Freak Out!What To
Get: Purists will say the two-CD "MoFo" for the vinyl mix of the album,
but the regular CD of Freak Out (any) will be okay for most people.
non-MoFo CD versions contain identical digital audio data; some tracks
are remixed, while others have been re-equalized and treated with
digital reverb. The MoFo set (either one) contains the original stereo
LP version of "Freak Out!" The mono LP is a unique mix that is not on
VERSIONS FOR COMPLETISTS: Mono vinyl, stereo vinyl or MoFo version
(either one), plus any standalone CD version. Crazy ultra-completists
may want to add a single-LP
version. [completist's guide]
- Original vinyl (blue Verve
V-65005-2 and/or V-65005-2X, July 1966 - Canadian
- Mono vinyl (blue Verve V-5005,
July 1967 - Canadian version reported with hand-written matrix
- British single LP (blue Verve SVLP
9154 in stereo, VLP 9154 in mono, March 1967)
- German single LP (blue Verve
710003 - two slightly different labels and matrix numbers reported)
- Mexican single LP (sighted in
Utrecht, April 1988)
- French vinyl (different back cover: black & white group
- Japanese vinyl (Verve SMV-9045/46, unique cover)
- New Zealand vinyl (Blue Verve V 5005 in Mono, V6 5005 in
- Record Club of America Cassette (RCOA 33909-C / Verve 6-5005-2-C)
- 8-track (Verve 85005)
- White MGM label vinyl re-issue
- British double vinyl re-issue
(Verve/Polydor Select 2683 004 (and/or 2352024), stero only, gatefold
cover, December 1971)
- "Facsimile bootleg" vinyl
- British 1985 vinyl re-issue
(Zappa 1, 1985)
- The Old Masters vinyl (Barking
Pumpkin BPR 7777-1, April 1985)
- 1988 cassette re-issue (Barking Pumpkin BPR-?)
- 1991 (?) cassette re-issue (Zappa Records TZAPPA1, 1991?)
- Original CD (Ryko RCD40062 in the US
(imported into Australia by Festival Records and re-stickered Ryko
D40723), Zappa Records CDZAP1 in the UK, October 1987; VACK 5021 in
Japan; JPCD 9810432 in Russia (picture CD))
- IRS 970.701 CD?
- 1995 CD (Ryko RCD 10501, May 2 1995;
VACK 5101 in Japan, renumbered
5236 in 1998; also in a BMG Record Club
- 1995 cassette (Ryko RAC 10501,
May 2 1995; also in a BMG Record Club
- Japanese paper-sleeve CD
(Ryko/VACK 1203, September 21 2001 - fold-out cover, sticker &
freak map included)
- MoFo: The Making of Freak Out! (2CD:
Zappa Records ZR 20005 December 5, 2006. 4CD: Zappa Records ZR 20004
December 12, 2006)
- UMe 2012 CD (Zappa Records ZR3834 [U.S.] or
0238342 [Elsewhere] July 31, 2012)
- 2012 Japanese paper-sleeve SHM-CD
(Zappa/Universal UICY-75350 November 28, 2012)
- 2013 Zappa Records 180 Gram Reissue
- "Hungry Freaks" bootleg single-LP
- Misprinted "The Raspberries'
Greatest Hits" CD
- 1990 test pressing
(Capitol / Barking Pumpkin 74208, A/B/C/D-Z1-DMM-SP, "10-9-90")
Current Version Track-listing (links to Román's stupendous
Hungry Freaks, Daddy 3:27
Ain't Got No Heart 2:33
Are The Brain Police? 3:33
Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder (FZ/Collins)
Motherly Love 2:43
Could I Be Such A Fool 2:11
Didn't Try To Call Me 3:16
Way The Wind Blows 2:54
I'm Not Satisfied 2:38
You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here 3:38
Trouble Every Day 5:49
I'm A Rock 4:43
Can't Happen Here 3:55
Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet 12:16
The original 1966 stereo mix has recently made a re-appearance
From Biffy the Elephant Shrew:
If your copy is a first pressing, it will have a box above
the triangle-shaped photo in the lower right corner of the inside
spread with an advertisement for the "Freak Map." Later copies have a
blank, empty space where the "Freak Map" ad was.
From Greg Russo (author of Cosmik
I have a few US copies of Freak Out! - a mono
(V-5005), and two stereos - one shown as V6-5005-2 and the other
as V6-5005-2X (note the additional "X"). The "X" is shown only on the
cover, as the records just say V6-5005-2. At this point, I cannot tell
a difference between the two covers other than the number on the
front - otherwise, they appear to be the same inside and out.
From Steve "Cindy" Jones:
I have a pressing from Canada. The bottom right of
the cover has "printed litho in Canada". Inside the gatefold on the
right side it has the ad for the freak-out hot spots and below that in
the corner it has "buy canadian" in a circle. At the bottom it has
"manufactured and distributed in Canada by Quality Records Limited 380
Birchmount Road, Toronto, Ontario."
Now for the records and label. The records are like this:
side 1 is backed with side 4 and side 2 is with side 3. The label is
different, it has "stereophonic" and "living sound fidelity" under the
This album is so old it was issued both in mono and stereo. Of
course, the mono version
is a bit different: it's clearly a different mix and a couple of songs
are longer. The
British single vinyl was also issued
in both stereo and
mono versions. Some or all mono versions had sides 1 and 4 on one
record, and 2 and 3 on
the other. While the mono version is presumably a different and
distinct mix, few major variations have been reported.
"You Didn't Try to Call Me" has a longer fade-out,
revealing Ray Collins plaintively exclaiming "Girl!" Also, "Trouble
Every Day" is longer by exactly one snare hit at the beginning of the
song. [Ed: The stereo vinyl version of "You Didn't Cry to Call Me" ends
cold as well]
From Chris Maxfield:
My copy does not have the Freak Map ad inside. It does have
Verve Records on the LP labels, but the label is black with silver
writing on "record one" and white with silver writing on "record two."
There does not seem to be any writing on the inner "blank groove space"
on either of the LPs. The labels say V6-5005-2 on them. There's a big
Verve Logo and the spiky "T" thingy. The bottom part of the LP labels
say: "MGM RECORDS - A DIVISION OF METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER INC. - Made In
U.S.A." but there's no address. Seems like a strange hybrid.
My copy, pu***ased in the mid-70s, has blue Verve labels
(both discs), silver print and reads "Manufactured by MGM Records, Inc.
7165 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, Calif. 90046." Same V6/5005-2, also
appears on the "groove space." I don't know what the "Freak Map ad" is,
so obviously it's not there. I have seen other versions of Freak
Out!, but not the specific one you describe. Hope this helps!
Single Vinyl Versions
- UK version (Verve SVLP 9154 in stereo, VLP 9154 in mono,
- German version (Verve 710003)
- Mexican version (sighted in Utrecht, April 1988)
The original British vinyl version was cut down to fit onto
one disc. There was both a
stereo (Verve S VLP9154) and a mono version
(Verve VLP9154), and
it was later re-issued in Britain as the double Verve Select
263004, in stereo only. The single-LP version contained these
1. Trouble Comin' Every Day
2. Help, I'm a Rock
3. The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet
4. Hungry Freaks, Daddy
5. I Ain't Got No Heart
6. Who Are the Brain Police?
7. Motherly Love
8. Wowie Zowie
9. You Didn't Try to Call Me
10. I'm Not Satisfied
11. You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here
The eliminated tracks were "Go Cry on Somebody Else's
Could I Be Such a Fool?" and "Any Way the Wind Blows". "Trouble Comin'
Every Day" was shorter (02:35). The sides were pretty long, which must
compromised pressing sound quality.
From Patrick Moore:
The LP was pressed by EMI, and has an old "Emitex" ad on the
back cover. The cover is a single pocket, and, as you might guess, a
bunch of stuff was cut. Aside from the deletion of three tracks,
"Trouble Comin' Every Day" is most likely the single version. I
may be wrong on this, for I have never heard the true 45 version of
"Trouble Comin' Every Day". The version here is a lot shorter than the
Single-album versions are also reported from Mexico
So far, they all seem the same.
Record Club of America Cassette
As the picture on the
right should hint, there was at least one Record
Club of America issue of Freak Out! on cassette. The
not perfect, and was taken from an auction at ebay.com.
And that's all I have to say, about that.
White MGM Label Vinyl Re-issue
From Ryan Davenport:
One of my copies of Freak Out! has a white label
with the MGM logo (with the lion) on the left side and the Verve logo
on the right side. I don't think it has the original cover, so I can't
say for sure what country the release comes from. The lion looks to be
a more recent, stylized guy than the ones I remember seeing on singles
from mid/late '60s. For what it's worth, the MGM/Verve release has an
extra catalog number and extra matrix number in the vinyl (MGS 296). I
haven't checked yet to see if the recording is different in any way.
According to Neal Umphred's "Goldmine Price Guide to
Collectible Albums" (4th edition), this variation on the Verve label
was used from 1972-1975. I've only seen one example of this variation
myself - a copy of Absolutely Free
with the album title and contents filling out the top and bottom
regions of the label in simple thin, black lettering, and the lower
wraparound MGM address being the same Sunset Blvd-Hollywood address
used on their 1970's releases.
British Double Vinyl Re-Issue
From Record Collector magazine #94, May 1987 (quoted
With the inclusion of the three "missing" tracks, Freak
Out! was at last made available in Britain as double album with its
intended sleeve. In common with nearly all the '70s re-issues, the
cover had a matte finish as opposed to the laminated sleeves of the
original UK pressings. All the re-issues also carried a "Marketed by
Polydor" logo on the sleeves.
The Old Masters Vinyl
Freak Out! was one of the albums re-issued in the Old Masters box 1. "Help, I'm a
Rock", which was
"a suite in three movements" on the original LP, appears as two tracks:
"Help, I'm a Rock" and "It Can't Happen Here". On the original CD, it was one track; on the 1995 CD
it was once again two. In the Old Masters booklet, just as on the ZAPPA 1 vinyl re-issue label from 1985,
"Return of the
Son of Monster Magnet" is listed as "Cream Cheese".
Has a (printed) handwritten text over the Freak Map ad (which
is greyed but
still there, including the address) saying: "Do Not hurry! Do NOT send
money to MGM! The map & the L.A. you want to visit does not exist!"
On the Old
Masters I Sampler, the tracks from Freak Out! appear to be
the original vinyl mixes. Question: Does the Old Masters version of Freak
Out! use the CD remix or the original vinyl mix (or a "tweezed"
version thereof)? Help out us!
Answer: Joe Travers confirms that the Old Masters LP used the
"Facsimile Bootleg" Vinyl
From Román García Albertos:
Well, I call 'em "facsimile bootlegs", because they
reproduce the cover and the label and the vinyl of the original
releases. But they aren't. They don't sound very good (well, they sound
good, but they're at least second generation), and the covers seem to
be xerocopies of the originals. When the original releases were
impossible to find and the CD era hadn't come yet, I think this was the
only way to hear the records.
From Kristian Kier:
The main differences between the counterfeit and the
original are the covers and the matrix numbers. The covers show some
damages which weren't caused by handling, they were copied (xeroxed
might be the wrong terme, since they seem to be printed professionally)
due to photo transfer. Best examples: We're Only
In It for the Money and Zappa in New York.
The matrix numbers on the counterfeits are all hand-written.
Original records by Verve/Polydor don't have hand-written numbers!
That's the easiest way to check wether it's a fake, or not!
The "hand-written rule" is valid only for European
Verve/Polydor pressings, not for Verve US pressings. So if the record
you are interested in has a V(6)/5045 number, it should have
hand-written matrix numbers.
Another clue: Most of these counterfeits do not have track
separation between the songs.
I do have the fakes of Freak Out!, Absolutely Free, We're
Only In It for the Money, Cruising with Ruben
& the Jets, Lumpy Gravy and Zappa in New
York (with "Punky's Whips"), all coming from Italy. I
remember having seen Roxy & Elsewhere, too.
My Freak Out! fake has blue Verve labels, and is
mono, since the bootleggers only copied the left channel to the disc. [!!!]
But the real stereo version was available, too, with black labels.
British 1985 Vinyl Re-Issue
I have a copy of Freak Out! (Zappa Records ZAPPA 1,
1985), but not in
the standard gatefold cover - it comes in a single, non-fold-out
The labels and matrix numbers are identical to the well-known gatefold
Front and back cover are also the same as the gatefold, but the artwork
inside the gatefold is printed on high-quality inner sleeves. I don't
this version had been available in shops or if this was a test or
else. Anyway, I bought it last week (together with test-pressings of Zappa
in New York, Roxy & Elsewhere, Burn't
Weeny Sandwich and Ship Arriving too
Save a Drowning Witch) from the second-hand list from G&S
Music. I asked G&S about the single-sleeve Freak Out!,
is their answer:
Our story is that we think no-one knew about this when it
happened - except us! At the time, when we could order new copies
of Freak Out! 2-LP gatefold version on Zappa Records
([distributed by] Music for Nations), we made a normal order and
received a supply of these records. Most retailers would never
know/care/notice this type of discrepancy. We held on to these odd
versions, told them about it, and they checked their warehouse
stock - it would appear that this was just a small problem and
there were a handful that had not been returned to the
manufacturer - they weren't really sure, but we had all of the
remaining odd-ball units. We immediately re-ordered the proper version
also, which they were able to supply immediately, and we put away and
actually forgot that we had the odd versions for some time. Anyway, you
most likely have quite a collector's item, as there were possibly not
that many made and sold - who knows! We do not have any more of
From Román García Albertos:
On the UK Zappa Records vinyl (ZAPPA 1, 1985) the label of
side four lists: "1. CREAM CHEESE 12:20" ... so now we know the
real name of the son of Monster Magnet :) [It also appeared this
way in the Old Masters box 1
booket - Ed.]
Has a (printed) handwritten text over the Freak Map ad (which
is greyed but still there, including the address) saying: "Do Not
hurry! Do NOT send money to MGM! The map & the L.A. you want to
visit does not exist!"
partial Re-mix (some obviously re-mixed tracks--like "hungry
freaks, daddy"--along with variations on the 1966 stereo mix)
Freaks, Daddy," "Who Are the Brain Police," and possibly one or two
other songs are remixed from the multi-tracks. The rest of the album is
re-equalized, treated with digital reverb, and has its stereo spectrum
Extra note from Gary Horowitz:
One of the reasons Zappa so fondly welcomed and
embraced the digital medium was because of its promise of a broad
dynamic range, which extended to +96 db. So now his albums, freed from
the constrictions of vinyl, no longer needed to have the life squeezed
out of them by compression.
Compression was used heavily to
squash dynamic range on LPs, especially in 1966. Stereo was relatively
new and the mastering engineers simply did know how, or did not want to
deal with rock and roll, so they just set the disk cutters on
"auto-pilot" and walk away until the album side was finished. All bass
frequencies below 100 Hz were channeled into the center becuase it
would otherwise make the stylus (phonograph needle) jump out of the
groove. Ask anyone who has put months of hard work into perfecting the
sound of an album, only to be horrified when they hear how the final
pressing had butchered and mangled the glorious sounds they had
recorded into a thin, lifeless and muddy sounding piece of garbage!
guess that the record companies didn't mind either because they figured
the records would be heavily compressed anyway when played over the air
for radio broadcast. This was done to prevent over-modulation in the
transmitters. But go figure how often Zappa's records would be played
on the radio in the first place! [Ed: Ironically, Zappa seemed all too
fond of compression during the later stages of his reissue
The first CD was also missing some artwork from the vinyl;
this was restored on the 1995 re-issue.
The CD doesn't credit Ray Collins as a co-writer on "Go Cry on
Shoulder", but the original vinyl does. The Old
Masters vinyl doesn't.
Official Ryko statement:
New master. New timing sheet. Clicks removed. Restored
artwork. "Help, I'm a Rock", which was a "suite in three movements" on
the original Verve LP, and was one track on the first
CD, is now two tracks - "Help, I'm a Rock" and "It Can't
Happen Here." (It appeared this way on the Old
Masters LP too.) [full statement]
1995 CD versus the Old CD
The "Hot Poop" Ryko press-release claims that the 1995 Freak
Out is a "new master," with a
new timing sheet and with "clicks removed." As the '95 disc is still
the '80s digital remix,
it's hardly surprising to discover that the discs are, in fact, exactly
the same. The spacing
between tracks does differ slightly. As an aside, where exactly where
these "clicks" that
were supposedly corrected? I didn't hear any of them. (Versions
compared: old Ryko disc,
new Ryko disc)
Contains the original stereo
mix of "Freak Out!", among countless other goodies. If you want
the original LP version of "Freak Out!," this is the one to get.
Japanese Paper-Sleeve Version (2001-2002)
Starting in 2001, Video Arts Music released a limited-edition series (2000
copies each) of Zappa CDs in
paper sleeves - miniature LP sleeves. There was nothing special about this
series other than the covers, which were very well done - inserts and
"bonuses" were reproduced, the albums that originally had gatefold
covers got little miniature gatefolds, and cover track lists were exactly as on
the corresponding LPs, even in cases where the CD has bonus tracks or a
different track order. Included in this series were some entries that never had
"proper" LP issues, i.e. Läther. Additionally, some rarities--like the "green/gold"
cover of Chunga's Revenge--were reproduced as special items in this run.
We need to stress that the sound quality of these discs matches the US
Ryko issues, which they are clearly derived from. These are collectors
items, not new remastered editions.
Late-2012-update: It appears as if the Japanese may be warming up the
mini-LP ovens for a new batch based on the 2012 UMe remasters. We'll let you
know if this happens.
From James Kelly:
The modern cassette of Freak Out! is apparently
identical to the  Ryko CD. I have owned Freak
Out! on cassette, CD and vinyl so I would know if there were
differences. The cassette has the original track order up to
"Trouble Every Day" on side 1 and then begins with "Help, I'm a Rock"
on side 2.
To me, "Help, I'm a Rock", "It Can't Happen Here" and
"Return of the Son of Monster Magnet" should all go together, because
that is the way I originally heard them (the cassette was my first copy
of Freak Out!). Thus I was very surprised when I got a 1966
pressing of the vinyl, and "Help, I'm a Rock" was at the end of side 3!
To me, that totally screwed up the continuity - that is, the
continuity was screwed up from the beginning. I much prefer the later
One thing I hated was the lop-sided playing times. Side 1
was 40:00 long, but side 2 was only 24:00. Thus there was 16:00 of
blank tape at the end of side 2. For years I had nothing but a
Walkman, so I learned to HATE this feature of
certain cassettes. I was glad that both sides of Broadway the Hard Way were the same
2012 UMe CD
Freak Out! was reissued in 2012 when the catalog passed to UMe. The
artwork is different, but the audio is reported to match the previous,
non-MoFo CDs; in other words, it's the partial remix. However, Laservampire notes:
I've found a couple of differences between the Ryko and 2012 CDs of FO
and Money, in the form of low level digital errors, probably resulting
from deterioration of the digital master tapes. Fortunately the errors
are so small they are inaudible.
Vaultmeister Joe Travers explains:
[T]he 1630 masters were in wretched shape by the time
we transferred them in 2008. That Ampex tape stock is so problematic, they had
to be baked in order to retrieve the data. FYI, we also had to do that for
almost all of the 1630 Digital House Masters that the catalog lived on. It took
almost a year to treat & save all of those tapes. UGH.
out some side-effects of re-type-setting the booklet:
On my European copy, the last name of the big "Contributors" list, i.e.,
"PAUL BUFF," is deleted.
Also, there is one "I" missed in "COMPOSITIONS," so it reads:
"NOTES ON THE COMPOSTIONS INCLUDED HEREIN"
2013 Zappa Records 180 Gram LP Reissue
(deets and reviews forthcoming)
HUNGRY FREAKS Bootleg Single-LP Picture
This album has also been bootlegged, on one picture disc,
under the title Hungry
Misprinted THE RASPBERRIES'
GREATEST HITS CD
The Freak Out! album once appeared on a misprinted CD
Raspberries' Greatest Hits. Stephen Bagger tells the story:
While shopping at the used CD store, I went to preview the
handful of CDs I'd taken from the racks. By chance, the previous
shopper had left a CD labeled "The Raspberries Greatest Hits" in the
player. I didn't know that more than two Raspberries hits existed, so I
decided to listen to the disk. Imagine my surprise when I heard the
opening bars to "Hungry Freaks, Daddy" - surely this was a mistake?
Yes, it was - the jewel case contained a bee-yootiful picture
of Eric Carmen & The Raspberries in full pouty regalia, and the
disk itself was silkscreened with a tracklist of Raspberry songs, but
was encoded with the lovely skank of the MOI.
$6.00 (US) later, I was the proud owner of this musical
bastard. I even called 818-PUMPKIN to ask if anyone there knew about
someone selling ripoffs. The gentleman who answered seemed perturbed
that I'd called to inform him of such unpleasantry as it had invaded
his naptime (and I wasn't making a pu***ase).
This pressing was issued by ZAP! records in England. Has
anyone else encountered this anomaly?
Harald Langer answers that, and has even more to add:
Yes. On Zappa's birthday last year  there
was a small party in Wetzlar/Germany hosted by Harald Koob, a CD dealer
specialized in Zappa-related and "progressive rock" stuff. He organized
a quiz where you could win some prizes (Zappa-related, you guessed it).
When he announced the "Raspberries" CD as a last prize at the end of
the party, he set up an evil grin and asked for the name of the
orchestra that played on Lumpy Gravy. I smiled at him and
replied that fierce grin and stammered the words "Abnuceals Emuukha
Electric Symphony Orchestra & Chorus" from my memory - and got
What's different is that my CD came (not shrinkwrapped) with
the normal booklet and back cover, like the official Zappa Records CD.
The CD has the following printed onto it (notice the spelling):
The Very Best Of The Raspberries
ZAP CD 1
Made in France by MPO
Original Sound Recordings
All Tracks published by MCPS.
(Plus a tracklist.) Harald told me that this CD came to life
due to an accident in the press factory. The very first Freak-Out!
copies were wrongly labelled and they soon discovered the mistake.
- Where are these "clicks" on the original CD?
- Any more cassette details?
- Any 8-track details?
- Anything particular about the Old Masters version?
- Any regional differences?
Neil in the UK, Remco Takken, Brian J. Bernstein, Patrick Moore,
Blackbirdr/PG, Robert Cloos,
Mikael Agardsson, Victor Dubiler, Gonçalo, Arno 2000, Harry de Swart,
of G&S Music