Frank Zappa Ryko CDs of Apostrophe(') and One Size Fits All with Au20 mastering

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by dlokazip, Sep 9, 2010.

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  1. dlokazip

    dlokazip Forum Transient Thread Starter

    Location:
    Austin, TX, USA
    Since I wrote this as a reply in the "Frank Zappa - The Man From Utopia" thread, I think there are some people that may not have seen it. It could, also, be hard to find in a search. As such, I am reposting it as a new thread.

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    The Ryko CD versions of Apostrophe(') and One Size Fits All are known to have some digital reverb added to them. It's not as bad as some titles (Zappa In New York), but just enough to be annoying. In addition, it was discovered that the CD of Apostrophe(') was derived from the quadrophonic mix rather than the original stereo mix. Among the differences are a longer intro to "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow", a shorter ending guitar solo for "Uncle Remus", and missing (or inaudible) violin in "Excentrifugal Forz".

    In 1996, the ZFT released both of these titles in Au20 limited edition Gold CDs. These CDs contained the original, dry stereo LP mixes and were very popular amongst the hardcore fans. Nowadays, these go for about $100 apiece on ebay.

    Somewhere between 1998 and 2000, the masters for the Au20 CDs were, inexpicably, being used for some runs of the standard Ryko CDs. Nobody knows exactly how or why this happened, but they were being released like this for about a year or two before Ryko reverted back to the "FZ Approved" masters. This anamoly has never been explained.

    Great efforts went into trying to identify these CD through matrix numbers and other means, but there were no truly identifying marks. The CDs that were manufactured from the Au20 masters looked exactly like those that were not. It was determined that the only way to tell the difference is to actually listen to the CDs.

    But, there is another method. There are some timing differences on some of the tracks between the two versions of each CD.

    For instance, on Apostrophe('), "Uncle Remus" is longer on the Au20 CD (standard stereo mix) than it is on the standard Ryko CD (quad mix). If you are on ebay, you can ask the seller of a used CD to place the CD into a player to see how long track 8 is. If it is 2:44, it is the regular CD. If it is 2:49, it is the coveted Au20 version.

    Now, the Au20 One Size Fits All contained the same stereo mix as the standard Ryko CD (sans the reverb), so this shouldn't work for that one, right? Wrong. Apparently, there is some extra silence between the "sides" of the program. So, "Po-jama People" (track 4) is 7:39 on the regular CD, but 7:43 on the Au20 version.

    (All of these timings are +/- one second, depending on the player.)

    Obviously, this method will not work for sealed CDs and, on the used ones, the seller will wonder why you are asking such a silly question, but it does work. By using this method, you can get the best sounding CDs of Apostrophe(') and One Size Fits All for a great price.

    I do apologize for the long-winded explanation. Please let me know if I need to clarify anything.
     
    ShawnX, Simon A and 1970 like this.
  2. Thanks again for the info, I did catch it in the MFU thread and found I did have the AU mastering for One Size Fits All.:wave:
     
  3. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Location:
    Boston MA
    I've got the gold releases. Nice cds!
     
  4. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Location:
    Maryland, U.S.A.
    Glad I have these. They ARE awesome sounding discs.
     
  5. Thks for the background info, I do like the Zappa AU20s.
     
  6. rstamberg

    rstamberg Senior Member

    Location:
    Riverside, CT
    +1
     
  7. carledwards

    carledwards Forum Resident

    Yes, these 2 are essential and probably the best sound in the FZ digital discography.
     
  8. OnTheRoad

    OnTheRoad Forum Resident

    I've got the Au20 mastering of 'Apostrophe' and a Ryko 'One Size Fits All'. Sure enough, I just checked, and my Pojama People is 7:43 !! Yay !! I always thought my cd sounded fantastic, now I see one reason why !!

    I checked out the same 'One Size Fits All' from my local library, a Ryko, and it's also 7:43. I don't doubt your claims here and I'm wondering...

    Does anyone here have the Ryko that has Pojama People clocking in at only 7:39 ?
     
  9. fuse999

    fuse999 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas
    I do have that one.
     
  10. OnTheRoad

    OnTheRoad Forum Resident

    So your's is a 1995 Zappa approved master ?

    I can't remember if One Size came out on cd before the 'approved' masters. I have several from ~1988, like Waka-Jawaka, that sound fine. Never heard the need for the '95 approved master.

    I'd like to do an A/B comparison.
     
  11. ModernDayWarrior

    ModernDayWarrior Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rahway, NJ, USA
    What about the 80's Ryko cd twofer of Apostrophe/Overnight Sensation? Which version would that one be?
     
  12. fuse999

    fuse999 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas
    This one is marked 818 Pumpkin 12/88 and RCD 10095 1DA2
     
  13. fuse999

    fuse999 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas
    Mine appears to be the regular cd version
     
  14. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
    Does these Au20s have obi or cap?
     
  15. Black Elk

    Black Elk Music Lover

    Location:
    Bay Area, U.S.A.
    They have a J-card.
     
  16. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
    Thank you for the reply.
     
  17. pdenny

    pdenny 18-Year SHTV Participation Trophy Recipient

    I finally got the APOSTROPHE AU20 from a forum member at a great price, but thanks for the ONE SIZE tip!!! :righton:
     
  18. ModernDayWarrior

    ModernDayWarrior Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rahway, NJ, USA
    So it's the version without the reverb?
     
  19. ModernDayWarrior

    ModernDayWarrior Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rahway, NJ, USA
    Anyone?

    Just wanted to know if the 1986 2fer that I have of Apostrophe/Overnight Sensation is the the reverb free version as opposed to the 1995 remaster version?
     
  20. Vivaldinization

    Vivaldinization Active Member

    Location:
    .
    Taking advantage of my lunch break:

    This is actually sort of a weird issue. In brief: all non-Au20 (or clone) versions of "Apostrophe" use a variation on the Quad mix from the 1970s. Of these, both the original Ryko twofer and the '95 disc are liberally swimming in reverb.

    Curiously, the Zappa Records version of the twofer doesn't seem to have the reverb, or has much less, despite also using the quad reduction. However, the Zappa Records twofer also suffers from right-channel problems that inhere in all of the remasters dating from the time period, so is best avoided.

    If you want Apostrophe without reverb, then, your choices are: a) the Au20 for the original mix, and b) a needle-drop of the quad mix for the remix.
     
  21. ModernDayWarrior

    ModernDayWarrior Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rahway, NJ, USA
    I was in a used record store today and saw the One Size Fits All Ryko for $5. Then I thought about this thread so I figured I'd take a chance and buy it. When I got home I checked the time of Po-jama People. It's the 7:43 Au20 version! I'm so glad I snatched it up! Thanks so much for the info dlokazip! This board rocks! (even though it's gonna make me broke someday. LOL)
     
    Simon A likes this.
  22. dlokazip

    dlokazip Forum Transient Thread Starter

    Location:
    Austin, TX, USA
    Glad that I could help. Enjoy!
     
  23. Steel Horse

    Steel Horse Forum Resident

    Location:
    Uppsala, SWEDEN
    One size fits all in AU Gold........ Safe in my cabinet. Sweet music. :righton:
     
  24. Taylan

    Taylan Forum Resident

    On the back covers of the allegedly Au20 masterings, the timing for the songs mentioned in the original posts are the same as the original CD but if you put the CD in a player, you can see it has the timings of the much sought after Au20 masterings, correct me if i am wrong?
     
  25. italianprog

    italianprog Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    My copy has the same timings as the original CD printed on the back CD insert, but the Au20 timings when inserted into a player, yes, that is correct.

    So, you will not be able to tell just from looking at the back of the jewel case, in other words.
     
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