When Frank Zappa’s Orchestral Favorites was eventually released in 1979 as part of fulfilling his contract with his contentious former label, the album was dumped into the world along with several other titles without the legendary musician’s permission or quality control. It did not include liner notes or credits and the artwork and audio wasn’t approved by Zappa who publicly criticized it as not being up to his standards. As a result of not receiving any promotion, it was quickly relegated to the bargain bin shortly after its release.
Four decades later, in celebration of the long-beleaguered album’s 40th anniversary, the Zappa Family Trust is righting this wrong and presenting Orchestral Favorites with the audiophile detail and respect it deserves to commemorate the historical event that took place at UCLA’s Royce Hall in September 1975 where the compositions were recorded. On August 30th, Zappa Records/UMe will release a 40th anniversary 3CD deluxe edition featuring brand new proper hi-fi transfers of the original tapes, a newly created cover, and extensive liner notes from Zappa Vaultmeister Joe Travers and former Zappa bandmate Terry Bozzio who recounts performing at the concerts and provides some unique illustrations for the collection. The beautiful packaging includes proper musician credits for the first time and a wealth of stunning rare and never-before-seen photos of the event from the estate’s archives.
Produced by Ahmet Zappa and Joe Travers, the comprehensive collection will include the original album plus the entire evening performance from September 18, 1975 spread across two additional discs. After extensive searches in the Vault, the elusive master tone reel, the essential component that contains the alignment tones that help set up the playback of the master tapes that Zappa reportedly did not provide when he turned in the album, was found, allowing the Zappa Family Trust to present the audio as originally intended. Coupled with new hi-res transfers from the original tapes and mastering by Bob Ludwig, the music sounds the best it ever has. The bonus concert features brand new 2019 mixes by Craig Parker Adams from the original 2” 24-track masters. The digital deluxe, which mirrors the 3CD version, includes an instant grat download of a first-time available version of “Revised Music For Low-Budget Symphony Orchestra.”
Orchestral Favorites will also be released on vinyl featuring the original album mastered by Bernie Grundman and the newly generated anniversary art and cover. It will be pressed at Furnace MFG on 180-gram audiophile grade black vinyl.