Meets The Mothers Of Prevention

Released: November 1985


  1. Porn Wars
  2. We’re Turning Again
  3. Alien Orifice
  4. Aerobics In Bondage
  5. I Don’t Even Care
  6. Little Beige Sambo
  7. What’s New In Baltimore
  8. One Man, One Vote
  9. H.R. 2911
  10. Yo Cats

Frank Zappa, Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson, Ike Willis, Ray White, Bobby Martin, Moon, Dweezil, Senator Danforth (R-Missouri), Senator Hollings (D-South Carolina), Senator Trible (R-Virginia), Senator Hawkins (R-Florida), Senator Exon (D-Nebraska), Senator Gorton (R-Washington), Senator Gore (D-Tennessee), Tipper Gore, Reverend Jeff Ling, Spider Barbour, All Nite John, unknown girl in piano (voices); Frank Zappa, Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson, Steve Vai, Ray White, Ike Willis (guitars); Tommy Mars, Bobby Martin (keyboards); Scott Thunes (bass), Chad Wackerman (drums), Ed Mann (percussion), Frank Zappa (synclavier).

13 thoughts on “Meets The Mothers Of Prevention”

  1. In 1984, FZ put his butt on the line against a group of washington housewives who wanted to censor rock albums. It was decided that “offensive” rock albums (with lyrics that, according to Tipper Gore, consisted of lines about Rape, Masturbation, Bondage, and other lines she didn’t want her kids to hear.) would feature a WARNING LABLE that read “Warning: Explicit Lyrics.” Zappa’s albums were never labled. Thing-Fish and FZ Meets The Mothers Of Prevention contained a Warning Label Zappa concieved himself. The Mothers Of Prevention is a good collection, the first half consisting of Rock songs like “We’re Turning Again,” “I Don’t Even Care,” “What’s New In Baltimore,” and “Alien Orifice.” The second half consists of synclavier compositions, including “Yo Cats,” which also contained vocals by Ike Willis, and “Porn Wars,” which contained sampled PMRC hearing tapes, sound effects, snorks, Unreleased Lumpy Gravy vocal bits, and a excerpt from a Thing-Fish out-take, edited together with dark synclavier music. This album is a real-life horror story of censorship, and is well-reccommended for those who liked Instrumental albums like Hot Rats, Shut Up ‘N Play Yer Guitar, Guitar, and Sleep Dirt. This album is also reccomended for fans of the Thing-Fish album, seeing as the Thing-Fish makes two appearences on this album – one on “We’re Turning Again,” and on “Porn Wars.”

  2. A compilation of band recordings and synclavier pieces the centerpiece of which is “Porn Wars” , a nightmarish visitation of Orwellian dementia constructed from Senate hearing extracts, Lumpy Gravy like dialogue and a few remarks from the Thing-Fish. The Rykodisc 1995 re-release is the definitive version since it contains all the material from both the European and USA versions of the original vinyl albums.

  3. After hearing the vinyl (hey, I got it for $2, promo copy), I knew the CD was needed for the unavailable tracks on the US album. ‘What’s New In Baltimore?’ is beautiful, plain and simple. From the absurd (‘We’re Turning Again’) to the scary (‘HR 2911’ and ‘Porn Wars’), this album is sadly overlooked many times. Suggested listening for fans of the Synclavier.

  4. I love this album expecially the instrumentals. I can’t stand only Porn Wars, even if I agree with Frank. Best: Alien Orifice

  5. it took me weeks to like this album, because i wastn
    familar to mr. zappas synclavier music. but now i all most love this album!! execept “Porn Wars” who after my oppinion totally sucks!! and H.R 2911,little beige sambo who is ok to listen to in the right moment.. the best tracks on the album is: Alien orifice, Aerobics in bondage, W`re turning again, I dont even care, One man, one vote and the highlight WHATS NEW IN BALTIMORE……….

  6. How can you hate ‘Porn Wars’? It’s like a mini version of LUMPY GRAVY! Plus you get to hear Al Gore say he likes Zappa! Priceless moments. Some people….


  8. infact i listen to porn wars right now!

    “come over to the house and i show it to you!”

  9. Porn Wars is a bit too political: more like a pamflet than a song. It doesn’t age well if you listen to it often.
    Baltimore is fantastic, great aggressive guitar solo.
    The whole album sounds like a compilation, with many different line ups & synclavier stuff, but it is balanced. And it’s great to hear Tommy Mars again.

  10. O.K. I guess. ‘Porn Wars’ is good for the weird Southern senators and their backward views. First time I heard an album of Zappa’s synclavier music.

  11. OK. I personally feel that “Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention” is one of the best FZ albums, and definitely one of the most underrated. From the very title to the entire work, it is a completely cohesive, varied and rewarding listen. Frank seems particularly focused and driven on this release, probably freshly envigorated by the whole PMRC “Porn Rock” debacle, which he gave tons of his time to fight personally in so many arenas.

    The centerpiece of the album is undoubtedly the sound collage “Porn Wars”, which in many ways powerfully updates both “Monster Magnet”, “Chrome Plated Megaphone” and “Lumpy Gravy” in order to explore and expose the attacks on our 1st amendment that were taking place in the mid-1980’s (and still are today, folks). In retrospect particularly now that Frank is no longer with us, I find the emotional and artistic drive of “Porn Wars” deeply touching and moving. Frank spent a very noble and justified chunk of his life fighting powers that be to preserve and respect ANY artistic and cultural form of expression. As I reflect back on “Porn Wars”, I am moved to suddenly hear the “people in the piano” spliced into the collage (important reference Frank is making here, all you “Conceptual Continuity folks), as well as Ike Willis jumping in as his Thing Fish character (ditto, more important Frank CC stuff!). Make no mistake: “Porn Wars” is serious, important stuff, not just artistically, but in terms of OUR OWN REAL LIVES. Frank was fighting for one of the most honorable causes I could ever conceive of.

    The rest of the album is carefully chosen gold: the synclavier pieces reach a new level of complexity, power and beauty, with “Alien Orifice” probably being the most overwhelming, with an absolutely driven, ass-kicking guitar solo from Frank, one of his most burning and inspired ever.

    Many folks have angrily blasted at Frank for the song “We’re Turning Again”, but as far as this listener is concerned, Frank was again years ahead of his time as far as the satire and condemnation is concerned. Just look around you at so many high schoolers today, floating around with the hippy clothes, dressing up their rooms to look like the psychedelic dungeons that Frank ripped at (back in 1968!!), people want to embalm and enshrine the 1960’s as some kind of perfect utopia, filled with perfect amazing artists who made the most perfect music EVER. People want to assume the trappings of the 60’s as a “lifestyle substitute” for their very UNIMAGINATIVE, boring, UNORIGINAL LIVES. I feel sorry for them, but Frank didn’t, and he was right. “We’re Turning Again” rips up all of the nostalgists sacred, holy icons: Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, even Mama Cass (who CARES if she didn’t choke on her sandwich, that’s NOT THE POINT OF THE WHOLE SONG!!!). People hate Frank for writing this particular song, because as usual, Frank has the guts to tell us to stop living in a romanticized fantasy world that never really existed like that in the first place (Frank was right in the middle of “the 60’s”, remember folks?), and DO SOMETHING that is NEW and YOUR OWN!


    The rest is equally brilliant: “Yo Cats” is spot-on, believe me, I have worked with and hired egotistical “session cat” assholes, and they are INSUFFERABLE!! They deserve Frank (and Tommy Mars)’s scathing assessment. “…Baltimore” is a lovely instrumental that got words during the 1984 tour, and I always love when Frank features Johnny “Guitar” Watson on his records.

    So anyhoo–check out “Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention” again, especially if you wrote it off as marginalia a long time ago. It is one of the classics and an essential Zappa work

  12. I guess you could describe any Frank Zappa album as “a bit of a mish-mash”, but this one most definitely is, containing as it does strong political satire/commentary, very complex instrumental (and now dated-sounding) computer music, 2 absolute classic instrumental tracks performed by a rock band, a hilarious song about the 1960’s and at least one throwaway track. This could possibly describe many other Zappa albums, and Frank is usually more than capable of inflicting several genres on us at the same time (“Lumpy Gravy” anyone?), but this one somehow doesn’t seem to come across in the same seamless way.

    If you buy the CD version of this, you’ll be immediately impressed by the soulful vamp of I Don’t Even Care, featuring the vocals of Johnny Guitar Watson. However it soon becomes apparent that apart from a pretty nice groove, there really is nothing of substance happening here. Unusual for a Frank Zappa track, but really strange to find this sort of thing at the beginning of the album (it was originally the beginning of the B side of the European Version of the album released in 1986).

    We are then launched into three “difficult” synclavier pieces, Frank’s preferred method of composition back in ‘85/’86. Whilst One Man – One Vote appears catchy enough, its unusual timings are still challenging to listen to. Aerobics In Bondage and Little Beige Sambo don’t even bother to hide behind a catchy bass line and are a real test of one’s musical comprehension. The production involved on these three pieces make them really stick out from the rest of the album – they are even a fair bit louder on my old Ryko CD.

    By contrast, We’re Turning Again is a real relief after all the clockwork-tensions of the three synclavier tracks. It is one of those classic Zappa tracks that is bound to offend some and amuse others. I do find that the mix seems to really suffer when placed next to the synclavier stuff though – the drums especially sound poor, ultra-low in the mix.

    Then comes an absolute classic piece of FZ’s writing style: Alien Orifice, which is followed by the mildly interesting Yo Cats and then another classic of the Zappa canon, What’s New In Baltimore?

    The last twelve or so minutes of the album are spent in the company of the political track Porn Wars. Whilst it’s only mildly entertaining, it offers another glimpse of Zappa’s multi-faceted genius. At the time of this album, 1985, a whole bunch of U.S. Senators and “Washington Wives” wanted to impose a ruling that all albums have a sticker rating system (eg, X for Porn, V for Violence etc etc).

    Only Frank Zappa would have the intelligence to sample the said Senators quoting the “offensive” lyrics – and put them on an album! In this way the Senators themselves become the very thing that they are fighting against! Pure genius! Although, like I say, the track itself isn’t something that you’d necessarily listen to for enjoyment purposes.

    A mixed bag indeed.

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