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Frank Zappa - Mothermania: The Best Of The Mothers CD (album) cover


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3 stars The best of the first three albums, Freak Out, Absolutely Free and We're Only In It For The Money. It wil not be released on CD because MGM/Verve issued a number of the songs without some of the Zappa accentuations that were on the original albums. While this makes for a more listenable album, Frank was p.o.'d about its release in this manner. I believe his wife Gail, has also mentioned that it will not be released on CD.

It is a good introduction for someone who has not heard these three Mothers albums. The only problem is that it is probably cheaper to by the three CDs than try to find a copy of this LP. They also leave out a few songs that you would expect on a Best of album of that era, such as More Trouble Every Day and Let's Make The Water Turn Black.

The inside fold out cover is a neat group of pictures with pictures of the teeth of each member of the band, a good example of the dental fixation of some of the Mothers album covers of that era.

Report this review (#30017)
Posted Thursday, October 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars A great compilation. Itīs the only Zappa authorized "best of". Some tracks are different like "It canīt happen here", "Call only vegetable" and the lovely curious "Idiot bastard son" Also its the only way to here the original uncensored version of "mother people". Unfortunatly the album is not released on CD, but the original vinyl sounds great, especially the very first pressings from US and U.K. Summary a great cross-section of the early verve years. Thanks from Christian Johnson
Report this review (#30018)
Posted Sunday, April 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars I'm not going to give this a number score, but rather tell you that it's a collection of great early Mothers material. No unreleased material making this a pretty dumb compilation to buy, it was really released on contract obligation. However I would totally say just please buy the albums that contain these songs, as they are all legendary in their own right. I can only score this under collectors/fans only, looking past number scores.
Report this review (#38707)
Posted Wednesday, July 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Alright, this is good way to start your way through the Mothers of Invention, but I woudn't recommend it. The successions of the songs on Zappa albums are usually important. When you listen to any of his albums, you have to listen to it entirely to really enjoy it. So having all those somehow popular song put together is not too enjoyable to me. You'd be better buying "Uncle Meat" or "We're Only In It For The Money".
Report this review (#81850)
Posted Friday, June 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
Chris H
4 stars As the only true Mothers of Invention compilation, this album will always hold on to a special place in my heart. I, as a Zappa fan and not a reviewer, get awfully tired of hearing Don't Eat The Yellow Snow or Joe's Garage on every single compilation of Frank Zappa's. Which is why I highly recommend this to very person I meet. These songs right here are the songs that defined the Mothers of Invention as a groundbreaking band that could still find moderate public success, and also the career of Frank Zappa.

I always say that this is the weirdest compilation that people will buy, without the weirdness. That could be a very true statement if you study it close enough, for these tracks are some of the most utterly mind- shattering levels of weirdness that bands were touching on in the days of this release, however this was the tamest stuff out of the Mothers' pre-1970 catalogue.

Like I said, this is the best of the Mothers, not the commercially best of Frank Zappa. So do yourself a favor and try and hunt this down because it is very hard to find but you'll thank yourself at the end of the search. Don't harp on the fact that it was released after only 3 years of Mothers work, this is a gem for all fans of weirdness in music.

4 stars.

Report this review (#158666)
Posted Tuesday, January 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Mothermania is a best of album from Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention. Itīs not a regular best of album though as most of the songs differ a bit from the original. This is a real treat of course and IMO the reason for buying Mothermania if youīre already a fan who has all the albums ( of course you have all the albums right ?).

There is a broad selection of songs from the three Mothers of Invention albums Freak Out!, Absolutely Free and Weīre Only in It for the Money. Neither Cruising with Ruben and the Jets or Uncle Meat is represented here. The first one probably because it wasnīt very popular and with Uncle Meat Iīm not sure if it was released before or after Mothermania came out. Uncle Meat was released the same year ( 1969) as Mothermania.

The song selection is good and represents the three albums well which means that the album serves its purpose as a best of album well. The small changes to vocal parts or instrumentation is only something you notice if youīre a hardcore fan. There are great songs like Brown Shoes Don't Make It, Mother People ( with the changed vocal line: Shut your [%*!#]ing mouth about the length of my hair), The Duke Of Prunes, The Idiot Bastard Son, Plastic People, Hungry Freaks, Daddy and Who Are The Brain Police? On Mothermania, but all songs are classics in The Mothers of Inventionīs repetoire.

The musicianship is of course of the highest caliber as always when Frank Zappa is involved. Some might call some of the vocals parts out of tune but believe me when I say that it is on purpose when things sound a bit dissonant or out of tune at times.

The production is muddy at times but incredible anyway if you think about when this music was made. Frank Zappa is a genious producer. There I said it.

Mothermania has a double function as it is equally as attractive to the Zappa newbie as it is to hardcore Zappa fan. Itīs a very recommendable best of album and deserves 4 stars.

Report this review (#173681)
Posted Thursday, June 12, 2008 | Review Permalink

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