Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Saarbrucken 1978

Saarbrucken 1978
An amazing album, this is the best bootleg around. There was magic that night, and the band was just on FIRE. The Nanook suite is absolutely stunning, with more energy, virtuoso playing, and humor than FZ's ever managed before or since. "Magic Fingers" gets elevated from standard Zappa jazz-rocker to a tear-the-roof-off masterpiece with an unforgettable riff. At least half a dozen others are just as good; on another note, playing this would be the perfect way to get someone into 70's Zappa.

Sound quality is excellent for a boot; sure, there are no illusions that this is the studio, but it IS a soundboard recording, and that shows up in the good mix (everything's audible and pretty balanced).

As live Zappa goes, this is definitely in the top tier and one of the first few I'd buy, along with (as your taste in Zappa's various periods runs) Bongo Fury, Make a Jazz Noise Here, and maybe Tinseltown Rebellion.

Captain Beefheart-Lick my decals off baby

Lick My decals off baby
Coming off of the liberating heels of 1970's "Trout Mask Replica", Don Van Vliet first changed the name of his band from "His Magic Band" to "The Magic Band" and proceeded to record another tight, vigorous, arrhythmic sonic landscape. Though this album doesn't have quite the free form feeling of its precedessor (which included tape recorder chants, false starts, off microphone chatter, and lots of interesting other random tidbits), it stretches the boundaries of rock music in much the same manner. "Lick My Decals Off, Baby" includes 15 autonomous and amazingly crafted songs. Almost as if someone took the "Trout Mask" sessions, applied a razor to the inbetweens and said "THERE! Those are the songs! Now stop it with all that other nonsense!" In this way "Lick My Decals Off, Baby" sounds like an "organized" and only slightly less spontaneous "Trout Mask". This more structured arrangement may have emerged from Van Vliet's alleged desire to actually start making money from The Magic Band. Apparently the previous drummer left after "Trout Mask" and was lured back by a promise of potential cash. In some ways Van Vliet succeeded. The album climbed to number 20 on the UK charts.

Regardless of its commercial status, this album remains one of the band's true masterpieces. The angular and staccato rhythms of "Trout Mask" clank and crunge here with an equal intensity. The title track finds Van Vliet squacking fervently about removing the labels that society affixes to us distracted folk. Apparently many in the early 1970s read the title saliciously (and lines such as "She stuck out her tongue 'n the fun begun" probably didn't help). But some claim that an executive dubbed the title "obscene" just to avoid having to play the album's surreal promotional film (the original of which now belongs to a museum) on the air. "Woe-is-uh-Me-Bop" provides one of the best examples of Van Vliet's fusion of free jazz and blues. The hilarious world play in "I Wanna Find a Woman That'll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have To Go" approaches a psychic toungue-twisting level. And "The Smithsonian Institute Blues" continues Van Vliet's theme of humanity's impending downfall - unless we change our ways: "The new dinosaur is walkin' in the old one's shoes" and "All you new dinosaurs / Now it's up t'you t'choose / 'fore your feet hit the tar, you better kick off them old shoes". "The Clouds Are Full of Wine" features Van Vliet's vocals floating rather pleasantly over a layer of cacophony like a bird soaring over a bomb site. And "Flash Gordon's Ape" pulls out all of the stops. A literal typhoon of sound rises up and mercilessly attacks. Somehow it still manages to hold together as a song, incredible as that seems. It definitely leaves an impression at the album's closing.

"Lick My Decals Off, Baby" marks the end of The Magic Band's early extrusions into the avant garde. Beefheart's next four albums gradually toned down his trademark cacophony and angularity. Some fans even accused him of "going commercial". Not until 1978's "Shiny Beast" did Beefheart once again begin to re-explore the musical terrain he left behind here. Why the shift occurred remains open to speculation. And Van Vliet continued to give vague cryptic answers as to why. Regardless, he left behind a string of masterpieces upon his "retirement" in 1982. "Lick My Decals Off, Baby" remains one of them.

Lastly, at the time of the writing this album still langours unjustly with an "out of print" status. Non-bootlegged fresh copies thus fetch treasure trove prices. Which is too bad for those who want to hear this masterwork. Hopefully someone will take a brave stand and make this incredible work readily available again.

Frank Zappa & Mothers, Beat Club, Bremen Germany

Frank Zappa & Mothers, Beat Club, Bremen Germany
Frank Zappa & Mothers, Beat Club, Bremen Germany, 1968

Artwork Included

01 soundcheck
02 King Kong
03 The String Quartet p1
04 The String Quartet p2
05 The String Quartet p3
06 Uncle Meat
07 Lohengrin
08 Let's Make The Water Turn Black
09 Octandre

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Captain Beeheart - Bat Chain Puller

Captain Beefheart- Bat Chain Puller
Zappa and Captain Beefheart were high school friends and worked together occasionally, I will post a few reviews about Captain Beefheart Albums, since there is a conection to Frank.

Zappa's "Bongo Fury" is when I first heard of "the Captain". I heard this was something worth listening too and omg, it's like a new awakening for me. I imagine this is in the veign of a "musician's musician" which flatters me quite honestly. I am a big fan of Zappa, but this is more, it's as though Zappa was trying to do what is done on this release and needs to be done no further. I've listened to it now about 10 x the past week or so and still have no idea what it is, but it's real, it is here, it is now!
Let's say you were born an undeniable genius. Let's say that Trout Mask Replica was your cave art. You spend the next nine years a voice crying in the wilderness. Then, a magical time comes when you are at the zenith of both your talent and your vision, and you are blessed to be surrounded by people who can help you fully express them. It's too big for just one record. It takes three albums, and five years to unleash this creative bang. Shiny Beast, Doc At the Radar Station, and Ice Cream for Crow, are the three stars in Orion's belt. Each one is a masterpiece, and together they tower above all else. The workings of a brilliant mind distilled into three small packages. Nothing even comes close! No! I'm sorry, talk to the hand!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Short Zappa Biography

Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, recording engineer, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. While in his teens, he acquired a taste for 20th-century classical composers such as Edgard Varèse, Igor Stravinsky, and Anton Webern along with 1950s rhythm and blues music. He began writing classical music in high school, while at the same time playing drums in rhythm and blues bands; he later switched to electric guitar.

He was a self-taught composer and performer, and his diverse musical influences led him to create music that was often difficult to categorize. His 1966 debut album with the Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!, combined songs in conventional rock and roll format with collective improvisations and studio-generated sound collages. His later albums shared this eclectic and experimental approach, irrespective of whether the fundamental format was rock, jazz or classical. His lyrics—often humorously—reflected his iconoclastic view of established social and political processes, structures and movements. He was a strident critic of mainstream education and organized religion, and a forthright and passionate advocate for freedom of speech, self-education, political participation and the abolition of censorship.

Zappa was a highly productive and prolific artist and gained widespread critical acclaim. He had some commercial success, particularly in Europe, and for most of his career was able to work as an independent artist. He also remains a major influence on musicians and composers. Zappa was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. Zappa was married to Kathryn J. "Kay" Sherman from 1960 to 1964. In 1967, he married Adelaide Gail Sloatman, with whom he remained until his death from prostate cancer in 1993. They had four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen. Gail Zappa manages the businesses of her late husband under the name the Zappa Family Trust.

Frank Zappa was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on December 21, 1940. His mother, Rose Marie (née Colimore), was of Italian and French ancestry; his father, Francis Vincent Zappa, was an immigrant from Partinico, Sicily of Sicilian, Greek, and Arab ancestry. Zappa, the eldest of four children, was raised in an Italian-American household where Italian was spoken often by his grandparents. The family moved often because his father, a chemist and mathematician, worked in the defense industry. After a time in Florida in the 1940s, the family returned to Maryland, where Zappa's father worked at the Edgewood Arsenal chemical warfare facility of the Aberdeen Proving Ground. Due to their home's proximity to the arsenal, which stored mustard gas, gas masks were kept in the home. This had a profound effect on Zappa, and references to germs, germ warfare and the defense industry occur throughout his work.

Zappa was often sick as a child, suffering from asthma, earaches and sinus problems. A doctor treated his sinusitis by inserting a pellet of radium into each of Zappa's nostrils; little was known about the potential dangers of even small amounts of therapeutic radiation. Nasal imagery and references appear in his music and lyrics, as well as in the collage album covers created by his long-time collaborator Cal Schenkel.

Many of Zappa's childhood diseases may have been due to exposure to mustard gas. His health worsened when he lived in Baltimore. In 1952, his family relocated for reasons of health. They moved, next, to Monterey, California, where his father taught metallurgy at the Naval Postgraduate School. They soon moved to Claremont, then to El Cajon, before finally settling in San Diego.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Frank and Gail Zappa

Many of you may have heard of Gail Zappa as being part of the Zappa Family trust which released the Zappa Posthumous  recordings

Here is Gail with frank and Gail smiling

Monday, September 10, 2012

Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall
In October 1971, Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention played two shows in one night at New York City's Carnegie Hall. For the first time ever, those recordings are available as a four-disc set. The album, Carnegie Hall, celebrates that night's two shows and is "recorded Live in glorious mono," But the sound is so warm & smooth you will swear it's a stereo mix.

Extensive liner notes in which Gail Zappa describes these shows as they represent the only time Frank Zappa, with or without the Mothers of Invention, appeared at Carnegie Hall. Promoter Ron Delsener, who had to convince the venue's booker that Zappa was "a very accomplished classical musician of several wind instruments like the cello, viola and harp," says "enjoy genius and smile, Frank is smilin' at you." For a final thought all i can say is this is now my favorite live zappa vault recording of them all. Bravo Frank & thank you Zappa family for putting out this true gem.

Addendum Notes found for this concert at Rolling stone site:

"This is Such an Auspicious Occasion"

According to New York promoter Ron Delsener's Carnegie Hall liner note, Zappa and his '71 Mothers – keyboard players Don Preston and Ian Underwood (the latter also on alto sax), ex-John Mayall drummer Aynsley Dunbar and three former Turtles, bassist Jim Pons and singer-jesters Mark "Flo" Volman and Howard "Eddie" Kaylan – only got through the backstage door because Delsener told the venue's booking manager that the boss Mother "was a very accomplished classical musician." Which was true, although the only strings in this band were on Zappa's guitar. 
 The complete 7:30 and 11 p.m. shows in this box were recorded by the leader in mono with a single microphone and concealed tape machine (probably to avoid union hassles). The fidelity is remarkably clear and full-bodied, even with the inevitable room echo. This is also a rare chance to hear the "Flo and Eddie" Mothers' full range of operatic lunacy and underrated small-combo instrumental drive. An LP-sized dose, Fillmore East – June 1971, had been issued shortly before these concerts; another, 1972's Just Another Band from L.A., had just been taped.

But Carnegie Hall is all that fun at length – the bawdy rock-star mockery of "The Mud Shark," reprised from Fillmore East; an even longer "Billy the Mountain" than the one on Just Another Band – plus surprising excavations from Uncle Meat, a long new piece called "Divan" (about a sofa and a magic pig) and a weirdly funky rewiring of the paranoia in Freak Out!'s "Who Are the Brain Police?" A chunk of "King Kong"'s 30 minutes goes to an overlong drum solo, but such were the times. In rich compensation, half of the first disc goes to an opening set by the Persuasions, the a cappella do-wop masters recently discovered and recorded by Zappa. Their first medley is the history and glory of Fifties street-corner-song in a pure, dazzling nutshell.

Ironically, Zappa's orchestral work was never performed in Carnegie Hall in his lifetime. After his death, though, I got to hear Zappa's long-form fable, "The Adventures of Greggary Peccary" (issued on 1978's Studio Tan), rendered in full, by an orchestra. Carnegie Hall marked Zappa's first and last night on that stage. He never left the building.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Frank Conducting

Frank Conducting during the Grand Wazoo Album

Philly 76

Philly 76
This posthumous release chronicles a concert by Zappa's Fall 1976 touring band, which featured Lady Bianca (Odin) on vocals and keyboard, as well as Ray White, Eddie Jobson, Patrick O'Hearn, Terry Bozzio and, of course, FZ himself. This is the first legit album that focuses on this lineup, which was previously represented only on selections from You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 6. Obviously the main hook is the presence of Lady Bianca, one of the very few female singers to perform with Zappa for an extended time (the other was Norma Bell, who toured with Zappa the previous Fall, as documented on Joe's Menage). The ZFT is clearly conscious of this, featuring Bianca prominently in the album photos, and devoting the choice spot in the CD booklet to her reminiscences of this stage in her career. In the recording, she shows no squeamishness delivering the sexually-obsessed lyrics, but eventually she left the band, weary of the infantile taunts she often endured from the frat boys and young working class men that, by the mid-1970s, made up the plurality of Zappa's live audiences. This is a real shame, as the perspective represented by a prominent female singing voice was pretty much lost forever in Zappa's work after her departure.

It's hard to overstate just how significant her presence is in mitigating the most troublesome effects of Zappa's lyrics. Just having a woman singing the lead on Dirty Love dramatically softens its impression compared to Zappa's own snide and rather sinister-sounding delivery (e.g., on Over-Nite Sensation). The only thing to be regretted about Bianca's blues-oriented interpretation is a proclivity to chop off the last syllable of a word. After Bianca's lead comes a fuzz-heavy guitar solo, then the reprise of the tune where Bianca again takes the lead while the men echo her in a "poodle bites, poodle chews it" refrain that refers back to the preceding Poodle Lecture.

The Torture Never Stops is given its "Gothic" treatment familiar from the Zoot Allures album. Bianca appears to be adding the screams and moans before and during Zappa's extended solo kicks in, reinforcing the interpretation that the song is about S&M. Or maybe it's a parody of Donna Summers moans in Love To Love You Baby, as Lowe suggests. What Kind Of Girl Do You Think I Am is a genuine solo, not an exclusive chorus of male singers characterizing a female voice. Even having a female voice in the backing/ensemble voice texture (e.g., in Tryin' To Grow A Chin) adds a fresh dimension to the overall sound, one that's lacking on practically every other Zappa live album.

Bianca sings the lead again in Advance Romance, and the proceedings get interrupted for a bit when Patrick O'Hearn loses power to his bass amplifier. Once that's sorted out he proceeds with a fretless solo, again, something of a rarity in the Zappa discography.

Black Napkins, Zappa's ubiquitous two-chord instrumental vehicle, is the gem of the album. Zappa fans have heard this tune many times (this is at least the eighth version of it in the official Zappa discography), but this performance is special thanks to Bianca's wordless voice solo, characterized by some rapid shifts from chest to head voice, and even some multiphonics. It's the only Zappa track I can think of with this kind of prominent jazz-style solo from a female singer. Eddie Jobson follows with a lyrical electric violin solo (with a generous dose of echo added in), then come guitar solos, including a contribution from Ray White (according to blogger David Kaplowitz). The whole track runs 19 minutes, the longest on the album.

The sound quality is pretty good, overall, and I'd guess that the ZFT had a mixer-fed multi-track master available. There's a decent amount of stereo separation, and a minimum of audience noise bleeding through.

Most of the posthumous Zappa releases (those after CP3) appeal mainly to devoted Zappa fans and collectors. This one is an exception, probably the best so far in the Vaulternative line (which features live Zappa concerts). Although it lacks the more rhythmically complicated Zappa tour pieces from the period, such as The Black Page (featured on the Bianca-less Zappa In New York album, recorded two months later), it can otherwise stand alongside the better tour albums from the late 1970s. And the Bianca factor makes it worth having even for casual Zappa fans. Give it a listen, and wonder how the next decade of Zappa might have sounded with Lady Bianca in place of, say, Ike Willis.

Greasy Love Songs

Greasy Love Songs
At last this classic has been restored to it's orginal form. Whatever Zappa's intentions were, his over-tracking (bass & drums) of "Reuben & the Jets" diminished the overall effect of the original. This is indeed the REAL "Reuben & the Jets"--now it's been renamed "Greasy Love Songs."

To look at this as a parody of 1950's doo-wop would be a serious mistake. Certainly, there's the trademark Zappa humor, but there's also a deep, loving respect for the genre.

Personally, I've always looked at this recording as being somewhat "reactionary" a very positive use of the word. Along with the Byrd's "Sweetheart of the Rodeo", the Band's "Big Pink", and Dylan's "John Wesley Harding", it represents a desire to return to rock's roots in the face of the excesses that were taking place at the time (late 1960s).

For many, the power trio with it's mindless three-chord jamming had run it's course, and psychadelic self-indulgence was becoming rather trite. To be certain, the crass commercialism that marked early 1960s pop/rock had to be confronted and subsequently taken to task. But some of the new rock iconoclasts became too extreme, often throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Virtually all in my circle hated this recording. It was quickly taken off many a turntable in favor of Blue Cheer or Vanilla Fudge. Those who were willing to give it a listen quickly dismissed it by noting, "Man, Zappa really goofed on the oldies!" And so it went.

As a forty-five year fan of the original MOI, I've always thought of this as being as much a Ray Collins recording as it is Zappa's. I recently read an interview with Collins from a few years ago which underscored his artistic differences with Zappa. Influenced by the likes of Johnny Mathis and Perry Como, Ray wanted to use his wonderful tenor voice in a more popular music vein but was rarely given the opportunity in light of Zappa's desire to take his art to a much higher and eclectic plateau.

This is wonderful music done with just the right balance of humor and respect. If you've not yet heard it, you are really missing an esstential element of the Zappa legacy.

On an unrelated, but very critical, note, Amazon really has to address the issue of it's independent sellers charging outrageous prices for material that is still in print and available elsewhere. As another reviewer had noted, this recording can be obtained at half the price that's being asked here. This is starting to become all too common among Amazon's sellers.

Of course, one can counter that it's a free market, but many people come to Amazon with the belief that they can find what they want at a fair price. This kind of price gouging goes against the spirit of what Amazon is supposed to be all about.

Original 1968 Vinyl Stereo Mix

1. Cheap Thrills
2. Love Of My Life
3. How Could I Be Such A Fool
4. Deseri
5. I'm Not Satisfied
6. Jelly Roll Gum Drop
7. Anything
8. Later That Night
9. You Didn't Try To Call Me
10. Fountain Of Love
11. "No. No. No."
12. Anyway The Wind Blows
13. Stuff Up The Cracks

Bonus tracks

14. Jelly Roll Gum Drop (alternate mono mix)
15. "No. No. No." (long version)
16. Stuff Up The Cracks (alternate mix)
17. "Serious Fan Mail" (segment from FZ's 2/21/69 lecture)
18. Valerie (mono mix)
19. Jelly Roll Gum Drop (single version)
20. "Secret Greasing" (FZ on KPPC, Pasadena, 11/27/68)
21. Love Of My Life (Cucamonga recording circa 1962-1964) 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Joes' Menage

Joe's Menage
Released posthumously by the Zappa Family Trust, this shortish (50 minute) album documents a college gig with Zappa's Fall 1975 touring band. Basically the personnel is the same as on FZ:OZ, with the addition of Norma Bell on alto saxophone and vocals. The music is typical mid-1970s Zappa, and emphasizes Zappa's more straight-ahead, frat-boy pleasing selections that feature comedic lyrics. There's lots of improvisation, though of the rock/R&B orientation, rather than the rhythmically complex vehicles that Zappa used in the early 70s for musicians of the caliber of Ruth Underwood and Jean-Luc Ponty.

The longest, and most interesting, track is Chunga's Revenge, which Zappa typically programmed toward the end of the concert as a launching pad for solo improvisations. After an ensemble intro, we hear Norma Bell sing, then play an R&B-influenced solo on alto saxophone fed through an Echoplex (or similar) device. Her presence on this track provides the album with its novelty value: this is her first recorded presence in the official Zappa canon. Not too many female vocalists stayed with Zappa long, and I can't say I blame them, given his frequently misogynist lyrics. Though in Bell's case, she was allegedly asked to leave in December 1975 when her drug use got her on Zappa's bad side (he was notoriously opposed to band members taking illegal drugs while on tour, notwithstanding his own addictions to nicotine and caffeine), which would explain her absence from FZ:OZ. This is really the only track where you hear her in the foreground. Her singing and playing is capable, if not remarkable. And like lots of studio saxophonists, her solo emphasizes the sort of rapid tremolos in the middle register that sound impressive to listeners unfamiliar with left hand trill keys. But the contrast with the ubiquitous Zappa male vocal solists is welcome. Next up is Andre Lewis, introduced by Zappa as playing a melodica, but it's not the simple keyboarded mouth organ that you see in music stores, but an adapted monophonic synthesizer controller (kind of a precursor to MIDI wind controllers like the Yamaha WX7). Zappa comps Lewis with mixed fourth chords, then says "I will now play a rhythm guitar solo". Sure enough, the solo that follows is strummed and chordal, quite different from his usual single-line melodic solos. The improv ends with a Bozzio drum solo, which (as on the corresponding track from FZ:OZ) quickly leaves behind most traces of the original meter and tempo. An interesting detail is the way he largely drops the skin instruments at the end, culminating the solo with an emphasis on metal instruments (sounds like suspended cymbals and brake drums to me).

Zappa's bands always combined musicians from pretty eclectic backgrounds, and this lineup has three black musicians and a Latino. Only Zappa and Bozzio qualify as "white white". Zappa is to be congratulated for consistently defying the racial segregation that was the norm for pop groups until the 1980s.

I'm not sure how to rate this album. It's probably in the middle tier of the official Zappa releases, perhaps worth 3½ stars. It's more commercial sounding than the classic Mothers Of Invention albums, or Zappa's best bands of the early 1970s (e.g., You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore - Vol. 2), but it's not as commercial as, say, the 1988 tour group. I've enjoyed it through three listens, but only the most diehard Zappa fans (or Norma Bell fans) are likely to want to pay full price for it. 


Not all of the posthumous Zappa releases have necessarily been all that great, but this one is both excellent and crucial. Like Imaginary Diseases, this one fills in a gap in Zappa's discography. In 1972 FZ did a limited 12 concert tour with the big band, comprised of some of the top LA area jazz musicians, that recorded "Waka Jawaka" and "Grand Wazoo". This is as close as Zappa got to jazz.

2006's "Imaginary Diseases" (also highly recommended!) was a recording of the "Petit Wazoo" tour, which had a smaller brass & wind section. The full "Grand Wazoo" band only did 12 shows. This is a recording of the final concert in Boston.

Disc 1 inlcudes "Grand Wazoo" and "Big Swifty", the long songs from each of the two albums, plus "Aproximate", another long-format tune, which is more in the avant-guarde style. The band sections and solos are all excellent, and really give the peces a very different character than the originals. I consider the version of "Big Swifty" superior to the studio version.

Disc 2 includes a lengthy instrumental version of "Greggery Peccary", minus the narration. Though I love the narration on the studio version, it does overpower the music. This version allows you to focus on the instrumental music in a new light. It is stretched out to 32 minutes and, though there is a slow spot or two, is generally excellent. A very interesting cello solo is a highlight. It also includes an instrumental version of "Penis Dimension" from "200 Motels (!).

This is a very enjoyable album. I think this is the best new release since "Lather". Any fan of Zappa's instrumental music will want to get this one. If you like The Grand Wazoo" and Roxy & Elsewhere, you need this!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Upon first hearing you ask yourself "What have I been missing all these years? The audio quality puts that of CD's to shame and the surround sound mixes are mostly stunning. Featuring a few of FZ's four channel mixes from 1970 to 1978, most of the tracks are gems. One such track is Rollo,from a 1975 UCLA show which combines rock band with orchestra. The four channel mix allows for more details of the instruments to come through and Zappa's guitar solo is clear and searing.
The best track on the disc is Chunga Basement from 1970; a jam recoded directly to four track tape. It sounds so clear and so close you feel as though you are sitting in the same room. Another gem with a few blemishes is a mix of of the jazz track Waka Jawaka. This track is also four channel but is marred by distortion and not enough low end.
There are a few rocks with the gems,such as a reworking of Sheik Yerbouti's "Wild Love" in four channels and a remix of Shut up and play yer guitar's "Ship Ahoy".
Both are drenched in added reverb with no real change in original mix.
Like the other reviews,I would have liked more material,especially from the Apostrophe era,but here's the catch. Tape manufacturers changed lubricants in the mid 1970's. Several record companies were horrified to learn that this new lubricant deteriorated over time and caused tapes to stick together,making them unplayable. This happened with Zappa too. While it was found that baking the tapes could make them play, it was and still is a risky process. The DVD (audio only with some still pictures) starts with one of Zappa's orchestral pieces which sounds stunning in 4 channels. Then some unreleased and also remixed known material. The track from Sheik Yerbouti maybe doesn't benefit as much from the quadrophonics. The 'basement' recording is again fantastic, sounds just like being in the same room with them while they're jamming.

Dub Room Special

Dub Room Special
 This "Soundtrack" delivers the goods without the sound effects for Bruce Bickford's animations. This is like a lost live album from the 1974 Zappa band (arguably his best) with 2 songs from the amazing but very different 1982 band. The CD sounds great. Chester Thompson's drum sound on this CD is the drum sound I hear in my head when playing air drums. Ruth Underwood, Tom Fowler, Napoleon Murphy Brock and George Duke are all amazing musicians being driven by Zappa at the top of his game. Zappa's custom SG guitar sound is just sick. I actually prefer this Inca Roads guitar solo to the one dubbed into this basic track from the Helsinki album to make up the One Size fits All album version. One of the 1982 songs features a guitar duel and lyrical tribute to a young Steve Vai. According to the liner notes this was a FZ master intended for release at one time. There is also some nice liner notes from Red Hot Chili Pepper John Frusiante who I believe chickened out before trying out for the 1988 band.