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Frank Zappa - The Mothers Of Invention: Cruising With Ruben & The Jets CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



2.78 | 258 ratings

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3 stars Cruising with Ruben & The Jets is a very different Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention album. Released in 1968 the same year as the groundbreaking Weīre Only in It for the Money you should expect more of the same from The Mothers of Invention. If this was your expectation you would be fooled though, as Cruising With Ruben & The Jets are The Mothers of Invention playing fifties Doo Woop and RīnīB. Some fans were probably pretty upset with this album, but seeing this in retrospect I think itīs a brilliant idea. Zappa always did what he felt for in the moment. On the first couple of Mothers of Invention albums you could also clearly hear the influence from the fifties Doo Woop and RīnīB scene, but the style was mixed with more regular sixties rock, blues and avant garde moments. Here there are only Doo Woop and RīnīB songs.

There are a couple of songs from The Mothers Of Inventionīs debut album Freak Out which they have re-arranged and re-recorded, but the rest are new songs. There isnīt much to say about the structure of the songs or their innovative nature because the songs are very simple as it generally is in this style. Itīs all done with the classic Zappa gleam in the eye though and you sense a certain humour involved. Songs like Cheap Thrills, Jerry Roll Gum Drop and especially the hilarious lyrics to Stuff Up the Cracks are good examples of this.

The instrumentation is very simple and the vocalists steal the picture here. Frank Zappa with his deep bass vocals, Roy Estrada with his high pitched voice and especially Ray Collins with his smooth and pleasant voice.

This is one of the Zappa albums you got to have on LP as the CD version has re-recorded drums done by Chad Wackermann in the eighties. Even though this was Zappaīs wish itīs a horror, so go find the original LP at any cost, donīt waste your money on the CD version. The sound quality on the original LP is good. A typical Zappa production.

This might not be one of my favorite Zappa albums but I think it is enjoyable and allthough not very proggy this deserves 3 stars in my book.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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