Friday, April 13, 2012

97 of 1001 Albums: The Mothers of Inventions' We're Only In It For The Money

  I won't ever be a Frank Zappa fan at all. I don't get the hype, and the music sounds like junk. I am sure people legitimately into good music like this for some reason, but whenever I listen to it I feel annoyed. If I had to guess I bet The Mothers of Inventions were the LMAFO of the 60s, and if you know me you know how badly I despise LMAFO. 
  You're probably wondering how I've come to strongly dislike this music, and it's simply because it doesn't seem to be about anything substantial. I feel like all of it is based around shock factor. You have this bizarre cover art to begin with, and then not long into the album you get all these weird lyrics that I'm sure people never really listened to considering most were using it as background music to be strung out to. I just don't like it when I feel like people are purposely being outlandish to get attention. I am sure Frank Zappa was a weird guy, but instead he seemed to take it to the extreme to do as he claims with this album "use it for the money."


  1. Frank Zappa created this album as an obvious satire of the psychedelic movement at the time. The cover art and the title were pointing to how it seemed as if The Beatles were "only in it for the money". The cover art also wasn't bizarre, it was a simple parody of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper album cover.
    Frank Zappa was also heavily interested in the music of Edgar Varese and Musique concrète, which explains why some parts of the album consist of strange noise. As a matter of fact, it took a lot of work to create such compositions as the composer would need to manually cut and splice various pieces of sound together.
    Frank Zappa also hated the hippie culture, and did not create this album for them to listen to. He wanted an audience of people who could think and understand his music, rather than view it as outlandish. He hated the band "The Fugs" simply because their music revolved around dirty jokes and a lack of musical originality. Zappa however utilized very complex compositions, as demonstrated better on other albums.
    The lyrics on this particular album were very important because his band sang about the hippie counterculture and pointed out their flaws. The song "Mom and dad" is about protestors who get shot by the police. Zappa also hints at the poor upbringing of these children as a reason for them getting shot. "Who needs the peace corps?" also summarizes the stereotypical hippie and how hippies are basically just phonies trying to be trendy. Finally "Absolutely Free" expresses Zappa's negativity towards drugs, which countered the common opinion of the hippies. It also should be stated that Zappa never used drugs to create his music, unlike most other musicians at the time.

  2. I appreciate the insightful feedback! I'm actually listening to Frank Zappa again tomorrow so this was helpful in understanding the music a bit.


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