Monday, October 30, 2006

135. Mothers Of Invention - We're Only In It For The Money (1968)

Track Listing

1. Are You Hung Up
2. Who Needs The Peace Corps
3. Concentration Moon
4. Mom And Dad
5. Bow Tie Daddy
6. Harry You're A Beast
7. What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body
8. Absolutely Free
9. Flower Punk
10. Hot Poop
11. Nasal Retentive Caliope Music
12. Mother People


Here's Mr. Zappa and the Mothers again! This is actually a much more digestible album than Freak Out!, and in spite of the provocative title, it does not mean that there was a compromise with commericalism here. In fact this is one weird album, but one which is peppered with very catchy songs, at times scatological and at other times actually quite beautiful.

Most of the album has some kind of social message, whether from attacking pseudo-hippies or conservatives. Some of the lyrics, particularly the ones that criticise the hippie culture have obviously aged, but only in the way that they permit us to date the album. The songs about conservatism are the most long lived ones, WASPS will be WASPS.

Musically, it is the usual mixed bag, going from Do-wop to musique concrete, passing through rock and psychadelia. Zappa is an extremely gifted composer, who is at times too much in love with his own persona to be able to make the best out of the album. It is, however a work of genius, with inane jokes and beautiful dementia throughout.

Buy it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Who Needs The Peace Corps
2. Mother People
3. Let's Make The Water Turn Black
4. Flower Punk

Final Grade



Let's Make The Water Turn Black instrumental, with an intro which is actually taken from Freak Out! CREAMCHEESE! MOTHERFUCKERS! :

From Wikipedia:


Initial releases of the album had certain sections of songs edited or removed due to perceived offensiveness. These two sets of edits are often distinguished by the monikers "censored" and "heavily censored." However, these set of edits were sometimes applied inconsistently, so these two categories are inexhaustive. [7]

Tracks affected by censor edits include:

* "Who Needs the Peace Corps?": a spoken line "I will love the police as they kick the shit out of me" was cut out of the heavily censored version.

* "Concentration Moon": Gary Kellgren's whispered statement describing The Velvet Underground and The Mothers of Invention as 'shitty' was cut. In one of the more interesting cases of album censorship, three different variations of the cut exist: the most common version (and the one that made it to the '95 reissue) has the line completely cut, while Canadian LP issues seem to include the line intact.

* "Absolutely Free": The spoken word lines "I don't do publicity balling for you any more" and remark "Flower power sucks!" were removed on the heavily-censored version.

* "Let's Make the Water Turn Black": Several lines of the song are removed from the heavily-censored version, most notably the line about booger-smearing teenage friends Ronnie and Kenny Williams' mother ("and I still remember Mama with her Apron and her pad, feeding all the boys at Ed's Cafe") was removed due to a record company executive who thought the line referred to a sanitary pad. [8]

* "Mother People": a verse containing the expletives 'fucking' and 'shitty' was replaced with another; the original was backmasked and appended to the track "Hot Poop" (even there, however, "fucking" is absent, and the heavily-censored version omits the backwards verse entirely). (The line is: "Better look around before you say you don't care/Shut your fucking mouth 'bout the length of my hair/how would you survive/if you were alive/shitty little person?")

* "Harry You're a Beast": The "Don't come in me, in me" verse was edited in order to hide the offending lyric by re-editing parts of the verse in the wrong way, and reversing parts of the song. This phrase is from Lenny Bruce's "To is a Preposition, Come is a Verb" routine.

The 1986 release with new drum and bass tracks reinstated these sections, while the 1995 release with the original musical parts reverted to the "standard" set of US censorship.

Cover art

The front cover Zappa originally intended to use for the album mimics the cover of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The double Sgt. Pepper cover had a collage of famous people by Peter Blake on the outside and a portrait of the band on the inside. Zappa's record company demurred and put the Sgt. Pepper parody on the inside and the picture of the band on the outside; a later Rykodisc release on CD featured the original photo restored to the front cover. Next to Zappa's head, a speech bubble has him questioning, "Is this phase one of Lumpy Gravy?"

One section of the CD liner art features a series of badge, banknote, and facial hair cut-outs, satirising those of Sgt. Pepper, with some differences; one badge features a small photograph of recording engineer Gary Kellgren and the other is a nipple.The banknote had a picture of a belly button in the middle.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you're not listening to a complete version of this album... The original uncensored lp had 18 tracks?