Tuesday, August 4, 2020

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Mothermania The Best Of The Mothers" (1969)

"Mothermania The Best Of The Mothers" - The Mothers Of Invention (1969)

Generally, I pass over "Best Of" or "Greatest Hits" compilation albums.  Sure, I have a few in my collection, but I rarely play them.  Still, there are always a few really good exceptions.  Frank Zappa's "Mothermania The Best Of The Mothers" is a great example of a comp that reaches the sweet spot.  Most of the tracks on here are alternate versions and mixes of songs taken from their first three albums.  Good versions.  All very much hands-on by Frank himself.  Even the infamous "Mother People" is included in all of its uncensored glory.  Verve quickly axed the offensive lyrics from his "We're Only In It For The Money" album.  I guess no one sitting behind their shiny Verve desk cared or were paying attention this time.

Favorite tracks are the familiar "Brown Shoes..." and "Mother People."   The lesser-known favorites are the "Hungry Freaks, Daddy" with its nice guitar freakout and the psychy "Who Are the Brain Police" which has been dusted quite nicely.  "Mothermania" is a gatefold compilation that sounds almost like another one of Frank's studio albums.  It has that kind of feel.  And it's a square that can be had for under $15 and worth every penny.  The fact that Frank Zappa was offering alternate takes and mixes of his songs back in 1969, which is now considered commonplace, if not expected, shows just how forward-thinking he really was.

"Mothermania..." (back)

"Mothermania..." (inside gatefold)

Verve Records

"Hungry Freaks, Daddy" - The Mothers of Invention / "Mothermania" (1969)

A1  "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" 7:26
A2  "Mother People" 1:41
A3  "Duke of Prunes" 5:09
A4  "Call Any Vegetable" 4:31
A5  "The Idiot Bastard Son" 2:26
B1  "It Can't Happen Here" 3:13
B2  "You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here" 3:37
B3  "Who Are the Brain Police" 3:22
B4  "Plastic People" 3:40
B5  "Hungry Freaks, Daddy" 3:27
B6  "America Drinks and Goes Home" 2:43

Frank Zappa - guitar, keyboards, vocals
Ian Underwood - guitar, keyboards, wind
Euclid James Sherwood - guitars, vocals, wind
Roy Estrada - bass, vocals
Don Preston - bass, keyboards
Jimmy Carl Black - drums, percussion
Bunk Gardner - wind
**Art Tripp appears on the album cover, but not on any of the songs.

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

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