Massive Zappa reissue series starts Monday

The music of Frank Zappa is now back in the hands of the Zappa Family Trust and¬†the estate has signed a global license and distribution deal with Universal to release 60 of Zappa’s recordings. ¬†

The first releases will be available from July 30th with 12 albums, with another 12 sets to be released monthly through the end of 2012.

‚ÄúThe ink is not yet dry on The Zappa Family Trust’s worldwide deal with Universal Music Enterprises,‚ÄĚ said Gail Zappa. ¬†‚ÄúThey made us the offer we couldn’t
refuse – for all the right reasons. ¬†It is a win-win for all of us, but mostly for Frank Zappa. ¬†Long may his baton wave. ¬†We are so ready to go.‚ÄĚ

Bruce Resnikoff, President/CEO, Universal Music Enterprises said:¬†‚ÄúThe artist and composer, Frank Zappa, is one of the most important and influential artists in music history with his prolific body of work, including his¬†breakthrough rock ‚Äėn roll concept albums. We are honored that Gail Zappa and the Zappa Family Trust have entrusted us with his legacy. We intend to honour him¬†and bring high quality releases, digital and physical, for his new and longtime fans,‚ÄĚ said

Gail confirmed that “the digital masters were all re-transferred by the Vaultmeister and about a third of the titles were remastered from the original analog source.

Gail also says that “Hot Rats” Frank Zappa‚Äôs best selling 1969 album was remixed by¬†Frank in 1987, and his remixed edition offered significantly different versions of ‚ÄúWillie the Pimp,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúThe Gumbo Variations‚ÄĚ and¬†‚ÄúLittle Umbrellas.‚ÄĚ

Answering emailed questions  about the series Gail Zappa’s responses were as follows:

Q: The Hot Rats CD has always been a 1987 re-mix, not the original 1969 mix. Is this new CD the `69 mix, or the `87 re-mix?  I prefer either.
A: ¬†Technically none of the above ‚Äď this is the 2008 Bernie Grundman re-master ‚Äď which mostly resembles the original 1969 mix. ¬†You will love it.

Q: Is the packaging faithful to the LPs?
A:  Absolutely.  And even more faithful to the requirements established by the original Barking Pumpkin releases.

Q: Should I sell or junk my `95 Ryko CDs, or keep `em as collector’s items?
A: ¬†I would keep them for the moment ‚Äď but you decide. ¬†None of the new releases are ‚Äúsourced‚ÄĚ from the Ryko releases and although many represent the digital¬†masters mostly as you have come to understand them, many do not! ¬†Each package will identify the actual source so you will be able to plan your collection¬†accordingly. ¬†We think everything sounds better but I am sure you will let us know.

The initial 12 Frank Zappa releases included in the ZAPPA/UNIVERSAL deal set for July 30 are as follows.  
1. Freak Out! (1966)
2. Absolutely Free (1967)
3. Lumpy Gravy (1968)
4. We’re Only In It For The Money (1968)
5. Cruising With Ruben & The Jets (1968)
6. Uncle Meat (1969)
7. Hot Rats (1969)
8. Burnt Weeny Sandwich (1970)
9. Weasels Ripped My Flesh (1970)
10. Chunga’s Revenge (1970)
11. Fillmore East, June 1971 (1971)
12. Just Another Band From L.A. (1972)

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