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Frank Zappa/Mothers Of Invention
© Rykodisc Records
Year of Release: 1967
The Duke Of Prunes
The Duke RegainsHis Chops
Call Any Vegetable
Invocation AndRitual Dance Of TheYoung Pumpkin
Big Leg Emma
Why Dont'cha Do Me Right
Status Back Baby
Uncle Bernie's Farm
Son Of Suzy Creamcheese
Brown Shoes Don't Make It
America DrinksAnd Goes Home
Frank Zappa/Mothers Of Invention related sites:
Frank Zappa/Mothers Of Invention
Frank Zappa was a genius. His albums reflected the times. And for some of
his albums, they may have been classic to some, and strange to others. Strange
pretty much best defines his second album with his group, The Mothers Of Invention,
and the album Absolutely Free, released in 1967.
As the album begins, Plastic People is political, as it starts out
as Frank Zappa as The President of The United States, singing about the ups
and down of Plastic People. The Duke Of Prunes is a jazz-oriented song,
yet it does feature some strange (yet unique) vocals, which merges into the next
two songs, Amnesia Vivace, and The Duke Regains His Chops.
(Consider this a three-song medley.)
Call Any Vegetable is another unique song, as Zappa sings about (what
else), vegetables. The yodeling at the end of this song about rudabagos is
quite funny and unique. Invocation and Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin
is a 7-minute composition that mixes rock and jazz. It features very little
vocals, and throughout the ending of the song, features a 5-minute rock + jazz
jam, which features horns, an instrument probably not much used back in the late Sixties
rock and roll music.
Soft-Sell Conclusion is another rock/jazz tune, as it continues the
story of vegetables. Big Leg Emma features what was recorded many times
by Frank Zappa -- songs with a comedical sense, both in lyrics and in sound.
This one is very bouncy, and jazzy, as it tells the story about "a big dilemma,
Big Leg Emma," as she was Zappa's date, until she put on weight. (To those who
may think that this album may be too much to handle (hearing wise), Big Leg
Emma maybe the only song those people could actually listen to and enjoy it.)
Why Dont'cha Do Me Right is a psychedelic tune with Zappa on frog-type
vocals. It's definitely psychedelic -- vocals and guitars, as this was the
popular music at the time. America Drinks is another "comedical" lyric
song, and like others heard on this album, it's strange, and somewhat psychedelic.
Best put: It's strange. Status Back Baby is another bouncy-comedical
song, but not as cooly bouncy as Big Leg Emma. It then merges into another
bouncy tune, Uncle Bernie's Farm (another medley, if you want to call it).
Again, it's not as bouncy as Big Leg Emma. Both songs are, again, strange.
Son Of Suzy Creamcheese is the continuing saga from Zappa's first
album with The Mothers of Invention, entitled Freak Out. As the character
Suzy Creamcheese continues as the band keeps asking "What's got into you?"
Brown Shoes Don't Make It is another strange tune, and again, it does
bring a comedical touch to it, as it changes its musical style throughout the
song, featuring rock, a slice of jazz, and theatrical rock. It clocks in
at just over seven minutes in length. Ending the album is another theatrical
style song, as it also has a broadway touch to it, is America Drinks and
Frank Zappa's music may not be for all people. Some may think he was a
genius, others a demented comedian. If you're a fan of Dr. Demento, you can
see the strangeness in how the mad doctor gets his musical knowledge and compare
it to the music heard on Absolutely Free. Probably the most "demented"
tune on Absolutely Free is the 7-minute plus Brown Shoes Don't Make
It. At first some may think this album is just so bizarre, you may just
want to give up on it during the first six songs or so. Especially the first
7-minute tune, Invocation And Ritual Dance Of The Young Pumpkin, where
it features "speed-jazz" as if it was "thrash-speed-metal."
But giving an overview chance in listening to this album straight through,
it features jazz with rock in a unique blend, obviously unheard of back in the
rock and roll days of the late psychedelic rock years of The Beatles, the early
Pink Floyd, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience (to name a few). Frank Zappa's
Absolutely Free may have to be listened to more than once, to get the
ideas where Zappa was referring to. But all in all, it's an album that is
unique, and that pretty much sums up the career of Frank Zappa, and
Absolutely Free being his second chronological release, it was truly
amazing how he came up with his ideas for future releases, with and without
The Mothers Of Invention.
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