‘Hot Rats Sessions’ Box Set Released Today, Frank Zappa’s Birthday

The Hot Rats Sessions box set landed today, December 21, on what would have been Frank Zappa’s 79th birthday. This is also the 50th anniversary of the release of Hot Rats, recorded in July of 1969.

The deluxe package contains a booklet with the six CDs, a gorgeous booklet with lots of information, and Zappa Land, a board game (think Candy Land).

Tomorrow! THE HOT RATS SESSIONS: 6 CDs, 59 unreleased tracks, alt mixes & rarities, unseen photos, a board game & more in this deluxe set! https://ume.lnk.to/HotRats50th

Posted by Frank Zappa on Thursday, December 19, 2019

The game pieces are guitar picks with six images: coffee, cigarettes, mustache, baton, Z, and one of his heeled shoes.

The booklet contains several short essays, one by Ian Underwood, without whom Hot Rats would not have been possible; Andee Nathanson, the photographer who took the picture of Miss Christine which graces the cover; Matt Groening of Simpsons fame; and Joe Travers, keeper of the vault, with Ruth Underwood.

There are also details about each of the recordings in chronological order plus other versions of songs and Frank’s 1987 digital remix. There is an explanation somewhere that “Peaches En Regalia” involved 100 hours of overdubs. Much of the rest featured jams that Frank edited down for various purposes. For instance, there is a 10-minute version of “Directly from My Heart to You.”

Of great interest are two tracks. “Big Legs” is a 33-minute track from which “The Gumbo Variations” was tweezed. Those familiar will appreciate the edits.

Even more amazing is “Another Waltz,” a 28-minute jam that contains that titanic swing violin stuff from Don ‘Sugarcane’ Harris that appeared in “Little House I Used to Live In” from Burnt Weeny Sandwich.


Also, Record Store day (that Saturday in April) now has a companion in Record Store Black Friday. The 10-inch picture disk was available then.

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