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

WE'RE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.15 | 455 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Certif1ed
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars We're only in it for a rollercoaster of quality fun

Truly an Excellent addition to any prog rock collection - but not "prog" as we know it - a masterpiece of its own genre. So why do I not award the full 5 stars? Simply for that reason - it is NOT a masterpiece of Progressive Rock in the sense that "Court of the Crimson King" or "Foxtrot" are masters of the genre. A fine line, perhaps - but although this is progressive rock music without the capitalisation, it is the genre itself we are considering.

Now that you understand "prog" perfectly, onwards to a track-by-track analysis... No! Wait! What is the point, when we are considering a concept which contains many ideas rather than a simple collection of individual ideas - a work of art rather than a pop record;

There are stand out tracks, such as "Concentration Moon", "Flower Punk", "Lonely Little Girl", "Take Your Clothes off When You Dance" and "Mother People" - but that's not what this album is about; it is joined together as a complete concept should be, even if tenuously in places.

There is the satirical theme running through the album, from the cover which mocks "Sgt Pepper" (although that's the only thing about this album which does), to "Flower Punk", which directly mocks Hendrix's lyrics and attitude, while shying away from mocking his phenomenal talent - Zappa clearly had respect for other great musicians even if he did loathe what they stood for. In between, we find attacks on the hippie movement in general and the type of middle class Americans it attracted, who tended to be "weekend hippies" with dark private lives at odds with the ideals of the movement. It's not just these people, but also their families, corporations and the American Way that comes under Zappa's fire.

We also find a lot of musical experimentation - by playing with the popular styles of the day, Zappa embroiders them with his own personal style, humour and a super-rich production which gives this album a timeless feel musically. Use of electronics and reverse tapes (e.g. "Nasal Retentive Calliope Music") add a distinctly futuristic sound. I have always been particularly impressed by the sound of the bass on this album - and yes, it sounds like that on the original vinyl.

The burbling noises and spoken snippets range from the amusing to the downright irritating - some actually make me feel a little sick - but there's still no doubt that the overall collage that is "WE'RE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY" is a work of art by a genius. Buy it, and live in awe.

Certif1ed | 4/5 |

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