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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:36 am 
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Just occurred to me that FZ' discography between JABFLA and One Size Fits All contains a three year gap full of LP's all sides of which are under 20 minutes. Before that, longer running times were the norm for 1969-72. This would culminate in Apostrophe being Zappa's shortest album since Lumpy Gravy (both seem to clock in at around 31:45). Just a coincidence? Or perhaps a result of the mid-70s oil crisis not allowing for pressing LPs with longer sides? I doubt (') was so short for the lack of additional music, as FZ was always prolific (The Lost Episodes contains a fair bit of material done during the same OS/(') period).

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:47 am 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
Or perhaps a result of the mid-70s oil crisis not allowing for pressing LPs with longer sides?


I guess Todd Rundgren didn't get the memo.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:06 am 
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Isaac wrote:
...it is impossible to do that -- you can only include up to 20 minutes on each LP side....


Maybe Zappa didn't know before 1972 :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:51 pm 
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Maybe a sound quality issue?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:19 am 
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Or he just thought the albums were good as they were? He could have stuck "RDNZL" and "Inca Roads" on Overnite Sensation, but although they're great tracks they might not have fit very well.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:03 am 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
Maybe a sound quality issue?

I say that or a rip off :? i think though i heard FZ say if you push the audio storage on LP the last track on each side will have reduced quality.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:12 am 
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cleon wrote:
downer mydnyte wrote:
Maybe a sound quality issue?

I say that or a rip off :? i think though i heard FZ say if you push the audio storage on LP the last track on each side will have reduced quality.

That's true, and I wonder if it might have been one reason to put the (soundwise) dense Brown Shoes Don't Make It as the first track on Mothermania - in addition to being a great start of the album.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:16 am 
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pbuzby wrote:
Or he just thought the albums were good as they were? He could have stuck "RDNZL" and "Inca Roads" on Overnite Sensation, but although they're great tracks they might not have fit very well.


Or even "Kung Fu" and "Wonderful Wino" avec Lancelotti on ('). Interestingly enough, in the Summer of '73 at some point FZ said that his upcoming album would be mostly vocal, but with two instrumentals. Likely that the two canned instrumentals were precisely "RDNZL" and "Inca", or perhaps FZ was still in two minds about using Lancelotti's vocal track for "50/50". I reckon "RDNZL" on ONS would've fulfilled the similar role to "20 Small Cigars" on Chunga's Revenge - an instrumental jazz oasis in the midst of more commercial rock tracks with salacious lyrics.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:49 pm 
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A lot of Rock Bands including FZ would place tracks in a purposeful way, I believe this started with the Beach Boys and the first "Concept" album "Pet Sounds"...it has been said the record company did not understand this but allowed it since they were making money, from there the Beatles picked up on it and nearly every band that matter after that placed the tracks with a purpose and "Concept" albums were the rule rather than the exception...I always thought FZ was one of the greats at track placement, along with Todd, Pink Floyd, ELP, XTC, BAD, and many others...

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:21 pm 
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On a related note, afka.net recently posted an interview from early 74 where FZ claimed Warners would no longer allow double albums, although he violated this with R&E.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:22 pm 
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There be a lot more Double Albums if Vinyl didn't bite the dust with "Broadway The Hard Way" still though Double Cassette lasted a while longer 3 years with YCDTOSA VOL4 there was one last Vinyl Ep 1991 "Stairway To Heaven/Bolero"

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:36 pm 
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Plook wrote:
A lot of Rock Bands including FZ would place tracks in a purposeful way, I believe this started with the Beach Boys and the first "Concept" album "Pet Sounds"
FZ didn't make Concept Albums 1972-74 every fucker put 1 then 2 ect.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:49 pm 
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pbuzby wrote:
He could have stuck "Inca Roads" on Overnite Sensation, but although they're great tracks they might not have fit very well.

Overnite Sensation was out before Inca roads was recorded :shock:

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:57 pm 
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cleon wrote:
pbuzby wrote:
He could have stuck "Inca Roads" on Overnite Sensation, but although they're great tracks they might not have fit very well.

Overnite Sensation was out before Inca roads was recorded :shock:


The Lost Episodes version of "Inca Roads" with Ponty was recorded before the release of Overnite.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:13 pm 
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pbuzby wrote:
cleon wrote:
pbuzby wrote:
He could have stuck "Inca Roads" on Overnite Sensation, but although they're great tracks they might not have fit very well.

Overnite Sensation was out before Inca roads was recorded :shock:


The Lost Episodes version of "Inca Roads" with Ponty was recorded before the release of Overnite.

And a load of years went by where they played it live and could of used them but FZ didn't until after After Overnite Sensation was released Maybe he could not find the version released in 1996 when he was looking in 1974 8)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:33 pm 
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Concept albums began with jazz and Sinatra in the '50s when folks wanted more than the current hit to justify the purchase.

The last song on an LP side was often difficult to master in that the needle traveled more rapidly in the spinning disc and it could be trouble holding the groove.

The RIAA curve was designed, in part, to ensure improvements in sound recording with greater dynamic range took into account the physical limitations of records.

FZ did record for labels that mastered solid, well-performing discs. Both Verve and Bizarre were good. Columbia Records really set the standard. LPs released on Columbia played better and were far less likely to skip (you were always returning records that skipped - that zipper cover on Sticky Fingers fucked up a lot of records, Rolling Stones Records, manufactured by Atlantic, took back a lot of product).

Cost-cutting in the '70s and thinner platters mass-produced to keep up with booming sales made the defective disc problem considerably worse. Very few FZ albums I bought needed returning, but I got to the point with Warner/Reprise that I seriously considered not buying records I liked because Warners Records were likely to be scratchy.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:51 am 
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cleon wrote:
there was one last Vinyl Ep 1991 "Stairway To Heaven/Bolero"

I never knew it was the last released Zappa vinyl, it was one of the first Zappa records I ever had 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:16 pm 
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dc boogie wrote:
cleon wrote:
... i heard FZ say if you push the audio storage on LP the last track on each side will have reduced quality.

That's true, and I wonder if it might have been one reason to put the (soundwise) dense Brown Shoes Don't Make It as the first track ...


don't save the hottest tracks for last on the side


modern recording, march '78 wrote:
mr: how would you design an album in terms of level and time?

fz: one of the things you have to think about when you are sequencing an album is what kind of
song you're going to end each side with because the tone quality is going to suffer on that song; it's
always better to go with something that is softer as the last song on each side, because if you want
to save your hottest number until the last cut on an album, it's not going to sound as loud; it's hard
to keep the level if the side goes over 18 minutes.

i'm trying to put the most powerful cuts on the outside of the groove so i have all the top and bottom
left, but sometimes i can't do that ...

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:00 pm 
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This is probably the most interesting stuff I have read on here in a long time. Vinyl was a bit before my time so I never really got the mechanics of it all but this does make lots of sense now. Good to know Brown Shoes didn't suffer so much as it was not the last track.

Song placing really is important, if the flow isn't there what could be an amazing album can come off as just 'good'.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:57 pm 
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Notice Zappa's "18 minutes" comment. Which would mean Montana didn't sacrifice quality as the last track because the side is less than 18 minutes. But it's probably not an exact science.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:13 pm 
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NuclearProstate wrote:
Good to know Brown Shoes didn't suffer so much as it was not the last track.

I do think it suffered a bit placed towards the end of Absolutely Free! and that's possibly one reason why Zappa decided to put it at the beginning of Mothermania.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:17 am 
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If Issac ever reads this thread he's going to have a kanipshin fit! :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:58 pm 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
Notice Zappa's "18 minutes" comment. Which would mean Montana didn't sacrifice quality as the last track because the side is less than 18 minutes. But it's probably not an exact science.
applying a chicken to my overnite sensation vinyl, the 1st groove starts about -inch from the edge [11⅕-inch diameter on a 12-inch record] the last groove is approx 5½ inches diameter; spinning at 33 rpm, the needle travels approx 19⅜ inches in the groove during the 1st second [0.55 revolutions], only 9½ inches during the last second ... same musical info, less than half the space for the needle to pick it up

there must be ways to partially compensate for this; wider grooves at the end of the record ¿

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:14 am 
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"there must be ways to partially compensate for this; wider grooves at the end of the record ¿ " And that's exactly what they did. If you look at some of the run outs of higher fidelity vinyl lps (for instance original issue: Living Presence Mercury or RCA Red Seal pressings), you will notice some extended gapping in the grooves as they head towards the center of the disc. This is really easy to spot on 12" dance mixes at 45 rpm as well (I believe the Dancing Fool 12" has this phenomena as well). BTW, you can easily cram 30-40 minutes on the side of an album, as long as the dynamic range isn't critical (many spoken word lps were pressed this way). Some of Bob Dylan Columbia lps were 25-28 minutes to a side. If those had been on ABC or MCA they would have skipped from here to Australia. But because CBS was always careful with their mastering, the Dylan albums always sounded fine to me.


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