Frank Zappa 2012 Reissues; Batch #1

Frank Zappa

Batch #1 (10 of 12 Released)

2012 Zappa Records/UMe

Rating: 4.5/5

The massive Frank Zappa Re-issue campaign is underway with 60 titles to be released by the end of the year. They are being issued in lots of 12 every month for 5 months. Each disc is numbered on both the spine and CD itself to help keep your Zappa collection in order. Many of these releases are remastered in 2012 from the original analog tapes. This is great news to fans as the original LP mix is finally available on CD for some of the albums for the first time.

This first batch of 12 albums contain what many consider Frank’s best work. His highly regarded early Mothers stuff is what most people truly enjoy the most. These albums are the more commercial so to speak of his catalog in general. There are many recognizable songs on here that people may not have even known were Zappa songs. There are however many more of these as the reissue campaign continues.

While I am a Zappa fan and own many albums and some of the ZFT (Zappa Family Trust) releases that are only available on the Official Zappa site I wouldn’t call myself a hardcore fan. I am however familiar with much of his work and to my ears these releases sound excellent and are an improvement over the OOP Ryko’s from several years back. Some Zappa fans seem to disagree with this but that is the nature of the beast. Hearing the albums like FREAK OUT and FILLMORE ’71 is like rediscovering them all over again. Essentially this is what we are all doing, re-discovering Frank’s music all over again and for some of us (or some albums at least) discovering them for the first time. The artwork for all of them is well done with notes and pictures for each release. You cannot help but see the time and care that went into making sure these were done right.

Yes it would have been ideal to have all the releases remastered from the original tapes with the original LP mix and done to audiophile standards but we do get as close as we have ever been and for this I am thankful. I look forward to the next batch that hit store shelves soon.