Official Release #68. Originally Released: September 1998. All tracks produced by: FZ. Mystery Disc is a compilation album by Frank Zappa. It was released on CD in 1998, compiling tracks that were originally released on two separate vinyl records and included in the mail order Old Masters box sets, which were released in three volumes between 1985 and 1987. (These box sets, issued on Barking Pumpkin, contained repressings of Zappa's albums from Freak Out! (1966) to Zoot Allures (1976), along with a 'Mystery Disc' in boxes one and two.) The CD omits the last two tracks from the 1985 LP, "Why Don'tcha Do Me Right?" and "Big Leg Emma", both of which were included on the CD version of Absolutely Free (1967) in 1989.
Official Release #61. The date is October 28, 1968. The Mothers of Invention are playing the Royal Festival Hall in London. Frank Zappa has booked 14 musicians from the BBC Symphony Orchestra to accompany them during the first part of the show. He had been writing chamber music pieces in the hotel rooms he visited and wanted to try them out. He strung them together by devising a psychodrama he called "Progress?" This was meant (and indeed turned out) to be a one-time performance, so he made sure to record it. He released the whole thing as Ahead of Their Time 25 years later. The first half of the disc is comprised of the "play."
Official Release #7. Mothermania, subtitled The Best of the Mothers, is a compilation album by the Mothers of Invention. While the songs were previously released on Freak Out!, Absolutely Free and We're Only in It for the Money, it contains unique mixes or edits done specifically for this compilation. Mothermania is a collection of previously released tunes culled from the first three Mothers of Invention albums. So why bother? Well, it's the only early collection actually compiled by FZ. Verve released a bunch of early compilations without permission, but more importantly, this is the only place you can hear some of these mixes and edits. Many of the tunes from Freak Out! appear in different mixes, while "It Can't Happen Here" plays through without the interruptions of the Freak Out! version.
156 tracks (58 with Frank Zappa contributions). 40-page color booklet. Reproductions of original 45 RPM labels. Many tracks making their CD debuts. Crossfire Publications have set a May 28, 2012 release date for a 5-CD set of recordings from the pre-Mothers era, with many tracks making their CD debuts. The set is entitled "Paul Buff Presents Highlights From The Pal And Original Sound Studio Archives." Paul Buff, owner of Pal Recording Studio in Cucamonga, California from 1957-1964, first opened up his archives in 2010 for a large series of download-only releases. This 156-track collection features 58 early masters by the late Frank Zappa, recorded at Pal and Original Sound Recording Studios. These recordings feature Zappa as performer, writer and/or producer.