Frank Zappa: the 75th anniversary album by album thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mdekoning, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. mdekoning

    mdekoning Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Today is Frank Zappa's 75th birthday. A great moment to start a Frank Zappa album by album thread. I'll post a new album every week, using the wikipedia discography's "official albums" as a guideline. Note that I'll be using the tracklistings of the original vinyl release, but feel free to discuss different versions that have later appeared on reissues and CDs. If there's still enough interest in this thread when we get there, we may move on to the posthumous releases afterwards. Have fun!
    Scopitone, ArpMoog, Beech and 2 others like this.
  2. mdekoning

    mdekoning Forum Resident Thread Starter


    Released: June 27 1966
    Label: Verve Records
    Producer: Tom Wilson


    The Mothers of Invention
    Frank Zappa: Guitar, Conductor, Vocals
    Jimmy Carl Black: Percussion, Drums, Vocals
    Ray Collins: Vocals, Harmonica, Cymbals, Sound Effects, Tambourine, Finger Cymbals, Bobby Pin & Tweezers
    Roy Estrada: Bass & Guitarone, Boy Soprano
    Elliot Ingber: Alternate Lead & Rhythm Guitar

    The Mothers' Auxiliary
    Gene Estes: Percussion
    Eugene Di Novi: Piano
    Neil Le Vang: Guitar
    John Rotella: Clarinet, Sax
    Carol Kaye: 12-string Guitar
    Kurt Reher: Cello
    Raymond Kelley: Cello
    Paul Bergstrom: Cello
    Emmet Sargeant: Cello
    Joseph Saxon: Cello
    Edwin V. Beach: Cello
    Arthur Maebe: French Horn, Tuba
    Motorhead Sherwood: Noises
    Kim Fowley: Hypophone
    Mac Rebennack: Piano
    Paul Butterfield: Vocals
    Les McCann: Piano
    Jeannie Vassoir: (the voice of Cheese)

    All songs by Frank Zappa, except where noted.

    Side 1
    1.Hungry Freaks, Daddy (3:32)
    2.I Ain't Got No Heart (2:34)
    3.Who Are the Brain Police? (3:25)
    4.Go Cry on Somebody Else's Shoulder (Frank Zappa/Ray Collins) (3:43)
    5.Motherly Love (2:50)
    6.How Could I Be Such a Fool (2:16)

    Side 2
    7.Wowie Zowie (2:55)
    8.You Didn't Try to Call Me (3:21)
    9.Any Way the Wind Blows (2:55)
    10.I'm Not Satisfied (2:41)
    11.You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here (3:41)

    Side 3
    12.Trouble Every Day (5:53)
    13.Help, I'm a Rock (Suite in Three Movements) (8:37)
    I. Okay to Tap Dance
    II. In Memoriam, Edgard Varèse
    III. It Can't Happen Here"

    Side 4
    14.The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet (Unfinished Ballet in Two Tableaux) (12:22)
    I. Ritual Dance of the Child-Killer
    II. Nullis Pretii (No Commercial Potential)
  3. Thing Fish

    Thing Fish Stink Fin

    London England
    Great album. I met Jimmy Carl Black once and shook his hand, twas a great moment for me :)
    Fastnbulbous and Scope J like this.
  4. Flaming Torch

    Flaming Torch Forum Resident

    An astonishing start to a body of work which I am still getting to find my way around. Not the first Frank Zappa album I bought as I was only 8 at the time of release.
    BLUESJAZZMAN likes this.
  5. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    We're REALLY GONNA DO THIS?!?!!?
    Sadly, I know most of the "FO" songs from "Mothermania" & a sad 're-hash' Verve comp. called "The @$&* Of The Mothers". Didn't hear "FO" full until I bought "The Old Masters Box I".
    Though I forgot the guy's name who wrote the book, "Mother!" (Nigel Grey, I think), he makes an interesting point at the psychology at work on the cover, and the inner cover; When you remark on your own album,( on how much everybody hates you!) you're aiming for a certain audience. A small group that feels somewhat dejected by peers and society in general.... I know I fell for it...... and, I don't care if it was a ruse!
  6. simond9x

    simond9x Forum Resident

    A great start to a series that'll just get better (well, for a while anyway). I'd love to have seen the look on the face of the A&R man when he called by the studio at the end of the session ("WTF......?????")
  7. jeddy

    jeddy Forum Resident

    only way to do FO is the Mofo 4 disc boxset.

  8. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    I think this would be an appropriate time to let all those 'Beatle-people' know that if they wanna speculate on what "Carnival Of Light" MAY sound like, give "Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet" a listen!
  9. LandHorses

    LandHorses Forum Resident

    New Joisey
    Freak Out is one of my favorite FZ albums. Great teen angst and society songs on the first 2 sides. My favorite version of the great protest "Trouble Every Day".......I prefer the garage arrangement to the 70s reworking. "Help I'm A Rock"......."Suzie Creamcheese".......whats not to like?

    A landmark debut.
    mooseman and ArpMoog like this.
  10. elaterium

    elaterium Forum Resident

    Isn't the correct title Trouble Comin' Every Day? I seem to remember that on the label.
  11. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    We won't be talking about THAT for a long, LONG TIME!
  12. 93curr

    93curr Senior Member

    Yeah, the label listed it as 'Trouble Coming Every Day.' The cover track listing is just 'Trouble Every Day.' I would assume that the cover is more correct than the label. Those things often have errors ('400 Days Of The Year', anyone?) and I doubt either Wilson or Zappa was checking them before they got printed.
  13. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    First Mothers album I bought.
    Scope J likes this.

    BITBANGER Forum Resident

    Milford, CT.
    Wasn't this the first rock 2 record set? Also a 2 record set debut album! Unheard of at the time.
    Or was Blonde on Blonde first?
  15. SquaRoots

    SquaRoots Forum Resident

    Laniakea Superba
    Great thread!

    I think we can say that this album had everything that Zappa wanted to (and subsequently was going to) stand for in his very diverse, roller coaster like career. One of the few aspects absent here, it seems to me, are the jazz-tinged (i.e. jazz rock) compositions that emerged a couple of years later. This may be explained by the fact that hardly anyone had explored this type of music yet at the time ('65/'66). The jazz rock, and, what we now call prog rock era was still to come.

    In my opinion the work on this great set of songs foreshadows almost all of Zappa's later oeuvre.
    This may prove that Zappa knew exactly what he was going to do and how he was going to do it to realize his musical ambitions.
    Which other artist/composer has made such a bench-marking statement with their debut album, or in case of the pre-audio era their debut compositions (in the classical world e.g.)?

    A few favourites among the songs:

    - I've often introduced Zappa's music to the non believers on mix-tapes. Most of the time I included Trouble Comin' Every Day, which usually resonated with the yet to be converted. It's one of my personal FZ faves.

    - These days I cannot listen to Who Are The Brain Police without being impressed with Zappa's view on several topics of our current era.

    - Help, I'm A Rock. I used to skip this one until a couple of years back it suddenly became a song I really wanted to hear. These days I consider it to be one of the key tracks.

    I'd also like to remind all readers here of the late great Ray Collins. I think he deserves a statue somewhere for his unique contribution to this album.

  16. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    Freak Out was recorded in March 1966 and released on June 27.

    Blonde On Blonde was recorded between January and March 1966, originally scheduled to be released in May but postponed to June or July apparently due to a last minute mix change.

    So, I don't know if it will ever be settled which was first.
    citizensmurf and 93curr like this.
  17. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Scranton, PA
    Scope J, Folknik and ajsmith like this.
  18. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Scranton, PA
    And now the back
    Scope J, ajsmith and SquaRoots like this.
  19. 93curr

    93curr Senior Member

    Short answer: 'Freak Out!' was actually first but someone keeps going on Wikipedia and changing the 'Blonde on Blonde' release date to make it look like it was first.
    ajsmith likes this.
  20. Jason Michael

    Jason Michael Forum Resident

    This is probably my current favorite album by Zappa. I love how it progresses from a (for Zappa) pop music to increasingly avant-garde style by the end. It's unfortunate that the final track, The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet, seems under-developed and is not a great finale to the album. I have read some accounts that Zappa intended to add more to it but ran over budget. Not sure if that is true or not, but I can believe it. It's certainly missing something.
    Having said that, I still think it's a great album. I don't mean to take too much away from it through my usual incessant complaining.
    Beech likes this.
  21. kaztor

    kaztor Forum Resident

    Yeah, give or take 5 years from now, just in time for the 80th anniversary.

    First of all, a RIP to Mr. and Ms. Zappa.

    Haven't listened to FO (or the box set, for that matter) since ages. I much prefer the instrumental demos in the box to the actual album. The first half is good enough with sharp, interesting observations, but it loses me when it goes avant garde.

    Shouldn't we actually go like 'This is official release #1' as it says on the cd-releases?

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
  22. PsychGuy

    PsychGuy Forum Resident

    "Freak Out!": Mostly notable for the psychedelic wonders of the 9-minute “Help, I’m a Rock”/”It Can’t Happen Here.” Zappa took no drugs, but this is the headphone masterpiece that launched zillions of acid trips.

    Also, “Trouble Coming Every Day" and “Hungry Freaks, Daddy” and “Who Are the Brain Police.” But other that, “Freak Out!” wastes most of its double-disc running time on crap. No biggie: Zappa went right on to far superior "We're Only in It for the Money."

    Just saw his son fronting Zappa Plays Zappa. Dad would be proud. Zappa lives, in so many ways. ...
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
  23. citizensmurf

    citizensmurf Forum Resident

    What is impressive to me is that they both were conceiving this double rock album at the same time, without knowledge of one another. Of course BoB is the better album, but for a debut album, what a bold move to create a double.
  24. footlooseman

    footlooseman Forum Resident

    at her feet
    RIP Frank
    and the recently departed Gail who carried the torch mightily
  25. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    Uh...we already did this

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