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THE HOT RATS SESSIONS BOX SET
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GenerousMittenful
Joined: 2016-11-18
Posts: 102
Location: NJ
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Post 2019-12-21 13:56   [Quote] 
Let's all play nicely. Happy Birthday Frank! Thank you for this marvelous look into your brilliance in building a true masterpiece!

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pbuzby
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Post 2019-12-21 14:20   [Quote] 
Reposting a rundown of what I've heard so far from the set that I shared on another forum.

Piano Music (Section 1) 2:13
Piano Music (Section 3) 5:42
Section 1 is the start of "Little House" (not sure if it's the master take or a similar alternate version). Section 3 is a combination of "Peaches" and "Aybe Sea" (sounds like parts were used on BWS with overdubs). If I compiled a highlights disc from this set, section 3 would be a shoo-in.

Peaches En Regalia (Prototype) 5:57
FZ has members of the MOI plus John Balkin on bass try out the "Peaches" theme. Tripp on drums sounds ok but it's not hard to hear why FZ used different musicians for the next session. Balkin in particular seems to be having trouble.

Peaches En Regalia (Section 1, In Session) 10:49
Peaches En Regalia (Section 1, Master Take) 2:05
Peaches Jam - Part 1 6:28
Peaches Jam - Part 2 10:30
Peaches En Regalia (Section 3, In Session) 6:57
Peaches En Regalia (Section 3, Master Take) 2:07

FZ coaches Ian Underwood, Shuggy Otis and Ron Selico through the rhythm tracks of the first half of "Peaches" (it's especially interesting to hear him work with Selico until Selico finally develops the iconic "Peaches" intro drum fill). Section 1, Master Take leads to a bluesy jam similar to the "Little House" jam with solos from Sugarcane and FZ. It's not as successful as some other jams from this era which must be why FZ didn't release it, but you'll want to hear it. Then it's back to FZ coaching the rhythm section through the second half of "Peaches." I don't know if these rhythm tracks lend themselves to repeated listening, but there are some cool FZ remarks and you can hear how he worked with the players to get results. I don't know if any single track is a highlight reel candidate, but as the finished "Peaches" is so great, I'm glad to hear how it came together.

Arabesque (In Session) 7:01
Arabesque (Master Take) 6:57

FZ coaches Ian, Shuggy and Ron through the "Toads Of The Short Forest" theme, eventually leading to a master take with a long piano/bass/drums-only jam. Maybe FZ was thinking of dubbing solos over it. (EDIT: looking over the tracklist, I see there are more "Arabesque" tracks later in the set, with guitar overdubs.) This is for completists.

Dame Margret's Son To Be A Bride (In Session) 4:30

Another rhythm track, for what became "Lemme Take You To The Beach." This one has Ian on organ and is funkier than the one available as a preview.

It Must Be A Camel (Part 1, In Session) 8:22
It Must Be a Camel (Part 1, Master Take) 2:17
It Must Be a Camel (Intercut, In Session) 3:53
It Must Be a Camel (Intercut, Master Take) 4:02

Still more rhythm tracks, now with Ian, Max Bennett and John Guerin. FZ pushes Guerin to play wild fills while still keeping time, and makes some witty comments. Hearing the strange chords without the melody lines on top is worthwhile.

Natasha (In Session) 4:04
Natasha (Master Take) 3:12

This is the rhythm track of "Little Umbrellas." The first minute or so of "In Session" has John Guerin playing a fast brush part, which obviously changes the feel of the piece quite a bit. After he changes to the drum style from the album version, the track comes together after a couple more aborted takes and only a bit of direction from FZ.

Bognor Regis (Unedited Master) 10:59

Another blues jam with Sugarcane. Collectors have known of this piece since a single edit surfaced on an acetate a while back, but now we get to hear all of it. Some of the licks towards the end remind me of "Willie The Pimp," making me wonder if that's why FZ left it off the album. It has a nice feel and is another one that would probably make my highlights disc.

Willie The Pimp (In Session) 2:20
Willie The Pimp (Unedited Master Take) 15:14
Willie The Pimp (Guitar OD 1) 14:46
Willie The Pimp (Guitar OD 2) 6:18

and skipping to Disc 6:

Willie The Pimp (Vocal Tracks) 2:07
Willie The Pimp (1969 Quick Mix) 14:29

"In Session" is some rehearsal/chat that you can skip if you're not a completist. "Unedited Master Take" is FZ, Sugarcane and rhythm section with no percussion or vocal overdubs. FZ plays a different solo than what you know from the album and then lets Sugarcane play. You'll recognize bass and drum licks from the album, but the solos over them are different. Very interesting listen. "Guitar OD 1" is FZ playing the solo from the album (over the same rhythm track, with his original guitar and Sugarcane's violin mixed out), with no edits, something I've wanted to hear forever. "Guitar OD 2" is another, less successful solo over an excerpt of the same rhythm track. "Vocal Tracks" is multi-tracked Beefheart, isolated. "1969 Quick Mix" I believe is a vintage mix of the same performance heard in "Unedited Master Take." It's nice to have but on first listen I prefer "Unedited Master Take."

"Unedited Master Take," "Guitar OD 1" and "Vocal Tracks" are all highlight reel material.
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jaypfunk
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Post 2019-12-21 14:21   [Quote] 
Listening to the uncut and alt solos in WTP totally proves once AGAIN that Frank Zappa was the greatest guitar player ever.

What Frank left out of those solos is 1,000,000 times more innovative than anything any other guitar player at that time had ever done!!

The solo in WTP Guitar OD #2 is a precursor to the sound and style he used in the Stinkfoot solo a few years later. He used a similar sound and style on Nine Types... but this thing is at a whole other level of playing. Absolutely insane!!

Another thing that NO ONE knew at the time HR came out was the amount of editing that FZ did just assemble the tracks. He should have won award after award for his work on this.

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jaypfunk
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Post 2019-12-21 14:23   [Quote] 
Another question I would have for Joe is why the LACK of "session" tracks for SOMGG? I would have loved to hear that track in the building stages like the other tracks are represented here.

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WIU2B
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Post 2019-12-21 15:25   [Quote] 
Bought my digital copy from Qobuz. I noticed a glitch in the first track 01-01-Frank_Zappa-Piano_Music-LLS.wav. 1:45 min.

Anyone else has this issue? Otherwise i'll report this to Qobuz and ask for a replacement file.

Great album so far

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wingedeelfingerling
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Post 2019-12-21 15:27   [Quote] 
WIU2B wrote:
Bought my digital copy from Qobuz. I noticed a glitch in the first track 01-01-Frank_Zappa-Piano_Music-LLS.wav. 1:45 min.

Anyone else has this issue? Otherwise i'll report this to Qobuz and ask for a replacement file.

Great album so far

have you tried downloading it again?
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WIU2B
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Post 2019-12-21 16:06   [Quote] 
Maybe it's not a glitch at all and do i not entirely understand the notes. Was LHIUTLI edited from exactly this track? If so, what's happening at 1:45?

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bleachboy
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Post 2019-12-21 16:07   [Quote] 
This is another take, not the one on BWS

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pbuzby
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Post 2019-12-21 16:13   [Quote] 
On Spotify it sounds like at 1:45 Ian plays a piano chord, cuts it off and then plays it again. It sounds vaguely like a glitch but I think more likely that is how he played it.
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WIU2B
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Post 2019-12-21 16:25   [Quote] 
pbuzby wrote:
On Spotify it sounds like at 1:45 Ian plays a piano chord, cuts it off and then plays it again. It sounds vaguely like a glitch but I think more likely that is how he played it.


Thank you. I played it over and over and i think you're right.

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pbuzby
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Post 2019-12-21 16:57   [Quote] 
FZ during the "Arabesque" session: "Don't worry, I cancelled the march." Wonder what he was referring to.
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jaypfunk
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Post 2019-12-21 17:50   [Quote] 
SOMGG (Take 1)... the guitar solo has melted my face off!!! Jeezis!

SOMGG (Master Take)... HOLY HELL!! The breakdown that happens at 8:43 to 9:03 is a just astonishing!!! One of the most insane things FZ has EVER recorded.


Last edited by jaypfunk on 2019-12-21 21:34; edited 1 time in total
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wingedeelfingerling
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Post 2019-12-21 18:10   [Quote] 
jaypfunk wrote:
Listening to the uncut and alt solos in WTP totally proves once AGAIN that Frank Zappa was the greatest guitar player ever.

What Frank left out of those solos is 1,000,000 times more innovative than anything any other guitar player at that time had ever done!!

The solo in WTP Guitar OD #2 is a precursor to the sound and style he used in the Stinkfoot solo a few years later. He used a similar sound and style on Nine Types... but this thing is at a whole other level of playing. Absolutely insane!!

Another thing that NO ONE knew at the time HR came out was the amount of editing that FZ did just assemble the tracks. He should have won award after award for his work on this.

THE WHOLE CONSTRUCTION OF wILLIE IS JUST BRILLIANT! I always loved the original and now with the various takes and mixwes on here I am in Hog Heaven... I agree with you Jay the guitar playing on the overdubs is exceptional...
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scherbe2003
Joined: 2005-10-02
Posts: 196
Post 2019-12-21 19:47   [Quote] 
Received mine today (from jpc). Despite the board game I must say it's a really nicely-made box. Fortunately the box is LP-size format so it can be stored with the vinyls. Didn't get to listen yet but since some above asked what the European boxes were like here's what you get in EU: on top there is the booklet (soft, LP-size), below that the 6 CDs in an LP-size bookcover/board-like structure, and below that the board game. The CDs and board game can be lifted by means of a cloth strip. And, not to forget, between the booklet and the CDs there's a little plastic bag with some guitar picks.

I can't imagine that the US boxes would look much different, would be way too expensive to produce two significantly different box sets for the US and the rest of the world.

I didn't check out the board game (and possibly never will), as for me they could have done without it and make the booklet a "hardcover deluxe" affair instead, maybe with some more pix and texts by the surviving musicians involved, or other people that had happened to be around and might have some story to share. Like, a text by Ponty would have been a substantial addition. Does anyone know whether they didn't bother to ask him or whether he refused? Or is Ponty on bad terms with the ZFT for some reason or other?

But whatever, this is a real nice package, and - thinking of the Halloween rubbergate - they could have done (far) worse.

So, and now I hope for some time over the holidays also to listen to it ...
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Thinman
Joined: 2007-10-07
Posts: 237
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Post 2019-12-21 19:58   [Quote] 
BTW, I noticed two minor things:
1. Directly From My Heart To You mysteriously became a FZ composition (can only be an error of course)
2. The Zappa Family Trust has lost the Family and is now just the Zappa Trust

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Last edited by Thinman on 2019-12-21 20:17; edited 1 time in total
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