The Man from Utopia

What to Get: Depends. If you're after the vinyl mix, the only game in town is the hard-to-find EMI CD, which still doesn't contain the entire thing. Otherwise, all other CDs, including the 2012 re-release, use the 1990s remix.

Summary: All CD versions are different from the vinyl. The EMI CD uses (most) of the original vinyl mix, but Moggio is a remix and uses new drum overdubs by Chad Wackerman. Post-1992 CDs are completely remixed and have a bonus track, "Luigi & the Wise Guys."

ESSENTIAL VERSIONS FOR COMPLETISTS: Complicated. The current stock CD is completely remixed. The old EMI two-fer CD mostly contains the vinyl mix, but has the remix of Moggio that's on the post-1992 CDs. As the pre-digitally-remastered vinyl is the only place to get the original Moggio, completists need both the LP and a post-1992 CD. Insane completists will note that the EMI CD version of the remix of Moggio is slightly longer than the version on the post-1992 CDs.[completist's guide]


  • Original vinyl (Barking Pumpkin FW 38403 in the US (special promo version also reported), CBS 25251 in the UK, March 1983)
  • Canadian vinyl (Epic Records FW 37403, lyric sheet insert)
  • Greek vinyl
  • Israeli vinyl (CBS 25251, with a little Hebrew print on the back cover)
  • Japanese vinyl (CBS/Sony 25AP 2642, with lyric & interview booklet + top obi )
  • Australian promo vinyl (CBS SBP 237894, white label - "hard one to come by this is")
  • Cassette
  • Digitally remastered vinyl (EMI EMC 3500 (?), UK / EMI 1C 064 26 0815 1 / Capitol ST-6534 in Canada and perhaps elsewhere)
  • Epic FW 38403?
  • rgentine vinyl: El Hombre de Utopia (CBS 20459 - black & white cover and no inner sleeve)
  • Twofer CD coupled with Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch (EMI CDP 7-90074-2, UK only, April 1986 or June 1988)
  • 1993 CD (Barking Pumpkin D2 74245 in the US, Zappa Records CDZAP 53 in the UK, January 1993; VACK 5089 in Japan (?))
  • Russian vinyl (SNC 3085, 1993, limited 5000-copy edition)
  • 1995 CD (Ryko RCD 10538, May 2 1995; VACK 5089 in Japan, renumbered 5224 in 1998)
  • Russian CD
  • Japanese paper-sleeve CD (Ryko/VACK 1244, May 29 2002 - black & white inner sleeve with printed lyrics and ads for Baby Snakes and the Guitar Book)
  • 2012 UMe CD (Zappa Records ZR 3866 September 25, 2012)

Current CD Tracklisting (links to Román's stupendous lyrics rundown)

  1. Cocaine Decisions 3:54
  2. SEX 3:43
  3. Tink Walks Amok 3:38
  4. The Radio Is Broken 5:51
  5. We Are Not Alone 3:18
  6. The Dangerous Kitchen 2:51
  7. The Man From Utopia Meets Mary Lou (Woods/Woods/Jessie) 3:22
  8. Stick Together 3:13
  9. The Jazz Discharge Party Hats 4:28
  10. Luigi & The Wise Guys 3:24
  11. M§ggio 2:36

Track Titles

On the original vinyl at least, "Moggio" was written with a dash above the first O (which we still can not reproduce in HTML). This dash was also in the twofer CD booklet - only inside the booklet, not in the track list on the back of the booklet and not on the disc. No dash anywhere on the 1995 CD. At least from 1992 on, it seems that "SEX" was listed in all capitals (on the twofer CD, everything was listed in all capitals).

Original Vinyl

The original track list:

1. Cocaine Decisions (02:56)
2. The Dangerous Kitchen (02:51)
3. Tink Walks Amok (03:40)
4. The Radio Is Broken (05:52)
5. Moggio (03:05) [dash above first O]

1. The Man from Utopia Meets Mary Lou (medley) (3:19)
2. Stick Together (3:50)
3. Sex (3:00)
4. The Jazz Discharge Party Hats (4:30)
5. We Are Not Alone (3:31)

Zappa originally wanted to have the sides flipped around, with what became the B side as the A side and vice versa, but changed his mind. From Biffy the Elephant Shrew:

As I recall, this was reported at the time in Mother People [a fanzine] as the reason for the album's release being delayed. Corroboration can be found on the LP itself: look at the matrix of an original pressing and you'll see that there is a scratched-out "B" on side one and "A" on side two. Also the label (and matrix) has been given a "RE-1" code (also found on the remade Zappa in New York - i.e., the standard issue without "Punky's Whips").

David G. talks about the original mix of Moggio:

It actually reminds me a lot of the mix that was to be used for Chalk Pie. Very processed, with the guitar way up front, and the vibes buried by comparison. Chad's drum sound is almost completely different here.

Barking Pumpkin Promo


I don't remember if I ever mentioned this before, but there was a promotional vinyl issue of The Man From Utopia on the Barking Pumpkin label (not CBS). It came in a white sleeve with small reproductions of the front and back cover art (in black & white, I think). The label was the regular Barking Pumpkin logo, in color, with black lettering. There were only short samples of each song, not full-length cuts ... with no silence between the cuts, if I remember. The record store I worked at when I was a kid had a copy of this promo vinyl. I borrowed it for a few days, then returned it ... I should have kept it!!! Zoot.

Japanese Version

From Mikael Agardsson:

LP obi, courtesy of Mikael Agardsson - note top-side placement instead of left-side

Normally, the Japanese LPs come with a lyric sheet somewhat smaller in size than the record cover, but this is not the case with this LP. Instead there is an A4-size booklet [210x297 mm] with pictures, English and Japanese lyrics and an interview. There are five black & white pictures, four of Zappa himself and one of Zappa with his daughter Moon. The interview was made on July 28 1982 by Simon Prentis, who also took the photos. Unfortunately, the interview is in Japanese only! (It would be interesting to see it in English - it's four and a half pages long.) The obi  too is a bit different on this LP, as it's placed over the top side of the cover, instead of on the left side, where it normally is.


From JWB:

It was identical to the original US vinyl. It was on Barking Pumpkin, distributed by CBS. The cassette liner contained no lyrics, but it did contain an advertisement for Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar and The Frank Zappa Guitar Book.

Digitally-Remastered 80s Mix

The first variation (slightly different from the vinyl) of this album was issued on both LP and CD by EMI. On CD it was coupled with Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch as a two-for-the-price-of-one set: both albums on one compact disc. "Moggio" is remixed.

A track list of the twofer CD, courtesy of Scott Shupe and Patrick David Neve:

3. TINK WALKS AMOK [03:39]
5. MOGGIO [02:35]
8. SEX [03:00]
10. WE ARE NOT ALONE [03:28]
11. NO NOT NOW [05:51]
12. VALLEY GIRL [04:50]
14. DROWNING WITCH [12:03]
15. ENVELOPES [02:45]

The Man from Utopia is placed before Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch, which is not the order in which they were originally released. Total time: 71:39.

From Mike Powers:

I picked up the EMI version of Man from Utopia / Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch in a Boston record store called Looney Tunes. The CD sounds nice and clear, although it seems to have been mastered at a lower level, and needs a slight bass boost. It also contains the remixed version of "Moggio". All other tracks correspond to their vinyl mixes.

From Mike Bitts:

It seems to me that not only was the "Moggio" remixed, but I swear that the drums and possibly the bass were re-recorded.  The drums sound like they came straight out of the Them Or Us album. Confirm, deny?

From David G.:

I've been listening to the vinyl and the two-fer mix of Man from Utopia side-by-side for about two days now, and while it isn't my favorite album (so some minute changes certainly could've passed me by) the mixes seem to be almost exactly the same, except for "Moggio."

Oh, and to answer the statement from Mike Bitts above: the drums and bass are probably not re-recorded, although they do sound for all the world like they've been replaced. I'm not exactly sure how to account for the severe difference between the sound of the vinyl mix and the sound of the CD mix.

(MUCH later) LIES! You're right; the drums have been re-recorded on "Moggio" (at least partly). It's Chad playing the exact same part, so it's really hard to tell (thus years of me clearly getting it wrong), but he does do something different right at the end of the song.

From Patrick David Neve:

The lead guitar on "The Jazz Discharge Party Hats" is MUCH louder on [vinyl mix versions] than [on the 1995 CD] ... mixed way into the foreground, at least as loud as Frank's vocal.

David chimes in again:

Obsessives will note that the Moggio remix on the above release runs slightly longer than it does on the 1992/1995 CDs.

Newer CDs have a bonus track ("Luigi & the Wise Guys") and are completely remixed and resequenced.

Digitally Remastered Vinyl (EMI 1C 064 26 0815 1)

From Alfonso:

I also have a digitally remasterd vinyl copy of The Man from Utopia. Label EMI number 1C 064 26 0815 1A/B, made in the EEC. Cover number 1C 064 26 0815 1, barcode 5099926081519. Also printed in Holland by EMI Services Benelux B.V. Uden.  Little Barking Pumpkin Records transparent logo on the back cover right bottom corner.

1992 Remix

  • 1993 CD (Barking Pumpkin D2 74245 in the US, Zappa Records CDZAP 53 in the UK, January 1993)
  • 1995 CD (Ryko RCD 10538, May 2 1995)
  • 2012 UMe CD (Zappa Records ZR 3866 September 25, 2012)

This mix is different both from the first remix and the original vinyl. Zappa remixed the whole album (and pretty thoroughly), the track order is different, and there is a bonus track: "Luigi & the Wise Guys". The track list for these releases:

1. Cocaine Decisions (03:53)
2. SEX (03.44)
3. Tink Walks Amok (03:39)
4. The Radio Is Broken (05:51)
5. We Are Not Alone (03:18)
6. The Dangerous Kitchen (02:51)
7. The Man from Utopia Meets Mary Lou (03:22)
8. Stick Together (03:14)
9. The Jazz Discharge Party Hats (04:29)
10. Luigi & The Wise Guys (03:25)
11. Moggio (02:35)

From Jon Naurin:

No extra verse on "Cocaine Decisions", but an instrumental section (equal to "Cocaine decisions, cocaine decisions" in the fade) played 4 times, and one extra bridge make up for the additional 57 seconds on the CD version. 

"Sex" has two bonus verses (penalty verses, if you ask me) on the CD. Verse 3: "Even them Christians who is born again / Go out 'n' get pooched every now 'n' then" (printed in the CD booklet). And verse 7: "Laying down or standing up / If it feels good, just keep it up" (not printed in the booklet, interestingly enough). The CD also has a repeat of the final "The bigger the cushion" part.

As for LP/CD differences, it could be worth mentioning that the intro and fade on "Stick Together" are slightly longer on the LP.

From Eric Pepke:

What doesn't suit me is that the sound quality of the CD stinks on ice. The bass is booming without being loud. When I played it, I thought my speakers had been blown.

From Cliff Heller:

... a completely different song order. "SEX" had an extra verse, but some parts in the chorus were unnecessarily hit with a pitch bender. It sounds stupid, he should have left that one alone.

From JWB:

The Man from Utopia was the first Zappa album that I ever owned. So, naturally, I also have some problems with the remix. Extended songs, good. Replaced and removed instruments, bad. I recommend obtaining both the original vinyl AND the CD reissue. They both have their good points and bad points. I happen to feel that the segues and track order are much better in the remixed version too.

PS: "SEX" was not hit with a pitch bender. Those backing vocals were just removed from the first mix, or else re-recorded for the remix. And I happen to prefer the remixed version ...

The remix has new drums by Chad Wackerman on "The Jazz Discharge Party Hats" and "The Dangerous Kitchen", and may feature new drums on some of the other tracks ("Moggio," at the very least) :

PATRICK NEVE: "The Jazz Discharge Party Hats" - I'm not quite sure who's playing bass and drums on this one ... Barrow and Vinnie?
MICHAEL PIERRY: On the LP, yeah. The remix actually has been Wackerman-ized, who the hell knows why.
ARTHUR BARROW: I don't know what somebody said about there being Chad overdubs - is that right?
MICHAEL PIERRY: Yeah, take a listen to the CD next time you get a chance. It's pretty obviously Wackerman. Same thing with "Dangerous Kitchen".
ARTHUR BARROW: Oops! Is my face red! I guess I never really listened to the CD version of that. It sounds to me like there is now upright bass added to it, too. I still would like to hear the original live version without overdubs. But it IS Vinnie and me on the LP. Right?
JWB: Yes.
BOSSK (R): Are the Wackerman drums only on the 1992 remix, or also on the original CD?
JWB: They're only on the 92 remix.

1995 CD

Official Ryko statement: "New master. New timing sheet. This is the 1992 remix." [full statement]

1995 CD versus the Old CD

From the 2004 Zappa CD Rundown:

The BP and '95 discs are identical, seemingly. This was another late reissue (dating from 1993) so this is hardly surprising. As the EMI CD is for the most part another mix, it's clearly from a different digital transfer. The two "Moggio" remixes DO sync, but the BP/'95 version is mastered far differently from the EMI twofer version. Obsessive-compulsive note: the EMI version of Moggio runs *slightly* longer at the end before the snorks come in.

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.

Russian CD

From David G:

Today I received my copy of the Russian "Limited Edition" Man from Utopia. I'm not sure how well I'm going to be able to compare this to the '95 issue (As the only other copy I have of the album is the two-fer), but I'll do my best.

The front cover is the one we all know and love, but printed MUCH darker, with a faint gold, boxed "Limited Edition" declaration in the lower left corner. Spine graphic on both sides has "FRANK ZAPPA   THE MAN FROM UTOPIA   FZCD 083". A catalogue number! This makes it instantly different from my other Russian CD (Tinsel-Town Rebellion, which had no marker at all). Back cover has a broken guitar, "THE MAN FROM UTOPIA", the limited edition thing, and the standard Russian copyright designation that I can never understand, and that graces many Russian releases. All track titles are in capitals.

There are a few other graphical quirks, but I doubt anyone wants to hear a complete rundown on the package.

2012 UMe CD

Digital Master, remixed 1992 by Spencer Chrislu. Mike E. clarifies what we'd all been suspectin':

I noticed on the 2012 Hot Poop page that you did not have definite information about the new MFU CD. I have it. It is identical to the Barking Pumpkin CD soundwise.


  • I think there is too little of everything here.
  • Any details on cassette versions?
  • Is the Zappa Records CD really the 1992 remix, or is it from ... 1988?
  • A 1992 catalogue lists a TZAPPA53 cassette to be released that year, but a 1993 catalogue does not list it as having been released. Any takes?
  • Is the Greek vinyl authorised?

Additional Informants

  • Mike Bitts
  • Biffy the Elephant Shrew
  • Mikael Agardsson
  • Marcelo Gasiˇ
  • Victor Dubiler
  • Richard Kolke
  • Oscar Bianco
  • Steve Jones
  • James Croston

home - vinyl vs CDs - weirdo discography - bootlegs - misc - hot lynx - e-mail us at zappa dot patio at gmail dot com 2006-04-22 20:02

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