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THREESOME NO. 1

Frank Zappa

RIO/Avant-Prog


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Frank Zappa Threesome No. 1 album cover
4.03 | 18 ratings | 1 reviews | 55% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hungry Freaks, Daddy (3:29)
2. I Ain't Got No Heart (2:35)
3. Who Are the Brain Police? (3:33)
4. Go Cry on Somebody Else's Shoulder (3:40)
5. Motherly Love (2:45)
6. How Could I Be Such a Fool? (2:13)
7. Wowie Zowie (2:53)
8. You Didn't Try to Call Me (3:18)
9. Any Way the Wind Blows (2:55)
10. I'm Not Satisfied (2:38)
11. You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here (3:38)
12. Trouble Every Day (5:50)
13. Help, I'm a Rock (4:43)
14. It Can't Happen Here (3:56)
15. The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet (12:17)
16. Plastic People (3:42)
17. The Duke of Prunes (2:13)
18. Amnesia Vivace (1:01)
19. The Duke Regains His Chops (1:52)
20. Call Any Vegetable (2:15)
21. Invocation and Ritual Dance of the Young... (7:00)
22. Soft-Sell Conclusion (1:40)
23. Big Leg Emma [*] (2:31)
24. Why Don'tcha Do Me Right? [*] (2:37)
25. America Drinks (1:53)
26. Status Back Baby (2:54)
27. Uncle Bernie's Farm (2:10)
28. Son of Suzy Creamcheese (1:34)
29. Brown Shoes Don't Make It (7:30)
30. America Drinks and Goes Home (2:45)
31. Are You Hung Up? (1:24)
32. Who Needs the Peace Corps? (2:34)
33. Concentration Moon (2:22)
34. Mom and Dad (2:16)
35. Telephone Conversation (0:48)
36. Bow Tie Daddy (0:33)
37. Harry, You're a Beast (1:21)
38. What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body? (1:03)
39. Absolutely Free (3:24)
40. Flower Punk (3:03)
41. Hot Poop (0:26)
42. Nasal Retentive Calliope Music (2:02)
43. Let's Make the Water Turn Black (2:01)
44. The Idiot Bastard Son (3:18)
45. Lonely Little Girl (1:09)
46. Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance (1:32)
47. What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body?... (1:02)
48. Mother People (2:26)
49. The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny (6:25)

Total Time:
Threesome, Vol. 1 contains the first three albums by the "Mothers of Invention": "Freak Out!", "Absolutely Free", and "We're Only in It for the Money".

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Name / guitars
- Name / drums

Releases information

Rykodisc #RCD 40582

Thanks to for the addition
and to Joren for the last updates
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Threesome No. 1Threesome No. 1
Box set · Remastered
Zappa Records 2002
Audio CD$79.95
$27.42 (used)


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FRANK ZAPPA Threesome No. 1 ratings distribution


4.03
(18 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(55%)
55%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
27%
Good, but non-essential (9%)
9%
Collectors/fans only (9%)
9%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

FRANK ZAPPA Threesome No. 1 reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Threesome No. 1 is a boxset which includes the three first Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention albums Freak Out!, Absolutely Free and We're Only In It For The Money ( Lumpy Gravy was strictly speaking a Frank Zappa solo album). Three groundbreaking and essential avant garde rock albums from one of my favorite artists.

Freak Out!:

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 don īt 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 you īll 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.

Absolutely Free:

The second album from Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention was Absolutely Free. This is an even greater album than their debut Freak Out ! Which I think is an excellent album. Absolutely Free could be called a concept album even though more concepts blend together.

Plastic People starts the album of, but is in fact more in the same concept as the songs on side 2 of the LP version. This is political and social satire and itīs so well written both in the lyric department and in the music department. The rest of side 1 of the LP version is the Duke of Prunes concept. All the songs seque into each other and the lyrics are strangely enough about Prunes and Cabbage and our general relationship with vegetables ? Itīs so hilarious and a great contrast to the political and social satire presented on the other songs on the album.

On the Rykodisc CD version that I have there are two extra tracks just after the Duke of Prunes story and I canīt believe these songs were ommited from the original LP as Both Big Leg Emma and especially Why Donītcha do Me Right? are great songs that I wouldnīt be without. They are pretty basic rythmīnīblues songs with teenage lyrics but as always Zappa pulls it off in grand fashion.

Side 2 has some really great songs that ranges from the political Uncle Bernieīs Farm and Brown Shoes Donīt Make It to the more social satirical songs Status Back Baby and Son of Suzy Creamchease ( basically Teenage problems). The most exciting song here must be Brown Shoes Donīt Make it which is a great satire over american political and social life. Brown Shoes Donīt Make it has many sections of music and musical styles incorporated as it was typical for the Mothers of Invention.

This is one of my favorite Zappa albums from the Mothers of Invention days and a one of a kind album for sure. This is a masterpiece of progressive music. Put it into any genre you like, this is just great music. 5 stars is a matter of course with this album.

We're Only In It For The Money:

This is one of the best known Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention albums. Itīs a favorite of mine in his discography and if you havenīt listened to Zappa before this is one of the albums you should start with. This is one of the most progressive yet accessible rock albums from the sixties that I have heard. Strange sounds and tape recordings of conversations spliced together mixed with pop/ rock songs with memorable and even beautiful melodies. This is topped of by some of the most provocative and clever lyrics written for a rock album ever. This is simply put one of my all time favorite albums. Itīs fantastic! no less.

The lyrics are funny, provocative and clever as I mentioned above. A line like: Whatīs the Ugliest Part Of Your Body, some Say Your Nose, some Say Your Toes, But I think itīs Your Mind, sung in fifties style doo voop is just fantastic and the sexual explicit lyrics in Harry Youīre a Beast are so hilarious and I can only say tuché to the american womanhood. There is a kind of backwards sounding vocal part which is just beautiful to the twisted mind ( I am one). It seems like censorship noise but Iīm sure Zappa did this on purpose and to great effect I might add. The song starts with the vocal line: Iīm gonna tell you the way it is, and Iīm not gonna be kind or easy, your whole attitude sticks I say, and the Life you lead is completely empty. Iīll just let that stand there for a while. This was of course very provocative in 1968 as it is the american womanhood Zappa is talking about, but as bitingly sarcastic and provocative Zappa could be, he could be just as socially aware. Songs like Concentration Moon and Mom & Dad proves this fully. Thoughful and clever lyrics.

A lot of the lyrics are about what Zappa saw as fake hippy ideals, societyīs expectations to young people and Zappaīs favorite subject hypocricy and bigotry.

The music is for the most part little pop/ rock songs with lots of twists, there are a few examples of the more noisy avant garde side of The Mothers Of Invention in Nasal Retentive Calliope Music and The Chrome Plated Megaphone Of Destiny but the rest of the album is in a more conventional format. All the songs seque together though and the album ends up being a kind of concept album. There are also strong classical influences on the album even though there are no classical music parts as such.

The incarnation of The Mothers of Invention who played on various parts of this album was perhaps the best lineup they ever had. Frank Zappa on Vocals and Guitar, Roy Estrada on Vocals ( The high pitched notes) and Bass, two drummers in Billy Mundi and Jimmy Carl Black. Jimmy Carl Black also adds vocals, but they are mostly spoken. Don Preston on keyboards and the classical trained Ian Underwood on winds and keyboards/ Piano, Euclid James `Motorhead` Sherwood on winds and finally Bunk Gardner on winds. All very talented musicians who could play almost anything.

The production is worth a whole review for itself as it is fantastic and innovative. Frank Zappa was not only an outstanding musician but also a brilliant producer.

It seems I canīt praise this album enough, but Iīm sure you get the picture, without me going on about the many qualities this album have. All I want to say here in my conclusion is that this is a milestone album in prog rock and in Zappaīs discography and it deserves 5 stars more than any other album in prog archives.

Conclusion:

The idea to put these three albums out together is great and fully deserves a 5 star rating. I canīt think of anything that makes me more happy than these albums. To have them all in a boxset format is really great.

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Posted Saturday, October 18, 2008

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