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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

We're Only In It For The Money

The Mothers Of Invention

1968

We're Only In It For The Money

Album Summary

We're Only in It for the Money is the third studio album by American rock band the Mothers of Invention, released on March 4, 1968 by Verve Records. As with the band's first two efforts, it is a concept album, and satirizes left- and right-wing politics, particularly the hippie subculture, as well as the Beatles' album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was conceived as part of a project called No Commercial Potential, which produced three other albums: Lumpy Gravy, Cruising with Ruben & the Jets, and Uncle Meat. We're Only in It for the Money encompasses rock, experimental music, and psychedelic rock, with orchestral segments deriving from the recording sessions for Lumpy Gravy, which was previously issued as a solo instrumental album by Capitol Records and was subsequently reedited by frontman Frank Zappa and released by Verve; the reedited Lumpy Gravy was produced simultaneously with We're Only in It for the Money and is the first part of a conceptual continuity, continued with the reedited Lumpy Gravy and concluded with Zappa's final album Civilization Phaze III (1994).

Wikipedia

Rating

2.64

Votes

4370

Genres

  • Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock
Reviews
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Fri Oct 14 2022
4

Sophomoric, anti-hippy sound collage psych.

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Fri Oct 07 2022
5

DUH

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Sun Oct 09 2022
5

Yeah, wow.

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Fri Nov 18 2022
5

9/10 always love hearing a Frank Zappa album don’t get me wrong, Sgt. Peppers is one of my favorite albums but it’s so much fun hearing these guys parody it

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Sat Nov 19 2022
5

I'm convinced Zappa's brain must've naturally produced too much DMT or something. He didn't need to use them to get it. For someone who not only didn't use, but despised psychedelic drugs and its entire culture, he truly made some of the greatest psychedelic music this world has ever seen, and this unique work is absolutely no exception. "What's there to live foooorr"

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Thu Dec 22 2022
5

тоже немного психоделичное 60е ее whats the ugliest Party of your body

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Thu Jan 26 2023
5

zappa é mor doidão né

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Mon Aug 29 2022
4

Hi i'm Jimmy Carl Black and I'm the Indian of the group Prefs: Who Needs The Peace Corps?, Concentration Moon, Mom & Dad, Bow Tie Daddy, Harry, You're a Beast, What's The Ugliest Part of Your Body?, Absolutely Free, Flower Punk, 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 Moins pref: Nasal Retentive Calliope Music

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Mon Sep 05 2022
4

satire is cool

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Wed Sep 14 2022
4

I'm so confused. The first Mothers of Invention album I got made me so irrationally angry. But then I got "Hot Rats", and I found it one of the greatest things I'd ever heard. I thought I just liked Zappa instrumentally and that was it. But no, actuality, I really enjoyed the Mothers this time around. I feel like the jokes worked a lot better here. An acquired taste?

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Wed Sep 21 2022
4

Frank ❤️

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Thu Sep 29 2022
4

"We're Only in It for the Money" is the third studio album from The Mothers of Invention. It is a concept album satirizing left and right-wing politics especially the hippie subculture and The Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Why not? The original album cover which is now the album cover but on the initial release was not the album cover parodies that Beatles album including the band dressed in drag. At times, this album is hilarious. As with all Frank Zappa albums that I've heard, there is a lot going on. Voices and noises from everywhere, multiple instruments, time signatures, spoken word songs, telephone conversations, etc. The music is classified as experimental, rock and psychedelic. Hard to classify Frank. This album was the first album in a project called No Commercial Project which included the next two Mothers' albums and a solo instrumental Zappa album. It is included in the National Recording Registry for its "culturally, historically, and aesthetically significance" and "a scathing satire on hippiedom and America's reaction to it." "Are You Hung Up" starts things off with various people talking including a stuttering Eric Clapton. This song rolls into "Who Needs the Peace Corps" which is a satire of the hippie culture. Very funny. Sort of pyschedelic Indian-sounding music. "Absolutely Free" begins with a piano and then goes into a waltz with a harpsichord and various sound effects. Another song criticizing hippies and the Summer of Love. Next is "Flower Punk" and it is just great. It parodies garage rock and is a carnival version of Hendrix's "Hey Joe." The distorted vocals are hilarious sounding like the lead singer was huffing helium throughout. On the second side is "Let's Make the Water Turn Black" probably the song I've heard most from this album. Frank sings like a teenager/kid and it's about two kids he grew up with: how they fart, pop pills, go in the army and make alcohol with raisins turning the water black. On "Lonely Little Girl" you finally hear a Zappa electric guitar. The music and vocals kind of go pyschedelic. Definitely 60's sounding. "The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny" ends things with a piano and various noises - musique concrète - recorded sounds modified through audio techniques into a song montage. A very Frank way to finish. This is one of those albums that if you like Frank you'll like it and if you don't you won't. The parody started wearing thin on multiple listened but was initially hilarious. There's always enough going on experimentally with Zappa's music to appreciate a lot.

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Fri Sep 30 2022
4

Nach dem offensichtlichen Schrott der letzten Wochen ist dies eine Wohltat. Zappa halt.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
4

This was the shit I was afraid of when we started this project. Listened to this at 11pm at night while outside walking my dog. Went to bed. Nightmares. Great in a weird way. What an experience. Amazing work

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Thu Oct 06 2022
4

Let me take a minute to tell you my friend…this was a super interesting album that I’ll probably never listen to again. 😂

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Thu Oct 13 2022
4

Massive trip, a strong contender for the definition of cool conversation/argument

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Sun Oct 23 2022
4

Always strange and fun

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Mon Oct 31 2022
4

Što se mene tiče, može biti i cijela njegova diskografija. Ovo je itekakva satira i sprdnja na glazbu 60-ih, ali ponajviše na Fab Four iliti Bitlse.

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Thu Nov 03 2022
4

Far out, interesting shit

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Wed Nov 16 2022
4

Probably my second favorite of Zappa's next to "Absolutely Free." I like him in this manic kitchen sink mode best. Though it's a real wooden rollercoaster of an album and there are all these bizarre interludes throughout, he's still keeping it relatively tight. If you don't like something, he's shortly onto the next idea. Whereas on something like "Uncle Meat" it just gets too self indulgent and becomes a mess. Always appreciate his bravery in experimentation, total embrace of humor, and willingness to call things as he sees them.

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Wed Nov 16 2022
4

Takes real vision and courage to make an album that sounds like this. It seems a bit cynical, which I'm less interested in, but the freedom with which this album bounces from one motif to another, yet stays cohesive and keeps a thread throughout is remarkable.

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Wed Nov 23 2022
4

One of my favorites of Zappa’s.

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Thu Dec 01 2022
4

Por alguna razón, vino justo cuando necesitaba escuchar algo así 🥴

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Thu Dec 01 2022
4

4.25

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Thu Dec 22 2022
4

Ok this is the second album from these guys here. This one was done way better - mostly because he was taking potshots at the hippies, and that's something I can stand behind completely. It sounded like late 60s bullshit but the lyrics turned it into something far better. I know Zappa is a hipster darling these days but I have to give this a 4/5 for being one of the best pisstakes I've ever heard. Can't give it the full 5 because some of it was just annoying (see: the last "song") but I was tempted.

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Fri Dec 30 2022
4

What a ride this one was. Probably the weirdest album so far but if you ignore the tracks that are just speech or noise, you are actually left with some good psychedelic rock songs with funny/satirical and most importantly entertaining lyrics. This is definitely an album that you either love or completely hate but I'm willing to give this some credit

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Wed Jan 04 2023
4

What a weird, wild, unique and fascinating album. Bizarrely poetic and literate lyrics that takes jabs at EVERYONE and does so with irreverance and biting dark humour. Musically the styles, production and arrangements are all ove the place but mostly interesting and engaging. My favorite Zappa album that I've heard so far and one that I think will remain in my rotation for a little while at least. As I type this is my 3rd listen. 4 stars

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Wed Jan 11 2023
4

Hippies suck, Frank is great. Not my favorite Zappa record but it's still good. It might be his most accessible album as there aren't a lot of long instrumentals that might put off some listeners.

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Sun Sep 11 2022
3

Wau. Interesting and ahead of its time. But not for me to listen daily.

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Wed Sep 14 2022
3

Not an easy listen but one I would like to do again.

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Fri Sep 16 2022
3

The forever difficult-to-nail-down Zappa and his instrumental monsters have here for us a most intensely head-scratching and fun album.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
3

I loved this. It was very entertaining.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
3

Stellar homage to Sgt. Peppers. First song sounds pretty techy for the 60s lol. Didn’t get to read about this album, but I’m 100% certain it’s all just making fun of the Beatles - and I’m here for it lol

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Fri Oct 21 2022
3

Entertaining if a bit cynical. It's interesting to hear the musical parodies. They're good enough to easily identify what genre/song/etc they're going after.

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Wed Oct 26 2022
3

Rating: 6/10 Best songs: What’s the ugliest part of your body?

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Thu Oct 27 2022
3

Enjoyed

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Sun Nov 13 2022
3

Avante garde satire done in an enjoyable way. I wouldn't listen again, first time wasn't bad.

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Wed Nov 16 2022
3

Even more experimental than I thought it’d be. Neat for 1968 but sonically it actually isn’t very interesting, just delay manipulation and pitch shifting, likely via tape. Probably novel at the time but now the results aren’t special.

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Mon Dec 05 2022
3

Interesting sounds by Zappa. This is one that will take more time to get to know better.

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Thu Dec 08 2022
3

It started off pretty strong. I'm thinking that Zappa didn't like Hippies very much. But the back half of the album sort devolved into something that was too experimental for me. But the good outweight the bad, I think. Tough one to rate.

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Thu Dec 08 2022
3

I was expecting a little bit of everything and I wasn't wrong. For as experimental as it was, there were still some highlights. Not sure how to rate an album like this.

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Thu Dec 08 2022
3

Frank Zappa made a lot of music, I mean a lot of music. Some amazing, some ok and some well just bad. This album spans of those, it's interesting to listen to once maybe twice but that's about it for me and I'll just listen to a few tracks.

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Thu Dec 15 2022
3

Remember, kids: when you're listening to silence, you're listening to not-Zappa. Also, the wisdom of Zappa is still appropriate today: steer clear of San Francisco. Loving the police while they kick the shit out of you is an activity that has aged like wine. And if you don't have an Indian in your group, get one! What is wrong with you? Welcome the Dance Hall of Chopped-Up-Cabbage Music... doo wop doo wop. You need a makeover! The palimpsest of sound that is called an album speaks one eternal truth to me: hippies suck in every galaxy.

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Fri Dec 16 2022
3

Mielipide: :D Tosi kokeellista hippumusiikkia 60-luvulta Mukana intiaani

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Sun Dec 25 2022
3

Á fyrstu sekúndunum skynjaði ég það að þetta hljyti að vera með því skrýtnasta sem ég hef hlustað á. Í lokin gúglaði ég bandið og varð núll hissa. Herra Zappa var þarna. Það hlaut bara að vera. Áhugavert, en þarf ekki endurhlustun nema ég fari að taka ofskynjunarlyf.

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Fri Dec 30 2022
3

A very odd album which is almost 50% sound and talking tracks, and not music per se, but engaging as you don’t know what to expect. It is almost nothing you could expect from Zappa and the Jazz fusion the group is known for.

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Wed Jan 04 2023
3

Listening to a Zappa album is always a trip with unexpected moments of brilliance. But a lot of eye rolling too.

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Wed Jan 11 2023
3

This is such a weird combination of good and annoying that I don't know how to rate it. The smugness is off the charts and it's sort of terrible musically, but there is often something there that makes me want to listen again.

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Tue Aug 23 2022
2

2/13, 15%

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Wed Aug 24 2022
2

Very experimental

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Sat Aug 27 2022
2

Beatles but on more drugs 2/10

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Tue Aug 30 2022
2

This thing is silly dumb. The songs make some decent arguments and are quite funny, but as soon as you hear any bit of the music itself, all the quality goes away. It pretty much sounds like they’re intentionally making awful Beatles rip-off’s. 3/10

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Thu Sep 08 2022
2

Just too big brain and quirky for me. Seems like interesting jazzy music, but then it is nerds doing skits and songs they think are funny. It's not that clever.

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Wed Sep 21 2022
2

Il rock psichedelico è divertente... per i primi dieci minuti di ascolto. Un intero album di suoni distorti e voci cantilenanti è, francamente, troppo per me. Mi dispiace perché è un album indubbiamente originale (infatti nasce dalla mente di Frank Zappa), ma ho fatto fatica ad arrivare in fondo.

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Fri Sep 23 2022
2

Very trippy. Some music which felt kinda "math-rock"-ey (very tight coordination between vocals, instruments, and percussion), some spoken-word stuff, and some sections of random sounds effects (static, jangling strings, laughs)

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Fri Sep 23 2022
2

09/23/2022 Was really disappointed with this one considering that I love Zappa and all the work I’ve heard from him thus far. Parts of this album reminded me The Who sell out, which came out a year earlier. The ugliest part of your body was my favorite song on this album. The others kinda all sounded the same.

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Wed Sep 28 2022
2

Fucking nuts, tho' to be fair, didn't expect anything else. Plenty of method in the nuttiness, but not very listenable to. It's a no from me.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
2

silly

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Thu Oct 13 2022
2

The choice of opening unfortunately relegates this one to sound artifact (?) territory. No song even leaves you satisfied, which I suppose is the point; The opening minutes, however, are so senseless than the question on my mind is why this is an alleged LP. Certainly not the most interesting Zappa work I've heard, but I'm glad I listened and can see myself returning at least once. Impressive amount of dead space in under forty minutes, though.

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Wed Nov 02 2022
2

Interestingly weird

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Mon Nov 07 2022
2

Batshit crazy - quite fun, made no sense

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Fri Nov 11 2022
2

Frank is an acquired taste. This album was a little too odd for my liking

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Thu Dec 08 2022
2

The parts that were actually music were just ok, the rest was insufferable noise. Not at all for me

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Thu Jan 05 2023
2

I honestly shouldn’t have expected anything different from a 1968 Frank Zappa led album with a cover parodying the Beatles. It was weird, satirical, bizzare, annoying, political, sporadically fun, and very of its time. Take your clothes off when you dance was probably my favorite followed by what’s the ugliest part of your body

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Wed Jan 11 2023
2

???????? i much prefer zappa when he.... actually tries to play the guitar and make interesting music. like, this music is experimental and satirical, but to no end. maybe i don't get it? i feel like i do get it, but just don't like it. what a boring bit. satire has evolved so much past this point. this is irony-poisoned nonsense. there are moments where i chuckle, but it's not enough to hold up an album that just doesn't hit the mark.

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Fri Jan 27 2023
2

4/10

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Thu Sep 08 2022
1

This is another one of those albums where it helps to be stoned to truly love it. I'm gonna need to take a whole lotta more of whatever they took.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
1

I do like myself an ADHD trip from time to time. I mean, I listen to Fantomas and They Might Be Giants -- by choice. But the individual fleeting components have to be good. This is maybe 10% good and none of the good bits get to stick around for long before they move on to the next whatever.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
1

I kept thinking over and over again: “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”

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Thu Sep 15 2022
1

My thoughts on finishing this album were something along the lines of: What just happened? I feel like my brain is leaking out of my ears. Did people get paid actual money to do this? I only listened to the first 15-20 seconds of most tracks because that's all I could take. Not even "so bad it's good."

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Sun Sep 18 2022
1

My god it's random, but not in a good way.

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Fri Sep 30 2022
1

This is more tolerable than the other Mothers of Invention album on this project. But just barely. I can at least see what the intended purpose was: to parody The Beatles and the hippie movement. This album's scope was much more specific and carried a message encouraging people to rebel against binary social and political thinking. This made it a little further from drivel and closer to making an important statement. But still. I didn't like it.

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Fri Sep 30 2022
1

what? what did i listen to? i’m not entirely sure this is art or even music. the reoccurring whispering was awful and grating to my ears. it was plain weird and not in the charming way. there was a nice piano solo, but uh. that’s all. i respect frank zappa a lot both personally and professionally, but this was one of the worst albums on this list. i just have so many questions for zappa. i’ll never get them answered. but thank goodness he moved away from the kazoo in this album. i can say the personnel notes were the most amusing i have ever seen.

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Fri Sep 30 2022
1

style of music is unique.

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Fri Oct 07 2022
1

Really stupid and somewhat annoying. The more album sits with me the more I wanted to buy a vinyl of it just destroy it

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Wed Oct 26 2022
1

Surely there was another album that could've squeezed into the 1001 list over this bullshit. Horrid late 60s nonsense. Gotta be one of the worst albums on this list. 1/10.

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Mon Oct 31 2022
1

It’s a big NO from me Just not the genre of music that appeals to me, having listened to it I wouldn’t do so again

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Mon Oct 31 2022
1

Not really my vibe

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Thu Nov 03 2022
1

This album proves, rather conclusively, that a recording of a bunch of guys talking amongst themselves as they fool around does not make for great music.

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Fri Nov 04 2022
1

I don’t get its

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Fri Nov 11 2022
1

Maybe it was funny at the time, but humour has moved on since the late '60s. To be any good, comedy albums need to be both really funny and musically excellent. This is neither. Rating: 1.5/5 Playlist track: What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body? Date listened: 10/11/22

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Thu Nov 24 2022
1

Listening to this made me irrationally angry

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Wed Nov 30 2022
1

Прослушано! Откровенная Мура, вообще не понял набор звуков.

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Thu Dec 01 2022
1

Not good.

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Thu Dec 08 2022
1

Just noise. Couldn’t wait for it to finish.

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Thu Dec 08 2022
1

Not my cup of tea.

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Wed Dec 14 2022
1

The whole album is obviously a commentary on some world/societal topics. Lots of lyrics about abuse from cops- I'm up to track 4 and I think I've heard a lyric about that in 3 songs so far. There's this thing that pervades in Frank Zappa projects that just sort of annoys me... so much of his music comes across as weirdly pompous, even though his whole shtick is that he makes experimental music and fights conventionality (which is usually attractive to me). I don't fully understand why I feel this way, and to be honest I've probably only heard maybe like a third of his released material across all of his projects so maybe I'm not well versed enough to give it an objective critique. I feel this in this release too. There's just these overwhelming concepts that I feel like are just being screamed at me from Zappa / the band. "THIS IS ART." "LISTEN TO OUR ART AND FEEL SOMETHING." "OUR ALBUM COVER IS LIKE SGT. PEPPERS." "LOOK AT ME IN A DRESS ON THE ALBUM COVER." Maybe it's because I'm in a great mood and I don't feel like ingesting art that is critiquing everything, but in the simplest form of experiencing music, this just isn't enjoyable for me to listen to. There's a lyric on track 7, "Harry, You're a Beast": "You paint your head Your mind is dead You don't even know what I just said That's you, American womanhood" [then burping pig sounds, cacophonous chimes] "You're phony on top, you're phony underneath You lay in bed & grit your teeth" I just, I dunno man. Maybe if the music here was some amazing melody or some really incredibly written hook or something I would enjoy this part, but I can't help but think "who hurt you?". I do understand the idea that this was experimental at the time, and also could be seen as a form of "punk" music in a rebellious sense and without typical punk timbres like distorted guitars, fast drums, and aggressive vocals. It's outsider (ish)! It's the artists saying "we are seeing things in the world that we don't like and we are using our music as a vehicle to express these feelings" and I respect and appreciate that. It's interesting to me that an overarching theme in this listening project is the listener's context in experiencing the music. On a different day, maybe I would be enjoying this more- even now, I'm listening to track 9, "Absolutely Free", and it is cool sounding. It has meter changes, interesting melodies, instrumentation at times that isn't what I would expect for the 1960's (like the ending 20 seconds of music). But I guess that's just part of the experience and listener context is inherent, ubiquitous, and unavoidable. I read that Jimi Hendrix on the album cover (far right) is actually him in person. I just gotta give it a 1/5.

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Wed Dec 14 2022
1

I've heard about Frank Zappa for a long time and wondered what the best entry point is for his music. This wasn't it for me. Impish and experimental, the album makes fun of 60's culture and music. I'm sure this felt radical at the time but it feels like a relic now. There aren't enough standout moments to elevate it beyond being a curiosity of the era. "What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body?" was my favorite. Absurd and goofy and parodies 60's R&B very well, but it's real goal is to shake you out of your mundane existence and tell you that your life is a lie. I think that's the goal of the whole album but this was the only time that message really clicked and worked for me.

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Fri Jan 06 2023
1

Nah

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Thu Jan 19 2023
1

Just.....no. A lot of noise.

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