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White Hot Stamper

Frank Zappa and The Mothers...
Absolutely Free

  (Item #: zappaabsol_1704) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • A Top Copy -- Triple Plus (A+++) on the second side, Double Plus on the first
  • You will not believe how rich and Tubey Magical this copy is, and yet so CLEAR and undistorted
  • If you've suffered through reissues or the dreadful CD you are going to flip out over the sound here
  • 4 1/2 Stars Allmusic: "By turns hilarious, inscrutable, and virtuosically complex... a fabulously inventive record..."
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White Hot Stamper

Frank Zappa
Waka/Jawaka

  (Item #: zappawakaj_1609s) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • This copy is an absolute KNOCKOUT, with Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides
  • A Top 100 Title, and deservedly so: the sound is HUGE - big, rich, punchy, lively and clear
  • The size and power of a big band, Zappa style, with White Hot Stamper sound? There is (almost*) nothing like it
  • Rolling Stone raved that it's "...some of the best material he's done in years."
See all of our Frank Zappa and Mothers of Invention albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Frank Zappa
Apostrophe (')

  (Item #: zappaapost_1705) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • A Top Copy, with a Triple Plus (A+++) side one and a Double Plus (A++) side two
  • The sound is dramatically bigger, richer and smoother than on the typical pressing
  • A surprisingly impressive recording when you get your hands on a copy like this with The Real Sound
  • 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic and Zappa's only album to crack the Top Ten
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Super Hot Stamper

Frank Zappa
Cruising With Ruben & The Jets

  (Item #: zappacruis_1705) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • An excellent copy with both sides rating a solid Double Plus (A++) or better
  • Both sides here are killing it -- big, full and solid with a big bottom end and tons of energy
  • It's a classic of twisted Doo-Wop that belongs in your collection. At least we think you should give it a chance anyway; hearing it sound this good might just make a believer out of you
  • The new CD - with its modernized sound and wrong-headed re-recorded rhythm tracks - is a bad joke next to the top original pressings
See all of our Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Frank Zappa
Hot Rats

  (Item #: zappahotra_1705_1) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • A stunning sounding copy with each side rating a Double Plus (A++) or better!
  • Both sides here are excellent -- big, rich and full with a massive bottom end and lots of energy
  • A tough record to find good sound for - many originals are just plain awful and they don't come cheap
  • 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic: "Fuses the compositional sophistication of jazz with rock's down-and-dirty attitude."
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White Hot Stamper

Frank Zappa
The Grand Wazoo

  (Item #: zappagrand_1703) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • KILLER sound from start to finish: Triple Plus on side two, nearly that good (A++ to A+++) on side one
  • DEMO DISC QUALITY - full-bodied, rich, spacious, BIG and PRESENT, with zero smear
  • The Tubey Magical keyboards found on the title cut are really something to hear, especially on this copy
  • The Grand Wazoo now gets my vote as the best sounding record Zappa ever made (along with Absolutely Free)
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Super Hot Stamper

Frank Zappa and The Mothers...
Absolutely Free

  (Item #: zappaabsol_1704_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A killer original pressing on both sides of one of Zappa's best, with Double Plus (A++) sound and fairly quiet vinyl
  • Rich and Tubey Magical yet cut so cleanly and clearly there's practically no distortion - this sound is rare in our experience
  • If you've suffered through the reissues or the dreadful CD you are going to flip out over the sound here
  • 4 1/2 Stars Allmusic: "By turns hilarious, inscrutable, and virtuosically complex... a fabulously inventive record..."
See all of our Frank Zappa albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Frank Zappa
Apostrophe (')

  (Item #: zappaapost_1611_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • An outstanding copy, earning seriously good grades of Double Plus (A++) or better on both sides
  • Superb vocal presence with a solid bottom end and tons of presence -- elements that make this copy unusually impressive
  • Guaranteed to beat your old copy and the recent reissue or your money back (of course)
  • 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic and Zappa's only album to crack the Top Ten
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Super Hot Stamper

Frank Zappa & Captain Beefheart
Bongo Fury

  (Item #: zappabongo_1705_1) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • Excellent sound for this classic Zappa & Beefheart album with both sides earing a Double Plus (A++) or better
  • The overall sound is clean, clear and open with excellent bass and lots of energy
  • Muffin Man is obviously the high point here - it's one of my All Time Favorite songs and never fails to bring a smile
  • "This is the last album to feature the highly technical jazz fusion of Mothers of Invention, whose roots can be traced back to 1973 circa Over-Nite Sensation."
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Super Hot Stamper

Frank Zappa
Waka/Jawaka

  (Item #: zappawakaj_1610s) 

Our Price: $169.99
Sale Price: $129.00 (You save $40.99 / 24%)


  • Double Plus (A++) sound means this copy delivers plenty of Zappa's Waka/Jawaka Big Band Magic
  • A Top 100 Title, and deservedly so: the sound is big, rich, punchy, lively and clear
  • The size and power of a big band, Frank Zappa style - there is (almost*) nothing like it
  • Rolling Stone raved that this Jazz Rock Fusion album contains "...some of the best material he's done in years."
See all of our Frank Zappa and Mothers of Invention albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Frank Zappa
Fillmore East - June 1971

  (Item #: zappafillm_1704) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Superb sound from start to finish - Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on both sides
  • Side one has some of the strongest, funniest, most politically incorrect material: The Mud Shark, What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are? and Bwana Dik
  • When you can hear it right this is an incredibly fun live album with surprisingly good sound
  • Thanks god Flo and Eddie (AKA The Turtles) have the vocal chops and then some to pull off this hilarious comic opera
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Hot Stamper

Frank Zappa
Fillmore East - June 1971

  (Item #: zappafillm_1701_1) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • A very good sounding copy, with both sides earning excellent Hot Stamper grades and with quiet vinyl to boot
  • Side one has some of the strongest, funniest, most politically incorrect material: The Mud Shark, What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are? and Bwana Dik
  • When you can hear it right this is an incredibly fun live album with surprisingly good sound
  • Thanks god Flo and Eddie (AKA The Turtles) have the vocal chops and then some to pull off this hilarious comic opera
See all of our Frank Zappa and Mothers of Invention albums in stock


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Frank Zappa & The Mothers - Freak Out!

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: zappafreak_2010) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Jazz Hall of Fame.

No Demo Disc by any stretch, this Hot Stamper beat the pants off of what appears to be a true first pressing that we just happened to have on hand. Most pressings of this double album are just awful, if you can even find one that's clean enough to bother playing. Our copy here earned grades of A Plus on sides one, two and four, and a grade of A Double Plus on side three. No copy in our shootout earned a higher grade than A++, for the simple reason that we just can't find enough clean original copies with which to do a definitve shootout.

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Frank Zappa - Apostrophe (')

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: zappaapost_2015) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

An incredible copy of Zappa's legendary Apostrophe, one of his most commercially successful albums and, more importantly to folks like us, one of his best sounding. We've been picking up copies for years in hopes that we could find one with the kind of sound we've heard on the best copies of Waka/Jawaka and Hot Rats, but it's taken us until 2015 to get one up on the site.

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Frank Zappa - Burnt Weeny Sandwich

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: zappaburnt_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

The better copies such as this one had a healthy dose of the Tubey Magical richness found on the better analog recordings from the late '60s and '70s (1970 in this case). One of Frank Zappa’s more interesting releases, with a combination of groundbreaking live and studio material, like Chunga's and Weasils.

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Frank Zappa - Chunga's Revenge

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: zappachung_2008) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

This Bizarre Blue Label LP plays about as quietly as they ever do. Zappa in this period provides a musical wild ride on record like no other artist of his day. For those of you who appreciate his music this album is guaranteed to provide plenty of entertainment and will surely reward repeated plays. I listened to it hundreds of times in my high school days; to this day it holds a special place in my collection.

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Frank Zappa - Cruising With Ruben & The Jets

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: zappacruis_2013) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This is an album of greasy love songs & cretin simplicity. We made it because we really like this kind of music (just a bunch of old men with rock & roll clothes sitting around the studio, mumbling about the good old days). Ten years from now you'll be sitting around with your friends someplace doing the same thing if there's anything left to sit on.

From the Liner Notes


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Frank Zappa - Fillmore East - June 1971

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: zappafillm_2014) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

KILLER SOUND ON QUIET VINYL -- what are the odds? We're big fans of this album, and Zappa in general, but it's incredibly difficult to find copies that do justice to the music. The vinyl is typically thrashed, and even the copies in relatively clean condition usually don't sound good. This one has about the quietest vinyl you could hope for, playing Mint Minus on both sides, and the sound is just about as good as it gets!

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Frank Zappa - Hot Rats

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: zappahotra_0112) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

TWO EXCELLENT A++ SIDES! It takes us YEARS to find copies that sound like this. Bernie’s version for Classic beats a lot of copies out there, but it can’t hold a candle to this one!

I've been listening to Hot Rats since I was in high school. It's still remarkably fresh and original, even now. This is not music for the faint of heart. Audiophiles who prefer a steady diet of Patricia Barber and her like will find little of interest here. But for those of you who want to explore something completely original and a bit "out there," this should be right up your alley -- and be sure to check out Waka Jawaka too.

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Frank Zappa - Hot Rats

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: zappahotra_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: C

Another Classic Records LP debunked.

As for the Classic here, we have only one question: This is analog? You could’ve fooled me. And somebody’s been messing around with the sound of the drums on the new version -- a certain Mr. Frank Zappa no doubt. He really did the album a disservice.

Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.

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Frank Zappa - The Grand Wazoo

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: zappagrand_2015) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

The Tubey Magic found on the title cut is really something to hear. The Grand Wazoo now gets my vote as the best sounding record Zappa ever made (along with Absolutely Free).

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Frank Zappa - The Grand Wazoo

What to Listen For

  (Item #: zappagrand_wtlf) 



The Tubey Magical keyboards at the start of The Grand Wazoo are amazing sounding on the best copies. How Zappa ever decided to go digital when he managed to record so well in analog (from time to time, let's be honest) is beyond me.

Problems?

Smear on the horn transients are always an issue on this album (and Zappa's previous big band album, Waka/Jawaka). After that we would say a lack of top end is the other most common shortcoming we hear. To find a copy that's not dull and smeary is no mean feat.

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Frank Zappa - Waka/Jawaka

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: zappawakaj_2014) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

What an incredible album. I know of no other music like it in the world. It's not big band, it's not rock, it's not jazz, it's a unique amalgamation of all three with an overlay of some of Zappa's idiosyncratic compositional predilections (say that three times fast) thrown in for good measure.

In our opinion it's nothing less than Zappa's MASTERPIECE, the summation of his talents, and a record that belongs in every right-thinking audiophile's collection. (We say that about a lot of records audiophiles don't know well, but we've been doing it for most of our 27 years in this business and don't see much reason to stop now.)

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Frank Zappa - Waka/Jawaka

What to Listen For

  (Item #: zappawakaj_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of Waka/Jawaka.

Not long ago we discovered the secret to separating the men from the boys on side one: TRANSPARENCY.

On the lively, punchy, dynamic copies -- which are of course the best ones -- you can follow the drumming at the beginning of 'Big Swifty' note for note: every beat, every kick of the kick drum, every fill, every roll.

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Frank Zappa - Weasels Ripped My Flesh

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: zappawease_1013) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

TWO STUNNING A+++ SIDES! Nothing else in our shootout could touch this copy. The sound is incredibly BIG and BOLD throughout with shocking clarity, amazing presence, and wonderful transparency.

If you’re not already a Zappa fan, be warned that experimental song structures, feedback, dirty lyrics, avant garde jazz freakouts and gas mask solos (yes, you read that right) all figure into the mix here. I don’t know of anyone else who could shape that all into one amazing, fairly cohesive LP except for Zappa.

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Frank Zappa / Captain Beefheart - Bongo Fury

Our Shootout Winning Copy from 2006

  (Item #: zappabongo_2006) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

This Minty looking Discreet LP has STUNNINGLY GOOD SOUND ON BOTH SIDES! It’s very transparent and full-bodied from top to bottom. The bass is meaty and punchy, and the top end is wonderfully extended. You can hear lots of ambience the cymbals and hi-hats. It doesn't sound like there's anything between you and the music. I can't remember ever hearing this record sound so good.

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Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention - Absolutely Free

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: zappaabsol_2007) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame from 1967.

What to listen for you ask? That's an easy one. Just listen for the best sounding Mothers record ever made, because that's what the best copies can (and should) sound like.

Absolutely Free is much bigger, smoother, richer, livelier and more free from harshness, dryness and distortion than any other album we've ever played from Zappa's early period, pre-Waka Jawaka let's say. The only other records I can think of that can sound remotely as good as Absolutely Free are Cruising with Ruben & the Jets (1968) and Hot Rats (1969), and even then I really don't think they are quite in this league.

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Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention - Absolutely Free

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: zappaabsol_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame from 1967.

BY FAR the best copy to ever hit the site - White Hot on side one and Nearly White on side two. You will not believe how rich and Tubey Magical this copy is, and yet so CLEAR and undistorted. If you've suffered through reissues or the dreadful CD you are going to flip out over the sound of this copy,

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Frank Zappa

  (Item #: _Zappa) 


Frank Zappa albums in stock

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