Frank Zappa: funny feeling!

Music news

The retrospective box set celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Frank Zappa’s Over-Nite Sensation is hitting stores! In this opus, Zappa says goodbye to his desire for a big orchestra and puts the Wazoos, large and small, in a corner. He returns to short songs between pure rock and jazz-rock, in which he can indulge in his caustic humor.

Also, as everyone knows, you don’t quibble with the mustachioed divine. And to properly celebrate the half-century of one of the most significant albums of Frank Zappa, the remastered reissue which is released this Friday, November 3, is made up of four CDs and an audio Blu-ray in Super Deluxe version, accompanied by a double vinyl edition with poster. The set, supervised by Ahmet Zappa and Vaultmeister Joe Travers, has 88 tracks, including 57 previously unreleased tracks and mixes including the 2012 remastering of the original album by Bob Ludwig, as well as excerpts of mixes from the original 1973 sessions mastered by John Polito. The Blu-ray also presents, available for the first time since 1973, the original quadraphonic mix.

The box set is enriched with a 48-page booklet with previously unpublished photos and two essays, one by Mark Smotroff, the other by Joe Travers. Also included are two previously unreleased live recordings from early 1973, one from the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles and the other recorded at Cobo Hall in Detroit.

The bonuses allow you to discover astonishing moments. It will be “Wonderful Wino” with George Duke in a more rock than jazz version, and Ricky Lancelotti in a crazy blues rocker supported by the hard guitar of Frank Zappa. The 1973 mix of “RDNZL” features frenetic jazz-rock, where Ponty and Ruth Underwood compete for virtuosity, before Bruce Fowler’s trombone brings them into agreement. Also presented, as usual in this type of project, are a few moments of improvisations or studio tests, like the organ on “Fifty Fifty”, for which George Duke found himself in a church, a psychedelic repetition of “Dirty Love” and a supercharged “Dinah-Moe Humm”, always with Duke and Ponty as a fiery jazz-rock duo. The studio drop of “I’m the Slime” comes under the name of “Face Down” in an abrupt and rather to-the-bone version, without any frills. Alongside it is an eight-minute alternative take of “Dinah-Moe Humm” with Tina Turner and the furious Ikettes, and an instrumental take of “Fifty Fifty”, which one imagines straight out of a Stevie Wonder album or by Herbie Hancock in the Headhunters version, with George Duke in the title role, supported by Ponty’s violin.

This anniversary is also an opportunity to discover two new live performances where, surprisingly and rarely Frank Zappa, the musicians on stage are the same as when the album was recorded. While the new group’s first concert, as a prelude to the immense world tour which would last a year, took place in Fayetteville (North Carolina), on February 28, 1973, the concert presented here, a reflection of this tour first and foremost North American, is that of March 23 at the Hollywood Palladium.

Alongside “Dupree’s Paradise” and an augmented and altered version of “Willie the Pimp”, we find, from the new album, “Montana” and “I’m the Slime”, which benefits from a guitar solo fat and tortured of the mustachioed. Sal Marquez is entitled to his hour of glory and the show ends with cascading improvisations, led by hand signs from the master.

Find this paper on Frank Zappa and his album Over-Nite Sensation in full in our issue 157, available on newsstands and via our online store.

Here is the tracklist:

CD 1: Over-Nite Sensation – The Album

1. Camarillo Brillo
2. I’m The Slime
3. Dirty Love
4. Fifty-Fifty
5. Zombie Woof
6. Dinah-Moe Hmm
7. Montana
Masters Session Bonus

8. Wonderful Wino (Complete Edit)*
9. Inca Roads (1973 Version, 2023 Mix)*
10. RDNZL (1973 Mix)*
11. For The Young Sophisticate (Dolby EQ Copy)
12. I’m The Slime (Single Version)
13. Montana (Single Edit With Intro)
Bonus Vault Sensations

14. Inca Roads (Bolic Take-Home Mix)*
15. RDNZL (Take 2)*
16. X-Forts (Echidna’s Arf (Of You))*

CD 2: Bonus Vault Sensations

1. Camarillo Brillo (Alternate Mix)*
2. Face Down (I’m The Slime – Demo)*
3. I’m The Slime (Basic Track Outtake)*
4. Dirty Love (Rehearsal Session)*
5. Dirty Love (With Quad Guitar)*
6. Fifty-Fifty – Pipe Organ Intro Improvisations*
7. Fifty-Fifty (Basic Tracks, Take 7)*
8. Dinah-Moe Humm (Rehearsal Session)*
9. Dinah-Moe Humm (Bolic Take-Home Mix)*
10. Montana (Bolic Take-Home Mix)*
Live In Hollywood, California, Hollywood Palladium – March 23, 1973

11. Montana*
12. Dupree’s Paradise (Intro)*
13. Dupree’s Paradise*

CD 3: Live In Hollywood, California, Hollywood Palladium – March 23, 1973

1. Cosmik Debris*
2. “The Dynamic Sal Marquez!”*
3. Big Swifty*
4. “…The Successor To Willie The Pimp”*
5. The Curse Of The Zomboids (I’m The Slime)*
6. Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing?*
7. FZ & The Percussion Section*
8. Palladium Jam – Part 1*
9. Palladium Jam – Part 2*

CD 4: Live In Detroit, Michigan, Cobo Hall – May 12, 1973

1. Cobo Hall ’73 Band Intros And Sound Check*
2. Exercise #4*
3. Dog Breath*
4. The Dog Breath Variations*
5. Uncle Meat*
6. Fifty-Fifty*
7. Inca Roads*
8. FZ Introduces the Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow Medley*
9. Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow*
10. Nanook Rubs It*
11. St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast*
12. Father O’Blivion*
13. St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast (Reprise)*
14. Join The March*
15. Cosmik Debris*
16. Medley: King Kong/Chunga’s Revenge/Son Of Mr. Green Genes*

BLU-RAY AUDIO: Over-Nite Sensation – The Album

Dolby Atmos* / Dolby TrueHD 5.1* / Dolby TrueHD 1973 Quadraphonic / 24-bit/192kHz Stereo / 24-bit/96kHz Stereo
1. Camarillo Brillo
2. I’m The Slime
3. Dirty Love
4. Fifty-Fifty
5. Zombie Woof
6. Dinah-Moe Hmm
7. Montana



Written by

Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is a dedicated writer and key contributor to the WECB website, Emerson College's student-run radio station. Passionate about music, radio communication, and journalism, Christopher pursues his craft with a blend of meticulous research and creative flair. His writings on the site cover an array of subjects, from music reviews and artist interviews to event updates and industry news. As an active member of the Emerson College community, Christopher is not only a writer but also an advocate for student involvement, using his work to foster increased engagement and enthusiasm within the school's radio and broadcasting culture. Through his consistent and high-quality outputs, Christopher Johnson helps shape the voice and identity of WECB, truly embodying its motto of being an inclusive, diverse, and enthusiastic music community.