Thursday, October 14, 2004

Review - Quaudiophiliac

Artist: Frank Zappa

Posted on Thu, Oct 14, 2004 at 4:00 AM

In the '70s, the notion of "quadrophonic" sound reproduction was an ill-timed novelty. People's stereos were, well, stereo – not set up in the "home theater" fashion of today. Quad record players and receivers were expensive, the albums were expensive and, honestly, nobody really cared. Stereo was perfectly trippy, thank you very much. Of course, that didn't stop audio tinkerer Zappa from creating a trove of multichannel mixes. Some were crafted in "quad," while others were made in a more theater-like surround mix that employed a front-center speaker. Only two Zappa albums – Apostrophe and Over-Nite Sensation – were actually released as quadrophonic discs, which means there's a lot of multichannel Zappa lying around in the vaults. This DVD-Audio disc, compiled by Dweezil Zappa, is the first of what's likely to be many surround-sound Zappa discs and it's got all the hallmarks of Zappa's experimental flair. Although much of the material (recorded/mixed between 1970 and 1978) consists of quad versions of released tracks, several cuts are unreleased. Several tracks are live versions, but the studio cuts (like "Chunga Basement") are far more playful.

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