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Zappalog. The First Step of Zappalogy Obermanns, Norbert.
Nobbi, Frimmersdorf, German
Pages: Unknown
Language: English Category: Ref

Zappalog. The First Step of Zappalogy Obermanns, Norbert.
Rhino Books, Los Angeles, Calif.
Pages: 128
Language: English Category: Ref
second edition


From: Paul Core <>
  Zappalog is essentially a discography with graphics. Lots of pictures of single labels, picture sleeves, album covers (including the German Weasels Ripped My Flesh cover), inserts, and other visual aids. Before resources like were available, books like this were invaluable. Concise and believable information on Zapppa releases. Even the legit stuff was not always easy to find in some places (small to medium sized towns - Centerville) and you sure didn't hear about it on the radio. Having a source of information on bootlegs was even more valuable. The information in this book is similar to that in the FAQs for and in fact much more up to date information (minus the cool pictures) is available here than in Zappalog. Still, for it's time it was GREAT. On the down side, the photographs are not reproduced well, especially photographs of color materials (The book is completely black and white).
  For a while, this edition was available through regular Rhino distribution channels in the U.S. I got my copy at a local record store in Baton Rouge, LA. Zappa sued Rhino (or threatened to sue, I don't recall any details of the suit) and got distribution stopped. I have no idea how many copies were distributed before the law intervened.

Contents of the Zappalog are:

  1. A list of 52 singles including their title, catalog number, and release date (most only give the year). Includes German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish releases. The last listing is Goblin Girl/Pink Napkins 12" picture disc (Barking Pumpkin w 99 02616). Photos of 15 single labels, 14 picture sleeves, and the Goblin Girl/Pink Napkins picture disc are included.
  2. A list of 35 lp's with the country of issue, and catalog number for each country (169 separate catalog numbers for the 35 albums). Musicians, songs, recording info, etc. is included for each album. Alternate versions (i.e. Zappa in New York with a version of Punky's Whips) are listed. The last listing is Shut Up'N Play Yer Guitar (3 lp set, CBS - europe - 66368) Photos of album covers (including the German cover of Weasels Ripped My Flesh) and inserts are included.
  3. A list of 10 unreleased projects. The list includes projects which were never released in their original form even though they were at least partially officially released at a later date. Project description/history included. Projects are:
  Lumpy Gravy Sink Trap/Gypsy Airs single (includes photos of the hand written label of the 8" test pressing on Capitol).
  Our Man In Nirvana
  The History And Collected Improvisation Of The Mothers Of Invention (includes original titles of the 12 lps in the box set)
  Four Generation Of Mothers (that's how it's listed in the book, honest)
  Zoot Allures (double lp)
  Zoot Allures (single lp)
  Warts And All
  Crush All Boxes
  4. A list of 57 unreleased compositions (songs, instrumentals, orchestral pieces and ballets). Since this book appeared many have been released (Cocaine Decisions, In France, We're Turning Again, etc.). And of course Frank's compositions had a way of changing names. Other compositions from this list MAY (only Frank knows for sure) have been released under another name.
  5. A list of 17 compilation (various artists) albums which include some Zappa/Mothers material (Zapped, The Big Ball, Underground, etc.). Lists album title, catalog number and Zappa songs included. Photos of six album covers, including two different "Zapped" covers, are included.
  6. A list of 47 bootleg lp's and box sets. Song list, musicians, and recording information included for most entries. Last listing is 20 Years Of Frank Zappa - 12 lp box set (Mud Shark MZ 4801-4812). A cross listing of the box set that a single bootleg albumn is included with is provided (for bootlegs that were released as part of a box set and as a single album). Photos of 18 album covers and one picture disc are included.
  7. A list of 24 singles with contributions by Frank. Pictures of ten labels are included. Artists include Ned & Nelda, The Hogs, Burt Ward, etc. Last listing L. Shankar, Dead Girls Of London (Zappa Records MK 114). Cross listing of bootleg lps where songs from singles can be found (if available on a bootleg) is provided.
  8. A list of 45 lp's with contributions by Frank. The title, catalog number, and Zappa's contribution are listed. A cover version of a Zappa song is enough to get mentioned here. Of course it also includes albums Frank produces, plays on, etc. Photos of 13 album covers included.
  9. A list of the output of Bizarre Productions (3 singles/6 lp's), the Bizarre Label (7 singles/12 lp's), the Straight Label (10 singles/16 lp's), the Discreet Label (15 singles/17 lp's), Zappa Records (4 singles/7 lp's including promo and unreleased lp's), and Barking Pumpkin Records (1 single/8 lp's including promotional lp's). These all include the artist, title, catalog number and year of issue. The last listing is "You Are What You Is" (Promotional lp) AS 1294, 1981. Photos of L. Shankar - Dead Girls Of London 12", Frank Zappa - Shiek Yerbouti Clean Cuts, and Frank Zappa - Joe's Garage Promotional lp covers are included.
  10. A list of 15 "Oddities". Includes radio spots, interviews, bootleg singles, etc. Most just have the name and a brief description. Includes a photo of the Nova Convention (various artists) lp cover showing Frank with William S. Burroughs (GREAT photo though the reproduction is only fair).
  11. A list of the first 9 bands Zappa played in (Ramblers, Blackouts, Boogie Men, Joe Peerino And The Mellow Tones, Soots, Muthers, Soul Giants, Captain Glasspack And His Magic Mufflers). Includes brief histories and personnel for most bands.
  12. Misc. information about several projects. Bicycle Concerto For Two, I Was A Teenage Maltshop, Mt. St. Mary's College lecture, Contempo '70 w/ Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestral Favorites at UCLA 1975 are listed. Very brief descriptions.
  13. A list of 14 books about Frank Zappa, most not in english. The only english language title which I have never seen is "Good Night Boys And Girls - Frank Zappa In Words And Pictures" by Michael Gray, England 1975. Photos of 9 book covers and 4 tour books are included. Interestingly, it only lists the 1981 first edition of Zappalog here (though it is the second edition).
  14. A list of 12 video projects from Run Home Slow (1959) to Baby Snakes (1979). Entries provide a brief description, including Zappa's contribution (example: Head - This is another film by the Monkees. Zappa appears as a critic, keeping a cow on the lead.)
  15. A list of 225 musicians who have played with Zappa. The list includes instrument(s) played and the date(s) they played with Zappa. Also includes other bands with which each artist has played (32 entries for Don Preston, 63 entries for Victor Feldman, etc.).
  16. A list of 332 songs released (through Return Of The Son Of Shut Up'n Play Yer Guitar) by Zappa - including singles. A key to the album(s) on which each song appears is provided.

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