You may or may not know the story of Frank Zappa’s Läther, originally planned to be released as a 4-LP set in 1977 following Zappa’s split with Warner Bros. and his manager and business partner Herb Cohen. It went unreleased at the time, but became somewhat widely bootlegged after Zappa played test pressings of the complete album at a few radio stations in 1977 and encouraged listeners to tape it from the radio rather than buying albums that Warner Bros. planned to release of material they had not paid him for (these were released as Zappa in New York, Studio Tan, Sleep Dirt and Orchestral Favorites over the following two years.) There’s still somewhat of a popular misconception that Warner Bros. refused to release the 4-LP Läther, creating the split between Zappa and the label and resulting in a flurry of lawsuits. Despite statements to the contrary (including in the album’s Wikipedia entry), the facts and available information about the Zappa / Warner Bros. situation make it pretty clear to this reporter that FZ didn’t compile the four-album set for Warner Bros., he made it to be released on a new label (Mercury/Phonogram, to be precise) after suing WB for breach of contract. Warner Bros. did stop it from being released by another label, believing they owned the material on it (they didn’t — he only compiled Läther after splitting from the label, and they still hadn’t paid him for the albums he DID give them in the first place), but popular perception is more that they wouldn’t accept a four record set to allow FZ to finish off his contract. I will go on record stating that if you believe that version of events, you’re mistaken.
Oh, obviously Läther was released eventually. The 3-CD version released on Rykodisc in 1996 has an extra “side” of bonus tracks. This is the 2012 reissue, minus the bonus tracks, and with new artwork. And with this, I’ve now listened to all 59 of the 2012 Zappa Records CD reissues.