Burnt Weeny Sandwich

Released: December 1969


  1. WPLJ
  2. Igor’s Boogie, Phase One
  3. Ouverture to a Holiday In Berlin
  4. Theme from Burnt Weeny Sandwich
  5. Igor’s Boogie, Phase Two
  6. Holiday In Berlin, Full-Blown
  7. Aybe Sea
  8. The Little House I Used To Live In
  9. Valarie

(sleeve notes are not very clear) Frank Zappa, Ian Underwood (piano), Sugar Cane Harris (violin solo), Don Preston (piano)

19 thoughts on “Burnt Weeny Sandwich”

  1. A mostly instrumental ablum that begins and ends with do-wop covers, I always really dug this album, especially the long live jam that is “Little House I Used to Live In.” Classical composition combined with jazz improvisation. “Holiday In Berlin (Full Blown)” rocks as well. Simply a great album.

  2. “Burnt Weeny Sandwich” is one of those beautiful Zappa gems that really has gotten lost in the shuffle over the years. It is always classified as a post-Mothers “compilation” of sorts, which it is, but this tag seems to suggest that its music is comprised with bits and leftovers from that earliest era. The music on this album is intricately crafted, and the improvisations (of which there are many examples) displays beautifully just how breathtakingly the original Mothers could “stretch out”, interact sensitively, and flat out wail.

    I just realized that what I mentioned above is another reason so many people fail to give “Burnt Weeny Sandwich” its due: unlike “Weasels Ripped My Flesh”, “Burnt Weeny Sandwich” has fewer selections, but FAR more “stretching out and full group improvisation (i.e. “The Little House I Used To Live In”). This is definitely an album to sit in a quiet house, take an hour or two, and LET IT SINK IN. Someone (I forget who) once called Frank Zappa’s compositional approach a “Music of intense CONSCIOUSNESS”, and Frank always creates and produces music that CHALLENGES the listener to get involved, and spend some time actually THINKING about the choices that were made and the whole CONCEPT behind the work. Even in his instrumental compositions, Frank NEVER intends to create background “muzak”, and one should always expect to be treated to a whole new world when a work of Frank starts playing. For those who are nostalgic and love that early aggragation of the Mothers, this beautiful album stands as a testament that there was so much more to those guys than just giraffes that squirted out shaving cream. As Frank so pointedly put it in the liner notes to “Freak Out”: “THEY ARE ALL MUSICIANS”. So true, and on “Burnt Weeny Sandwich”, Frank lovingly provides example after example of exactly what that phrase means. Gorgeous playing from all of the original Mothers, as well as Sugarcane Harris on electric violin. Truly an important, if overlooked Zappa gem.

  3. “Burnt Weeny Sandwich” for me has always stood as one of the supreme examples of The Mothers at their most inventive (the ‘Invention’ in their group name here is well-deserved). This album belongs to a period when their output was the most dadaist, culturally cross-fertilized and intensely and most ingeniously satirical: think Central European gypsy jazz abandonment, think Futurist sound experiments, think Edgard Varese, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Gyorgy Ligeti, Charles Mingus – and that’s only the tip of the ice…Berg. At this time The Mothers went beyond art music in the modern classical sense; this is a sonic experience that through Frank Zappa’s deft composing and arranging manages to be emotional and strangely abstract simultaneously. The range is enormous: it depicts the human condition with shere delight through the fateful lopsided swaggering of “Overture to a Holiday In Berlin” to the wistful Satiesque and Stravinskyesque “Aybe Sea”.
    Ian Underwood’s solo piano introduction to “Little Hous I Used To Live In” is testament to a profound understanding and an ability to go further much further than mere dodecaphonic or serial technique – he puts surrealist back into serialist. This album is a record of serious music-making, saavy irreverence, surrealist wit and humanist satire – sometimes all at once. And the beauty of it is – all those elements come through instrumentally – without the aid of lyrics (well, for the most part).

    Hey did someone metion Rota? Yes, well I think there are definite Felliniesque parallels.

    Furthermore, Kurt Schwitters and Max Ernst would’ve loved the album cover.

    Would you feed an Andalusion Dog a Burnt Weeny Sandwich?

  4. “Little House” made me happy. There were other people on the planet with whom I could relate. A friend played the album over and over and over until all the little bumps wore aff the vinyl (with a nice Dual turntable too!). I’d listened to The Mothers, and Don Harris, Ian and Don Preston had been heroes for years. But somehow this album; like ‘Lick My Decals Off Baby’, ‘Shine On Brightly’ and one or two others are the ones that still remind me of the warm, sensuous-smelling Summer nights where the hippies all mutated into yuppies… and the rest of us haunted the blue glowing streets, looking for romance, excitment and Godive Belgian Choclate…

  5. Simply wonderful. After hearing WEASELS so many times, it was refreshing to hear this one. I had heard of it many times, but had never heard it until recently. As a musician and composer, this album stands out with tracks like ‘Holiday In Berlin, Full-Blown’ and ‘Igor’s Boogie, Phases I & II.’ More than a compiling of leftovers, this album is a project born from creativity and sadly buried under HOT RATS.

  6. the weasels album is not so great as the “burnt weenie sandwhich” album……….. the best composistion on the album is “the little house i used to live in”…… BEND UP AND SMELL MY ANAL VAPOR!!!!!

  7. Quick note of minor interest:
    The original IGOR’S BOOGIE (Phase I) was for two electric pianos/keyboards. Anybody who has the FZ Songbook, Vol. 1 will notice this at the bottom of the first page with the music to IB.

  8. BURNT WEENY SANDWICH is one of my fav Zappa albums.
    Did anyone catch the multiple ‘sandwiches’ occuring here: the title track is sandwiched between Igor Boogies and Holidays in Berlin. The entire album is sandwiched by ’50’s vocal tunes.
    Also, Holiday Full Blown contains my favorite Zappa guitar solo. The opening notes were used again (a little conceptual continuity here) in the fanfare climax of Strictly Genteel and the closer to the Inca Roads guitar solo, and finally in the intro to the guitar/trombone solo section of Revised Music on Studio Tan. Thanks Frank!

  9. This was my introduction to Frank Zappa. This album was the soundtrack of my youth. Listening to Burnt Weeny as a kid, I only saw the humor. Today, I hear beauty, insight, and music that depicts life’s inticate struggles. Amid the seemingly chaotic “Little House I used to Live In” is a delicate patchwork that runs the full scale of human emotion – not to mention some of the most beautiful and creative solos you would ever want to hear. Sugar Cane Harris’s solo is pure brillence. The recording is a true treasure.

  10. Burnt weeny… is one of my fav, all included: This is MOI in it´s hight´s. Fun, smart, genius composed songs, cool improv´s and great mucicians.

    Buy it!

  11. The commentators above have said it all. BWS is my favorite of the Zappa albums I have. As one reviewer above said, its really an album to listen to on a quiet morning or evening at home, and let it sink in. It will stay with you for a long time.


  12. This is truly one of the greats. I probably listen to this FZ album more than any other.

  13. I have many FZ albums. But not this one until this week. This one ranks tops on my list of FZ albums. BTW all my FZ albums are on Vinyl including Burnt Weenie.. it’s the only way to listen.

  14. If only that smug talking bit before “Valarie” weren’t on it, this would be that rare but not unknown thing, a perfect Mothers Of Invention album…

  15. BURNT WEENY IS ONE OF ZAPPA’S MOST UNDERATED RECORDS, AND IS SHEER BEAUTY. Near perfection (with the exception of Igor’s Boogie), BURNT WEENY has a lovely mix of genres including Jazz, Rock, Neo Classical, Doo-wop and even some interesting live dialouge. It is one of my favorite Zappa records.

  16. I was a zappa fan since 15 yrs old and was given Absolutely Free for three bucks by Bert in Halifax at the old Days of Wine and Vinyl as he gave me a weird look and told me he knew i needed to hear this plus Afterbathing at Baxters and Zepplin II …all for $10 total. The Burnt Weenie Album was always a personal fave but it has been sol long i forgot most of it. whatta a great rediscovery, all this you tube crap everywhere makes it easy to play music, and you tube heard me play invocation and ritual dance of the young pumpkin and its benevolent algorythyms fed me my burnt weenie sandwich!

    yum! i actually was raised on food like this. and i now looked up the lyrics and realized WPLJ is white PORT and lmon juice, not white PORN and lemon juice as i assumed for the last ummmm over 30 yrs.

    I love his 50’s send-up style music, but use it to warm up to my fave winding guitar solos with the wild psychedelic jazz sound he mastered and created. he spoiled so many great discoveries for me, from alvin lee, jimmy page, steven stills, eric clapton, santana, most blues, even jeff beck was like…really awesome popularized zappa or hendrix. zappa’s hardcore integrity was obsessive and destructive, but so creative and productive, such an intensely all-American genius.

    the harpsichord and orchestral moments are soul inspiring. when he rocks out I just wanna head bang. next thing you know your back inthe distorted 1950’s again, he always had such sarcastic beautiful humour i will always miss him.

  17. First listened to Burnt Weeny Sandwich when I was 16 in the week hours of a prom party. That was 40 years ago….still one of my all time favorite Zappa albums.

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