Frank Zappa / Zappa in New York: 40th anniversary 5CD box & 3LP vinyl

Limited 5CD set in an embossed tin • 3 hours of unreleased performances • newly remastered • Vault audio newly mixed • All-analogue vinyl

This March, Universal Music will issue a five-CD, 40th anniversary deluxe edition of Frank Zappa‘s 1978 live album Zappa in New York.

The album contained live performances recorded in the Palladium in New York in December 1976 and boasts ‘freewheeling’ lyrical content with songs like ‘Titties & Beer,’ and ‘The Illinois Enema Bandit’. Even songs with no lyrical content are provocatively titled (see ‘I Promise Not To Come In Your Mouth’)

Warners were not happy with the inclusion of ‘Punky’s Whips’ (the song concerned drummer Terry Bozzio’s sexual fantasies about Punky Meadows, a guitarist for the band Angel) and insisted on that track being removed, although not before some unexpurgated versions slipped out the door. It wasn’t until a CD reissue in 1991 that the song officially saw the light of day.

This new five-CD set is available “in limited quantities” and will come packaged in an embossed tin box (18cm x 2.5cm) that resembles a New York City manhole cover. It also contains a replica ticket from one of the shows and a 60-page book.

CD 1 features the main album in its original vinyl mix, newly remastered by Bob Ludwig in 2018 and available for the first time since its debut.

The other four discs in the CD edition feature three hours-plus of unreleased live performances from the Palladium shows. These represent every composition that was played during the concerts, and the best alternate performances of every tune that Zappa picked for the original album, all newly mixed in 2018 (the original two-inch 24-track multi-track master tapes were transferred, reel by reel, to create 96kHz 24-bit wavs).

A 3LP vinyl edition includes an all-analog mastering of the original vinyl edition over two records and a bonus LP of

These anniversary editions of Zappa in New York have been overseen by the Zappa Family Trust and produced by Ahmet Zappa and Joe Travers. It is released on 29 March 2019. Fans in the UK would be advised to pick this up from the USA where it’s around £66 including shipping and all taxes – a saving of at least £14 on the UK price.

Zappa in New York Limited edition 5CD set in an embossed tin box

CD 1 – The Original 1977 vinyl mix
1 Titties & Beer 5:01
2 I Promise Not To Come In Your Mouth 3:31
3 Big Leg Emma 2:17
4 Sofa 3:16
5 Manx Needs Women 1:34
6 The Black Page Drum Solo/Black Page #1 4:06
7 Black Page #2 5:42
8 Honey, Don’t You Want A Man Like Me? 4:16
9 The Illinois Enema Bandit 12:41
10 The Purple Lagoon 17:12

CD 2 – Bonus Concert Performances – Part One
1 “The Most Important Musical Event Of 1976”
2 Peaches En Regalia
3 The Torture Never Stops
4 Black Page #2
5 Punky’s Whips intro
6 Punky’s Whips
7 I Promise Not To Come In Your Mouth
8 Honey, Don’t You Want A Man Like Me?
9 The Illinois Enema Bandit
10 “Two For The Price Of One”
11 Penis Dimension
12 Montana

CD 3 – Bonus Concert Performances – Part Two
1 America Drinks 4:52
2 “Irate Phone Calls” 1:37
3 Sofa #2 3:04
4 “The Moment You’ve All Been Waiting For” :58
5 I’m The Slime 5:38
6 Pound For A Brown 4:50
7 Terry’s Solo 2:47
8 The Black Page Drum Solo/Black Page #1 3:53
9 Big Leg Emma 2:19
10 “Jazz Buffs and Buff-etts” 1:51
11 The Purple Lagoon 17:00
12 Find Her Finer 5:22
13 The Origin Of Manx 1:48
14 Manx Needs Women 1:37
15 Chrissy Puked Twice 6:40
16 Cruisin’ For Burgers 9:56

CD 4 – Bonus Concert Performances – Part Three
1 The Purple Lagoon/Any Kind Of Pain 4:25
2 “The Greatest New Undiscovered Group In America” 2:18
3 Black Napkins 28:33
4 Dinah-Moe Humm 6:16
5 Finale 4:40

CD 5 – Bonus Vault Content
1 The Black Page #2 (Piano Version) 3:16
2 I Promise Not To Come In Your Mouth (Alternate Version) 3:55
3 Chrissy Puked Twice
4 Cruisin’ For Burgers (1977 Mix) 9:08
5 Black Napkins (c)1976 10:56
6 Punky’s Whips (Unused Version) 10:55
7 The Black Page #1 (Piano Version) . 2:13

Zappa in New York 3LP vinyl

Side A

1. Titties N Beer
2. I Promise Not To Come In Your Mouth
3. Big Leg Emma

Side B

1. Sofa
2. Manx Needs Women
3. The Black Page Drum Solo/Black Page #1
4. Black Page #2

LP 2

Side A

1. Honey, Dont You Want A Man Like Me?
2. The Illinois Enema Bandit

Side B

1. The Purple Lagoon (Side B)

LP 3

Side A

1. Black Napkins
2. Cruisin For Burgers (1977 Mix)

Side B

1. The Black Page #2 (Piano Version)
2. I Promise Not To Come In Your Mouth (Alt. Version)
3. Punkys Whips (Unused Version)
4. The Black Page #1 (Piano Version)

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Andrew Knowles

Just picked up the super deluxe edition for £40 from Fopp in London! Bargain of the week!

Filippo Rostoni

Not very well designed inside with the CDs BARELY fitting (= square space to hold card sleeves is too small!), with risk of damaging the card sleeve when you remove or put back the items. Come on….


Looking forward to it, and making an ‘all-nighter’ of it , biscuits and all..!!


I don’t get why they release the CENSORED version of the Lp. Why not the original Lp track lisiting as in from the ORIGINAL 2 Track master tape?

I guess I will just have to keep listening to my original UK pressing which is FAR better than the digitally reverbed CeeDee.

I would point fingers but we all know who is listening and who controls the ZFT brain police.

Jan Tore Skråmestø

Oh, dear – my cheepnis strategy has failed miserably. I cancelled the amazon.co.uk vinyl order in favour of a slightly better deal from amazon.fr. Now .fr has cancelled my order due to lack of delivery from the provider. Damn…

Mike Villano

And me, still getting through the big Roxy set!

I saw Frank at UCLA in Pauley Pavillion in 77, and it was basically this show. A few years later, I began to meet others who were there. My buddy swears that Angel were in the audience, but walked out. His memories have always been suspect to me! Anyone know anything about this?

Anyway, I love this era of FZ, and so far, the year doesn’t look as expensive as 2018, so I will probably spring for this one.

Jan Tore

Punky himself took it well, though…

“To his credit, Meadows readily agreed to let Zappa record his mock tribute to the “pooched-out succulence of his insolent pouting rictus,” even if his less-than-flattered bandmates delayed the song’s release for several years. “I thought it was cool,” he says. “Frank is very satirical, so you can’t have a thin skin. I found it kind of flattering. Around the time he wrote the song, he was playing in L.A. He asked if I’d be willing to come onstage in my Angel costume and play with him on the song. I went to the concert, the curtain goes up, and there’s this giant publicity photograph of me doing this pucker kind of thing. It was like Dean Martin’s roast or something. Afterwards, Frank asked me to his place to drink some beer and play some tunes.”



I just purchased both Paramount box sets from Third Man Records for $650. Best SDE ever. Look them up. My wife thinks the boxes contain shelving for the basement. Won’t be buying anything for quite a while. Dammit. Canceled my order for this set. Now it is nearly double in price. Sitting on my hands (and wallet). Either I stop buying music or a divorce is in my future.


great edition but it’s very expansive


What a great release!! Right now the pre-order on USA Amazon is about $65. My hope is that it comes down a bit as this would be a great listen
Thanx Paul for the heads up


Oh happy day!! I was hoping the “Zappa in New York” re-release would be beautifully designed both in packaging and include full concert material. This was one of FZ’s albums that stood out for me, particularly the brilliant epic piece, “The Purple Lagoon.” Even if some of you are not fans of FZ’s satirical lyrics, his genius for composing and arranging complex jazz-fusion sessions and classical interludes (not to mention FZ’s execution of killer guitar solos) must be recognized and appreciated for the sheer artistry.

Now, here’s hoping “Bongo Fury” will be the next album to be re-released with expanded Zappa/Beefheart live material!


The Black Page (Piano version) is a newly recorded solo piano version by Ruth Underwood. Of this, she says, “The Black Page has proven to be one of Frank Zappa’s most intriguing and enduring compositions. It is performed in many kinds of venues all over the world. It is taught and studied in schools. Perhaps most exciting is that it is adaptable and lends itself to a variety of orchestrations and re-workings, as FZ himself demonstrated. I am proud that after forty years, mine is finally among them. It is my love letter to Frank and Gail.”


Paul, this is comment number two… I see the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

First, thank you Nick, for eloquently shutting down a troll. For those of us who have been doing this long enough, please let’s not devolve into the worst aspects of what happened to the comments sections of Kill Ugly Radio and the Zappa official forum.

Good rule of thumb is: is this worth Paul‘s time for him to have to read, get annoyed by it, and then delete, or allow through? I think this covers every comment about how expensive something is; why they didn’t put that song I like on disc 9…it’s not what we say folks, it’s how we say it.

Putting that soapbox aside, my true comment here is that “any kind of pain” absolutely goes back to the mid-70s and if you trawl around on YouTube long enough you may find a fun alternate of it. Not certain I can post links here, so I will let the interested go hunting. Always loved that song, even in the cheesy 80s sound. Expect the original to sound quite different.

Lastly, give me a shout out if the words “Portuguese lunar landing” means anything to you. Then, only then, will we know who we are… ; )

Tim McCutcheon

Hello there,
I have to agree with avoiding the negative comments! If you don’t like Frank, why don’t you wonder off to another alternative music creation and offer your appreciation?!
Frank is a musical genius, if anyone doesn’t agree I would thoroughly try to find out why. For someone to produce as much music in that short a lifetime they must be ripe with musical talent! All the best-Tim

Rik K

I doubt that you’ll find a Zappa fan who equally likes every bit of Frank’s oeuvre. There are as many kinds of FZ fan as there are the myriad styles of music the man performed. For me, especially as I’ve gotten older, I listen pretty much exclusively to Zappa’s instrumental jazz from the early 1970s. To me, this music is his most timeless and artistically valuable; thankfully there’s a lot of it! Whereas Zappa’s rock, and especially his outrageous lyrics, appealed to me as a teenager and were an important part of growing up. But as I near 60, that music seldom appeals to me anymore. Speaking personally, by the time of “Zappa in New York”, Frank had already passed his artistic peak. Oh yes, he was still creating some great instrumental music like Purple Lagoon and The Black Page. But if I were to buy this new deluxe edition, I’d only be cherry-picking a few choice tracks from it. The rest of it I’d not listen to. So, not a purchase that would hold much value for me, given the price.

David McIntyre

Quick note on CD4. It states that track one is Purple Lagoon/Any kind of pain. Now I’ve not followed Zappa releases much since Civilisation phase 3 back in 1993 but I’m pretty sure that Any kind of pain came out in 1988 as part of the Broadway the hard way album and not as part of the 1978 In New York album, unless that tune dates from that period but only got an official release in 1988.

On an unrelated note, the only Zappa albums that I’ve purchased since his death have been the Dance me this and Zappa/Wazoo albums. Both essential in my ‘umble opinion. However the Trance Fusion guitar album only seems to be available at inflated prices on the web which is a shame as what I’ve heard of it sounds awesome


Any Kind Of Pain actually stems from this period and was played once at the Palladium concerts in 1976. Later it was rehearsed for the 1981 tour (but didn’t find it’s way into any of the concerts), before finally being played in 1988 and ending up on Broadway The Hard Way. It will be interesting to hear this 1976-version! (source: the fantastic FZ-site globalia.net/donlope/fz/)


David, it is indeed the same tune (without vocals). It’s just been made available on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/track/07yIfpo35iCTTpYfffHQAE?si=8OZMjHqbR6uNi6u2f1HxkA

David McIntyre

Thanks for the replies, always nice to learn new things :))

Kevin M

Great tin!

“Chrissy Puked Twice”… lol, I don’t know that one.


It’s also known as ‘Titties and Beer’ :-)


Zappa always managed to elicit extremes of reaction and opinion, which was entirely consistent with his approach to his work and his audience. Love him or hate him, they simply don’t make them like that anymore (well, they don’t sign them anymore, at least). My introduction to Zappa was ‘Absolutely Free’ in late ’67, and I immediately got into ‘Freak Out!’ after that. I ignored a lot of what he did during the ’70s, save the odd release like ‘One Size Fits All’, but I was intrigued by the controversy around ‘Lather’, and got back into his stuff with ‘Sheik Yerbouti’, ‘Joe’s Garage’ and ‘You Are What You Is’.

For me, Zappa’s many releases through the mid-’70s to mid ’80s alternated between frustrating and entrancing, but I was fully on for the ride by the time he got a hold of his back catalog and started the big re-release campaign through Rykodisc in the late ’80s. One by one I picked all of the ’70s releases I’d missed the first time around. I was never that big on ‘New York’ when it came out, but this (second) expanded version looks like a winner to me, at least in the CD box format. So…I’m going for it. Now, Id’ like to see a vinyl box release for ‘Lather’ in its original ’70s intended form. ‘Lather’ gave nods the Zappa’s past and present, and hinted at where he was going next…


It sucks to see all those “Limited Edition” boxsets!
If you don’t have the money to buy them as soon as they are released, a couple of years later their price skyrockets.
I need to buy the Roxy box as well. Oh my…

Anyway, it is great to see this released since Zappa in New York is a killer live album!

Punky Meadows

At this point, why not just release the 4 shows in their entirety? Only hard core Zappa fans are going to buy this anyway.


I like the Zappa releases that include full concerts. Zappa was notorious for editing live performances and overdubbing them, and I love when new sets (such as the Roxy) “corrects” that. This one is odd with the original (edited) LP + bonus tracks… Why not give us all the concerts? (BTW I am still waiting for the full Helsinki concerts from 1974 without the butchered bass drum sound!)


More things to wait for this year.

Mike Leek

Awesome – I’ a sucker for all things Uncle Meat…


Once Zappa started using this “freewheeling” lyrical/titling approach, I find myself becoming less and less interested. As Zappa becomes less interested in songs and more interested in musicianship, things become patchy for me.

Still, at least his method gifted us one of the best jokes in “This Is Spinal Tap”…

Charlie Waffles

does this column work? I try to post comments but they never materialize.

Johnny T.

The same thing has been happening to me.

anthony wolkowski

Phew !!! Thankfully the most overated artist in music, if you can call it that. Contents of my wallet are safe for another week.


…the most overrated artist in music…….Are you serious???


It’s perfectly fine for you not to like Frank Zappa. There are many ‘musicians’ whose contribution to music is of no interest to me too. However it’s neither informative or particularly clever to rubbish the entire oeuvre of an artist who many people on here adore just to tell us that. Maybe save your commenting for constructive and useful comments?


Right, Nick !
When i am so down sometimes at home i play Sheik Yerbouti and sing the lyrics i know by heart while listening to it and it erases my blues…

Stuart Ansell

Very well said Nick. Cheap sniping rather than merely saying, ‘not for me, I’m not a fan’ is absolutely not the way forward. I’m happy for people to not like the music I like, as it’s totally fine for me to not like anyone else’s taste in music, but it’s all down to the way we express that option.

Keep it positive, keep it constructive, keep this site a lovely place for generally like minded people to share their mutual love of music.


Thanks, Nick. You took the words right out of my mouth!

John Ireland

The version of the original album being released is the censored version with Punky’s removed and Titties and Beer edited. I had hope for the original uncensored album to be reissued but the master for that apparently doesn’t exist anymore.

Johnny T.

Re: Titties & Beer…
same version, different edit, on Läther
same version, different edit, on Have I Offended Someone?

Re: Punky’s Whips
“It wasn’t until a CD reissue in 1991 that the song officially saw the light of day.”
This statement is somewhat inaccurate. Although from a different year, 1977, a version PW was officially released in 1983 on the Baby Snakes soundtrack picture disc.


…though the CD package is PERFECT !

Max Mazing

Here we go again, the ZFT forces us to buy the umpteenth edition of an album to get hold of a few „bonus“-tracks, packages the lot in a seemingly fancy box and makes huge amounts of money. Ain’t this what living is all about?


Yeah, man. It’s not like we have the choice to not buy it!


…forces…few…seemigly…huge… : )


Actually the contents of disk one have never appeared on cd in his arrangement. The cd of Zappa In New York you may have is a completely different mix.


Do you know if Bob Ludwig mastered the other CDs in the CD boxset or just the one CD?


Failed opportunity for the 3rd record on the LP to include more live tracks (those on the 1991 CD for example…)

Uncle Meat

Nice one, but it won’t match last year’s Roxy set.

Stuart Ansell

The Roxy set was stupendous – this’ll merely be magnificent. I can live with that!


That box would actually be the berfect packaging for the LPs.