Frank Zappa - Mystery Box • 10-Record Monstrosity • A Really Spiffy Collection

Pigs 'N Repugnant: Tracks 1-2 are live in Appleton 1969, taken from Gas Mask. Track 1 begins with "The Jelly" and cuts to "The Eric Dolphy Memroial Barbecue" at 02:20. Tracks 3-6 taken from Our Man in Nirvana (Fullerton College, 08-Nov-1968). "King Kong" is 31 minutes long on Our Man in Nirvana, here it is 28 minutes and 41 seconds. It IS the same recording, yet it is slower here (and in a lower key, of course) and includes a final "goodnight" which is cut from Our Man in Nirvana. So one part has been edited out of this version, and the edit occurs at 14:24. Son Of Pigs 'N Repugnant: Track 1 is "A Pound for a Brown on the Bus" plus "Sleeping in a Jar", taken from Our Man in Nirvana (Fullerton College, 08-Nov-1968). At the time, Zappa called this conglomeration "The String Quartet". Tracks 2-4 are live in Appleton 1969, the recording that also appeared on Gas Mask. Track 2 is like "Return of the Hunch-Back Duke" on Stage #5 and includes "Aybe Sea" and "Transylvania Boogie", and track 4 is an instrumental jam. This side is a real live segued sequence. Beyond The Fringe Of Audience Comprehension: The Mystery Box version has these liner notes: "Tracks 1-4 [of side 2] are from the film 200 motels. Tracks 5-7 are from Hunchentoot." "'Space Boy' is the rarest track in this entire box. It was recorded for the Curtis Harrington film, Queen of Blood. Words, music and vocals by Florence Marley. Orchestration and additional instruments by FZ. Sound effects by Ackerman & Cole." Tracks 14-16 have been said to be the remixed Sleep Dirt versions. The suite on side 1 (often called "The Groupie Opera") has been circulated as either "unknown live 1970/1971" and "Butte, Montana 1970/1971" (they do sing "this is the swingingest place in Butte, Montana"), but sounds more like a studio job without an audible live audience. The title is from one of Zappa's catch-phrases: "Some of us live beyond the fringe of audience comprehension. The air is better here." Zut Alors: Track 4 is probably from the 1975 UCLA Royce Hall concert (the same concert as on Orchestral Favorites). The same recording also appears on Apocrypha, where it's listed as "Gypsy Airs". (The piece was originally recorded in 1967 for an unreleased single, which was planned for release on Capitol Records together with the all-orchestral original version of Lumpy Gravy, which was only released on 8-track.) Track 5 is a longer edit of the Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar version (Osaka 3-Feb-1976). Longer, but still edited; perhaps a tape edited by Zappa himself somehow found its way here. Track 6 is a guitar solo from "More Trouble Every Day". Track 7 is a different edit of "Hands with a Hammer" on Stage #3 (Osaka 3-Feb-1976). Those two are also what is listed as "Guitar Improvisation" on the Wanna Buy Some Acid? bootleg. Track 8 is live in Vancouver 1-Oct-1975. Track 9 is a version with the Mike Douglas band (from a 1976 TV show) backing Frank Zappa (also released on Apocrypha). According to the liner notes on the Mystery Box version, "Tracks 1-4 [on side 2] are the entire side 3 of the unreleased double album version of Zoot Allures". This may not be not correct, but there were serious plans for a double album version of Zoot Allures. The Rondo Hatton Band: Track 1 is the single version, with a different guitar solo from the album version. Tracks 2-6 are live at the Capitol Theater in Passaic 08-Nov-1974. Tracks 7-11 are live in Sydney 24-Jun-1973, also issued on Nifty (track 11 is Zappa improvising around the letters MAR-JUH-RENE) - from the "Un-Concert". Tracks 12-13 are December 1973 bonus tracks. A Token Of His Extreme: On both sides everything is adjusted to have an "all segue", but edits between songs are of course clear. Audience is only audible in the middle of "Approximate" and after "Florentine Pogen" (the song finish at 9:55). Most songs on side 1 (and expecially the second half of "Inca Roads") are overcrowded of crazy rumours overdubs. "Stinkfoot" is the "Tom Waits version" ("right around the corner ... over by Tom Waits's Restaurant"] and is sung through the voice modifier. "Approximate" is, of course, just a little bit of the song, with first the theme illustration by the whole band, then a vocal extravaganza (Zappa: "That's the melody"), after which Zappa says "Ok, this can also be danced" but "Cosmik Debris" starts. Chalk Pie: Track 7 has been officially released on Guitar in a slightly different mix; it's from Salt Lake City 07-Dec-1981. Track 8 is an officially unreleased live version edited together from Santa Monica 11-Dec-1981 (early show) and Salt Lake City 07-Dec-1981. Track 9 is an officially unreleased guitar solo from "The Black Page #2", from San Diego 12-Dec-1981, early show. Track 10 is from the Ritz show in New York on 17-Nov-1981 when Al DiMeola sat in (bootlegged on Assault on New York - The Toxic Shock Trilogy). Crush All Boxes: Quoth the liner notes: "'Fine Girl' and 'Drafted Again' are outtakes. Tracks 2-5 are studio rehearsals with drum machine. ('Teenage Wind' and 'Harder Than Your Husband' are instrumentals. 'Falling in Love Is a Stupid Habit' is a demo for Jimmy Carl Black (FZ: piano & vocal)." Zappa later denied that he ever wrote that last song in an interview published in the fanzine Society Pages. Tracks 2-5 and 7 also appear on Apocrypha.Tracks 9-12 on side two represent the entire side one of the unreleased Crush All Boxes. Bonus track 'Teenage Wind' is an outtake. It does not feature Bob Harris on vocals. Return Of The Son Of Serious Music: Side 1 is from an orchestral situation with the Pomona Valley Symphony Orchestra at Mount Saint Mary's College, Claremont, California in 1963, conducted by Frank Zappa. A small part of this has been officially released on The Lost Episodes, as "Mount Saint Mary's Concert Excerpt". According to the liner notes on the Mystery Box, "While You Were Art #1" is the "original, stripped-down version", and the Francesco tracks are out-takes. They sound like different orchestrations of Francesco Zappa album tracks. "Francesco Rock" has a drum track. The notes also claim that "Pedro's Dowry" was played by the Berkely Symphony Orchestra in June 1981, but it's from "A Zappa Affair", June 16, 1984. Anyway, this release may or may not be related to the bootlegs Serious Music and Son of Serious Music - it's certainly supposed to look that way. Randomonium: Track 2 has been officially released on the Mystery Disc. Track 3 is an alternate take of "Dwarf Nebula" from Weasels Ripped My Flesh, recorded at Apostolic Studios, New York. Tracks 5-6 are the last bit of "Billy the Mountain"; it also appears on Cuccurrullo Brullo Brillo and Apocrypha. It's a live recording, but there has been speculation that there are some overdubs on it. Track 7 is a longer edit of the Playground Psychotics version with John Lennon. Track 8 is a live improvisation from a New York TV show called The Bitter End in 1967. Track 10 is the same version as on disc 3 of Apocrypha (Stonybrook, 15-Oct-1978). Track 12 is a 1981 studio version that also appears on Demos and Apocrypha. Tracks 1, 9, and 11 are unknown versions. Track 1 must be from 1967-1968 as Ray Collins is on it. Track 11 must be from Europe, summer 1982, as Ed Mann is on it.