Frank Zappa Albums (The First Decade)

June1966
Produced by: Tom Wilson

First Frank Zappa's extraordinary 60+album outcome is, essentially, one single thematically relevant piece of music. It was one of the first double albums in rock history. The first half of the album is sorta garagy psychedelic doo wop, well there is the really creepy 'Who Are the Brain Police'. The second half is kind of a musical concrete in the vein of Revolution No 9. Sort of a precursor to Lumpy Gravy or Weasel's Ripped my Flesh.





April 1967
Produced by: Tom Wilson

The second Mothers Of Invention album, originally released in 1967, continues Zappa's musical combination of rock/satire/jazz/doo-wop and more. The album is created as a suite of songs (actually two suites, originally split up thematically by sides on the LP), but each song functions as "mini-suites" in themselves, so quickly do they shift in musical directions








May 1968
Produced by: FZ

This is frank zappa's third album, which is not a 'mothers of invention' album but just a FT one. however a few of the boys show up on it, particularly motorhead with hilarious dialogue. The graphics of the original album asks the question, "Is This Phase 2 of We're Only In It For The Money?" The entire album is reminiscent of sound collages/experiments comparable to that of Edgard Varese (one of Zappa's idols) and Luigi Nono, an avant garde Italian composer.






March 1968
Produced by: FZ
Executive Producer: Tom Wilson

"We're Only In It For The Money", not just mocked the Beatles landmark album, "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band", but it also mocked the whole entire flower power generation and "phony hippies", as said in the tune, "Who Needs The Peace Corps?" He also takes a stab at riots involving hippies and politics. When the album was originally introduced, the cover stated, "This whole monstrosity was conceived and executed by Frank Zappa as a result of some unpleasant premonitions."




November 1968
Produced by: FZ
Executive Producer: Tom Wilson

Zappa enjoyed doo-wop, and Rubin and the Jets is the Mothers' pure foray into the genre. With the exception of some of the lyrics, this is pure doo-wop, and so you truly need to like this music to enjoy this album. FZ uses chord progressions that are significantly more complex than conventional Doo-Wop songs, but is careful not to lose the charming simplicity of the music. Taken simply as satire, this album works just fine. But what many people didn't get back then was that it also worked as progressive, that showed the unique Mothers as one of the most gifted bands of their era.




March 1969
Produced by:FZ

This album was actually a soundtrack for a movie that took long period for Frank to finalized The whole album Appears the way the album cover looks. It's intriguing, scary, funny, surreal, and anywhere between pop art and real . Honestly, if your intention is to see where "art rock" came from, look into the Uncle Meat. I see this album hit #43 in Billboard in '69.







March 1969

Between 1966 and 1968, the Mothers of Invention introduced precisely four albums for Verve Records--five, if you count "Lumpy Gravy," which was a Zappa solo record. So on first blush, "Mothermania," a 1969 release that compiles songs from the first three Mothers records--Freak Out!, Absolutely Free, and We're Only In It For the Money--seems pretty unnecessary, much like "Big Star's Biggest" or other compilations that cull from two or three albums.







October 1969
Produced by: FZ

As far as the album alone goes, you will discover some mind-boggling jazz/rock instrumental compositions here, having only one vocal piece with Capt. Beefheart providing the gutteral sounds on Willie the Pimp. Awesome Guitar work from Frank and Jean Luc Ponty on Violin. Once they start trading riffs back and forth it is nothing short of the best modern Jazz/Rock ever recorded.







February 1970
Produced by: FZ

This is the album where Frank Zappa was at the top of his powers of combining genres and live & studio inter-cuts, This album is pretty different from his earlier albums (at the time). It includes two doo wop like numbers that shine in and breathtaking fashion after which most of the album is a tribute to one of Zappa's all time favorite composer's Stravinkskey.








Avgust 1970
Produced by: FZ


 This album, contrasting its heavily composed and easily digestible forerunner, emphasizes the band's experimental live jazz performances. Highlights include "Oh No", which pokes fun at John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and their concept that they could somehow change the world. However, an original album of numerous different sounds and styles all put together in such an extremely innovative way is really difficult to imitate when you consider it.





October 1970
Produced by: FZ

This album is, mainly, a guitar-centered rock album. There's a Hot Rats outtake, "Twenty Small Cigars" and a few other more progressive jazz-rock instrumentals such as the title track, and then some vocal songs which are a lot better than I remember them, like "Would YouGo All the Way" and "Road Ladies." I recommend Chunga's Revenge only after you've heard some Zappa's other jam/jazzy albums for example the Grand Wazoo, Hot Rats, Waka/Jawaka and Burnt Weeny Sandwich. Chunga's Revenge does present a lot of entertainment in case you are great admirers of Zappa's jams.




Avgust 1970
Produced by: FZ

This album has many of the most unforgettable jams that will just stick in your mind for the rest of your lifetime. It's basically a comedy album, with many of the material being borderline sleazy, similar to a carnival barker back in the days when Times Square was a bordello of hedonism. Most of the singing/narration has to do with ridiculous stuff about groupies and their variously demented sexual routines. While not the most complex Zappa album, "Fillmore East" is nonetheless enjoyable and offers a needed snapshot of what Zappa and the Mothers were doing live on-stage.





October 1971
Produced by: FZ

Chunga's Revenge along with the Fillmore album were basically made from scraps of 200 Motels. To put it briefly: this album is essential to any Zappa collection. The album is a mixture of avant-garde classical, operreta, and rockin' adolescent combo. Flo and Eddie from the Turtles have leading roles in vocals during this album, it turns out they are hilariously funny when simply turned loose, and they seriously shine here.






March 1972
Produced by: FZ

Anybody who's a fan of the innovative humor and the intelligently spoken storytelling aspects of Frank Zappa, Just Another Band from L.A. is unquestionably the best Zappa album for you! This isn't an album you can enjoy as background music all day. This is an album you listen to intently, to be able to enjoy its wonderful weirdness. It's a twisted time machine.







July 1972
Produced by: FZ

Running at approximately 35 minutes, this is a very listenable instrumental album that features some surprising pedal steel & Hawaiian guitar playing on "It Just Might Be A One Shot Deal" courtesy of "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow & Jeff Simmons. The initial song "Big Swifty" is basically a 17 minute Miles Davis Bitches Brew-era fusion jam. Waka/Jawaka is simply an extremely experimental album with jazzy affects and I totally agree with the people who think it's Hot Rats Part II.






November 1972
Produced by: FZ

Great instrumental Jazz fusion album. This was the album Frank recorded (together with its close sibling "Waka/Jawaka") while he was confined to a wheelchair after being thrown off stage by a crazed fan. This album is enjoyable to listen to as ambient music or more actively.









OVER-NITE SENSATION
September 1973
Produced by: FZ

If you are new to Zappa, or are just moderately familiar with a few of his tunes, this is the best album to start with. When it comes to both lyrics and music,whether the music be based more in jazz or rock,the key term to explain this would be as a funky album. The album won a fresh audience for Zappa.








March 1974
Produced by: FZ

With the use of the same lineup as with his earlier album,FZ persisted on in an exact vein here as before actually. Zappa's voice on this album has a delightfully deep, rich and very pleasing timbre effectively translating his exclusive humor and charisma. His lyrics paint such clear comic strip pictures in your thoughts that it's really worth spending some time to listen to this album adequately and observing these pictures go by your mind's eye.






July 1974
Produced by: FZ

Recorded live in Hollywood at the Roxy during both 1973 and Mothers Day 1974 shows there. The years 1973 and 1974 were amazing years for Zappa. Not just had he released two commercially prosperous and creatively fulfilling,but he had a band with personalities as energetic,eccentric and witty as himself in saxophonist Napoleon Murphy Brock and of course keyboard extraordinaire George Duke. This album in many ways represents Zappa's live presentation when his music was likely at it's most funk focused. Zappa's mindset,expressed with this albums closing number with Zappa instructing one of the dancers to loosen up rather than free their bodies,shows that his understanding of the funk era was truly high.





June 1975
Produced by: FZ

Impressive writing, lyrics, all things are spot on. Whether its discovering alien's (Inca Roads), boring people (Pajama People) or exploring the trials and tribulations of trailer park white trash (San Ber'dino) this album will grab you and leave you thinking and laughing. The tracks include aspects of jazz rock; blues/rock; the avant-garde; and progressive rock.








October 1975
Produced by: FZ

This is one of the few albums (along with Hot Rats) that have both Zappa and Beefheart playing at the same time. For Beefheart fans this album is necessary. Beefheart's lyrics and vocal inflections are both hysterically funny and scary at the same time. Zappa's Muffin Man is probably the ultimate electric guitar solo.








ZOOT  ALLURES
October 1976
Produced by: FZ


Zoot Allures is one of the most specific albums in Zappa's catalogue. The majority of the instruments are played by FZ himself (including bass!), with Ruth Underwood on percussion, the incomparable Terry Bozzio on drums, and some backing vocalists. This album was the closest Frank ever came to a in your face, heavy metal, guitar album. It's worth listening to for "Black Napkins" alone.
Frank Zappa Albums (The First Decade) Frank Zappa Albums (The First Decade) Reviewed by Klemen Hlupič on 03:28 Rating: 5

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