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Hot Rats Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 July 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Zappa Records
  • ASIN: B008BDZP3K
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,051 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
1
30
3:38
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2
30
9:23
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3
30
8:57
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4
30
3:08
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5
30
12:54
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6
30
5:17
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Digital Booklet: Hot Rats
Digital Booklet: Hot Rats
Album Only

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For the first time ever, the 1969 mix of Frank Zappa's 'Hot Rats' has been released on CD. This album was released long before I was born, so my first approach to it was in its 1987 remix encarnation. I considered it a masterpiece back then, and I must say it is not a bad remix, but the original is superior nevertheless. First of all, the sound has more low end, therefore the instruments sound "fatter" (especially bass and drums). This original mix is also drier and clearer compared to the 1987 mix which featured reverb and an overall not very pleasing "tinny" sound quality. However, the remix featured a longer "Gumbo Variations" and some extra flute work on "Little Umbrellas", but some sped-up percussion parts are sorely missed. There are many other differences, some of them much more subtle.
A lot has been said about this album. It is one of FZ's masterpieces. He makes a clever use of the then state-of-the-art 16-track recording system to orchestrate his magnificent compositions always avoiding to sound excessive or overloaded with sonic information. A special mention must be done to Ian Underwood, who plays all winds and keyboards like the extraordinary multi-instrumentist he is.
Conclusion: the original mix (the one recovered for this 2012 reissue) sounds great. The 1987 mix (previous CD editions) has some sound deffects, but featured extra material. If you love this album, try to get both (I'm sure you have at least the old CD version by now if you love it!). If you have to choose, pick the ORIGINAL MIX, mark my word.
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Format: Audio CD
Apologies for the slightly corny review title but it's pinched from Chris Welch's piece from the 1969 issue of Melody Maker which reviewed Frank's wonderful instrumental masterpiece. The impact that Hot Rats made at the time was huge. One of the first ever 16-track recordings, we'd not heard anything like it before. The brilliant melodies, the beautiful interweaving flutes, clarinets, saxophones, keyboards, percussion and guitar, knitted together with FZ's distinctive, creative arrangements, were quite stunning. I'd hesitate to describe it simply as jazz-rock - but if you're new to FZ, it's a helpful enough definition of what you'll get. In reality, its boundaries spread somewhat wider, from the bluesy Willie the Pimp to the almost indefinable It Must Be A Camel, one of my favourite ever FZ compositions, which is kind of jazzy but has hints of the orchestral Zappa yet to come, notwithstanding the few titbits to be found on Lumpy Gravy. With Hot Rats, we get our first real taste of Zappa the incredible guitarist, from the acoustic coupled with a wah-wah pedal on Peaches En Regalia, through the rocking electric of Willie the Pimp and Son of Mr. Green Genes, to the fat, mellow jazz break on the final track. Yes, out of the blue, as if the rest of the album wasn't enough, we have a guitar hero too! Regarding the comments elsewhere about the mix of the CD, I would agree that it is very different from the vinyl. But words such as "disaster" and "beware" are ridiculous. However, if you only have the CD, then the LP is worth tracking down. Frank remixed almost his entire catalogue to CD in the early nineties, knowing he did not have long to live.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
I used to own and love the vinyl version of this album but when I bought the CD I was horrified!
It has been severely remixed and the balance of the album has been altered dramatically and, to my mind, detrimentally.
I wish I still had the vinyl or that the original mix was released on CD. This just sounds wrong.
13 Comments 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Do not buy this..., 12 Dec 2008
By I Stoddart(Scotland) - See all my reviews

Speaking as a long-term FZ fan, I would advise everyone who knows the original genius of Hot Rats NOT to buy this. The remix has substantially altered the original tracks for the worse. Little Umbrellas and the Gumbo Variations have become sterile track overlays, and the zenith of Ian Underwood's marvellous sax solo on the original Gumbo is flatly edited into a modern(?)piece of layered desperation. Even though I am a substantial collector of CDs my advice would be to buy the vinyl rather than this 'empty pantomime'. I can only believe that Frank, if he was responsible for this, was too ill to realise what he was doing. A plea to the FZ estate - please allow us to have a digital version of the original, for Frank's sake...
5 Comments 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Yeah, it's a cracking record that has well stood the test of time. Some of the flourish on it has made many people describe 'Hot Rats' as jazz, which is maybe a little misleading.
Zappa was a zany and often inspired creator, whose records could swing from beauty to near-banality. Hot Rats is perhaps his most consistent and satisfying offering, with subtle arrangments, a rock edge and the trademark walkie-talkie guitar. Other than a brief guest appearance from Captain Beefheart - as "Willie the Pimp" - it is entirely instrumental.
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Format: Audio CD
This was the first Zappa album i bought and right from the start of 'Peaches En Regalia' (reason enough to buy this album) to the end of 'It Must Be A Camel' this is a fantastic classic album. If you are familiar with Zappa's music (especially with the MOI) then you will love this album. If you haven't heard any of his stuff then this album is the most accessible and all of the tracks will grow on you eventually. Buy It!
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