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Frank Zappa - The Making Of Freak Out! Project/Object CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.42 | 40 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars If you look carefully at the Rykodisc edition of any FZ CD, you'll see somewhere, buried amidst the credits, FZ approved master and a date. For Freak Out, that date is 1993.

MOFO (Making of Freak Out) presents the original 1966 stereo mix of the album (on Disc 1) and a second disc of assorted early tracks, outtakes, and general craziness also recorded during the sessions that produced Freak Out. So assuming you already own the Rykodisc edition (you do own it, don't you?), why should you buy it yet again in its MOFO incarnation? Is this really just another money-grab by the FZ Family Trust. In a word, no, and given that this album is one of the seminal prog albums, you should hear it in its original mix, as it was originally presented.

While the Ryko version of Freak Out does not obviously suffer from the misguided revisionism FZ applied to some of the early albums (e.g., the updated drum/bass tracks that render the Ryko version of Ruben and the Jets unlistenable), it never hurts to go back to the source to hear what someone like myself, who was a mere 13-year-old at the time, encountered upon listening to Freak Out the first time.

Frankly (pun intended), it's hard for my middle-aged ears to hear much difference in the two versions. I'd say the MOFO mix is a cruder, less clean, more in-your-face recording -- which I think was the original purpose of the album. In any case there's no disappointment in the sound: the cutting guitars of FZ and Elliot Ingber, the pachuco bass of Roy Estrada, Jimmy Carl Black's strip-club drumming, and the incomparable voice of Ray Collins; it's all here in its original glory.

Unlike other reviewers, I'm going to give this the five stars it deserves. However, if you already own Freak Out, you may want to consider whether the earlier mix, the extended liner notes, and completionism is worth your while.

jammun | 5/5 |


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