Posts Tagged ‘1968’

Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #8

For as long as I have been a Zappa/Mother‘s freak – going four decades strong and showing no evidence of slowing down – almost every fan of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention I’ve encountered has also been a fan of Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull. Odd, since in the 1970s Frank Zappa, himself, stated in the press that he didn’t care for the music of Jethro Tull. In a Montreal Mirror interview, Ian Anderson was asked about this:
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The Artisan Acetate

Arranged, compiled, edited and produced by Frank Zappa, this acetate of original live recordings, engineered by Dick Kunc, was 
recorded between October 1968 and May 1969, and mastered at Artisan Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA., in mid 1969. It contains unique original recordings of the Mothers of Invention performing “Wipe Out”, “East L.A.”, “Weasels Ripped My Flesh”, “Kung Fu”, “Igor’s Boogie”, “Passacaglia”, “Copenhagen Night Music”, “Help, I’m A Rock”, “Chocolate Halvah”, “Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Sexually Aroused Gas Mask”, “The Cookie Jar Lecture” and “It Must Be Your Breath”. This acetate, known officially as The Artisan RS 6406 Test Pressing (acetate), was ripped by it’s owner RJ and generously donated to Zappateers for torrenting (currently seeding).
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Cruising with Ruben & the Jets, 1968 Mix

It’s completely understandable why many new and old fans alike skip over this particular title in the Zappa catalogue. Of all of Zappa’s official releases, it’s no doubt the most controversial among fans because it’s original version has never been officially released since Zappa reissued it in an alternate mix with newly recorded bass and percussion and added several vocal overdubs and heavily remixed the album in 1984. To many fans, including myself, they are now two distinct albums. Given that only the 1984 mix is made widely available does make any comparison between the two difficult at best. Still, periodically a vinyl rip of the 1968 recording does slip by the censors at YouTube, thus giving new fans an opportunity to hear the original recording in all of it’s doo wop glory – and a little bit of nostalgia for us older Mothers of Invention freaks. Take a listen to these tracks while they are still available:
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Frank Zappa, WFMT-FM Chicago, August 1968

Frank Zappa is interviewed by Studs Terkel in these two excerpts from his August 1968 interview on WFMT-FM Chicago. Zappa talks about his music, his lyrics, and the state of America in the summer of 1968:

Cruising With Ruben & The Jets — Vinyl Revisited

Cruising With Ruben & The Jets is a Mothers of Invention album released in 1968, and controversially reissued in an alternate mix with newly recorded bass and percussion in 1984 by Frank Zappa (all post-1984 reissues of the album have featured this remix).

The following three clips from the 1968 vinyl version of the album (“Anything“, “Love of My Life“, and “I’m Not Satisfied“), with original bass and drum parts, which has not been officially rereleased on CD, is a real treat for those who have only known the 1984 remix, and never heard the original release:

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Small Screen Zappa – 67/68

On September 16, 1967, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention made a brief 10 minute appearance on Fred Weintraub’s WOR-TV New York show “From The Bitter End”. They lip synched “Son Of Suzy Creamcheese” from Absolutely Free, then performed an improvisation (above) which has come to be known as “In Memoriam, Hieronymus Bosch” which appeared on the bootleg, Apochrypa.

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Fraternity Of Man — Oh No I Don’t Believe It

Fraternity Of Man” was released on Abc Records in 1968 and featured a cover of Frank Zappa’s “Oh No I Don’t Believe It” (which he had yet to release himself). Blues leads were handled by Elliot Ingber, and psychedelic leads were played by Warren Klein. The inclusion of this track on this Fraternity Of Man album is widely attributed to Elliot due to his association with the Mothers.

Frank Zappa as KPFA-FM Disc Jockey

Part 1:

In 1968, Tom Donahue interviews Frank Zappa about his life and work, while Zappa spins some of his favorite music ranging from surf music, doo-wop, jazz, the blues, to the works of Pierre Boulez.

The song selection is very informative for any fan of Zappa’s music, as one can easily trace the influence of all these styles on his own creative output, be it the cheesy harmonies of 1950s pop songs or the intricate percussive patterns of Boulez’s avant-garde classical compositions. The role that such songs had on Zappa’s own musical evolution is made all the more clear at the end of this hilarious program when a selection of satirical songs from the Mothers of Invention are also heard.

Zappa’s musical selection:

Agency ManThe Mothers of Invention
Handsome Cabin Boy [traditional] – A.L. Lloyd and Ewan MacColl
Grunion RunThe Hollywood Persuaders
Le Marteau Sans MaîtrePierre Boulez
When We Get MarriedThe Dream Lovers
Memories of El MonteThe Penguins
Goodbye Pork Pie HatCharlie Mingus
Lucy Mae BluesFrankie Lee Sims
The LetterVernon Green & the Medallions
Daddy Daddy – Richard Berry and the Dreamers
TwilightThe Paragons
FlorenceThe Paragons
Florence Don’t Leave Me – The Paragons
Later That Night – The Mothers of Invention
I’ll Be Forever Loving YouThe El Dorados
Cheap Thrills – The Mothers of Invention
Stuff Up The Cracks – The Mothers of Invention

Click here to listen to remaining three parts.