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Frank Zappa Joe's Corsage album cover
2.95 | 63 ratings | 4 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. "Pretty Pat" (0:32)
2. Motherly Love (2:21)
3. Plastic People (3:04)
4. Anyway The Wind Blows (2:55)
5. I Ain't Got No Heart (3:50)
6. "The Phone Call" / My Babe (Righteous Brothers' cover) (4:06)
7. Wedding Dress Song/Handsome Cabin Boy (1:03)
8. Hitch Hike (Marvin Gaye cover) (2:54)
9. I'm So Happy I Could Cry (2:43)
10. Go Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder (3:29)
11. How Could I Be Such A Fool? (2:59)
12. "We Made Our Reputation Doing It That Way..." (5:33)

Total Time: 35:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Frank Zappa / guitar, vocals, arranger

- Ray Collins / vocals, tambourine (2-8), harmonica (6-8)
- Henry Vestine / guitar (2-5)
- Roy Estrada / bass, vocals (6-8)
- Jimmy Carl Black / drums

Releases information

Posthumous first compilation by Joe Travers of unreleased recordings taken from the archives: Mothers' 1965 demos (2-5), Mothers' 1964-65 Live including two cover songs (6-8), mono recordings made before Freak Out! (9-11)

Artwork: Keith Lawler

CD Vaulternative Records ‎- VR 20041 (2004, US)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FRANK ZAPPA Joe's Corsage ratings distribution

(63 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(14%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (25%)
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)

FRANK ZAPPA Joe's Corsage reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Joe's Corsage" is a full-length album release by US avant garde rock act Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention. The album was released through Vaulternative Records in May 2004. "Joe's Corsage" features archive material recorded in 1964-1965. Some or probably most of it while the band were still called The Soul Giants. The album was compiled by archivist Joe Travers. Most of the material are demo recordings of tracks that in their final form would appear on the bandīs debut album "Freak Out! (1966)", but also a few tracks that would appear on "Absolutely Free (1967)" and "We're Only In It For The Money (1968)". In addition to the demos there are also a couple of live cover tracks by Righteous Brothers and Marvin Gaye. There are also a couple of interludes on the album where Frank Zappa speaks of the origins of the band and his influences, taken from interviews from the sixties.

If you are already familiar with the early material by the band and the doo woop/rīnīb style of tracks like "Anyway the Wind Blows" and "Go Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder" you pretty much know what to expect from "Joe's Corsage". The versions on this album vary from the ones that ended up on the studio albums, but for the most part the tracks arenīt terribly different from the studio versions. A track like "I'm So Happy I Could Cry", which ended up being titled "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance" on "We're Only In It For The Money (1968)" featuring a new set of lyrics, is one of the tracks that sound a bit different from the studio version, but otherwise I think there are little here thatīll be of interest to anyone but the most hardcore collectors. Still the recordings are of good quality with a, for the time, remarkably good sound production and of course thereīs nothing wrong with the quality of the material either, so a 3 star (60%) rating is fair.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Oh, the things that are lurking in Frank Zappa's vault.

This album consists mostly of pre-"Freak Out" demos and tapes of Frank and The Mothers, plus a few live tracks from the same era. At the time, besides Frank, the band consisted of Ray Collins, Roy Estrada and Jimmy Carl Black. Also on guitar on some of the tracks is Henry Vestine, who is more famous as the guitarist for Canned Heat.

Historically important to Zappa fans, the album includes classic tracks from the first few MOI albums, with very different vocals and sometimes different arrangements. The most notable song is I'm So Happy I Could Cry, with unusually un-Zappalike upbeat lyrics over the music that we know as Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance.

The sound on these recordings is quite good. In fact it's better than a lot of major label albums from years later.

For a Zappaphile like me, 4 stars. For the normal prog fan, 3 stars.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Released posthumously in 2004, this is a collection of very early Mothers of Invention tracks, probably recorded mostly before the Mothers was even the name of the band. These tracks are early versions of tracks from "Freak Out!", "Absolutely Free" and "We're Only in it For the Money". Some have different names. There are also a few covers that don't appear on other albums.

This is a rather valuable collection for the Zappa fan and also a good collection for lovers of Doo Wop/R&B music from the 50s and 60s. The recordings are pretty decent, but there is nothing prog about any of this music. There are also some interview clips included here from a radio show (Canadian I think).

"pretty pat" is a short interview clip about how the band came up with the name "Mothers of Invention". Tracks 2 - 5 are demos from 1965 and are all songs that should be recognized from the early albums, but these are versions that you probably haven't heard, mostly with different lyrics.. For example, "Motherly Love"'s lyrics are more specific when talking about specific members of the band instead of the group in general. "Plastic People" includes lyrics that were probably too questionable for the time it was released officialy for the album.

Tracks 6 - 8 are taken from a live performance possible in California sometime around 1964 or 65. The first snippet from track 6 is from an interview, but it flows into the performance of "My Babe" which is a cover of an old Righteous Brothers song. Next is a short instrumental and after that is "Hitch Hike" which is unique to this collection.

Tracks 9 - 11 are more demos from before the Freak Out! album and include more songs that made some of the early albums. Again, these are rare recordings that were not available previously. The last track is a 5 minute spoken word taken from the interview again where Frank talks about the early history of the group and how tough it was. There are some interesting tidbits here for sure.

There have been other collections from these early years, but these tracks are all pretty much unique to this collection as far as early demo versions mostly. Probably not a lot here to interest the casual listener, but for those interested in the Mother's early history, this is a great collection. No prog though, so don't go looking for it here. 3 stars.

Review by Mirakaze
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Joe's Corsage is not an essential item in the extensive Zappa catalog by any means, but it is quite an interesting historical document of the earliest part of the wacky career of the Mothers of Invention, cataloguing a point in their career when they were just growing out of their conventional rhythm & blues roots. Fans of "Freak Out!" will be delighted to hear earlier versions of some of the psychedelic pop songs from that album. Additionally, the album contains interesting versions of "Wedding Dress Song/Handsome Cabin Boy" and "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance" (here sung with different lyrics under the title "I'm So Happy I Could Cry") performed in a similar style, quite different from how they ended up being released. Interspersed with the music are snippets of interviews with Zappa explaining his musical background and how he came in touch with the rest of the group; I found these interesting but I understand if most listeners will just dismiss them as filler. Speaking of which, I cannot really in good conscience recommend buying this for the outrageous full price that is usually demanded for posthumous Zappa releases, especially since the album is only 35 minutes long and padded out with some run-of-the-mill 12-bar blues numbers, but I think it is overall worth a Zappa fan's time on streaming platforms or as a second-hand copy.

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