FRANK ZAPPA — Uncle Meat (The Mothers Of Invention)

Jazz music community with review and forums

FRANK ZAPPA - Uncle Meat (The Mothers Of Invention) cover
3.82 | 26 ratings | 1 review
Buy this album from MMA partners

Album · 1969


A1 Uncle Meat: Main Title Theme 1:54
A2 The Voice Of Cheese 0:27
A3 Nine Types Of Industrial Pollution 5:56
A4 Zolar Czakl 0:57
A5 Dog Breath, In The Year Of The Plague 5:51
A6 The Legend Of The Golden Arches 1:24
A7 Louie Louie (At The Royal Albert Hall In London) 2:28
A8 The Dog Breath Variations 1:36
B1 Sleeping In A Jar 0:49
B2 Our Bizarre Relationship 1:05
B3 The Uncle Meat Variations 4:40
B4 Electric Aunt Jemima 1:53
B5 Prelude To King Kong 3:24
B6 God Bless America (Live At The Whisky A Go Go) 1:22
B7 A Pound For A Brown On The Bus 1:29
B8 Ian Underwood Whips It Out (Live On Stage In Copenhagen) 5:08
C1 Mr. Green Genes 3:10
C2 We Can Shoot You 1:48
C3 "If We'd All Been Living In California . . . " 1:29
C4 The Air 2:57
C5 Project X 4:47
C6 Cruising For Burgers 2:19
D1 King Kong Itself (As Played By The Mothers In A Studio) 0:53
D2 King Kong (Its Magnificence As Interpreted By Dom DeWild) 1:15
D3 King Kong (As Motorhead Explains It) 1:44
D4 King Kong (The Gardner Varieties) 6:17
D5 King Kong (As Played By 3 Deranged Good Humor Trucks) 0:29
D6 King Kong (Live On A Flat Bed Diesel In The Middle Of A Race Track At A Miami Pop Festival . . . The Underwood Ramifications) 7:25


- Frank Zappa / guitar, percussion, keyboards, vocals
- Don Preston / bass, keyboards, electric piano
- Jimmy Carl Black / comedy, percussion, drums, voices
- Ray Collins / guitar, vocals
- Aynsley Dunbar / guitar
- Roy Estrada / basses, vocals
- Bunk Gardner / clarinet, flute, bass clarinet, piccolo, saxes, wind
- Ruth Komanofff / percussion, marimba
- Billy Mundi / drums, vocals
- Jim Sherwood / guitar, vocals, wind
- Art Tripp / percussion, chimes, drums, marimba, xylophone, bells, tympani, vibraphone, wood block
- Ian Underwood / organ, clarinet, flute, guitar, piano, celeste, harpsichord, keyboards, saxes, wind, electric organ
- Ruth Underwood / percussion, keyboards
- Nelly Walker / vocals
- Euclid James Sherwood / tenor sax, tambourine, voices

About this release

Bizarre Records – 2MS 2024

Recorded at Apostolic Studios, NYC October 1967-February 1968

Thanks to snobb for the addition


More places to buy metal & FRANK ZAPPA music

  • CDUniverse - Specializing in the sale of domestic and imported music CDs and Imports


Specialists/collaborators reviews

No FRANK ZAPPAUNCLE MEAT (THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION) reviews posted by specialists/experts yet.

Members reviews

Note: as I suspect other reviewers will want to do, I'm reviewing the album as it was originally released - without the 40 minutes of "penalty tracks" tagged on to the front of disc 2 as excerpts from the never-finished Uncle Meat movie and Tengo Na Minchia Tanta, a daft Zappa composition from the 1980s which has nothing to do with this album.

Uncle Meat represents the start of the final phase of the original Mothers of Invention - as also documented on Burnt Weeny Sandwich and Weasels Ripped My Flesh. Having got their commercial urges out of their system on Cruising With Ruben and the Jets, the group threw themselves into performing Zappa's challenging and increasingly jazz- and classical- influenced works, forming the missing link between the early Mothers albums and Zappa's later solo career. (Indeed, one song on here, Mr Green Genes, would lose its quasi-operatic vocal and get a big shot of fusion before being rolled out on Hot Rats as Son of Mr Green Genes).

That isn't to say the occasional parody of more commercial pop idioms is absent - The Air and Cruising for Burgers are some of the best Mothers songs in that style, as is the first part of Dog Breath In the Year of the Plague before it takes a left turn into driving proto-fusion and jazz-classical third stream experimentation - but the group no longer makes any pretense of hoping to attain commercial appeal - as the occasional spoken word interjection from "Suzy Creamcheese", returning from Freak Out!, attests to. To be fair, they didn't necessarily mean to - whilst not seeing much popular success in the States, they did at least have a loyal following in the UK at the time, as the extracts from a performance at the Royal Albert Hall on Louie Louie attest.

Aside from Zappa, the band member most worthy of note here is Ian Underwood, whose woodwind and sax playing is key to the band's new sound (having been a presence since We're Only In It For the Money), and gets to showcase his playing on Ian Underwood Whips It Out. Also notable is the fact that this is the first Zappa album to feature the marimba and vibes stylings of Ruth Komanoff (who would become Ruth Underwood on marrying Ian the following year), which would be a key part of Zappa's sound for much of the 1970s. The band as a whole shines on the album's closer, the sidelong epic King Kong, which fusion fans in particular should pay particular attention to since in style it seems to be a seminal work of that particular type - the likes of Weather Report and the Mahavishnu Orchestra would only catch up to this sort of pounding, furious, volcanic playing in the 1970s, whereas this was recorded in 1968!

To my mind, there's not a bad track on the album ("penalty tracks" excluded), though admittedly there's a wide range of musical styles on offer and if you don't like them all you might find some parts of the album drag. But if you can stomach avant-classical, jazz, bubblegum doo-wop and proto-fusion all coming together in Zappa's creative blender, you can't go wrong.

Ratings only

  • MoogHead
  • lunarston
  • St Tree Fun
  • zrong
  • esset55
  • Lynx33
  • progshine
  • EntertheLemming
  • Kontiki
  • historian9
  • chrijom
  • Dr Dopo
  • timzurita
  • Xaxaar
  • darkprinceofjazz
  • Croteau
  • darkshade
  • Drummer
  • HeadlessJazzman
  • POW
  • Tychovski
  • Noak2
  • Sean Trane
  • The_Jester
  • The Block

Write/edit review

You must be logged in to write or edit review


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
Buy this album from our partners
Blue Train Hard Bop
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Rebecca Kilgore Trio Vol. 1 Vocal Jazz
Buy this album from MMA partners
Solo Post-Fusion Contemporary
Buy this album from MMA partners
Flee & Free Fusion
Buy this album from MMA partners
Steven Feifke Big Band : Kinetic Big Band
Buy this album from MMA partners
Sometime Ago Vocal Jazz
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Ricardo Silveira_Solo_Luiza
js· 2 hours ago
Steven Feifke Big Band - Nica's Dream
js· 1 day ago
Something Wonderful
js· 1 day ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Jazz News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us