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Frank Zappa - The Mothers Of Invention: Freak Out! CD (album) cover

THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION: FREAK OUT!

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.92 | 566 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars There are so many things to say about the debut album from Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention that I will probably forget some ( so please excuse me in advance). I have been a Zappa fan for the last 15 years and collected CDīs and original LPīs ( fans will know that there is a big difference between the CD versions and the original LPs) with anything Zappa related in that time, read biographies and I had the pleasure of attending the Yellow Shark performance in Copenhagen, Denmark with Ensemple Modern. I unfortunately never saw Zappa live as he died shortly after my interest began ( Iīll regret that ītill the day that I die), but I had the pleasure of attending Zappa plays Zappa a couple of years ago with Dwezil Zappa, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Steve Vai, Terro Bozzio and a couple of more of the old Zappa family. Well I guess I just want to emphazise how big a fan I am, so youīll understand that my reviews of Zappa might be a little coloured.

The debut album by Mothers of Invention is a rather strange collection of songs. Freak Out! consist mainly of fifties rhythm and blues songs with some exceptions. The rhythm and blues songs have pretty funny lyrics. Like a line in the song Wowie Zowie where Zappa sings: I donīt even care if your Dadīs a he. These songs are pretty cheesy in the music department but saved by the funny lyrics. When you know Zappaīs love for fifties rhythm and blues songs youīll know that he on one hand loved to compose and play these songs but on the other hand despised them for being simple and cheesy. I think his ambivalence shines through.

There are some songs that stand out from the rest for being more thought provoking and maybe of more interrest for the common prog head than the fifties rhythm and blues songs. Iīd say Hungry Freaks, Daddy?, Who Are The Brain Police? , Trouble Every Day , Help I'm A Rock and The Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet are different from the rest of the songs. Hungry Freaks, Daddy? and Trouble Every Day are still pretty much rhythm and blues songs but the lyrics are very strong and even political. Who Are the Brain Police? is a really strange song. Still rock but very experimental and very prog in my eyes. Help Iīm A Rock has a krautrock rythm and is basically very repetitive improvation. In The Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet Zappa shows his collage mixing skill for the first time, something he would use extensively in his future production.

This album is from 1966 and I am sure there was nothing like it back then, this is really strange as half of the album is basically rooted in the 1950es and the rest is kind of futuristic. Pretty bizarre and I know thatīs the way Zappa liked it. He wanted to make people think when they listened to music and not just consume. Personally I like everything on this album except for Help Iīm a Rock and The Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet which is not to my liking. I know this is what makes this album prog rock, but I never liked the noisy part of Mothers of Invention, I always preferred the songs with intelligent lyrics, and there are fortunately plenty of them in Zappaīs discography. Some might say there is an overweight of the silly ones, but I think even the silly ones tells us something.

Itīs not a complete masterpiece but a sure 4 star album. What a brilliant start to an outstanding musical career.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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