Friday, April 6, 2007

Frank Zappa - We`re Only In It For The Money - 320 CBR


The Mothers of Invention answer the sentiments of the suits, the suburb dwellers, and flower children of the 60's with a big fat raspberry. Considered by many to be the Mothers' (and some would say Zappa's) best album, We're Only in it for the Money deals with harsh subject matter in a seemingly glib and light-hearted fashion (eventually a Zappa trademark), sparing no targets with catchy melodies and high-pitched vocals. Zappa applies the same aggressive studio techniques he did on Lumpy Gravy, creating a jarring collage of sound that still sounds avant-garde today. Highlights from this flawless album are numerous and include the hippie bashing "Who Needs thePeace Corps," the bedroom science of "Let's Make the Water Turn Black," the anthematic "Mother People," and the perfect payoff of "What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body?" Quite simply one of the best rock albums of all time.

Other than a butchered version of "Willie The Pimp" that a childhood friend used to sing around the neighborhood, my first exposure to Frank Zappa was his first foray into the Billboard charts -- 1974's "Apostrophe" and its hit(?) single "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow." Sure, I thought the song was funny and the musicianship impeccable, but it did not prepare me for this album. And while it may not have the same virtuoso performances of some of Zappa's later work (check out his guitar solo on "Muffin Man" from "Bongo Fury," for instance), I find this his most consistently rewarding work from start to finish (although "Hot Rats" runs a close second).
Zappa has never been one to shy away from thumbing his nose as anyone, and with a honker the size of his, he can do a lot of nose-thumbing. While maintaining his disdain of middle class values that he established on his previous albums ("Freak Out!" and "Absolutely Free"), FZ goes one better and jeers at the very audience that was supposed to buy his albums. His jabs at all the "Flower Punks" from north of his LA base are absolutely brutal, exposing their values as little more than hedonistic extensions of those of their parents. Just take a listen to the absolutely creepy "Let's Make The Water Turn Black" and tell me who gives you the heebie-jeebies more: Kenny & Ronnie or their parents (Daddy Dinky and "mama with her apron & her pad feeding all the boys at Ed's Cafe")? Plus, Zappa gives us two (count 'em!) versions of "What's The Ugliest Part Of your Body?" and the downright silly "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance." Want more? There's plenty!
Surprisingly, this album has aged extremely well, even though its hippiedom themes are rooted in 60s music parodies and experimental sound collages. The reason is because true art is timeless, as is great humor. This album has both, and is a must for every collection.

3 Comments:

Blogger dagmartheugliest@yahoo.com said...

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April 6, 2007 at 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful!!!

Thanks a lot...snø

April 7, 2007 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger poor said...

Beautiful idea ZAPPA'S BLOG!
God preserve You of deleters in future!
Cheers

April 7, 2007 at 8:29 PM  

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