FRANK ZAPPA — Freak Out! (The Mothers Of Invention) (review)

FRANK ZAPPA — Freak Out! (The Mothers Of Invention) album cover Album · 1966 · Jazz Related Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
The beginning of a legend. Album #1 of a gazillion more to come. The Mothers Of Invention didn't exactly take the world by storm with this highly cutting edge album from 1966. It barely made a blip in the musical radar and many of those who did pay attention deemed it unworthy of further listening pleasure. Well pooey on them! Little did the world know then that Mr Zappa, leader of this vast ensemble of the musical mad, would go on to shake up the world and inspire the world of music with his highly erratic, eclectic and political biting take on things.

Despite the album title, this is one of the tamest ZAPPA albums with songs that are R&B, doowop and standard bluesy rock all set to avant-garde sound collages. In a way the amalgamation of the decade before with something so revolutionary was his trademark giving accessible music a little kick in the behind. The album isn't totally tame. At the end we get two fully avant-garde tracks with “It Can't Happen Here” and “The Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet,” a preview of what would further develop.

It's true that this is the first rock concept album as well as rock double album (if you don't count Dylan as rock) and considering The Beatles released REVOLVER the same year as this, it also seems he was a bit ahead of the game. Despite being ignored by the public at large, this became a cult hit. As cutting edge as this album is I would love to give it five stars, but unfortunately many of the tunes are not as interesting as what would begin on the second album, however this is without a doubt a MUST HAVE for any fan of not only ZAPPA, but of rock and prog alike.
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