We're Only In It for the Money

The old CD, which was coupled with Lumpy Gravy, was a complete remix with major 1980s overdubs, but the 1995 CD is like the original, US vinyl. There were several original vinyl versions, with different amounts of censorship - "offensive" bits were cut out from them. The old, remixed CD was not censored, but the 1995 CD has all of the "original" censorship inherent in the US vinyl release. There is no such thing as a version of the original mix with intact "Mother People" and "Harry, You're a Beast" verses, although there is a Canadian pressing with the "Velvet Underground" line in place.

NIFTY PLUS: We now have some sound clippage on this page. See the version comparison below for some of these goodies (please download them to listen to them).

ESSENTIAL VERSIONS FOR COMPLETISTS: The original CD or Old Masters LP (remixed), plus the original vinyl (Canadian if you want the full "Velvet Underground" line; US if you want the intact "Hot Poop") and/or a 1995 CD (essentially the US vinyl mix), plus a mono vinyl (yet another mix - probably rare). Sub in the MFSL gold disc for the 1995 CD if you're a collector/malcontent. There is also a heavily censored vinyl version, which you might want to add if you're crazy; only this and the Canadian vinyl have a weird, alternate edit of "Hot Poop." [completist's guide]

Issues

  • Acetate/Test Assembly version (never officially released)
  • Original US vinyl (blue Verve V65045(X) (MGS 1250) in stereo, V5045 in mono, January 1968, no track separation - also discovered on white Verve label by Chunga (V6/5045, MGS 1250 - this could be a promo))
  • Canadian vinyl (blue Verve V65045(X), matrix number V6-5045 S1, different censorship, gatefold cover; re-issued in 1973 with single sleeve)
  • Original UK vinyl (Verve SVLP 9199 in stereo, VLP 9199 in mono, October 1968)
  • Mono vinyl (blue Verve V5045 in the US, January 1968; Verve VLP 9199 in the UK, October 1968)
  • German vinyl (blue Verve 710012, with gatefold cover and insert, probably issued both in 1968 and in the 1970s)
  • Japanese vinyl (Verve SMV-1115, unique cover)
  • Taiwanese vinyl (unauthorised, First fl 1592, red and/or orange (rarer) and black-vinyl variants)
  • Australian vinyl (Verve V5045 in mono, V65045 in stereo, 1968, single sleeve)
  • New Zealand vinyl (Verve V 5045 in mono, V6 5045 in stereo, 1968, black & white inside gatefold)
  • Chiliean vinyl? (standard cover)
  • Capitol Record Club vinyl (Verve SKAO 91457 (gatefold cover) - "super rare")
  • Cassette
  • 4-track (Verve 14 [?] 5045)
  • 8-track (Verve/Ampex 85045, white cartridge)
  • Sony playtape
  • Micro-cassette (Verve VVZ 795, made by AMPEX)
  • British vinyl re-issue (Verve/Polydor Select 2317 034, gatefold cover, June 1972 - also counterfeited in Italy)
  • Black Verve re-issue(s) (black Verve, Canada 1973 and US?)
  • "Facsimile bootleg" vinyl (Verve MGM V6 5045X)
  • The Old Masters vinyl (Barking Pumpkin BPR 7777-3, April 1985)
  • Original CD, coupled with Lumpy Gravy (Ryko RCD40024 in the US, September 1986 (imported into Australia by Festival Records and re-stickered Ryko D40705); Zappa Records CDZAP13 in the UK, December 1988; VACK 5023 in Japan; JPCD 9707445 DORA in Russia)
  • Japanese Music Scene Inc. CD (the first pressing came with a special mini book?)
  • 1995 CD (Ryko RCD 10503, April 18 1995; VACK 5104 in Japan, renumbered 5239 in 1998; also in a BMG Record Club version (1086339))
  • 1995 Cassette (Ryko RAC 10503, April 18 1995; also in a BMG Record Club version (1086339))
  • 1995 vinyl (Ryko RALP 10503, May 2 1995)
  • Korean vinyl!
  • Japanese paper-sleeve CD (Ryko/VACK 1206, September 21 2001 - sticker & insert included) 
  • Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs Gold CD (Mobile Fidelity UDCD 764, released in early August, 2005, despite a specific release date of August 23)
     
  • [Deluxe box (unreleased)]
  • Money Mini-Faq

And on the weird side, parts of this album seem to have been issued in Poland as a set of flexi-disc postcards.

Current Version Track-listing (links to Román's stupendous lyrics rundown)

  1. Are You Hung Up? 1:24
  2. Who Needs The Peace Corps? 2:34
  3. Concentration Moon 2:22
  4. Mom & Dad 2:16
  5. Telephone Conversation 0:48
  6. Bow Tie Daddy 0:33
  7. Harry, You're A Beast 1:21
  8. What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body? 1:03
  9. Absolutely Free 3:24
  10. Flower Punk 3:03
  11. Hot Poop 0:26
  12. Nasal Retentive Calliope Music 2:02
  13. Let's Make The Water Turn Black 2:01
  14. The Idiot Bastard Son 3:18
  15. Lonely Little Girl 1:09
  16. Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance 1:32
  17. What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body? (reprise) 1:02
  18. Mother People 2:26
  19. The Chrome Plated Megaphone Of Destiny 6:25

Track Titles

On the original LP, and in the original CD booklet, "Lonely Little Girl" is called "It's His Voice on the Radio". This title came from the lyrics of a bridge [external link] that were not included in the album version of the song, but was played live in 1975. (The instrumental version on the Money demo tapes did have the bridge.)

Acetate/Test Pressing

An early assembly of this album has been bootlegged, although in low quality. Check the Weirdo Discography for details.

Original US Vinyl

This controversial album was subject to some censorship when it came out, although it is not entirely clear who instigated/who actually performed the censorship. Later, another version came out, which was even more censored. The first version was censored in the following ways:

  • "Harry, You're a Beast" - the "Don't come in me, in me" section was "partially forwards, partially backwards, and shuffled as well". [01:06-01:13]. Due to the edit's complexity, it is likely Zappa's own work.
  • "Mother People" - the lines "Better look around before you say you don't care, / Shut your fuckin' mouth about the length of my hair, / How would you survive / If you were alive, / Shitty little person?" were cut out, and replaced with "Lemme take a minute and tell you my plan, / Lemme take a minute and tell who I am, / If it doesn't show, / Think you'd better know, / I'm another person", taken from earlier in the song. [This happens at 00:58-01:03.] (However, the cut lines were on the record, backwards, at the end of side one, in a track called "Hot Poop", but if you reverse the reversed version back and listen to it, you'll find that even there, the word "fuckin'" has been edited out. The stereo balance on the "Hot Poop" excerpt is also reversed as compared with the actual song.) This is also likely to be Zappa's own decision.
  • "Concentration Moon" - the line "Also, at the same time, I get to work with the Velvet Underground, which is as shitty a group as Frank Zappa's group" was cut from Gary Kellgren's whispering [01:13]. As at least some copies escaped without this edit--and as this edit is different on the heavily-censored versions--is it possible that this was either a last-minute edit on the US master and/or a record company decision.

The second was censored in these ways also:

  • "Who Needs the Peace Corps?" - the "kick the shit out of me on the street" bit was censored.
  • "Absolutely Free" - the word "balling" was censored from "I don't do publicity balling for you anymore".
  • "Absolutely Free" - the words "flower power sucks" were cut (although, the echoes of the word "sucks" can still be heard under the ensuing verse).
  • "Let's Make the Water Turn Black" - the lines "And I still remember Mama with her apron and her pad / Feeding all the boys at Ed's Cafe" were inexplicably cut out. Zappa offered the explanation that someone thought the word "pad" referred to a "sanitary napkin".
  • "Hot Poop" - the backwards "Mother People" verse was cut, so that "Hot Poop" was reduced to Gary Kellgren's whispering and a snork. Crazy obsessives will be thrilled to note that this snork is, in fact, a different snork than the one on the regular version.

(Zappa had no idea that the second version had been manufactured, and happened to hear it in Europe - they played "Let's Make the Water Turn Black", with bits cut out, as he was picking up an award, and he was so upset he didn't accept the award: he thought the censors deserved it better, because it was their record now, after all the changes they had made. From Harry de Swart, January 2000:

The Dutch music award "Edison" for We're Only In It for the Money, which was refused by Zappa because of censorship and which he gave to Hitweek is still owned by Willem de Ridder of Hitweek. He has the award standing on his mantlepiece.)

Attention: Some copies were accidentally made with one side "heavily censored" and the other side just "censored". Also, Harry de Swart reports a US copy, "heavily censored" but with half the Velvet Underground line intact ("shitty" part only cut).

As for the (X), the X is on the sleeve but not on the label. On the label, the sides are MGS 1250 and MGS1251.

"TYPO ALERT: on the Verve LP label calliope is spelled caliope."

SOUND QUALITY

A reader writes:

I have a US pressing, and it sounds like crap. It's really bad; the balance is off, and there's no high-end to speak of. Are all US pressings somewhat poor, or were there better runs and worse runs?

more pieces to the puzzle - Canadian?

From David Goodwin:

I have a vinyl copy with the Velvet Underground line. With "shitty." This is not supposed to exist.

And yes, I mean the original mix, and I'm not deluded in any way. I own 6 vinyl copies of this album (I really like this album), and this is the only one with it. From what I understand, none are supposed to have it. Naturally, the '95 remaster doesn't have it. So why does this one have it?

I'm not home currently, so I can't describe matrix numbers and somesuch, but here's what I know about it. Firstly, the sound quality is quite a bit better than a few of the other pressings I have ... it's very crisp (while others can be dull). This suggests near-first pressing to me. Also, unlike other versions I have, this one has the record inserted from the inside of the gatefold (think of the gatefold opened towards you like a book ... while the record is normally inserted in the extreme right flap of the right-hand panel, on this one it's inserted on the left, inner side of the right-hand panel). [The "unipak" sleeve - Ed.] It's apparently a Canadian pressing. The CDR I have of the mono version doesn't have it. It's stereo. Also, the closest I've ever gotten previous to this re. original mixes with the Velvet line is the Transparency comp, which is still missing the "shitty" part. Stereo vinyl, "uncensored" version, with the Velvet line but with everything else still there (missing "Mother People" verse, "Harry, You're a Beast" shuffle-fest).

From Harry:

I know that on all of my European versions and the US heavily censored version the Velvet line exists but all miss the "which is as shitty a group" bit. I know Ryan Davenport has a different censored Canadian version.

From Fast Frank:

A guy I played in a band with back in high school (1970) had this album. On it, the guy doing all the whispering sez something about the Mothers being as shitty a band as the Velvet Underground. My copy of the album did not have this - at the time I wondered about it, but hadn't thought about it since.

From Ryan Davenport:

The Canadian version has three pieces which were censored, two of them from the normal censored US version and one from the heavily censored US version:

  • Harry, You're A Beast
  • Mother People
  • Hot Poop

As you can see, it doesn't line up with the US versions in any case, even if they were to take one side from the normal censored version and the other side from the heavily censored version. The Canadian vinyl does have its own matrix numbers, but Canadian records usually did. They were pressed in Canada, not the US, so they usually had different matrix numbers. The Canadian matrix numbers are V6-5045 S1 and V6-5045 S2. One of my copies is a non-gatefold reissue with black labels dating from 1973. The other is an original gatefold issue with blue labels. Both of these records have the same matrix numbers.

More Censorship Talk

From TFaulconer:

The censored version of We're Only In It for the Money was released for only a brief time in 1968. Ironically, given MGM's disdain for the group's original name, the censored version seems to have been issued with a sticker affixed to the cover of the album itself (immediately over Jimmy Carl Black's head) that simply said "THE MOTHERS". From Neal Umphred's Goldmine Price Guide to Collectible Albums (4th edition):

"Original pressings included the lines "I will love the police as they kick the shit out of me" in the song "Who Needs the Peace Corps?" and "And I still remember Mama with her apron and her pad / feeding all the boys at Ed's Cafe" in the song "Let's Make the Water Turn Black." Later pressings have both of these lines pruned from the tapes ... And exactly who the editing was done for is a bit of a mystery: The rarity of the edited version of the album indicates that it had little, if any distribution." [A personal aside here: A friend of mine, Robert Evans, was involved in booking rock'n roll shows into Wilkes-Barre, PA, back in the late '60s and early '70s. After staging a triumphant show with the Mothers, he later entertained the group, apparently hitting it off with Zappa, who presented Bob with a copy of the edited album as a gift, telling him how rare the album was more than twenty years ago!]

Also, I remember that at least one European MGM/Verve/Polygram anthology issued in the '70s (this particular one commonly known as "Transparency") utilized lengthly excerpts from the censored version of We're Only In It for the Money, instead of the original.

Yet more details about We're Only In It for the Money - the Goldmine 5th edition price guide says that the uncensored version has a matrix number of "V6 5045 MGS 1250-REV-F". The censored version is missing the "-F". And both my black label non-gatefold and blue label gatefold (both Canadian pressings) show "V6 5045 S1" on side 1, "V6 5045 S2" on side 2. Do you suppose the censored version was only ever available in the US [as opposed to Canada]?

In spite of all this censorship, the lyric sheet always mirrored the original, censored version, and was never changed to reflect what was actually on the heavily censored (or much later, uncensored) record. Biffyshrew elaborates:

Well, most of the bits that were cut were little "asides" that weren't on the lyric sheet anyway, such as "publicity balling" and "flower power sucks", and the "Harry" and "Mother People" lines were already censored. So the only "offensive" thing they left in the printed lyrics on the "heavily censored" edition was the "I still remember Mama" verse. Maybe the person who did the censoring didn't even know that the words were on the cover, or maybe they thought it was all right to print (then it's "literature") but not to say. (This is the reverse of records like Jefferson Airplane's Volunteers or Procol Harum's Home, where words like "fuck" and "piss" that are on the record are censored from the lyric sheet.)

Another point to consider is why Zappa didn't reinstate the missing lines from "Harry" and "Mother People" on the lyric sheets of the remixed versions - both the Old Masters LP and the original Ryko CD still indicate that those lines are censored. Perhaps on the LP it was thought to be too much trouble to re-typeset the whole thing, but on the CD the lyrics were specially typeset anyway. So why not correct them?

More info from Record Collector magazine #93, May 1987 (quoted by Mikael Agardsson):

The first release for Bizarre Productions should have appeared in the shops around August 1967 but was delayed following problems over the sleeve. Legend has it that Zappa phoned Paul McCartney to ask his permission to parody the Sgt Pepper cover. McCartney referred him to the Beatles' office saying, "That's what business managers are for", whereupon Zappa snapped back, "That's what artists are for, to tell the business managers what to do". In any event, EMI/Capitol objected and following a five month delay, Money was released with the sleeve reversed. It's rumoured that some copies exist with the sleeve printed as originally planned (with the group photo on the inside), but these are almost certainly all test pressings which never reached the shops.

Despite the reversed sleeve, Money was still a precise and masterful parody of Sgt Pepper in every way. US pressings had no separations between the tracks and one song, "What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body?", also had a "Reprise" as on the Beatles record. A "cut-out" insert card was even included with early US pressings.

Contrary to popular belief, Suzy Creamcheese's "publicity balling" line was not edited on US pressings (at least, not on early pressings), but another song, "Mother People", did suffer at the hands of MGM. Luckily, Zappa knew in advance that a verse would have to be edited out and had time to insert a note in the lyrics which read: "The verse that really goes here has been censored out and recorded backwards in a special section at the end of side one". The offending verse was thus moved to form part of a very short track titled "Hot Poop". The uncensored version of "Mother People" was eventually released on the compilation album Mothermania [In an alternate mono mix - Ed.].

As part of a belated push for Money, Zappa ran a series of adverts in Marvel comics during April 1969, the first time a rock album had been advertised in this way.

Original UK Vinyl

Money was censored when it came out in the US, and later a second version was made, which was even more censored. The UK issue was released later, and is the heavily censored version. It has all the following censorships (the first three were the original US version, the other five were added for certain later versions):

  • "Harry, You're a Beast" - the "Don't come in me, in me" section was "partially forwards, partially backwards, and shuffled as well". [01:06-01:13]. Due to the edit's complexity, it is likely Zappa's own work.
  • "Mother People" - the lines "Better look around before you say you don't care, / Shut your fuckin' mouth about the length of my hair, / How would you survive / If you were alive, / Shitty little person?" were cut out, and replaced with "Lemme take a minute and tell you my plan, / Lemme take a minute and tell who I am, / If it doesn't show, / Think you'd better know, / I'm another person", taken from earlier in the song. [This happens at 00:58-01:03.] (However, the cut lines were on the record, backwards, at the end of side one, in a track called "Hot Poop", but if you reverse the reversed version back and listen to it, you'll find that even there, the word "fuckin'" has been edited out. The stereo balance on the "Hot Poop" excerpt is also reversed as compared with the actual song.) This is also likely to be Zappa's own decision.
  • "Concentration Moon" - the line "Also, at the same time, I get to work with the Velvet Underground, which is as shitty a group as Frank Zappa's group" was cut from Gary Kellgren's whispering [01:13]. As at least some copies escaped without this edit--and as this edit is different on the heavily-censored versions--is it possible that this was either a last-minute edit on the US master and/or a record company decision.
  • "Who Needs the Peace Corps?" - the "kick the shit out of me on the street" bit was censored.
  • "Absolutely Free" - the word "balling" was censored from "I don't do publicity balling for you anymore".
  • "Absolutely Free" - the words "flower power sucks" were cut (although, the echoes of the word "sucks" can still be heard under the ensuing verse).
  • "Let's Make the Water Turn Black" - the lines "And I still remember Mama with her apron and her pad / Feeding all the boys at Ed's Cafe" were inexplicably cut out. Zappa offered the explanation that someone thought the word "pad" referred to a "sanitary napkin".
  • "Hot Poop" - the backwards "Mother People" verse was cut, so that "Hot Poop" was reduced to Gary Kellgren's whispering and a snork. Crazy obsessives will be thrilled to note that this snork is, in fact, a different snork than the one on the regular version.

From Record Collector magazine #93, May 1987 (quoted by Mikael Agardsson):

It was ... the first Mothers album to be initially released in the UK with its intended gatefold sleeve. This is not to say EMI were starting to take Zappa seriously but simply because of the way the group photo was arranged across the sleeve, they were unable to reduce it in any way.

But what they couldn't do to the sleeve, EMI made up for by censoring parts of the record itself. At the start of the track "Absolutely Free", Suzy Creamcheese's line "I don't do publicity balling for you anymore" was "amended", and later in the same song, the words "flower power sucks" were edited out completely. The decision to cut out part of a verse from "Let's Make the Water Turn Black" was even more inexplicable, especially when the censored lines ("and I still remember Mama with her apron and her pad / feeding all the boys at Ed's Cafe! / Whizzing and pasting and pooting through the day ...") were still printed on the cover for all to see! Also cut out was the backwards verse from "Mother People" which, on U.S pressings, was tacked onto the end of the track, "Hot poop", but is missing from original U.K copies.

Because it had the original gatefold sleeve, this release is more difficult to identify as an original pressing, especially as there is no mention of EMI on the label or the sleeve. But there are a number of distinct differences between this and the Polydor re-issue (quite apart from the catalouge number). In common with the other EMI originals, the laminated sleeve was printed by Garrod and Lofthouse (the re-issues were printed by either E. J. Day or MacNeill Press) and has fold-over "flaps" inside the gatefold cover inside the gatefold cover. On the label is the familiar inscriptions "Sold in the UK".

Mono Vinyl

The mono vinyl was not only in mono, it was quite a different mix. See below for a quick run-down on the different versions.

Harry de Swart reports a UK mono copy, otherwise "heavily censored" but with half the Velvet Underground line intact ("shitty" part only cut).

German Vinyl

This German vinyl, dark blue Verve 710012, is the "heavily censored" edit:

  • "Harry, You're a Beast" - the "Don't come in me, in me" section was "partially forwards, partially backwards, and shuffled as well". [01:06-01:13]. Due to the edit's complexity, it is likely Zappa's own work.
  • "Mother People" - the lines "Better look around before you say you don't care, / Shut your fuckin' mouth about the length of my hair, / How would you survive / If you were alive, / Shitty little person?" were cut out, and replaced with "Lemme take a minute and tell you my plan, / Lemme take a minute and tell who I am, / If it doesn't show, / Think you'd better know, / I'm another person", taken from earlier in the song. [This happens at 00:58-01:03.] (However, the cut lines were on the record, backwards, at the end of side one, in a track called "Hot Poop", but if you reverse the reversed version back and listen to it, you'll find that even there, the word "fuckin'" has been edited out. The stereo balance on the "Hot Poop" excerpt is also reversed as compared with the actual song.) This is also likely to be Zappa's own decision.
  • "Concentration Moon" - the line "Also, at the same time, I get to work with the Velvet Underground, which is as shitty a group as Frank Zappa's group" was cut from Gary Kellgren's whispering [01:13]. As at least some copies escaped without this edit--and as this edit is different on the heavily-censored versions--is it possible that this was either a last-minute edit on the US master and/or a record company decision.
  • "Who Needs the Peace Corps?" - the "kick the shit out of me on the street" bit was censored.
  • "Absolutely Free" - the word "balling" was censored from "I don't do publicity balling for you anymore".
  • "Absolutely Free" - the words "flower power sucks" were cut (although, the echoes of the word "sucks" can still be heard under the ensuing verse).
  • "Let's Make the Water Turn Black" - the lines "And I still remember Mama with her apron and her pad / Feeding all the boys at Ed's Cafe" were inexplicably cut out. Zappa offered the explanation that someone thought the word "pad" referred to a "sanitary napkin".
  • "Hot Poop" - the backwards "Mother People" verse was cut, so that "Hot Poop" was reduced to Gary Kellgren's whispering and a snork. Crazy obsessives will be thrilled to note that this snork is, in fact, a different snork than the one on the regular version.

SOME sources claim that the "Don't come in me" bit from "Harry, You're a Beast" and the "Velvet Underground" line from Gary Kellgren's whispering were NOT tampered with on this version, even though they seem to have been censored on all other original vinyl versions (compare with the original US or UK vinyl sections). However, Robert Cloos has a copy, and he says they were:

"Don't come in me" and "Velvet Underground" are absolutely tampered with.

It has the insert and the second cover: the first issue has the fold-out cover but has only one layer in the "flap" (the side that does not contain the record). The second issue has the fold-out cover with a double layer on the side that does not contain the record. Actually, this is the way record covers were all done in the seventies. This was done the same way with Absolutely Free, Lumpy Gravy and Cruising with Ruben & the Jets.

This issue was the one Frank Zappa heard during the "edison uitreiking" (it's a musical award). He was so upset that they fucked up his record that he refused to accept the award.

However, Harry de Swart does report a German copy, otherwise "heavily censored" but with half the Velvet Underground line intact ("shitty" part only cut).

Taiwanese Vinyl

The (unauthorised?) Taiwanese vinyl pressing has the Sergeant Pepper parody on the front cover. (The only other vinyl version with a "Sergeant Pepper" front cover is the Australian version.) The cover is not a gatefold, and it is rather flimsy.

From ZappaLVR:

My freaky Taiwanese pressing has the same edits as the recent Ryko reissue, though not the notorious edits of "Let's Make the Water Turn Black", that made Frank reject the music award.

Harry de Swart concurs, and gives some insight as to the Taiwanese vinyl's possible legal status:

It doesn't seem "unauthorised"  to me. The matrix numbers are written exactly the same as the U.S. numbers. To me it looks like a U.S. matrix was used.

Australian Vinyl

From Collecting Frank Zappa in Australia - Part 1: The Early Years, an article by Stuart Penny in it - The Australian Record Collectors Magazine, Issue #14 June-July-August 1995 (provided by Henry Griggs, Sydney, Australia):

Somewhat harder to find [than Absolutely Free], though, is the Australian version of the legendary third Mothers of Invention album, We're Only in It for the Money (Verve V/V6 5045). The remarkable thing about this LP is not the amount of altered or deleted lyrics it contains, but the fact that it was actually issued here as Zappa originally envisaged (and, indeed, as it now appears on the CD sleeve world-wide), with the Sgt. Pepper spoof on the front cover! [So had the "freaky" Taiwanese vinyl - Ed.] Now, you can bet your life that this was not done as an act of artistic philanthropy by Phonogram. More likely it arose due to a combination of inefficiency and downright cheapness by the record company. It must be remembered that, back in the 60s, Australia was far more isolated from the mainstream of world events than it is today, and the furore surrounding EMI's (and, allegedly, Paul McCartney's) objection to the Money sleeve probably didn't filter through to Phonogram's Oz office until long after the album had reached the shops (if at all). This, coupled with a deeply entrenched policy of penny-pinching and corner-cutting by virtually all the Australian labels, meant that a gatefold sleeve was out of the question for most rock albums anyway (for really important LPs however - especially those utilising intricate artwork such as Sgt. Pepper and the Stones' Satanic Majesties - this problem was overcome by housing Australian-made records in UK-printed sleeves). Consequently, because they couldn't reduce the regular Money cover down to a single sleeve without creating all sorts of problems with the track listing and other credits, Phonogram simply reversed the cover and found they had a ready-made sleeve. Well, sort of. What they actually did was use the Sgt. Pepper spoof for the front cover, while the infamous MOI 'drag' photo (which normally spreads across the fold-out sleeve on US/UK LPs) was reduced to fit along the bottom of the back cover only. Oddly enough, this was reproduced in red, with the lyrics overprinted on a white background. As with Absolutely Free, the aforementioned marathon sleeve credit was still present, but, strangely, no cover flaps were in evidence this time. Both mono and stereo numbers appeared on the sleeve, which was laminated on the front cover only. Once again, an exact release date is hard to ascertain, but considering the US and UK versions of We're Only in It for the Money appeared in January and June 1968 respectively, it would probably not be wildly inaccurate to place the Aussie issue around August of the same year.

Other 'amendments' to the Aussie version of Money concern several instances of censored lyrics, all of which - bar one - seem to correspond to those found on early UK/US pressings (i.e. "Who Needs the Peace Corps", "Let's Make the Water Turn Black" and the spoken intro to the song "Absolutely Free" all have a few words edited out). The exception is the short track "Hot Poop", which despite an official running time of only 30 seconds, was nevertheless chopped by almost 50%!

A word of explanation is possibly required here: MGM in the US had insisted that the line "shut your fuckin' mouth about the length of my hair" be cut from the song "Mother People" before Money could be released. So, in typical Zappa style, Frank cleverly sneaked the offending phrase back onto the album, via "Hot Poop", without the record company noticing. Admittedly, he had to run the tape backwards to do it, but, on UK and US pressings at least, there it is, tucked away at the end of Side One. Can it be that the top brass at Phonogram in Sydney were somehow made aware of Zappa's surreptitious tape reversal activities and resolved to scupper the head Mother's dastardly plans? Or did some incompetent studio technician cut the tape off a few seconds too early during the mastering stage, thus losing half of the track in question? My money's on the latter option. Speaking of which, expect to pay up to $75 for a clean mono copy of this timeless album.

New Zealand Vinyl

From Collecting Frank Zappa in Australia - Part 1: The Early Years, an article by Stuart Penny in it - The Australian Record Collectors Magazine, Issue #14 June-July-August 1995 (provided by Henry Griggs, Sydney, Australia):

At this point, some mention should be made of the New Zealand issue of Money (Verve V/V6 5045) which, despite having the regular yellow foldout 'drag' sleeve, apparently features the Sgt. Pepper spoof inside cover in glorious black & white! This particular cost-cutting exercise was prevalent in New Zealand throughout the '60s and '70s, inadvertently creating many desirable mutant pressings for the overseas collector's market along the way.

Sony Playtape

From Tom Caselli:

I owned it at one time, yes it is real, and hold on, there were other Mothers titles as well. Keep in mind though, each tape only contained 4 songs. I can only remember one song from this tape: "Idiot Bastard Son".

A playtape was a 2-track tape cartridge, originally invented in the '40s but presented to the public in the late 1960s, which held up to 24 minutes of music. It was the first consumer tape format with portable players available, but as soon as portable players started to appear for other tape formats, the playtape format started dying out. If you want to read more about playtapes, here's a link to an article on the Dead Media Project page.

If you know more about the We're Only In It for the Money playtape, or about any of the other Mothers playtape titles, don't hesitate to mail me.

Micro-Cassette

There was a micro-cassette issue with four songs from We're Only In It for the Money on it:

1. Mother People
2. Flower Punk

3. Nasal-Retentive Caliope Music
4. Absolutely Free

A micro-cassette seems to be short cassette. This issue was not called "We're Only In It for the Money", it was untitled. YOUR MICRO-NANETTE!

British Vinyl Re-Issue

From Record Collector magazine #93, May 1987 (quoted by Mikael Agardsson):

This re-issue is essential to collectors of UK Zappa releases as it contains all parts which were cencored from the original EMI pressings. [This means that it reverted back to the regular, censored version, which was the original US release, not that it was completely uncensored. The original UK version was heavily censored. -Ed.] Visually though, there is little to tell them apart. This is the only re-issue to have a laminated sleeve, albeit only on the outside cover, unlike the original which is also laminated inside the gatefold sleeve. As with the original, this release is banded, leaving only the US version to complete the Sgt Pepper illusion by having no track separation.

Harry de Swart notes that the claim above about track separation is incorrect:

Harry: My Canadian and Taiwanese copy have also no track separation.

Black Verve Re-Issue(s)

From Ryan Davenport:

I have ... early Zappa albums (Lumpy Gravy, We're Only In It for the Money) that are reissues that use black labels and silver writing - they have a (C) 1973 on the cover, and the gatefold is gone, replaced by a regular cover. Both ... are Canadian pressings. Lumpy Gravy has the left side of the inner gatefold as its back cover (with chorus and symphony orchestra credits). We're Only In It for the Money also uses the left inside cover, which is the lyric sheet. Thus the Sgt. Pepper parody photo and the back cover with Zappa on it are not on this non-gatefold. Lumpy Gravy seems to date from 1973, but We're Only In It for the Money is later - the copyright notice on the back contains an address with a Canadian postal code, and I don't think we had those by 1973.

From Ralf Maurer:

Postal codes were introduced in 1972 or 1973.

From Robb Perrone:

I just found a copy on a black Verve label ... I've seen many, many copies over the years and this is the first like it I have seen [and before you ask: it is a US print].

The Old Masters vinyl

We're Only In It for the Money was one of the albums re-released on vinyl in the Old Masters box 1. It was not taken from an old master; instead it used the 1984 digital remix (which seems to sound better here, thanks to better mastering). And as on the original CD, a black bar had been added to cover Herb Cohen's eyes on the "Sergeant Pepper" photo. And on the insert sheet, one of Jimmy Carl Black's teeth had been coloured green, and one black tooth had been added to Don Preston, totaling two black teeth for him.

From Mikael Agardsson:

"The Chrome-Plated Megaphone of Destiny" is listed as being 07:09 in the booklet. On the 1995 CD it is 06:25 and on the Verve 50545X LP it's listed as 06:30. [Two of these may very well be misprints - Ed.]

Original CD (Coupled with LUMPY GRAVY)

The first CD release was as a two-for-one with Lumpy Gravy on the same disc. It was heavily remixed, some songs were speeded up, and new bass and drums had been overdubbed (played by Arthur Barrow and Chad Wackerman, respectively) without any acknowledgment of this in the CD booklet, which still credited the original musicians. However, all the parts that were censored on the original vinyl had been restored. While this release uses the Old Masters remix, it is mastered very quietly, and thus sounds even worse.

The remix was extremely controversial to many fans, and it is safe to say that most people hated it. Zappa claimed he had to do it, because the original master had been stored so poorly that it was impossible to use it. (Perhaps he even wanted people to believe that the bass and drum track tapes were damaged as well.) However, the 1995 CD proved this wrong - it was taken from an original 1960s two-track Scotch 206 master tape. (Some bits were taken from the safety copy as well, as it had held up even better.) According to Zappa's sound engineer, Bob Stone, the real reason was that Zappa was unhappy with the original performance. 

  • If you want to read more about why Zappa remixed and overdubbed this album so much, you can follow this link.

The cover was the Sergeant Pepper parody that had been included in the original vinyl artwork, but for legal reasons not as a front cover at that time. This time, a black bar had been added to cover Herb Cohen's eyes. (The rest of the artwork suffered, as a natural result of sharing a CD with another album, and all artwork reverted back to the original on the 1995 re-issue.)

From Ibaranoff24:

I accidentally bought two copies of We're Only In It for the Money/Lumpy Gravy. The first one I got in the mail featured a black spine, like a normal CD. Opened up the package, nothing on the inside. The second copy featured a clear spine with a grey background. I didn't open it to see if it had the "Ugly Mothers" cover, because I was going to send it back. Where is this clear spine from? When was it issued? Any ideas?

From Isaac Baranoff:

All of the 1986 CDs were reissued in 1994, probably because Rykodisc had just got these green CD trays, and wanted to use them. The 1994 issues now have an image of a vinyl record playing on a turntable, with the text "Rykodisc ... since 1986" on the label of the record behind the CD tray, and a CD label featuring a image of Zappa that had probably been converted to black and white, with the black parts changed to purple. Same mix as the regular 1986 copies with regular jewel cases.

Russian Version of Original CD (Coupled with LUMPY GRAVY)

From Jos van Galen:

On the back cover (the Lumpy Gravy side, so the speak), there is a tiny little message which says in Russian (and translated into English) something like: "All Rights Reserved. License Agreement no. 2132/M3-97 between RAO and OOO DORA d.d. 20.1.97. Apply no. 431." The CD comes with no information about the contents of the CD at all, except that Frank Zappa made and produced the music. Now of course there could have been put in something when it was manufactured but then it probably fell out of the case on its no doubt long and dark way to my record shelf, where for now this Russian orphan has found a warm place between the other Zappa records and CDs. 

(It is probably old news but did anybody notice that the line on the cover of the original Lumpy Gravy LP which says "a curiously inconsistent [etc] ..." is repeated on the back cover of the CD but with a mistake in so far that they printed the "a" of "a BALLET" twice so it says "a a BALLET"?)

From István Fekete:

About Russian CDs, I had two of them in my hands one or two years ago, but didn't buy them since they were in a very bad shape, scratched all over. One of them was the We're Only In It for the Money/Lumpy Gravy twofer, with the purple Zappa face on the disc from the old Ryko edition. The booklet was just a single folded sheet with two random pages from the booklet inside. The other one was The Lost Episodes, with the label name changed to RICODISK.

"Facsimile Bootleg" Vinyl

This issue seems to be based on the "censored version" of the original vinyl, but has undergone a little more censorship: the lines "And I still remember Mama with her apron and her pads / Feeding all the boys at Ed's Cafe / Whizzing & pasting & pooting through the day" roughly cut out from "Let's Make the Water Turn Black". On the "heavily censored version", where a lot more was cut, the line "Whizzing & pasting & pooting through the day" seems to have been left alone. "I think there is (or has been) somebody over there seriously committed to make us go nuts!", says Román García Albertos, and continues:

Well, I call 'em "facsimile bootlegs", because they reproduce the cover and the label and the vinyl of the original releases. But they aren't. They don't sound very good (well, they sound good, but they're at least second generation), and the covers seem to be xerocopies of the originals. When the original releases were impossible to find and the CD era hadn't come yet, I think this was the only way to hear the records.

From Kristian Kier:

The main differences between the counterfeit and the original are the covers and the matrix numbers. The covers show some damages which weren't caused by handling, they were copied (xeroxed might be the wrong terme, since they seem to be printed professionally) due to photo transfer. Best examples: We're Only In It for the Money and Zappa in New York.

The matrix numbers on the counterfeits are all hand-written. Original records by Verve/Polydor don't have hand-written numbers! That's the easiest way to check wether it's a fake, or not!

From Hasi:

The "hand-written rule" is valid only for European Verve/Polydor pressings, not for Verve US pressings. So if the record you are interested in has a V(6)/5045 number, it should have hand-written matrix numbers.

Kier continues: 

Another clue: Most of these counterfeits do not have track separation between the songs.

I do have the fakes of Freak Out!, Absolutely Free, We're Only In It for the Money, Cruising with Ruben & the Jets, Lumpy Gravy and Zappa in New York (with "Punky's Whips"), all coming from Italy. I remember having seen Roxy & Elsewhere, too.

1995 CD

Because most fans didn't like the remix and overdubs that were on the original CD, Zappa made a new CD version with the original vinyl mix on it, for Ryko's 1995 re-release (separated from Lumpy Gravy, which had been coupled with Money on the original CD). Unfortunately, it was the censored (but not heavily censored) version of the original vinyl mix; the censored bits had not been, or could not be restored:

  • "Harry, You're a Beast" - the "Don't come in me, in me" section was "partially forwards, partially backwards, and shuffled as well". [01:06-01:13]. Due to the edit's complexity, it is likely Zappa's own work.
  • "Mother People" - the lines "Better look around before you say you don't care, / Shut your fuckin' mouth about the length of my hair, / How would you survive / If you were alive, / Shitty little person?" were cut out, and replaced with "Lemme take a minute and tell you my plan, / Lemme take a minute and tell who I am, / If it doesn't show, / Think you'd better know, / I'm another person", taken from earlier in the song. [This happens at 00:58-01:03.] (However, the cut lines were on the record, backwards, at the end of side one, in a track called "Hot Poop", but if you reverse the reversed version back and listen to it, you'll find that even there, the word "fuckin'" has been edited out. The stereo balance on the "Hot Poop" excerpt is also reversed as compared with the actual song.) This is also likely to be Zappa's own decision.
  • "Concentration Moon" - the line "Also, at the same time, I get to work with the Velvet Underground, which is as shitty a group as Frank Zappa's group" was cut from Gary Kellgren's whispering [01:13]. As at least some copies escaped without this edit--and as this edit is different on the heavily-censored versions--is it possible that this was either a last-minute edit on the US master and/or a record company decision.

Official statement from Rykodisc:

Separated from Lumpy Gravy. New digital master made from original edited analog master and other raw mix segments, and re-edited [Webmaster's Note: Has anybody ever figured out which segments are from the "raw mix," and if they're different?]. Restored to version released by Verve in 1968. Restored artwork.

From Spence Chrislu:

The reason for not going back to the original and re-mixing it is a multi-faceted problem. The original multi-track was not assembled into a sequence or even a build reel. In those days, many many takes and passes were done on the multi-track and then it was edited, miniscule-piece-by-miniscule-piece, on the master tape itself. In fact, some of the spoken dialog pieces on the master are the original recordings. That's why Zappa claimed that a lot of it was ruined. Those spoken word pieces are now of the "see-through" variety of tape, i.e. there's no oxide left on them. Thankfully the safety was there to save them.

I suppose that what I'm saying is this: it would take countless hours to re-create the master exactly the way Zappa did it. And besides, then you would have the Spence Chrislu version or the Dweezil version and that would lead to the endless arguments about how Frank would have done it had he lived. The fact remains that no matter how hard we try, there will never be another Frank Zappa. All we can do is try to preserve the legacy he left behind.

(I also think that he was far too busy and far too sick to even consider going back and hunting down the original pieces to remix it from scratch and put it back together.)

From Scum 99:

I have to disagree, the current Ryko issue is nothing like the original, the sound quality is severely lacking, there are tons of dropouts, you can here where the tape was destroyed, by time and improper care. It even says on it that it was put together from original 2-track masters AND other sources. It is closer, but it isn't the real thing ... i think of [it] as version 4 [versions 1-2 being the original vinyl in two different degrees of censorship, and version 3 being the original CD remix - Ed.].

Artwork

The artwork, too, was true to the original: the Sergeant Pepper parody was no longer used as a front cover; instead it had the original "ugly Mothers" cover. Cover maestro Cal Schenkel comments on the artwork:

'95 Ryko release restores the original cover, back cover, liner and cutout sheet with some subtle changes. The inlay pictures are neverseenbefore out-takes from the original Jerry Schatzberg photo session for the BC (which is actually the inside-out left panel on the original, but the BC on the earlier reissue ... well, you know what I mean).

However, the black bar covering Herb Cohen's eyes on the "Sergeant Pepper" photo, introduced on the Old Masters vinyl and the original CD, had been retained. A new black bar had been added to cover his daughter's, Lisa Cohen's, eyes. Jimmy Carl Black's green teeth, and the extra black tooth in Don Preston's mouth, were retained from the Old Masters version.

In a packaging variant, some CD:s have been reported as having the cover insert folded differently to produce a Sergeant Pepper parody cover instead of the "ugly Mothers" cover.

Miscellaneous

Mikael Agardsson has compared the original vinyl (Verve V6 5045) and the 1995 CD:

"Telephone Conversation" is not listed on the LP; it's simply included in "Bow Tie Daddy" which is 01:22 on the LP and 00:33 on the CD. The track times listed on the LP aren't quite correct; the CD track times match better. "Flower Punk" is the same length as on the CD (03:04), not 03:57 as listed on the label.

There are a few differences in artwork: The LP insert consists of moustache, picture card (the dollar bill), stripes (hair), badges and stand up (group picture). This is not reflected in quite the same way on the CD. On the LP, the dollar bill has a line "Box 103 Prince St. Station. N.Y. 10012" under the line "B38700388A", but on the CD, the "Box 103" line is completely missing. The lower right corner of the LP cover reads "Cal Schenkel/etc."; this is not on the CD at all. The group photo is much, noticeably sharper on the LP, and the green background colour is much lighter on the CD.

Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs Gold CD

In the summer of 2005, Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs, a company specializing in "audiophile" releases, announced that they were planning to release a 24-karat Gold CD of "We're Only In It for the Money." Zappa fans tentatively began to rejoice. And then Joe "Vaultmeister" Travers revealed that he knew nothing about it. Uh-oh. MoFi's oddly-parsed declaration that they were using "the original 1968 Verve/Bizarre mixes" didn't help, nor did the fact that their other current gold-disc releases were all clearly derived from digital tapes.

As it turns out, the Mobile Fidelity CD is derived from Ryko's 1995 master. No, it isn't exactly the same--it's been re-EQed, for one--but it is essentially a gold, $30, we-sorta-turned-knobs version of what's been available since 1995 (MoFi has subsequently more or less confirmed that they used the Ryko tapes). It's apparently nicely packaged, though.

Update 2005: Mofi were nice enough to send me a promo copy of this disc for further comparisons.

Yes, the EQ is clearly different. If I may resort to some descriptions of a decidedly audiophile ephemera order, the top-end is a bit more pronounced on the MoFi; the EQ is a bit more "detail-oriented," while the Ryko is a bit warmer. Intriguingly, the MoFi has a strict 20kHz frequency cutoff, while the Ryko has no such thing (this isn't really an audible difference, just something I saw with the frequency scope). Again, not a huge difference, but it's there, and your mileage may vary as to which you prefer.

The packaging is very different from the Ryko. While the Ryko has that fold-out booklet, the MoFi is a "Standard" CD booklet. MoFi clearly OCRed the text, and unfortunately there are several little typo/spacing errors that creep in, i.e. "inseveral" as one word (which, I should add, may very well be corrected in non-promo versions). The one really nice coup of the MoFi packaging, though, is that it reproduces--for the first time, I think--the original front cover before all of the black bars were added to people's faces...there's not a black bar to be seen. Unfortunately, this cover is only included in MoFi's slightly-smaller-than-normal CD album size...pity they didn't include a poster-sized insert.

Verdict: my opinion's mostly unchanged. It's different, but not necessarily $30 different. If you're a collector, though, it may very well be worth the investment.

We're Only In It For the Money MINI-FAQ

Once upon a time, a Zappa fanatic planned on writing a comprehensive "We're Only In It For the Money" FAQ, which would serve as a guide to the (many) variants of the album. This, unfortunately, was interrupted by Real Life, and never quite came to full fruition. Here, however, is a mini-guide to some of the intricacies of the album's different versions. To simplify things, everything will be compared to the current, stereo CD of the album, which is assumed (more or less) to represent the original stereo mix. Comments on the mono version will be in green, comments on the remix will be in blue, comments on the '45 mix will be maroon, comments on Mothermania variants will be in orange, and comments on the acetate version will be in brown. Keep in mind that the differences listed below occur in addition to things as vague as "the different mix makes the track 'feel' different;" don't assume that (for example) I haven't noted something for the mono mix that the mono mix isn't different on that track.

(Webmaster's note: Shockingly enough, I'm doing this from memory, as I'm not around my versions of this album at present. If anybody could chip in on some of the specifics, I'd be very grateful).

1) Are You Hung Up?

  • The mono version resembles the stereo, except its spoken-word pieces are clearer, perhaps due to the lack of processing (in order to get the "ping-pong" effect) on the stereo version.
  • The remix is reassembled; its edits fall in slightly different places (in particular, the noise right before JCB's introduction runs for a good bit longer than it does on the standard edit). A frequency filter has been used on the introductory piece and JCB's line. Gary's whispering is the clearest it has ever been, and its reverb has been re-created digitally (it sounds nothing like the original). There's a little digital "fwip" right before JCB's line.

2) Who Needs the Peace Corps?

  • The mono seems to run slightly faster than the stereo. The drumming is a bit more prominent in the mix. While the stereo has no saxophone running under Frank's end-of-song monologue, the mono mixes it up ever so slightly.
  • The remix is totally different. Chad's drumming gives the song a completely different rhythm. A different mixture of vocal parts seems to have been used (either that or the processing is very different). The sax solo in the outtro is clearly audible. Frank says "I won't care because" instead of "I won't care."
  • The acetate seems to resemble the mono mix. The sax solo is once again audible, and Frank's "because" (only audible elsewhere on the remix) is heard. More importantly, the acetate does not yet have the segue into Concentration Moon; instead, the song continues after the normal edit point to its actual ending. Neat! Nice.
3) Concentration Moon [Mono OGG sample - mono reduction of standard CD vs. part of the actual mono mix]

  • The mono mix is radically different. The "explosion" effect which leads off the song is treated much differently. Also, the "with all of my friends still running free" phrases feature only Don's electric piano, instead of the electric piano/acoustic guitar combination of the stereo mix.
  • The remix is noticeably faster than any other mix. My pet theory: the original mixes feature the song at the correct speed, with JCB's drums (and the "don't cry" vocals) recorded on a slowed-down tape to make them sound high-pitched at the song's correct speed. Frank probably didn't want to deal with this process for the remix, and elected instead to speed everything up to get Chad's drums to sound unnatural. Gary's whispering has been treated to the same digital reverb as on Are You Hung Up? We also get the Velvet Underground line here, which isn't on the CD or the mono mix, but which is on some versions of the stereo mix.

4) Mom & Dad

  • The mono mix isn't significantly different.
  • Chad's tendency to drum along with prominent instrumental/vocal motifs really changes the rhythm here, as he drums the "melody" of  the main motif of the song. A recorder mixed out of all other released versions is clearly audible here, and sounds a bit off-key. Oddly, there's some sort of "snork" sound under some repetitions of the vocal motif...does this date from the original sessions, or is this a Chad sample?
  • The acetate version features a slightly-audible recorder (which is what dates it from the original sessions), and is edited very differently, with some extra material in the middle. It also runs noticeably faster.

5) Telephone Conversation

  • Some processing has been applied to the version on the remix (similar to the processing on bits of Are You Hung Up?). Additionally, while other versions edit abruptly into Telephone Conversation from Mom & Dad, the remix allows Arthur's last bass note to continue under the beginning of this track.

6) Bow Tie Daddy

  • Arthur's bass sounds really off-key here, especially at the very end. Frank's vocals are processed differently.

7) Harry, You're a Beast

  • The mono mix features no reverb on the mid-song snorks, and the censored verse sounds like it was assembled a little differently.
  • The remix begins with Arthur's bass on top of the drum/piano intro, and features what sounds like a bad edit right as the main portion of the track begins (Arthur slides up, the bass track "hiccups" a bit, and he's suddenly back on the correct note). The "snorks" feature the same processing applied to Telephone Conversation and parts of Are You Hung Up. Of course, the censored section is no longer censored.
  • The acetate version contains a few notable differences. There are no snorks; instead, we hear the little bit of "placeholder" music that the snorks eventually replaced. Additionally, the censored section has not yet been censored, giving us the only version of the censored verse without the replaced rhythm section.

8) What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body?

  • The mono version has no vocal reverb on the "Where did Annie go" section. The backing vocals also seem to be mixed slightly higher during the entire "All your children" segment.
  • The acetate version includes a middle section later excised from the released version, and continues into the reprise.

9) Absolutely Free

  • The remix contains a few notable alterations. Arthur plays bass over the piano intro. The "Flower Power Sucks" echo sounds like it might have been digitally re-created. There's lots of vocal leak-through in the left channel, which sounds at times as if it might be the normal-speed guide vocal track used for the sped-up vocals. Lastly, there are extra "la la la las" missing from all other versions over the instrumental motif right before the final "Freedom freedom" section.

10) Flower Punk

  • The remix seems to feature a different "background vocal" (they aren't really backing vocals, eh?) balance right before the "breakdown" starts (notably, the "Wild Thing" reference is almost completely eliminated, with a "come on, Roy" in its place).

11) Hot Poop

  • The remix re-edits the whispering, and has the same reverb applied to the other whispering on the album. The effects filter applied to Telephone Conversation and other bits of the album is applied to the Mother People verse and subsequent snork.

12) Nasal Retentive Calliope Music

(no differences noted thus far. The remix throws on an extra layer of reverb, which is particularly obvious during the "record-scratching" segments)

13) Let's Make the Water Turn Black

  • The remix runs noticeably fast. The "Telephone Conversation" effect is applied to the dialogue after the song.

14) The Idiot Bastard Son

  • The mono mix is oddly muddy and indistinct, giving me reason to believe that it's a stereo-knockdown.
  • The remix runs faster than the original stereo mix. In this case, however, the stereo mix is the one clearly unlike all of the others, so I'm led to believe that this is, in fact, the original tempo of the song. The remix mixes up many instruments buried in the stereo mix. It also applies the same effects filter to the mid-song dialogue segments, as well as treating them to a layer of digital reverb. Lastly, the spoken-word bits at the end are edited very differently here than they are on the original stereo mix, and are swimming in digital reverb.
  • The Mothermania version is a unique mono mix, which features a timpani intro. The first verse or so is somewhat sparse, with the other instruments joining in a bit later. The mono mix also runs noticeably faster than the stereo mix.
  • The acetate version resembles the Mothermania version, but with all instruments mixed up from the beginning.

15) Lonely Little Girl [Mono OGG sample - Ending of standard stereo mix vs. ending of mono mix]

  • The mono mix largely resembles the stereo mix. However, there seems to be less reverb applied to the ending "freak out" section, and most of the little pieces of music missing from before and during the backwards-guitar section on the stereo mix (but present on all others) are present here. This is a somewhat vague description, I know, but it's a hard thing to describe.
  • The remix pushes the vocal-melody guitar higher in the mix. A "you're lonely" vocal line missing from all other versions is present here right before "all your children." Additionally, the remix features the same longer edit (actually, there may be a few more bits here) of the outtro as heard on the mono mix.
  • The acetate version is very different. It runs far slower, for one. There are also no vocals as of yet. The song cycles through as usual, but instead of ending jumps into what is clearly the excised "every night you sit in your room" middle section as heard on the '75 tours. After this comes a repetition of (but a different performance of) the main motif.
  • The '45 version is intriguing. Up until "too unreal," it seems to be the same as the LP mono mix. For the "so you're lonely, lonely, lonely little girl" part, however, it edits into the second version of that phrase as heard on the acetate version...with an alternate set of vocals! Intriguingly, this implies that the entire acetate assembly of this track had vocals recorded for it at some point.

16) Take Your Clothes Off When you Dance

  • Most of the mix differences on this track center around the backing vocals, which--as they consist mostly of "la la las" and other unspecific noises--are impossible to describe accurately. Nevertheless, I'll try. The mono mix is missing a "deedledeedledee" present on the stereo mix. I believe that the '45 version matches this.
  • The remix keeps the backing vocal track up throughout the entire "instrumental" section, so we get more "woo-eee-ooos" and an entire extra section of "la la las." Joy.
  • I don't currently have access to the acetate version, but I believe it largely matches the mono mix. It features a bit of extra music at the beginning missing from all other versions, though.

17) What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body? Reprise

  • Chad and Arthur play the intro motif from the original "Ugliest" instead of the reprise. A mistake, perhaps? The remix also characteristically doesn't bother to mix the backing vocals up at the correct time, electing instead to keep them audible throughout the entire song; you can thus hear backing vocals under the very first line that are inaudible on other versions.
  • The acetate version is missing a lot of the sped-up overdubs present on the released version

18) Mother People

  • The mono version is missing reverb on "do you think that I creep through the night" and on other lines (can anybody confirm this? I don't have it on hand at present). I think this matches the '45.
  • The Mothermania version sounds like a rough assembly, as it is missing the Lumpy Gravy intrusion, features no reverb, and contains the normally-censored verse in all of its perverse glory.

19) The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny

No differences noted thus far.

Japanese Paper-Sleeve Version (2001-2002)

Starting in 2001, Video Arts Music released a limited-edition series (2000 copies each) of Zappa CDs in paper sleeves - miniature LP sleeves. There was nothing special about this series other than the covers, which were very well done - inserts and "bonuses" were reproduced, the albums that originally had gatefold covers got little miniature gatefolds, and cover track lists were exactly as on the corresponding LPs, even in cases where the CD has bonus tracks or a different track order. Included in this series were some entries that never had "proper" LP issues, i.e. Läther. Additionally, some rarities--like the "green/gold" cover of Chunga's Revenge--were reproduced as special items in this run.

We need to stress that the sound quality of these discs matches the US Ryko issues, which they are clearly derived from. These are collectors items, not new remastered editions.

LATE-2005-UPDATE: Ryko USA has apparently been importing the overstock of these releases to sell as domestic "special editions," causing the speculators who paid top dollar for the entire collection to hari-kari themselves. This includes some of the discs that, as of August 2005, were pretty hard to find ("Money" and others).

1995 Vinyl

In 1995, Ryko re-released this album not only on CD, but also on vinyl. It is exactly the same version as the 1995 CD (so in terms of censorship, it corresponds to the censored version (not the heavily censored version) of the original vinyl), in a copy of the original vinyl cover, but with the artwork changes from the Old Masters version (a black bar covering Herb Cohen's eyes, Jimmy Carl Black's green teeth, and an extra black tooth in Don Preston's mouth) and, as on the 1995 CD, an extra black bar over Lisa Cohen's eyes. Also included was "a repro of the Between the Badges insert card". Also re-issued was a Burnt Weeny Sandwich LP.

Korean Vinyl!

According to Goldmine Magazine #469, July 17 1998, We're Only In It for the Money has been issued in "Korea" (South, in all likelyhood), on orange vinyl. Details on this release are extremely sought-after, and I will personally ship fruitdrops and Florentine Pogen cookies something to anyone who can add anything of any value.

Deluxe Box (Unreleased)

From Chris Ekman:

I was just poking through deja.com, and found Bill Lantz writing, back in January 1997, that "the We're Only In It for the Money box (long rumored) has been assigned numbers so maybe that will come out sometime this summer as well." Vas ist dis? I haven't heard of it.  All I can find on deja is Calvin, saying this project was not quite completed in 1995 and then dropped due to friction with the ZFT. Does anybody know what's supposed to be on it? (I'd ask Calvin specifically, but I doubt he's at liberty to say.)

From Calvin Schenkel:

Calvin's "at liberty" to say whatever he wants to.

The We're Only In It for the Money box was to be essentially just a deluxe version of the regular release. In its form when abandoned, it was also going to include a 45 of the single ["Lonely Little Girl" (non-LP) / "Mother People"], but there was no additional unreleased recording material. A large book with the complete history and photos including out-takes from the cover session, plus some facsimile elements, poster, stuff like that.

I think it was a mistake for Rykodisc to try to do this project when they did - simultaneously with the re-releases. There wasn't sufficient time to develop it properly, or deal with the prevailing "politics."

Additional Material

  • An article about WHY Zappa remixed this album
  • Harry de Swart's better-than-ours page on the various instances of censorship on this album, broken down by version.

Questions

  • Any scoop on cassettes?
  • Anything about 8-tracks?
  • The Korean vinyl!
  • Is "The Chrome-Plated Megaphone of Destiny" really half a minute longer on the Old Masters LP?
  • Confirm or deny the Japanese MSI CD!
  • JPCD 9707442 was originally reported as the catalogue number of the Russian twofer CD, which has now been confirmed as 9707445. What, then, is 9707442?

Additional Informants

Neil in the UK, Pat Buzby, the Bob Stone, the Spence Chrislu, John Henley, Austin, Texas, John Hopkins, Biffy the Elephant Shrew, Patrick David Neve, Bedazzled Discs, Mikael Agardsson, Alfonso (German vinyl), Robert Cloos spotted the Chilean vinyl once in the '80s, Jos van Galen, Gonšalo, The Torchum Never Stops, Volume 4, Charles Ulrich, Reco11ector, Kevin Loy

home - vinyl vs CDs - weirdo discography - bootlegs - misc - hot lynx - e-mail us at zappa dot patio at gmail dot com 2006-04-22 20:02

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