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The Mothers of Invention

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The Mothers get very little play on these share blogs, I am going to change that a bit....certainly NOT
going to delve into Zappa's entire career, for one, there is JUST TOO MUCH, and for another, a lot of it really doesn't appeal to me......there is no denying, however, that the incredible early Mothers of Invention albums were groundbreaking, hilarious, great musically, and about 50 years ahead of their time......we weill concentrate on that small portion of the unimaginably huge Zappa career/collection, I have a bunch of post-Mothers work, some of which I enjoy, some of which leaves my head scratching........

So, the Mothers of Invention. I think we all know the early Zappa story, and if not, read it elsewhere....we will begin OUR story with 1966's "Freak Out", one of my Dad's faves, which I probably heard 500 times before I was 8 years old or so......in anycase, it still sounds innovative, and if you are by chance  hearing for the first time, well, this will certainly be an "experience" for you to say the least. One of the first double albums in rock history (along with Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde"), wow, how to approach this.....a mixture of sonic sound collages, "serious" music, and basically everything but the kitchen sink in an effort to "go over" EVERYONE's head. It succeded....NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE, at the time was ready for "Help, I'm a Rock", or the side long "Return of the Son of Monster Magnet".....a ot of this has aged fairly poorly, to be honest, however, a lot of it is also essential to understanding a lot of modern rock n roll that we listen to and consider "innovative", even today.

In 1967, the Mothers released "Absolutely Free", a satrical savaging of "straight" America, each side is basically a suite which contains many numbers, but "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" and "America Drinks and Goes Home", along with "Plastic People" make the point VERY clear as to whom the target was here.....recommeded.

Surprisingly then, the Mother's NEXT target was the "hip" counter culture, who they literally took
apart with MY favorite Mothers album, "We're Only In It For the Money".....with cover art and inserts which mocked "Sgt. Pepper", this is an AMAZING album, one of the best of it's era, and is both fun and hilarious to listen to today. It's ALL great, especially don't miss "Flower Punk" ("Hey Punk where you going with those beads around your neck? Well, I'm going to see my shrink so he can help me be a nervous wreck"), and, while your at it DON'T MISS ANY OF IT, one of the greatest of all rock albums. got one on vinyl, myself!

I don't have/don't especially care for "Ruben and the Jets", an homage to the doo-wop music that Zappa loved, I am sure you can easilly locate a copy should you want one......my next stop is "Uncle Meat" from 1969.....a frantic mix of live and studio tracks, the standouts are "Nine Types of Industrial Pollution", and "Dog Breathe, in the Year of the Plague"......another winner for the Mothers.

Two more Mothers albums were basically constructed from tapes in the vault, "Burnt Weenie Sandwich" and "Weasles Ripped My Flesh" in the early 1970's....."Burnt Weenie Sandwich" contains the somewhat amazing "The Little House I used to Live in", all 20 minutes of it (trying to describe this stuff would be an impossibility), "The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbeque" is a fine tribute, and of course, the title track and "My Guitar Wants to KIll Your Mama", are no question memorable.

This is as far as I am taking this.....Zappa released hundreds of hours of recorded music, of varying styles and qualitites, Mothers or not.....to try to explain it all here is a task for someoen other than me.....I happen to think, just off the top, that "Joe's Garage" and "Appostrophe" are pretty fine discs, if you are interested, and if you have a ton of Zappa stuff, you are more than free to share it here.

A Musical genius, hard to argue that. A Master satirist, IMPOSSIBLE to argue that.....I don't have close to the resources to tribute his whole career, BUT thanks to my Dad, I grew up listening to THESE albums, and they have held up well.

RIP Frank!

FREAK OUT-01 Hungry Freaks Daddy/02 I AIn't Got No Heart/03 Who Are the Brain Police/04 Go Cry On Someone Else's Shoulder/05 Motherly Love/06 How Could I Be Such a Fool/07 Wowie Zowie/08 You Didn't Try to Call Me/09 Any Way the Wind Blows/10 I'm Not Satisfied/11 You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here/12 Trouble Every Day/13 Help, I'm a Rock/14 The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet

ABSOLUTLEY FREE-01 Plastic People/02 The Duke of Prunes/03 Amnesia Vivace/04 The Duke
Regains his Chops/05 Call Any Vegetable/06 Invocation and Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin/07 Soft-Sell Conclusion/08 Big Leg Emma/09 Why Dontcah Do Me Right/10America Drinks/11 Status Back Baby/12 Uncle Bernie's Farm/13 Son of Suzy Creamcheese/14 Brown Shoes Don't Make it/15 America Drinks & Goes Home

WE'RE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY-01 Are You Hung Up?/02 Who Needs the Peace Corps?/03 Concentration Moon/04 Mom & Dad/05 Telephone Conversation/06 Bow Tie Daddy/07 Harry You're a Beast/08 What's The Ugliest Part of Your Body?/09 Absolutley Free/10 Flower Punk/11 Hot Poop/12 Nasal Retentive Calliope Music/13 Let's Make the Water Turn Black/14 The Idiot Bastard Son/15 Lonely Little Girl/16 Take Off Your Clothes When You Dance/17 What's the Ugliest Part of Your Boy (Reprise)/18 Mother People/19 The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny


UNCLE MEAT -01 Uncle Meat: Main Title Theme/02 The Voice of Cheese/03 Nine Types of Industrial Pollution/04 Zolar Czakl/05 Dog Breathe in the Year of the Plague/06 The Legend of the Golden Arches/07 Louie Louie/08 The Dog Breath Variations/09 Sleeping In a Jar/10 Our Bizarre Relationship/11 The Uncle Meat Variations/12 Electric Aunt Jamima/13 Prelude to King Kong/14 God Bless America/15 A Pound For a Brown on the Bus/16 Ian Underwood Whips It Out/17 Mr Green Genes/18 We Can Shoot You/19 "If We'd All Been Living In California"/20 The Air/21 Project X/22 Cruising For Burgers

BURNT WEENIE SANDWICH-01 WPLJ/02 Igor's Boogie, Phase 1/03 Overture to a Holiday in Berlin/04 Theme From Burnt Weenie Sandwich/05 Igor's Boogie Phase 2/06 Holiday In Berlin, Full Blown/07 Aybe Sea/08 The Little House I Used to Live In/09 Valerie

WEASLES RIPPED MY FLESH-01 Didja Get any Onya/02 Directly From My Heart To You/03 Prelude to the Afternoon of a Sexually Aroused Gas Mask/04 Toads of the Short Forrest/05 Get a Little/06 Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue/07 Dwarf Nebula Professional March and Dwarf Nebula/08 My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Momma/09 Oh No/10 The Orange County Lumber Truck/11 Weasles Ripped My Flesh


OK, some DAMN fine stuff here....NOT all-encomapssing (too much work), but I LOVE me these six Mothers albums......I grew up on them, granted I had kind of a hippie-stoner Dad, which was I guess in a lot of ways lucky.......You REALLY have to like these albums, they are essential and great, in particular, my fave will ALWAYS be "We're Only In It For the Money".....I'd love to know what YOUR fave is!


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