Top 3 Zappa albums

Recently I discovered Frank Zappa and until now this is my top 3 of best Zappa albums. 
  1. We're only in it for the money (1968)
  2. Sleep dirt (1979)
  3. Hot Rats (1969)

Frank Vincent Zappa was born in December 21, 1940, in Baltimore, Maryland. His parents were from Italy. During his childhook he suffered from asthma, earaches and sinus problems. He met Don Glen Viet (aka Captain Beefheart) at school and became close friends. He started in a band called The Blackouts and included Euclid James "Motorhead" Sherwood who later joined the Mothers of Invention. In his final year at school he conducted avant-garde music for the school orchestra. He created some soundtracks in the early 60's and formed a band together with Captain Beefheart called to Soots but were rejected by record companies.

Then in 1965 Ray Collins asked Zappa to become guitarist in en local R&B band called the Soul Giants. Zappa became the leader of the band and co-singer. He never considered himself a singer then or even later. The band was renamed to Mothers on Mother's Day. They were spotted by Tom Wilson who contracted them to Verve. Verve suggested them to change the name to Mothers of Invention because Mother appeared to be short for motherfucker. Their debut was a double album titled "Freak Out" in 1966 and the second rock double album ever to be released. Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde was the first. In 1967 the second album appeared titled "Absolutely Free" followed by the third album in 1968 titled "We're Only in It for the Money". Before the album he already finished an album to be released as his first solo album but was rejected by Verve titled "Lumpy Gravy". Soon after the success of "We're Only in It for the Money" it was eventually released. "Lumpy Gravy" was his first solo album although he only produced it but he could not be heard on the album.

The music style of Zappa is very wide including experimental sounds, rock, pop, jazz fusion and orchestral work. Zappa died in 1993 of cancer.

Zappa in 1968

#1 - "We're Only In It For The Money". With the Mothers of Invention.

Frank Zappa displays himself as a satiricus, making fun of the Flower Power and hippy movement. Psychedelic songs, with a typical hippy flavour. The album cover was a parody on the album cover of Sgt. Pepper from the Beatles.

Original photo shoot for album cover 1968

#3 "Hot Rats" 

This was his first real solo album performed by Zappa himself and existed of jazz fusion music. "Willie the Pimp", a blues influenced rock song included his friend Captain Beefheart on vocals. "Willie the Pimp", "Son of Mr. Green Genes", and "The Gumbo Variations" display Zappa's brilliant guitar play. "Peaches en Regalia" is Zappa's best know instrumental jazz song.

Alternative photo for album cover for Hot Rats

#2 "Sleep Dirt" 

This was released in 1979 but was actually recorded in 1974 and 1976 already before getting released. It is completely instrumental. Music styles varies from jazz to progressive rock.

Original intended album cover

We're Only In It For The Money (1968)
Are You Hung Up? / Who Needs The Peace Corps? / Concentration Moon / Mom & Dad / Telephone Conversation / Bow Tie Daddy / Harry, You're A Beast / What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body? / Absolutley Free / Flower Punk / Hot Poop / Nasal Retentive Calliope Music / Let's Make The Water Turn Black / The Idiot Bastard Son / Lonely Little Girl / Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance / What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body? (Reprise) / Mother People /The Chrome Plated Megaphone Of Destiny

Original album cover

Hot Rats (1969)
Peaches en Regalia / Willie the Pimp / Son of Mr. Green Genes / Little Umbrellas / The Gumbo Variations / It Must Be a Camel

Original album cover

Sleep Dirt (1979)
Filthy Habits / Flambay / Spider of Destiny / Regyptian Strut / Time Is Money / Sleep Dirt / The Ocean Is the Ultimate Solution


The Idiot  Bastard Son

Who Needs the Peace Corps?
Regyptian Strut
Spider Of Destiny

Peaches En Regalia

Son Of Mr. Green Genes

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2 Comments

  1. Great list, mine are:
    1. Apostrophe
    2. In New York
    3. Over-nite Sensation

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great list, mine are:
    1. Apostrophe
    2. In New York
    3. Over-nite Sensation

    ReplyDelete

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