Frank Zappa ‘The Hot Rats Sessions’ Box Set Due In December

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The 50th anniversary of Frank Zappa’s iconic debut solo album, Hot Rats, will be celebrated with a massive six-disc box set. The Hot Rats Sessions is set for release on December 20 via Zappa Records/UMe.

The box set features every composition FZ recorded over the course of several days during the July 1969 sessions that yielded Hot Rats. In addition, the compilation includes the original Hot Rats album along with Frank’s 1987 digital re-mix as well as a bevy of extras such as mono singles, rare mixes and promotional audio ads for the LP. Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart), Ian Underwood, Don “Sugarcane” Harris, Jean Luc Ponty, Max Bennett, Jon Guerin, Paul Humphrey, Ron Selico, Johnny Otis and a 15-year-old Shuggie Otis are among the other musicians who contributed to Hot Rats.

Production of The Hot Rats Sessions was overseen by the Zappa Trust and produced by Ahmet Zappa and Joe “Vaultmeister” Travers. The box set will be available on CD and as a digital release. Each physical package includes a 28-page booklet featuring never-before-seen photos from the sessions, photos of master tapes and tape boxes, outtakes from the cover art shoot and essays by FZ collaborator Ian Underwood and fan (and The Simpsons creator) Matt Groening. Plus, the box set comes with a “Zappa Land” board game in which players are tasked with helping Zappa get back to the studio to finish work on the LP.

A pair of vinyl releases are also on the way. The original Hot Rats album featuring the 1969 mix mastered from the original analog master tapes by Bernie Grundman in 2008 has been pressed on translucent hot pink 180-gram vinyl in celebration of Hot Rats’ 50th anniversary. Additionally, a limited edition 10″ picture disc Peaches En Regalia EP will be available at independent record stores on Black Friday, November 29. The Peaches En Regalia EP contains rare mono mixes of “Peaches En Regalia” and “Little Umbrellas” on Side A and the 1969 unreleased rhythm track mixes from The Hot Rats Sessions on Side B.

Listen to “It Must Be A Camel (1969 Mix Outtake)” from the box set below:

The Hot Rats Sessions Tracklist

CD1

  1. Piano Music (Section 1)
  2. Piano Music (Section 3)
  3. Peaches En Regalia (Prototype)
  4. Peaches En Regalia (Section 1, In Session)
  5. Peaches En Regalia (Section 1, Master Take)
  6. Peaches Jam – Part 1
  7. Peaches Jam – Part 2
  8. Peaches En Regalia (Section 3, In Session)
  9. Peaches En Regalia (Section 3, Master Take)
  10. Arabesque (In Session)
  11. Arabesque (Master Take)
  12. Dame Margret’s Son To Be A Bride (In Session)

CD2

  1. It Must Be A Camel (Part 1, In Session)
  2. It Must Be a Camel (Part 1, Master Take)
  3. It Must Be a Camel (Intercut, In Session)
  4. It Must Be a Camel (Intercut, Master Take)
  5. Natasha (In Session)
  6. Natasha (Master Take)
  7. Bognor Regis (Unedited Master)
  8. Willie The Pimp (In Session)
  9. Willie The Pimp (Unedited Master Take)
  10. Willie The Pimp (Guitar OD 1)
  11. Willie The Pimp (Guitar OD 2)

CD3

  1. Transition (Section 1, In Session)
  2. Transition (Section 1, Master Take)
  3. Transition (Section 2, Intercut, In Session)
  4. Transition (Section 2, Intercut, Master Take)
  5. Transition (Section 3, Intercut, In Session)
  6. Transition (Section 3, Intercut, Master Take)
  7. Lil’ Clanton Shuffle (Unedited Master)
  8. Directly From My Heart To You (Unedited Master)
  9. Another Waltz (Unedited Master)

CD4

  1. Dame Margret’s Son To Be A Bride (Remake)
  2. Son Of Mr. Green Genes (Take 1)
  3. Son Of Mr. Green Genes (Master Take)
  4. Big Legs (Unedited Master Take)
  5. It Must Be a Camel (Percussion Tracks)
  6. Arabesque (Guitar OD Mix)
  7. Transition (Full Version)
  8. Piano Music (Section 3, OD Version)

CD5

  1. Peaches En Regalia (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
  2. Willie The Pimp (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
  3. Son Of Mr. Green Genes (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
  4. Little Umbrellas (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
  5. The Gumbo Variations (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
  6. It Must Be A Camel (1987 Digital Re-Mix)
  7. The Origin Of Hot Rats
  8. Hot Rats Vintage Promotion Ad #1
  9. Peaches En Regalia (1969 Mono Single Master)
  10. Hot Rats Vintage Promotion Ad #2
  11. Little Umbrellas (1969 Mono Single Master)
  12. Lil’ Clanton Shuffle (1972 Whitney Studios Mix)

CD6

  1. Little Umbrellas (Cucamonga Version)
  2. Little Umbrellas (1969 Mix Outtake)
  3. It Must Be A Camel (1969 Mix Outtake)
  4. Son Of Mr. Green Genes (1969 Mix Outtake)
  5. More Of The Story Of Willie The Pimp
  6. Willie The Pimp (Vocal Tracks)
  7. Willie The Pimp (1969 Quick Mix)
  8. Dame Margret’s Son To Be A Bride (1969 Quick Mix)
  9. Hot Rats Vintage Promotion Ad #3
  10. Bognor Regis (1970 Record Plant Mix)
  11. Peaches En Regalia (1969 Rhythm Track Mix)
  12. Son Of Mr. Green Genes (1969 Rhythm Track Mix)
  13. Little Umbrellas (1969 Rhythm Track Mix)
  14. Arabesque (Guitar Tracks)
  15. Hot Rats Vintage Promotion Ad #4