Mystery Disc
Frank Zappa, Mystery Disc.jpg
Compilation album by
ReleasedSeptember 14, 1998
ProducerFrank Zappa
Frank Zappa chronology
Have I Offended Someone?
Mystery Disc
EIHN (Everything Is Healing Nicely)
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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.

The recordings featured on Mystery Disc cover the early stages of Zappa's career, and were made between 1962 and 1969 (with the exception of "The Story of Willie the Pimp", a 1972 'field recording'). The material overlaps in places with that of You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 5 (1992), Ahead of Their Time (1993), The Lost Episodes (1996) and Finer Moments (2013). A number of the earlier tracks—"I Was a Teen-Age Malt Shop", "The Birth of Captain Beefheart" and "Metal Man Has Won His Wings", all likely recorded in 1964—feature Captain Beefheart on vocals. These are three light-hearted collaborations; "Metal Man Has Won His Wings" has Beefheart reading the lyrics directly from an advert for a comic book.[2]

Track listing

All tracks by Frank Zappa, except where noted.

1."Theme from Run Home Slow" 1:23
2."Original Duke of Prunes" 1:17
3."Opening Night at "Studio Z" (Collage)" 1:34
4."The Village Inn" 1:17
5."Steal Away"Jimmy Hughes3:43
6."I Was a Teen-Age Malt Shop" 1:10
7."The Birth of Captain Beefheart" 0:18
8."Metal Man Has Won His Wings" 3:06
9."Power Trio from The Saints 'n Sinners" 0:34
10."Bossa Nova Pervertamento" 2:15
11."Excerpt from The Uncle Frankie Show" 0:40
12."Charva" 2:01
13."Speed-Freak Boogie" 4:14
14."Original Mothers at The Broadside (Pomona)" 0:55
15."Party Scene from Mondo Hollywood" 1:54
16."Original Mothers Rehearsal" 0:22
17."How Could I Be Such a Fool?" 1:49
18."Band introductions at The Fillmore West" 1:10
19."Plastic People"Richard Berry, Zappa1:58
20."Original Mothers at Fillmore East" 0:50
21."Harry, You're a Beast" 0:30
22."Don Interrupts" 4:39
23."Piece One" 2:26
24."Jim/Roy" 4:04
25."Piece Two" 6:59
26."Agency Man" 3:25
27."Agency Man" (Studio Version) 3:27
28."Lecture from Festival Hall Show" 0:21
29."Wedding Dress Song/The Handsome Cabin Boy"Traditional; arranged by Zappa2:36
30."Skweezit Skweezit Skweezit" 2:57
31."The Story of Willie the Pimp" 1:33
32."Black Beauty" 5:23
33."Chucha" 2:47
34."Mothers at KPFK" 3:26
35."Harmonica Fun" 0:41

The tracks were separated across the original 'mystery discs' thus:

Overlaps with other albums


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ "Shaw Communications".