ARTIST: The Mothers of Invention
TITLE: Freak Out!
YEAR RELEASED: 1966
CHART ACTION: #130 US
SINGLES: How Could I Be Such a Fool, Trouble Comin’ Every Day
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Well, um, it’s Zappa. Radio play? HAHAHAH!
LINEUP: Frank Zappa, Jimmy Carl Black, Ray Collins, Roy Estrada, Elliot Ingber + some session help
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Freaks make freaky double album after the A/R guy mistakenly thought they were a blues band.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It was weird in 1966. It’s still weird. Zappa’s satirical concept piece about rock and roll and / or America in 1966, or sometimes both in the same song.
Some of the cuts are rather straight forward, like doo-wop tributes or protest songs. Some are kind of twisted but still recognizable as rock. Then there’s the really off the wall ones that to this day leave those not used to non-mainstream sounds scratching their heads.
Still, with all the weirdness, it’s a rare debut double album (actually the first ever) and while some cuts aren’t up to the lofty status of the best ones, there’s not really any filler. It all fits the satirical concept.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The final cut on the album, “The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet”, which is the ultimate in weird, was unfinished, according to Zappa. The record company refused to spend any more money.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. But the CD splits “Help I’m a Rock” into two sections.
GRADE: A-: A few cuts fall flat to me (just not a doo-wop fan) but I don’t think they’re filler. It’s weird, freaky and weird.