What to Get: The 2012 CD.

Summary: Pre-2012 CDs have copious amounts of additional reverb. The 2012 CD is dry and matches the vinyl.

ESSENTIAL VERSIONS FOR COMPLETISTS: The vinyl or 2012 CD. [completist's guide]


  • Original vinyl (Bizarre MS 2094 in the US, July 5 1972 (repressed in 1973); Reprise MS 2094 in Canada; Reprise K44203 in the UK, August 1972)
  • French vinyl (Reprise 44203)
  • German vinyl (Reprise REP 44203)
  • Dutch vinyl (Reprise REP 44203, 1972, cover made in Germany, disc made in Holland by NV Negram, Haarlem, "STEMRA" on label)
  • Italian vinyl (44 203 / 2094, blue Bizarre label - lists "Big Swifty" as "Swifty")
  • Japanese vinyl (Reprise P-8277R, white-label promo also reported)
  • Mexican vinyl (Gamma GX01-566)
  • Argentine vinyl (MusicHall 12.976 - there was both a hard and a soft cover version)
  • Uruguayan vinyl (Cave label)
  • Brazilian vinyl
  • Australian vinyl (Reprise Ms 2094, 1972 - "more or less unaltered")
  • Cassettes (Bizarre M 52094 and Reprise 444203)
  • 8-track (Bizarre M 82094)
  • 7 ips reel-to-reel tape
  • The Old Masters vinyl (Barking Pumpkin BPR 9999-1, December 1987)
  • Original CD (Ryko or RCD 10094 in the US, January 1989 (imported into Australia by Festival Records and re-stickered Ryko D40734); Zappa Records CDZAP10 in the UK, January or June 1989; VACK 5032 in Japan)
  • Zappa Records cassette (TZAPPA10)
  • 1995 CD (Ryko RCD 10516, May 2 1995; VACK 5123 in Japan, renumbered 5258 in 1998)
  • Japanese paper-sleeve CD (Ryko/VACK 1215, October 24 2001 - Bizarre inner sleeve)
  • 2012 UMe CD (Zappa Records ZR3848 August 28, 2012)

On the weird side, half of this album has been issued, backed with music by the Kinks, on an American Forces Radio & Television Service release.


Handwritten sheet music from the recording sessions reveal that "Waka/Jawaka" was originally written as "Waka=Jawaka". It boggles the mind! (You can see a picture of it on Fred Banta's web page.)


From Juha Sarkkinen:

On the original LP, the title on the label and back read Hot Rats - Waka/Jawaka.

From Dan Buxbaum:

I was perusing the wares in a local used record store and made the brave journey to the back of the shop where the used cassettes are ("the bottom of the barrel"). I saw this tape which was printed "Waka/Jawaka Hot Rats" on the side. Turned out to be just the regular old-time Reprise cassette of Waka/Jawaka. I found it interesting that the tape actually had "Hot Rats" in the title printed on it (not just on the painting faucets as on the CD), and that "Big Swifty" was the cassette Side 2 selection.

From Chris Roe:

I had an old 1980s rock LP price guide that actually said there was a 2-LP set of Waka Jawaka/Hot Rats but have never seen any proof that it existed.


From Mr Slone or Mrs Lone:

Nice 8-track and Zappa is great! Plays well and has a cardboard slip cover. This tape plays well.

1. Big Swifty (Beg.)
2. Big Swifty (Conc.)
3 Your Mouth; It Just Might Be a One-Shot Deal; Waka/Jawaka (Beg.)
4 Waka/Jawaka (Conc.)

Original CD


From David van Noortwijk:

One of the most treasured icons of my adolescence was the climactic fashion in which a vinyl "Big Swifty" gloriously resolved, punctuated with some amazingly genius church bell percussion (or whatever they're called). On my new Ryko release CD this moment has truly been buggered to oblivion. The bells are still there, but much too prominent and too separated. Ah well ... that's growing up for ya.

From Michael Pabst:

Just put the german vinyl release on (after many years). Sounds direct, dry and warm. Everything is just in front of you. My Zappa Records CD release from the '80s instead has the "added reverb during mastering" problem like some other Zappa CDs (Apostrophe ('), Zappa in New York, etc.). Seems they just couldn't avoid to (over)use the then new studio toys like digital reverb.


From Pat Buzby:

I do know that Grand Wazoo is missing the musician photos from the original album, and that Waka/Jawaka is missing the FZ photos. Boo! [Patience, Pat! This will be restored on the 1995 re-issue!]

1995 CD

Official Rykodisc statement: "New master. New timing sheet. Restored artwork". [full statement]

1995 CD versus the Old CD

From the 2004 Zappa CD Rundown:

Barring some slight level differences, the old and new discs seem to be identical; in other words, when the slight volume difference is corrected via normalization, the audio cancels out. Note that this might have been quietly upgraded at some point. (Versions compared: "One Shot Deal" on old WAKA/JAWAKA Ryko CD with "One Shot Deal" on "Left of the Dial"/"Son of Cheep Thrills")

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.

2012 UMe CD

Mastered by Doug Sax with Robert Hadley & Sangwook "Sunny" Nam from the original analog masters. Reverts to the dry version of the album found on the LP (seriously; put on "One Shot Deal"). Essential! Mike Espinoza questions his previous heresy:

It's amazing how much better my hearing has gotten. I was actually defending the Ryko Waka/Jawaka! Compared to the new CD, it is unlistenable. I kept trying to tell myself that they didn't ruin as many CDs as they did without buying all of them on LP myself.


  • How does the 1995 CD compare to the original CD?
  • Any details on cassette versions?
  • Any details on 8-track versions?
  • Any regional peculiarities?
  • Any more release dates?

Additional Informants:

  • Gonšalo
  • Mexpressings
  • Steve Jones
  • Christof Ha▀linger
  • Steve & Cindy Jones
  • Hasi

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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