Artist – Album: The Mothers of Invention – Freak Out!
Released: 27th June 1966
Sounds Like: I want to get freaky with you
The Mothers of Invention, Frank Zappa’s band, even did debut albums differently, smashing down their mission statement on not one but two discs of delightful doolalliness.
Disc one is a pop album of sorts, distilling all the discernible elements of popular music at the time and churning out a sound that was both accessible and unique at the same time. As well as the obvious titular pastiches on the likes of ‘Go Cry on Somebody Else’s Shoulder’ and ‘I’m Not Satisfied’, whole genres are parodied in the comical turns of doo wop or the xylophone-tastic beat pop of ‘Wowie Zowie’ (A writer friend described thusly – whimsical words married with stand-alone rhythms which may well have served as an unsung template for the Pixies. Smart eh?). Zappa wasn’t just a clown though, and lyrically he delivers masterful turns at songs of alienation, love and loss and avante-garde irony. As silly as ditties such as ‘Wowie Zowie’ and ‘You Didn’t Try to Call Me’ are, ‘How Could I Be Such a Fool’ and ‘Anyway the Wind Blows’ (written when Zappa was considering divorcing his first wife) are truly devastating. Meanwhile, tunes such as ‘Hungry Freaks, Daddy’ and ‘You’re Probably Wondering Why I’m Here’ flag up the fact that the band isn’t dealing in your standard pop rock, and that their music is aimed at “those who aren't afraid to say what's on their minds (The left-behinds of the Great Society)”.
Disc two is SUPER-trippy and may be best indulged after copious volumes of drugs. Still, ‘Trouble Every Day’ is brilliant blues rock set against an amazingly smart retort against racism, and on ‘Help, I’m a Rock’, well, it’s just fun to sing “help, i’m a rock” repeatedly.
It’s brilliant. In fact you might say that “just the other day I got so shook up I had a flash in the afternoon”.
Albumaday... rating: 10/10
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 – 3:43
5. Motherly Love – 2:50
6. How Could I Be Such a Fool? – 2:16
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
12. Trouble Every Day – 5:53
13. Help, I’m a Rock (Suite in Three Movements) – 8:37
14. The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet (Unfinished Ballet in Two Tableaux) – 12:22
Listen to ‘You Didn’t Try to Call Me ’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tJ6sUxMQ5M
Also released on the 27th June:
2005: Hayseed Dixie – A Hot Piece of Grass