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Frank Zappa - The Mothers Of Invention: We're Only In It For The Money CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



4.11 | 624 ratings

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5 stars A smartassy anti-Sgt Pepper album that disses both the hippies AND the straights! And celebrates people who..... save their snot on window panes?

Respondable Pardons:

Frank Zappa - vocals, guitar, keyboards, dictator

Roy Estrada - falsetto vocals, bass guitar

Ray Collins - vocals in spots, or maybe he left by this point

Motorhead Sherwood - all around cool guy who can sort of play sax too

Bunk Gardner - Kenny Rogers lookalike who can really play the sax too

Jimmy Carl Black - the self proclaimed "Indian of the Group", drums, vocal asides

Billy Mundi - Drums, looks like someone famous I can't place right now

who else... ah yes!

Arthur Dyer Tripp III - was he in the band yet? so hard to remember. Anyway, he's a drummer too. and plays mallet percussion.

Anyway, enough of this, and on to ---

Side One (in which Frank takes a shot at the "Frisco" hippie scene with deadly aim. LA really had it in for those guys, didn't they? As in "hey! we can be smellier and creepier than you!")

Are You Hung Up? - Sound effects, static buzzing, and a collage of voices, followed by a confession of conspiracy to erase all the tapes, followed by a brief acid rock guitar solo, a goofy yelp, and Jimmy Carl Black's benediction: "Hi there boys and girls, I'm Jimmy Carl Black and I'm the Indian of the group". And we're off!

Who Needs the Peace Corps? -- Absolutely hilarious expose' of the trendy bandwagon jumper type who moves to San Francisco to become a hippie.

Concentration Moon -- Dramatic account of concentration camps set up to round up freaks and hippies.

Mom and Dad -- A somber flip-side to "She's Leaving Home"... the ultimate failure of parents whose intolerance for deviance drive their kids to join the freaks, and ultimately get shot by the cops in a mixup between the law and the "counterculture".

Telephone Conversation -- just a little interlude, an actual phone conversation. no real purpose served, though Zappa fanatics will probably be able to write paragraphs about it. Wait, I'm a Zappa fanatic.

Bow Tie Daddy -- If the Sgt Pepper analogy holds up, then this is "When I'm 64". Old timey music, a tongue in cheek ode to a "straight", upstanding upper middle class man.

Harry, You're a Beast -- I think sex plays a part in this one. But it's also about the superficiality of feminine standards of appearance. Call it misogyny. No wonder people hate this guy.

What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body? -- hint: it's inside your skull.

Absolutely Free -- Just a mock flower-power song, this would be the "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" of the album. Quite pretty. The first word in this song is discorporate. It means to leave your body.

Flower Punk -- Speed metal!! well no, but getting ever closer. More trashing of the hippies. Poor peace loving sods.

Hot Poop -- a 20 second sound effects outro, included as an excuse to print the word "poop" on the album cover. . . Side Two: In which Frank introduces us to some people he actually LIKES.... and who make me a lot more worried than just some schlubb in a tie die shirt.

Nasal Retentive Calliope Music -- An ode to Edgard Varese maybe? Lots of electronic whooshes and tape edits, ending with some surf music for good measure. I think Eric Clapton's on this one, saying "God! It's God! I see God!".

Let's Make the Water Turn Black -- The story of Frank's friends Ronny and Kenny Williams. Certainly worthy of your time, especially if you're looking for ideas for how to use old mayonnaise jars.

The Idiot Bastard Son -- Not sure what this is about really, it's apparently pretty deep. Excellent melody though, good enough to have been adapted in jazz form by Jean-Luc Ponty, as well as Zappa's later fusion-tinged 70's bands.

Lonely Little Girl -- Just a quick little tune about a lonely little girl, with a slight reprise of "What's the Ugliest part of Your Body", some psychedelic effects, followed by the lovely and revealing:

Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance -- Frank's anthemic call for a world without boundaries, total freedom of expression, and loads of laundry littering the highway.

What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body (Reprise) -- Because we just needed to hear it again. It's your MIND!!!

Mother People -- As seen on the Monkees TV show while they destroy a car! Mike Nesmith dresses up like Zappa and vice versa. Funny as a foot!

The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny -- I guess this is the "Day in the Life" equivalent. Frighteningly apocalyptic closer that seems to stand apart from the rest of the album, in another class. But this isn't really a song -- it's a piece of 20th Century Music! Like Cage and Varese and all that. Frank tells us to be sure to read Kafka's "In the Penal Colony" before listening to this, but to this day I haven't complied with this order.

HolyMoly | 5/5 |


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