Release date 29th March 2019
This March, Universal Music will issue a five-CD, 40th anniversary deluxe edition of Frank Zappa‘s 1978 live album Zappa in New York.
The album contained live performances recorded in the Palladium in New York in December 1976 and boasts ‘freewheeling’ lyrical content with songs like ‘Titties & Beer,’ and ‘The Illinois Enema Bandit’. Even songs with no lyrical content are provocatively titled (see ‘I Promise Not To Come In Your Mouth’)
Warners were not happy with the inclusion of ‘Punky’s Whips’ (the song concerned drummer Terry Bozzio’s sexual fantasies about Punky Meadows, a guitarist for the band Angel) and insisted on that track being removed, although not before some unexpurgated versions slipped out the door. It wasn’t until a CD reissue in 1991 that the song officially saw the light of day.
This new five-CD set is available “in limited quantities” and will come packaged in an embossed tin box (18cm x 2.5cm) that resembles a New York City manhole cover. It also contains a replica ticket from one of the shows and a 60-page book.
CD 1 features the main album in its original vinyl mix, newly remastered by Bob Ludwig in 2018 and available for the first time since its debut.
The other four discs in the CD edition feature three hours-plus of unreleased live performances from the Palladium shows. These represent every composition that was played during the concerts, and the best alternate performances of every tune that Zappa picked for the original album, all newly mixed in 2018 (the original two-inch 24-track multi-track master tapes were transferred, reel by reel, to create 96kHz 24-bit wavs).
These anniversary editions of Zappa in New York have been overseen by the Zappa Family Trust and produced by Ahmet Zappa and Joe Travers. It is released on 29 March 2019.