Frank Zappa / The Roxy Performances

7CD set • New stereo mixes • All shows included in their entirety

In conjunction with the Zappa Family Trust, Universal music will next month issue The Roxy Performances, a definitive seven-CD box set that collects all four public performances of Frank Zappa‘s legendary Roxy Theatre concerts from December 1973 and adds the soundcheck and other bonus material.

Frank Zappa and the Mothers played the four shows on 9th and 10th December ’73 with the soundcheck a day earlier on 8th. All this is included in its entirety, as well bonus content that features rehearsal nuggets and unreleased tracks, along with highlights from the recording session at Bolic Studios that took place in conjunction with the filming dates. This totals nearly eight hours of music.

Brand new 2016 stereo mixes (by Craig Parker Adams) have been created from new 96/24 transfers from the original multi-track tapes, so this should sound as good as it has ever sounded. Additionally, the set comes with a 48-page booklet with photos from the performances, a selection of archival press reviews, extensive sleeve notes by Joe Travers, and essays and recollections from various other contributors.

The Roxy Performances will be released on 2 February 2018. As you can see below the US price is far better than what’s on offer in the UK. However, British fans should note that when shipped from the US (using the cheapest option) – with import fees included – it will cost about £50. Still a £10 saving, I suppose, although the UK price might drop at some point (or not!).

12-9-73 Show 1
 1. Sunday Show 1 Start
2. Cosmik Debris
3. “We’re Makin’ A Movie”
4. Pygmy Twylyte
5. The Idiot Bastard Son
6. Cheepnis
7. Hollywood Perverts
8. Penguin In Bondage
9. T’Mershi Duween
10. The Dog Breath Variations
11. Uncle Meat
13. Montana
14. Dupree’s Paradise

1. Dickie’s Such An Asshole
12-9-73 Show 2
2. Sunday Show 2 Start
3. Inca Roads
4. Village Of The Sun
5. Echidna’s Arf (Of You)
6. Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing?
7. Slime Intro
8. I’m The Slime
9. Big Swifty

1. Tango #1 Intro
2. Be-Bop Tango (Of The Old Jazzmen’s Church)
3. Medley: King Kong / Chunga’s Revenge / Son Of Mr. Green Genes
12-10-73 Show 1
4. Monday Show 1 Start
5. Montana
6. Dupree’s Paradise
7. Cosmik Intro
8. Cosmik Debris

1. Bondage Intro
2. Penguin In Bondage
3. T’Mershi Duween
4. The Dog Breath Variations
5. Uncle Meat
7. Audience Participation – RDNZL
8. Pygmy Twylyte
9. The Idiot Bastard Son
10. Cheepnis
11. Dickie’s Such An Asshole
12-10-73 Show 2
12. Monday Show 2 Start
13. Penguin In Bondage
14. T’Mershi Duween
15. The Dog Breath Variations
16. Uncle Meat

1. Village Of The Sun
2. Echidna’s Arf (Of You)
3. Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing?
4. Cheepnis – Percussion
5. “I Love Monster Movies”
6. Cheepnis
7. “Turn The Light Off”/Pamela’s Intro
8. Pygmy Twylyte
9. The Idiot Bastard Son
10. Tango #2 Intro
11. Be-Bop Tango (Of The Old Jazzmen’s Church)

1. Dickie’s Such An Asshole
Bonus Section: 12-10-73 Roxy Rehearsal
2. Big Swifty – In Rehearsal
3. Village Of The Sun
4. Farther O’Blivion – In Rehearsal
5. Pygmy Twylyte
6. That Arrogant Dick Nixon (Unreleased Track)

12-12-73 Bolic Studios Recording Session
7. Kung Fu – In Session
8. Kung Fu – with guitar overdub
9. Tuning and Studio Chatter
10. Echidna’s Arf (Of You) – In Session
11. Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow – In Session
12. Nanook Rubs It – In Session
13. St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast – In Session
14. Father O’Blivion – In Session
15. Rollo (Be-Bop Version)

12-8-73 Sound Check/Film Shoot

1. Saturday Show Start
2. Pygmy Twylyte/Dummy Up*
3. Pygmy Twylyte – Part II
4. Echidna’s Arf (Of You)
5. Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing?
6. Orgy, Orgy
7. Penguin In Bondage
8. T’Mershi Duween
9. The Dog Breath Variations
10. Uncle Meat/Show End

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Paul do you know why this is March 23rd on amazon uk but everywhere else is 2nd Feb.even the download says 2nd Feb

Vincent Cannata

Now, how ’bout a pic on how this bad-boy is packaged!


Clamshell box. See the pic by the prices. Nothing fancy. But fun listening. Feel bad for those of you not in the US having to wait nearly 2 months since its release to get this! Unfortunately, this one doesn’t come with a costume like Halloween ’77 ;-/


As a Zappa fan from when Uncle Meat was first released I, of course, must have this. However, it is annoying that, from the CD-track list above, all four shows are broken up across the first six discs. It would have been a good idea to release this set on SACD, DVD or Bluray so that each show could be enjoyed without having to change discs, especially to listen to a single song as with 12/9 show 1 and 12/10 show 2. Also, this would allow for hi-res versions of this material. Time to fire up dbpoweramp.


Halloween 77 box was a usb stick,maybe the ZFT will get it right for the next box set? (fingers crossed on the Fillmore East,june 1971 !!)

with either more cds to follow some chronology (2-3cd/gig),
or a single audio-bluray (but then people will complain -“why is there no 5.1 mix?” and so on…)

if they use cds again for the next bix box,to maintain a 2-3cd/gig logic, the bonus rehearsal tracks could be scattered across all the cd’s (at the end of each gig)


…but the usb stick is good too,
you are free to burn the files on as many cd-r you want,
with the setlist you like (full gigs or selected performances from each gig), and since the files are hi-res,you can also burn it (with some knowledge) sacd-r mode or dvd/bluray whatever

and if your discs are scratched you can always burn them again with a usb stick !

Scott G

+ 1. Totally agree. Why not release in a hi-res format??


As someone who only has the Ryko CD and 2lp vinyl, this is a holy grail release….ordered!


I would be excited about this release if I didn’t already own “Roxy by Proxy” and “Roxy: the Movie,” which I thought together comprised the final and complete statement about this 1973 concert. What I would like to see, and still hoping for, are more vintage 180 gram vinyl LP releases of Frank’s discography from the 1970’s so I can complete my record collection. If ZFT is considering more future deluxe box sets, I would request an SDE focusing on the period when Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan were with the Mothers, and a separate SDE expanding Frank’s Grand Wazoo/Waka Jawaka jazz fusion period.

Uncle Meat

Now we´re talking! A must have if there ever was one! The European prices aren´t that bad after all. Pre-ordered a few weeks ago.

Simon Taylor

I’m a casual fan, still dipping my toe in the Zappa waters. I did record the live 1973 Roxy movie off Sky Arts and watched it twice. Loved it, so this release is definitely of interest although probably too much music and cost. Still undecided. Not pre-ordering, will see if the price drops.

Halfway listening to Ahmet being interviewed on the Zappacast about this release (2hour podcast might be a bit too long for me as well, 32 mins in so far and they’re playing tracks from the box. Worth seeking out for Zappa fans.


There where of cource dubious relaeses from the ZFT particularly in the Joe’s series. But all releases of live recording with FZ UMRK Mobile Studio are superb. Even the older recordings in the Road Tapes series are ok. So I am sure the so far only on bootlegs available live and studio tracks will sound very well. This is of course only for the fan, who needs different version from early and late show of the same day. Good for the ZFT there are a lot of fans still alive. Every occasional listerer can listen to the boots on YouTube.
And of course the prices will go down. I wouldn’t expect it to be only released in the states. Any hint for that?

stanstanek55 @g mail. Com

I have 45%of Frank work on vinyl would like to get come pleat list o.o songs I also have moon unit picture album


I love Zappa, and don’t have any of the Roxy material. It’s a great price for as much as you’re getting.

I understand the “How many more times are they going to re-issue this stuff?” argument, though. I remember hearing rumors that the Trust doesn’t have that much cash, which might explain another re-issue of the Roxy material.


“Roxy & Elsewhere” has always been in my top Zappa albums, and I would consider myself a pretty big fan, so I’m always interested when I hear of new material from that band/era in the Zappa repertoire.

“Roxy by Proxy” had some great stuff, including a hilarious version of Inca Roads well worth the listen. I was also very happy to see “Roxy the Movie” when it came out. Personally I think ALL of this stuff should have been put in the same box: original Roxy & Elsewhere release, full concerts, and movie. It would just make more sense, if you want a ‘complete’ Roxy box. (perhaps not if you want to make more money…)

Anyway, all the stuff is out there, so it’s not that big of a deal I guess. But there’s one thing I’d REALLY like to know, and haven’t found the answer to (eg. the Zappa official site / press release doesn’t mention anything):

The original Roxy and Elsewhere release has LOTS of overdubs on most of the tracks (Cheepniz is a particularly obvious example — Go to the Shelter, my baby my baby!!!), so what I want to know is: are we getting the “raw” recordings from that night, or the overdubbed versions for the songs that made it to R&E?

Please enlighten me! :-)


I don’t know the answer. But thinking aloud . . .most of the overdubbing on old live releases were done because Frank wanted it done — hence his comments on it (or at least acknowledgement of it) in liner notes. Given that Frank and Gail are both gone, maybe that means that no new overdubs are likely because Ahmet wouldn’t feel like making that decision? Dunno.


most probably uncut, like the Halloween 77 (Baby Snakes) “box”


Arguably his best band…particularly if one is awed by FZ’s guitar…not nearly as repetitive as the Halloween box…not scrapping at all. Something the base has been asking for over the years.


My advice to UK buyers, don’t pre-order this. Wait for it to be released, and then search for sellers such as all_your_music on Amazon or ebay selling it for half the price Amazon UK want it for.

all_your_music (aka importcds.com) post from within the UK, so no customs + VAT + bulls*** charge from the courier ontop

elliott buckingham

ive brought from all your music before when I spent over £20 I got stumped for import tax

Paul Murphy

Yep, me too.


Considering that the tapes have been sitting in the vaults and slowly degrading, I would prefer that they done something with them and releasing them than risk losing some great live music.


Another Zappa release that’s obviously just a US only product, and you have to import to the UK at double the price.

Stuart Ansell

It’s $48.99 on the US Amazon site now.

Whilst I get the ‘barrel scraping’ argument, that could be applied to a lot of reissues – people already have them, why bother? (Please don’t ask me how many different versions of ITCOTCK I’ve bought over the years….)

But as someone who hasn’t bought Roxy by Proxy or the roxy movie discs, I’m looking forward to this one. Roxy the movie was one of the stand out releases of the last few years, just wonderful.

But I totally get not bring excited about this if it duplicates what you already have.


Starting to scrape the barrel now. We’ve had Roxy by Proxy, the Roxy movie discs and now this. The repetition is mind-boggling Ahmet mate – get a job and stop leeching off your Dad’s cold dead carcass.


This is NOT “scraping the barrel” as you refer to it. Yeah some of it has already been released in other ways but now we’re finally getting ALL THE SHOWS FROM THE RUN! Myself and many other hardcore Zappa fans are very excited about this. Why can’t some people understand that? No one is holding a gun to your fukking head to buy any of it.

Murray Robbins

The performances at the Roxy were the cream at the top of the bottle…..not anywhere near the bottom of any barrel.

I agree though, that the Roxy stuff could have been released all in one place at one time but it has been a shambles. The Roxy by Proxy release was a total embarrassment. When however, you that you look who is controlling the ZFT it is hardly surprising the releases are all over the shop. I didn’t conceive it could be any worse when you know who took over from the parental you know who. However, as it turned out it was like when Franny Lee took over from Peter Swales. You could not make it up.

Some of the Zappa family, the next generation are so dysfunctional, that they make the Trumps look well organised. The war or words between Dweezil and Ahmet is just so sad with the lawyers the only winners. G.Z. should have listened to Frank’s advice to stay out of the biznis when the original catalogue was licensed to Ryko but she could not keep out.

Many of the post Frank releases have been ruined. Halloween on USB sticks with corrupt files, when it would have been so great to have a proper multi show set. CD sleeves with pictures of the wrong band (Chicago 1978). Pictures of endangered species that have nothing to do with the music, and worse of all the fake (non) Zappa sprech which is supposed to be impressive. Instead it just juvenile and pathetic. Instead of giving it straight like F.Z. did, we have to wade through that faux rubbish.
Zappa hated shallowness and what do we get?

Joe’s Xmasage, Corsage, Domage….now that is the bottom of the barrel.

Rant over…..off the listen to my 1988 master tapes!


Chill Jaypfunk. Just an opinion. And I’m pretty hardcore in my Zappa fandom too. Just feels like my wallet is being tapped a bit too often for less and less worthy causes.


No. I will not chill.