Zappa.com have announced their intention to release the “definitive” Trout Mask Replica in May 2013; initially on CD but with a vinyl edition “coming soon”.
Available for preorder now, Zappa.com states:
The Legends of Lancaster (California) converge. Two albums Produced by Frank Zappa are registered with the National Preservation Board (Library of Congress). This is one.
Note: We here at UMRK determined that the TMR Master was damaged somewhere in the years of its return orbit. The Vaultmeister created almost in its entirety a new Master from our own Vault safety copies. And as if that wasn’t enough chocolate for your Sunday sundae, we had Bob Ludwig remaster the Work for you. What you now have available to you is the definitive TROUT MASK REPLICA. Be the judge. Be the jury. Be the bongo. Be the fury!!!
We’ll post more information as we get it – if you’ve heard this remaster or have any additional information please do let us know or post in the comments below.
On 13 May, Bob DeBorculo wrote to say:
The packaging is nearly identical to the original CD, save for the CD label (no track listing, less busy), the addition of a few notes in the booklet about the 2012 remaster, the credit “Arranged by DON VAN VLIET” now reads, “Written and arranged by DON VAN VLIET”, and some additional Zappa logos.
Here are my initial impressions following some A/B comparisons. The recording itself is significantly louder than the previous version, making comparison a little trickier. Beyond that, to my ears the new version sounds noticeably better. Vocals and instruments are substantially more clear, distinct and dynamic, particularly the bass. The old version seems flatter and muddier compared to the new. I’m very glad the Zappa organization redid it.