Live)
9. ‘Who Did It?’
10. ‘Turn It Down!’ (Live)
11. ‘A Chance Encounter In Cincinnati’
12. ‘Pound For A Brown’ (Live)
13. ‘Sleeping In A Jar’ (Live)
14. ‘Beloit Sword Trick’ (Live)
15. ‘Kong Solos Pt. I’ (Live)
16. ‘Igor’s Boogie’ (Live)
17. ‘Kong Solos Pt. II’ (Live)
18. ‘Gris Gris’ (Live)
19. ‘Paladin Routine #2’ (Live)
20. ‘King Kong – Outro’ (Live)

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