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Trick or treat? Frank Zappa’s ‘Halloween 77’ box set will scare the neighbours

Zappa Records is to issue a new box set, Halloween 77 , which features all six shows that Frank Zappa performed at The Palladium in New York City at the end of October 1977.

This set includes all six shows in their entirety (chronicled in the concert film Baby Snakes) although they’ve chosen to put the audio (24-bit WAV files) on a USB stick, rather than give you CDs. So it’s hi-res (good), but not physical (not so good). If you find that annoying, then the fact that the USB stick is shaped like a shaped like a ‘Zappa’s Oh Punky!’ candy bar might not sway you. Incidentally, the audio was mixed in 2016 from original vault masters.

There are 158 tracks in total and you do get a 128-page ‘digital booklet’ with photos and sleeve notes from co-producer Joe Travers, musicians Adrian Belew and Ed Mann, tour manager Phil Kaufman and famous fan Janet “The Planet” Walley.

As you can’t have failed to notice from the images, you do also you get a Zappa mask and costume. Obviously.

If USB stick and fancy dress don’t constitute your idea great music box set, you can opt for a three-CD edition, although annoyingly, that only delivers the actual Halloween show from 31 October 1977 (plus a few bonus tracks from the previous evening’s show). That’s 32 tracks – 126 less than what’s on that USB stick.

Frank’s son Ahmet Zappa said “This box set was a very special experience for me to work on. I wanted to make sure we honoured these legendary shows, so it was important to me that this box set felt of the era. It was a blast working with our partners to create the late ‘70s-inspired Frank Zappa mask and costume and the candy-shaped USB stick filled with tons of Zappa goodness. It was yet again a labor of love gathering up all the archival materials, reading notes by people who were there, and most importantly making sure the audio was up to par. All of us at Zappa Records are mighty pleased with it, and hope that fans of Frank Zappa and of Halloween will be too.”

There is going to be a digital download version of the fancy (dress) box so I guess buying the CDs for ‘casual’ listening and the download for an archive of the whole thing might be an option.

Halloween 77 is released on 20 October 2017.

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Frank Zappa ‘Halloween 77′ – box set

Oct. 28, 1977 Show 1
1. “10-28-77 Show 1 Start/Introductions”
2. “Peaches en Regalia”
3. “The Torture Never Stops”
4. “Tryin’ to Grow a Chin”
5. “City of Tiny Lites”
6. “Pound for a Brown”
7. “Bobby Brown Goes Down”
8. “Conehead (Instrumental)”
9. “Flakes”
10. “Big Leg Emma”
11. “Envelopes”
12. “Terry’s Solo #1″
13. “Disco Boy”
14. “Lather”
15. “Wild Love”
16. “T–ties N Beer”
17. “Audience Participation #1″
18. “The Black Page #2″
19. “Jones Crusher”
20. “Broken Hearts Are for A–holes”
21. “Punky’s Whips”
22. “Encore Audience #1″
23. “Dinah-Moe Humm”
24. “Camarillo Brillo”
25. “Muffin Man”

Oct. 28, 1977 Show 2
1. “10-28-77 Show 2 Start/Introductions”
2. “Peaches en Regalia”
3. “The Torture Never Stops”
4. “Tryin’ to Grow a Chin”
5. “City of Tiny Lites”
6. “Pound for a Brown”
7. “Bobby Brown Goes Down”
8. “Conehead (Instrumental)”
9. “Flakes”
10. “Big Leg Emma”
11. “Envelopes”
12. “Terry’s Solo #2″
13. “Disco Boy”
14. “Lather”
15. “Wild Love”
16. “T–ties N Beer”
17. “Audience Participation #2″
18. “The Black Page #2″
19. “Jones Crusher”
20. “Broken Hearts Are for A–holes”
21. “Punky’s Whips”
22. “Encore Audience #2″
23. “Dinah-Moe Humm”
24. “Camarillo Brillo”
25. “Muffin Man”

Oct. 29, 1977 Show 1
1. “10-29-77 Show 1 Start/Introductions”
2. “Peaches en Regalia”
3. “The Torture Never Stops”
4. “Tryin’ to Grow a Chin”
5. “City of Tiny Lites”
6. “Pound for a Brown”
7. “Bobby Brown Goes Down”
8. “Conehead (Instrumental)”
9. “Flakes”
10. “Big Leg Emma”
11. “Envelopes”
12. “Terry’s Solo #3″
13. “Disco Boy”
14. “Lather”
15. “Wild Love”
16. “T–ties N Beer”
17. “Audience Participation #3″
18. “The Black Page #2″
19. “Jones Crusher”
20. “Broken Hearts Are for A–holes”
21. “Punky’s Whips”
22. “Encore Audience #3″
23. “Dinah-Moe Humm”
24. “Camarillo Brillo”
25. “Muffin Man”

Oct. 29, 1977 Show 2
1. “10-29-77 Show 2 Start/Introductions”
2. “Peaches en Regalia”
3. “The Torture Never Stops”
4. “Tryin’ to Grow a Chin”
5. “City of Tiny Lites”
6. “Pound for a Brown”
7. “Bobby Brown Goes Down”
8. “Conehead (Instrumental)”
9. “Flakes”
10. “Big Leg Emma”
11. “Envelopes”
12. “Terry’s Solo #4″
13. “Disco Boy”
14. “Lather”
15. “Wild Love”
16. “T–ties N Beer”
17. “Audience Participation #4″
18. “The Black Page #2″
19. “Jones Crusher”
20. “Broken Hearts Are for A–holes”
21. “Punky’s Whips”
22. “Encore Audience #4″
23. “Dinah-Moe Humm”
24. “Camarillo Brillo”
25. “Muffin Man”

Oct. 30, 1977
1. “10-30-77 Show Start”
2. “Stink-Foot”
3. “The Poodle Lecture”
4. “Dirty Love”
5. “Peaches en Regalia”
6. “The Torture Never Stops”
7. “Tryin’ to Grow a Chin”
8. “City of Tiny Lites”
9. “Pound for a Brown”
10. “I Have Been In You”
11. “Dancin’ Fool (World Premiere)”
12. “Jewish Princess (Prototype)”
13. “King Kong”
14. “Terry’s Solo #5″
15. “Disco Boy”
16. “Envelopes”
17. “A Halloween Treat with Thomas Nordegg”
18. “Lather”
19. “Wild Love”
20. “T–ties N Beer”
21. “Audience Participation #5″
22. “The Black Page #2″
23. “Jones Crusher”
24. “Broken Hearts Are for A–holes”
25. “Punky’s Whips”
26. “Encore Rap”
27. “Dinah-Moe Humm”
28. “Camarillo Brillo ”
29. “Muffin Man”
30. “San Ber’dino”

Oct. 31, 1977
1. “Halloween 1977 Show Start/Introductions”
2. “Peaches en Regalia”
3. “The Torture Never Stops”
4. “Tryin’ to Grow a Chin”
5. “City of Tiny Lites”
6. “Pound for a Brown”
7. “The Demise of the Imported Rubber Goods Mask”
8. “Bobby Brown Goes Down”
9. “Conehead (Instrumental)”
10. “Flakes”
11. “Big Leg Emma”
12. “Envelopes”
13. “Terry’s Halloween Solo”
14. “Disco Boy”
15. “Lather”
16. “Wild Love”
17. “T–ties ’N’ Beer”
18. “Halloween Audience Participation”
19. “The Black Page #2″
20. “Jones Crusher”
21. “Broken Hearts Are for A–holes”
22. “Punky’s Whips”
23. “Halloween Encore Audience I”
24. “Dinah-Moe Humm”
25. “Camarillo Brillo”
26. “Muffin Man”
27. “San Ber’dino”
28. “Black Napkins”

Frank Zappa ‘Halloween 77′ – 3CD edition

Disc 1
1. “Halloween 1977 Show Start/Introductions”
2. “Peaches En Regalia”
3. “The Torture Never Stops”
4. “Tryin’ To Grow A Chin”
5. “City Of Tiny Lites”
6. “Pound For A Brown”
7. “The Demise Of The Imported Rubber Goods Mask”
8. “Bobby Brown Goes Down”
9. “Conehead (Instrumental)”
10. “Flakes”
11. “Big Leg Emma”

Disc 2
1. “Envelopes”
2. “Terry’s Halloween Solo”
3. “Disco Boy”
4. “Lather”
5. “Wild Love”
6. “T***ies ‘N’ Beer”
7. “Halloween Audience Participation”
8. “The Black Page #2”
9. “Jones Crusher”
10. “Broken Hearts Are For Assholes”

Disc 3
1. “Punky’s Whips”
2. “Halloween Encore Audience”
3. “Dinah-Moe Humm”
4. “Camarillo Brillo”
5. “Muffin Man”
6. “San Ber’dino”
7. “Black Napkins”

Bonus Tracks:
8. “King Kong”
9. “A Halloween Treat With Thomas Nordegg”
10. “Audience Participation #5”
11. “The Black Page #2”

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53 Comments

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Jan

The advantage of the stick to a download is that it can be sold User because it‘s a physical device

Mike

I agree with madman! – The Stick makes more sense the more I think about it, (in comparisons to a full CD set), & I wish I could buy it cheaper without the, (for me), pointless novelty costume , mask & large box – I wish they’d offered a Stick Only option with the costume as an optional extra as part of a bundle…. I wonder how many people would have paid extra for the costume if they had the choice? NOT MANY I suspect!

I wish the record companies would stop forcing everyone to buy overlarge boxes with extra ‘tat’ they don’t want & won’t use – by all means offer the ‘memorabilia’ & ‘novelties’ for sale on their own or as optional extras in bundles but PLEASE spare the rest of from haing to shell out for pointless ‘stuff’ we won’t use & don’t want….. think of the environment; making all this extra stuff uses more resources, more packaging & is bulkier & heavier so costs more to ship & uses more energy!!!

LMTR14

usb stick is physical in my opinion, but as it’s not a mainstream format of selling music, that fact is trivia anyway.

Greg

I already own enough music to listen to for the next fifty years without “collecting” another artist. Therefore since I never bought Zappa product in the past, I’m not going to start now. Hence I’m not commenting on the content. The fact that the USB stick contains higher resolution files than a CD is a good thing. I would buy this instead of CD’s to get the higher resolution. To me, it is all about the music. I think the packaging could have been better but if you are a Zappa fan the price seems fair for 6 complete shows. My only complaint would be they should have gone for the highest resolution on Blu-ray.

madman

The costume seems kind of pointless, and at first glance I thought the USB stick was stupid. But the more I think about it, I kind of like the stick. It makes copying/moving the files a lot easier and it’s more convenient to store than all those CD’s. I’d be more inclined to buy this WITHOUT the costume, though.

wingspan1985

I know the release may seem silly, but this is my favorite Zappa era, and Halloween is my favorite time of the year. I so had to preorder this, I’ll play the files with my Pono.

Craig

I don’t know if it’s in been mentioned yet but each individual show will also be available to purchase for download upon release

gwynogue

I don’t care for the mask and costume, so I’m hoping the usb stick becomes available on it’s own. But if the price goes down like Bobby Brown I’ll order it. I’ll wait and see how much the digital download is (and what file format).

Paul Haze Harrison

I SO want this but spent far too much on box sets in the German 3for2 sale. It’ll be interesting to see what monsterous (sorry) price Amazon UK set when it finally goes live here…

Ern

Haze, I was surprised it showed up on the Amazon.De site. I had originally looked into buying it direct from the Zappa site and the shipping would have pushed it to about £140 which would have been ridiculous.

Jim

They could have released higher-resolution discs. Why all the stupid packaging then for a two inch stick? The Grateful Dead Trips Around the Sun was offered as a full CD set as well as the stick, for those inclined that way.

Dean

The Complete Dylan box could be bought on a USB stick too – as a choice it’s okay – as the only way to get the music, it’s a disaster.

Dean

80 for a USB stick.

Really?

Andy

Yes. A flash drive can hold far more information than a CD, and the audio files are of better quality than a CD. Now, let’s do the math: 6 shows most likely expanded over 18 CD’s plus costume = a whole lot more than $100.

So, yes. Really.

Dean

Well, Andy, different horses for different courses. A USB stick will be costing them…. virtually nothing. Is that reflected in the price? No. In the mean time, I’ll be able to download that USB stick, and make my own, in less than 3-minutes without spending a penny.

Instead of creating a box people can luxuriate in, these will end up being erased and used by hip-kids to store their porn collections. LOL. It’s a horrible, and ridiculous choice. They should have gone for download only, and given it cheaply.

Ex-Oligarch

The USB stick here appears to be custom manufactured in the shape of a candy bar, and custom printed. The 3cd set would be substantially cheaper to manufacture. An 18 cd set would likely still be less expensive to manufacture, but would substantially increase packaging and shipping costs due to its weight.

You may have an extremely fast connection, but your download time estimate is way off. Uncompressed 24-bit audio takes up about 1 GB per hour of playing time. Given the typical length of Zappa concerts, I would not be surprised if nearly the full capacity of the 16 GB memory stick is being used.

Of course, you can transfer downloaded audio files to any memory stick, just as you can burn them to CDR or move them to a hard drive. I don’t see why you consider memory stick media to be different from CD media in that regard.

Andy

IMHO, this set is brilliant. Frank loved Halloween, loved kitsch, and was devoted to new technology. I think he would have approved this set with gusto. The costume makes me laugh, and the music will make me dance. Ordered. And if I want CD’s, I can burn them myself from the files while wearing my big boy pants.

Caroline

It’s an interesting exercise in “value”. A USB stick with 6 full concerts as 24-bit WAV is being pegged as worth less than a 3CD set containing one full concert at 16-bit. It’s little wonder labels are struggling to sell things when the value is conferred onto the carrier rather than the content (see also, pretty much the entire vinyl revival).

I like it, it’s irreverent. I’m not enough of a a Zappa fiend to want that many shows from that era but I think it’s an elegant solution.

Andy

Brilliant response, Caroline!

Ex-Oligarch

I don’t follow, Caroline.
The USB stick is much more expensive than the 3cd set.
More audio content is being sold at a higher price, just as one would expect.

Caroline

I was responding to this…

“Adrian Slatcher says:
October 5, 2017 at 19:40
Would be great if the USB stick was about 5 quid cheaper than the CD and came with the CD. Utter nonsense.”

Ex-Oligarch

Thanks for the clarification, Caroline.

graeme

F.R.O -. Ahmet. “very special experience”!!hahahahaha , waster! “Shoogagoogagunga!!”

Uncle Meat

Thanks to Gail Zappa, this complete box set is something brainless we´ll have to get used to in the future. Nothing wrong with the music itself. Ahmet as ZFT music producer is an imaginary scene from Little Britain. David Walliams as Ahmet and Matt Lucas as Gail could give us great laughs at ZFT music producing today…

Iain mac

Errr Gail Zappa passed away two years ago, so not sure how much input she had in putting this product together

Howie

Maybe Uncle Meat means the way she split the business up before she died and the car crash it has become since.

Andy

Huh? What have you been smoking?

Andy

Sorry. I’m outside the UK. Is Little Britain a BBC show? Didn’t mean to sound offensive.

Tim-meh

You could run a photo competition for the best reader who purchased the set wearing the costume. On second thoughts…

Adrian Slatcher

Would be great if the USB stick was about 5 quid cheaper than the CD and came with the CD. Utter nonsense.

seikotsi

Just wondering, why does a cd count as physical and a USB stick not?

Ern

Even if all six concerts were released on CD, I would end up converting it to play on my portable music player. To me this is a physical product, like what Paul said.
I’m not really bothered what the neighbours think when I go out on Halloween night dressed up as Zappa, although I might bring a Sears Poncho with me in case it gets a wee bit nippy.

Seikotsi

Hmm not really. Unless they give you the Phone as part of the box set. I mean both the cd and the USB sticks just have digital music on them right? Or is it because you generally can’t play a USB directly from a hi-fi?

RJS

You’re kidding? Of course it’s a physical product. Whether people choose to copy the files on the USB to their hard drive (which is similar to ripping a CD) is of no relevance whatsoever.

martin farnworth

a usb stick is a physical product. it’s just were not used to the format so much. the usb stick is exclusively designed as a zappa product. and a cd has to reside in another physical object to be played.

Dean

Surely you jest.

Frenchy Eric

Love so much the Sheik Yerbouti album.
The price is not so good though.
And Amazon packaging is so bad.
Let’s wait and GRAB a deal if i’m lucky…

Ben Williamz

Surprised that Michael Jackson Scream cd that came out last week didn’t come out with a deluxe set like this, complete with Jackson monster mask and Thriller red costume! Especially when they already released one MJ set with a piece of chalk..

Would have been better if this was a complete physical CD set but I get why it wasn’t as it’s full shows. Strange, strange product. Wonder what Frank himself would think of something like this??

noyoucmon

Refuse to let your brother perform under his own name, but issue a boxed set with a cheap “Halloween costume” and the music on a USB stick. Way to go, Ahmet.

Nick Lees

Yowch. Looking on Qobuz at the download, the full set is £103 and only 16 bit. I shudder to think what HDTracks will be offering.

Heinz

“T–ties N Beer”……….????
I don’t know that song……..

Jan Spring in ,t Veld

Is from live in New York

Warren Bowman

A real highlight from “Zappa in New York”. Featuring Terry Bozzio as the Devil: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re4tv4sJoms

WILLIAM ENGLAND

…so i’m just going to play the waiting game until all the material is issued on cd (or Blu-ray audio)…
And, I don’t think that the box looks all that sturdy – how are Amazon going to get that to me intact?!?
(I hate leaving negative posts – I really do want to be positive on here, but sometimes…

Lee Realgone

I’m totally with you. It’s a hell of a lot of money for a really cheap and tacky product.

Heinz

But don’t forget the six full shows…………

Chris S

The three disk set will be enough to satisfy my zappa craving.

Ern

What a stupid, ridiculous product. It’s more scary than the Michael Jackson release.
Couldn’t resist it. Full concerts on the stick. Yes, please. Ordered it last week from Amazon.de
Happy Halloween, neighbours :)

Heinz

Yeah, really stupid…..I ordered it, too……
FZ would have loved it….;-)