FRANK ZAPPA — We're Only in It for the Money (The Mothers Of Invention)

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FRANK ZAPPA - We're Only in It for the Money (The Mothers Of Invention) cover
3.92 | 31 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1968


1. Are You Hung Up? (1:24)
2. Who Needs The Peace Corps? (2:34)
3. Concentration Moon (2:22)
4. Mom & Dad (2:16)
5. Telephone Conversation (0:48)
6. Bow Tie Daddy (0:33)
7. Harry, You're A Beast (1:21)
8. What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body? (1:03)
9. Absolutley Free (3:24)
10. Flower Punk (3:03)
11. Hot Poop (0:23)
12. Nasal Retentive Calliope Music (2:02)
13. Let's Make The Water Turn Black (2:01)
14. The Idiot Bastard Son (3:18)
15. Lonely Little Girl (1:09)
16. Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance(1:32)
17. What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body? (Reprise) (1:02)
18. Mother People (2:26)
19. The Chrome Plated Megaphone Of Destiny (6:25)

Total Time: 39:06


- Frank Zappa / vocals, guitar
- Roy Estrada / bass, vocals
- Don Preston / keyboards
- Jimmy Carl Black / drums, vocals
- Ian Underwood / winds, keyboards
- Euclid James `Motorhead` Sherwood / winds
- Billy Mundi / drums
- Bunk Gardner / winds

About this release

Verve Records – V6-5045X

Thanks to snobb for the addition


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"We're Only In It For The Money" is a Zappa and the Mothers album dripping with cynical attitude poking fun of parental excess and adolescent stupidity. It openly has a stab at the police, the system and the yuppie jet set verses the hippy drug culture. On one listen it will amuse and the lyrics are certainly the most biting I have heard exposing the American way "smash every creep in the face with a rock, gotta go bye bye, pow pow pow." The songs are dark at least in thematic content but the tunes are quirky and whimsical. Even the album cover blatantly makes fun of the classic Beatles Sgt Pepper. There is no subtlety in either imagery or style. Zappa just lets rip on everything damning the world. The result is a mixed bag of strange hyper tense lyrics and compelling tunes.

The tracks are so short that if you do not like one you only have to wait about a minute for the next track. The special effects as always on a Mothers album are terrific. The phone call on Telephone Conversation is so similar to Pink Floyd's The Wall it is uncanny. Certainly this album was a major influence on concept albums. Zappa was doing things on vinyl that no other artist dared. "Freak Out" proved he could produce bizarre material and this follows up on this with a strong conceptual frame work. Songs like Bow Tie Daddy are throwaways for me as they are too stupid. I am not into the style either so this is a difficult listen as was "Freak Out!"

What´s the ugliest part of your body? is a fun track due to the 50s doo wop style, a Zappa-esqu touch plaguing his other albums. It is okay in small measure. The lyrics to follow are quite potent such as making fun of Christmas, "comet and cupid and donner and blitzen, escape from your logo" on Absolutely Free. The funky double bass heavy Flower Punk is particularly innovative lyrically, "throw out the crystal and join the psychedelic man, and a narrative voice spouting off about the evils of the music industry, "The kids today are so wonderful, I'm proud to be part of this gigantic mass deception".

Nasal retentive calliope music brings us back to the bizarre world of these acid heads, and perhaps is a bit too disconcerting for some listeners, as perturbing as a lot of darker prog these days. An avant-garde sound collage that is really a noise fest of creaking squeaks and ear splitting sonic vibrations. Let's Make the Water Turn Black is one of the more well known Zappa tracks featuring in some of the concerts. Some otherworldy sounds accompany the second side of the album introducing tracks and then the music jumps straight in like The Residents style, with no introductions and no endings. The songs blend together and hardly develop until the next weird effect. There is lots of jabbering and nonsense but it seems to work in a similar way to other Mothers albums. Finally we get to the hilarious Lonely Little Girl and Take your clothes off when you dance which is rather restrained for Zappa in terms of crudity, but has lots of nananana wah wah wah wah in the lyrics, but is a breezy piece that typifies the band's sound.

This is once again one of the products of the late sixties and is fun for a while but you may prefer the more serious Zappa on "Hot Rats" if you are here for the music because this one sacrifices music for insanity and subversive humour.
The ultimate musical "a curse on all your houses", before Altamont, before the National Guard shooting students in Ohio, before the chaos at the 1968 Democratic convention and the victory of Richard Nixon, Zappa and the Mothers were there, right in the thick of the summer of love, exposing it for the sham that it is whilst refusing to let the establishment off the hook at the same time. Lyrically bang on target, the album expresses Zappa's anger as the momentum of the civil rights movement and all the movements for progressive social change that had built up in the earlier part of the decade is squandered by naive hippies espousing incoherent, vacuous philosophies and showing more interest in taking drugs and getting laid than genuinely changing the world. Along with Love's "Forever Changes" and *maybe* the work of the Doors, this ranks amongst the very first albums to suggest that the Age of Aquarius might, in fact, simply be a washout.

Musically speaking, it's a bit less schizophrenic than Absolutely Free, partially because of the unity of the concept. Between the tape effects and whisperings at the edge of the recording, some of which hide the inner thoughts of the hippy musicians the band are parodying, the music begins with a strident, almost militant tone with "who needs the peace corps", takes pot-shots at the establishment with "Bow-Tie Daddy" and "Mom and Dad", and as the 60s generation gets gradually consumed by Vietnam amidst the fairytale gadding about of "Let's Make the Water Turn Black" the music - like the movement it is criticising - breaks down and gives way to the incoherence musique concrete of The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny. This and "Absolutely Free" are the two major statements of the early Mothers of Invention; Zappa's later music would be more progressive, but the satire would never be quite as finely targeted.

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