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: Continue reading “Cruising with Ruben & the Jets, 1968 Mix”
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:
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:
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.
“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.
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.