What to Get: All CDs are the same; this title wasn't remastered in 2012.
Summary: The vinyl is reputed to sound better than the CD, but the CD isn't terribly different; however, it has a reversed stereo spectrum. All CDs are the same.
ESSENTIAL VERSIONS FOR COMPLETISTS: Any version. [completist's guide]
Current Version Track-listing (links to Román's stupendous lyrics rundown)
Relation to LÄTHER
Three Orchestral Favorites tracks - "Naval Aviation in Art", "Pedro's Dowry" and "Duke of Prunes" - are also on the Läther album ("Duke of Prunes" as "Duke of Orchestral Prunes"). The only difference between the Orchestral Favorites and Läther versions is a stereo image reversal, so that the right channel on Orchestral Favorites is the left channel on Läther, and vice versa. On Läther, "Naval Aviation in Art" is written with a question mark - "Naval Aviation in Art?". [full Läther walkthrough by Zoot]
From "Tinseltown Rebellion" by John Bamford, in Hi-Fi Answers, November 1986 (quote provided by Biffy the Elephant Shrew):
From Harry de Swart:
The "track list", or whatever it's called on an 8-track:
When Zappa remastered Orchestral Favorites for CD, he reversed the stereo image, so the right channel on the vinyl became the left channel on the CD and vice versa. Some tracks can be heard in the original stereo image on the Läther CD.
From István Fekete:
From John Henley:
From Nik Lowenberg:
Just like the original CD, the stereo image is reversed compared to the vinyl. Official Ryko statement: "New master. New timing sheet. Restored artwork." [full statement] A booklet error from the original CD has been corrected.
Taken from the 1993 digital master, this is the same as earlier CDs. Jaypfunk laments this sad state of affairs:
last nite i compared the Orchestral favorites LP to the 1995 Ryko CD and all I have to say is JESUS CHRIST does that CD suck . . . . Some of the instruments are just completely buried in that shitty CD mix. If you never heard the vinyl then the CD is fine. but the vinyl is just a tad better mix. there are some subtle things that are going on in comparison but not bad enough to completely hate the CD version.
From Mike Espinoza:
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.
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