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Freak Out! Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 14 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • ASIN: B0000009RT
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,728 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. "Hungry Freaks, Daddy"
2. I Ain't Got No Heart
3. Who Are The Brain Police?
4. Go Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder
5. Motherly Love
6. How Could I Be Such A Fool
7. Wowie Zowie
8. You Didn't Try To Call Me
9. Any Way The Wind Blows
10. I'm Not Satisfied
11. You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here
12. Trouble Every Day
13. "Help, I'm A Rock"
14. It Can't Happen Here
15. The Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet

Product Description

"This is the voice of your conscience, baby..." The recording debut of the Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention is a brilliantly wicked counter-strike to the "flower power" sensibilities prevalent at the time of its release in 1966. Arguably rock music's first true "concept album", Zappa's collage mashes together chunks of psychedelic guitars, outspoken political commentary, cultural satire and avant-garde musical sensibilities, then hides it all under cleverly crafted pop melodies. Not diminished in the slightest by the passage of time, Freak Out! remains as vital and relevant today as it was in the 1960s. --Andrew Boscardin

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I'm not going to pretend I understand all of Frank's music because I certainly don't. There are entire LP/CD's that are totally over my head but then, if you have read any of my previous reviews, that might not be difficult to believe. For me, "Freak Out" is, for the most part, quite understandable. If you like music that is off the wall, iconoclastic and different, this might be the ticket. But there's something much more than humour, parody and the unconventional to this record. Zappa rails against something much more sinister and specific. "Hungry Freaks Daddy", the opening track, is a call to arms to every underdog in America. It's a reminder that in a society where competition is seen as something to be worshipped, many less fortunate people get left behind. And it's scary. It is an anthem for those who weren't beautiful enough to be a cheerleader or who got cut from the football team. In short, it's for you, me, social freedom and the pursuit of happiness. What Frank Zappa is saying here probably needed to be said but it's the way he says it that is so alarming. There are other tracks here that are much lighter in tone, like the humorous 1950's doo-wop parodies such as "Go Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder", "How Could I Be Such A Fool" and "Wowie Zowie". A favorite of mine is "Who Are The Brain Police?" whose verses sound sweet and lightweight but the chorus is harsh and ominous. "Trouble Comin' Every Day", a Zappa rap over a bluesy backdrop is truly powerful and an unusual recording for 1966. One of the downsides on this LP/CD is Frank's voice. Zappa cannot sing to save his life and should have employed a full time vocalist to perform most of these songs. Also, sometimes Frank's humor works but often, for me anyway, he is far too angry to be really funny. His rage and frustration with conventional American life is an underlying theme in much of his music that I have heard. Let's hope that this mastermind and madman has finally found peace and contentment.
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Format: Audio CD
"Freak Out!" has always been my favorite Frank Zappa album. There are FZ albums more amusing, more musically daring, but when considering what Zappa did with the state of American pop in 1965-66, the results can only be called astonishing (no wonder the Beatles were inspired by it). There was nothing even remotely like this album back then--from the proto-rap "Trouble Every Day" (to me the best track) to the schizo-dirge "Who Are the Brain Police"? to the avant-nut "HELP, I'M A ROCK", FZ laid the groundwork for his signature complex orchestrations here, albeit in lo-fi sound and doo-wop form, shredding fuzz guitar throughout (and shredding the occasional kazoo, too). His equally satiric liner notes fittingly illuminate how each song was its own flavor of commercial suicide while simultaneously poking fun at the burgeoning counterculture and any theoretical resistance against the "great Midwestern hardware store philosophy" (short of Freaking Out, that is). A tremendous debut album.
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Format: Audio CD
What a freshman release! Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention created one heck of a first album. It was one of the first double albums in rock history, and certainly one of the wierdest.
My approach to this review is to look at (a) the attractiveness of this release for the Zappa novice, (b) the attractiveness of this album for the Zappa devotee, and (c) the quality of the release.
(a) If you are just getting interested in Zappa, this is not really the best place to start. While there are some interesting tracks here, there's also a lot of what at first appears to be just wierd noise and people freaking out tracks too. Those tracks are not available as samples on, so proceed carefully.
(b) Of course you need this! It's great! The mix is a bit different from the original vinyl, with a lot more reverb than before. I'd say that the original vinyl is probably the way to go, but the cd is very good too. (Besides, the cd saves you flipping records over.)
(c) The sound quality is superb, although, as noted before, the mix differs from the original vinyl. The packaging includes all of the original elements, which helps you relate to what the heck the mood was in 1966.
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Format: Audio CD
Remember when you used to hear, "If the Mothers of Invention didn't exist, someone would have had to keep it that way?" It was pretty daring for a rock group to take on the real and alleged hip cliches and pop music pretensions and mash them through what amounted to a musical Sunbeam Mixmaster, but that's exactly what Zappa and the boys did right out of the gate. They weren't exactly the first rock and roll satirists, but they were probably the first a) to make more than a one-trick career out of it, at least for a few years; and, b) other than periodically quoting from their own favourite songs, they were the first rock satirist/parodists to work with entirely original material. And, of course, in Frank Zappa the Mothers had one of the more commanding talents rock and roll had ever yielded.
They got craftier as musicians as they went along (their percussive work was hugely singular and frequently a critical ingredient in the band's funnier moments; Zappa was a spry guitarist, even if his real instrument was the band itself); they seemed as much befuddled as enraptured by their musical roots (especially their doo-wop and R and B roots - which didn't stop them from deftly copping, for "Wowie Zowie"'s coda, from the coda of the Four Seasons's "Sherry"). For deadly balloon-pricking of social and musical poseurism past and incumbent (though their political barbs became a little less engaging as time went on), this was as consistent and complete as the original Mothers of Invention - the first version of the band was the Mothers of Invention that really mattered - could be.
Aside from which, after all these years "Help! I'm A Rock" and, especially, "The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet," in all its near-endless, steady-rising squall, remain two of the classic guilty pleasures of mid-1960s rock, and was at least as much ahead of its time for its brash experimentalism as the early Pink Floyd soon enough proved.
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