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Frank Zappa | Zappa in New York 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

The rock iconoclast's legendary live album is bigger, badder and bolder than ever.

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It’s gross and perverted. It’s obsessed and deranged. It has existed for years. But very little has changed. Until now. Four decades after its arrival, sardonic rock iconoclast Frank Zappa’s legendary double-live album Zappa in New York is back — bigger, badder, bolder and browner than ever. And that’s no small feat. The original was a monster to begin with: Four sides of hilarious weirdness and incredible musicianship distilled from a handful of performances at the Big Apple’s Palladium during Christmas week of 1976, fleshed out with studio overdubs after the fact. Although Zappa and his various incarnations of the Mothers made a slew of essential live albums over the decades — and yes, I’m one of those guys who has them all — New York earns its place at the top of the list thanks to an all-star lineup of players (including a six-piece horn section) and a set list dominated by unforgettable, ribald new material (including the twisted Titties & Beer, Illinois Enema Bandit and Honey, Don’t You Want a Man Like Me?, along with the fiendishly complex Black Page drum solo). In this massive upgrade, the newly remastered original 10-track offering is expanded with four full CDs of new material, including at least one version of every other composition performed during the run (more then a dozen gems, from vintage classics like Penis Dimension and Cruisin’ for Burgers to ’70s faves like Dinah-Moe Humm, I’m The Slime and the notorious Punky’s Whips), alternate versions of the previously released tracks, plenty of between-song banter (“Behave; we’re recording this,” Zappa jokingly scolds the raucous crowd at one point) and a new version of Black Page performed on piano by longtime percussionist virtuoso Ruth Underwood. Plus it comes housed in a metal replica of a manhole cover, along with copious liner notes, photos and a replica ticket. Even the most casual fan will squirm with ecstasy.