The Mothers of Invention
Absolutely Free


5.0
classic

Review

by nig USER (37 Reviews)
May 26th, 2013 | 19 replies | 2,196 views


Release Date: 1967 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ladies and Gentlemen, The President of the United States...

15 of 15 thought this review was well written

When following up a great debut, a band has to take in consideration to not make a rehash of the previous album. They also need to make a record that is capable of bettering the debut, which for most groups, is a difficult feat. For The Mothers of Invention, the latter was not a problem at all. In 1967, the magnificent follow-up to “Freak Out!” was released. Known as “Absolutely Free”, this record takes all the elements from “Freak Out!” and expands on it, but in a more condensed form.

With the improvements present on “Absolutely Free”, it would be incorporated into two suites, “Absolutely Free” and “The M.O.I. American Pageant”, both movements in “Underground Oratorios”. The first side, a zany suite consisting of songs dealing with the “Duke of Prunes”, showcasing Zappa’s composing skills, makes for an entertaining listen, and from the first listen, is highly accessible. Side two is practically The Mothers playing in a bar, which from the start you can see a visual of sitting in a dimly-lit bar, fogged up with cigarette smoke while watching the bar band play their music for a few bucks.

The use of nightclub sound effects in the suite would be highly influential and would be used over the years by artists such as Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles. Also in the suite is one of Zappa’s well-known tunes, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It”. The track begins with an attack on the media and American society, later transitioning to a bizarre tale of a city official fantasizing about sexual intercourse with a minor. “America Drinks & Goes Home” ends the album perfectly: in absolute chaos.

And for posterity, “Big Leg Emma” and “Why Don’tcha Do Me Right?”, both extras on the reissue and originally a single, are both decent, but have no place on “Absolutely Free”. It’s unfortunate they were never released on an official album despite it called “a dumb attempt to make dumb music to appeal to dumb teenagers”.

So, when searching for a first Zappa/Mothers record to listen to, check out “Absolutely Free”, it’ll be sure to get a laugh or two out of you and keep you entertained for the next forty minutes. It’s Absolutely Perfect.

The Mothers of Invention (Mk. I) are:
Frank Zappa: guitar, conductor, vocals
Jimmy Carl Black: drums, vocals
Ray Collins: vocals, tambourine
Roy Estrada: bass, vocals
Bunk Gardner: woodwinds
Billy Mundi: drums, percussion
Jim Fielder: guitar, piano

Additional Personnel:
Don Ellis: trumpet
John Rotella: percussion
Pamela Zarubica: vocals



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user ratings (161)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Frippertronics
May 25th 2013



4376 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You know there's a problem when a Zappa/Mothers album that is considered one of their best is not reviewed at all. I'm glad I changed that though and hopefully this was a good review for it. Thanks for reading.

Digging: Big Nig - Marque un: le point de vue de nigs rsum

manosg
May 26th 2013



4677 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review Frip. I never managed to get into this album much but Zappa rules. Great review too, pos.

Digging: Jan Akkerman - Tabernakel

Frippertronics
May 26th 2013



4376 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks. I noticed a big chunk of MOI/Zappa stuff is not reviewed, so I may do a semi-discog of it. I'm not too big on Zappa, but this and Freak Out! have made give him another chance. Maybe it's because I started with Hot Rats and not something like The Great Wazoo or Zoot Allures.

PumpBoffBag
May 26th 2013



324 Comments


nice review man

ViperAces
May 26th 2013



12357 Comments


i have to check this out

sideburndude
May 26th 2013



2782 Comments


mmm Zappa

Frippertronics
May 26th 2013



4376 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Viper, if you like Absolutely Free, i'd suggest going for Freak Out! I'd give that a 5 if it weren't for it being twenty minutes too long and "The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet" being incomplete. The title of the album, like "Absolutely Free", is fitting.

Frippertronics
May 26th 2013



4376 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

sideburn, you can't go wrong when it comes to Zappa (well, most of the time...)

sleepdirt
May 26th 2013



280 Comments


Most of the time, yes.

Jethro42
May 26th 2013



12034 Comments


It's always cool to see a Zappa's review. Nice one, posd.

PumpBoffBag
May 26th 2013



324 Comments


I always had a soft spot for weasels ripped my flesh

Frippertronics
May 26th 2013



4376 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm listening to Lumpy Gravy right now. It's nothing short of a mindfuck. But (for the millionth time) thanks for reading.

Chrisjon89
December 22nd 2013



2963 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

first listen but liking this alot more than Freak Out

Digging: Elizabeth Rose - Elizabeth Rose

Chrisjon89
January 28th 2014



2963 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love Invocation & Ritual Dance Of The Young Pumpkin

Kalopsia
February 23rd 2014



868 Comments


caaaall any vegetable


and the chances are gooooooooooooood


that the vegetable will respond to youuuuUUUUUUUUU

Digging: kyng - Burn The Serum

Frippertronics
February 23rd 2014



4376 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is a song about vegetables, they keep ya regular...



They're real good for you.


mark7477
March 12th 2014



389 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is one hard album to get into there are moments but I could only indulge the Frank Zappa thing so much.

manosg
March 13th 2014



4677 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah I feel the same way too sometimes. I really enjoy this one though.

mark7477
March 13th 2014



389 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah I prefer freak out over this that one seems more memorable to me like hungry freaks,who are the brain police and probably wondering why I'm here.



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