The Mothers of Invention
Absolutely Free


5.0
classic

Review

by Aaron Webster USER (41 Reviews)
May 26th, 2013 | 18 replies | 3,121 views


Release Date: 1967 | Tracklist

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

14 of 14 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 (176)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
May 26th 2013



5942 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: Saviour Machine - Saviour Machine I

PumpBoffBag
May 26th 2013



327 Comments


nice review man

ViperAces
May 26th 2013



12402 Comments


i have to check this out

sideburndude
May 26th 2013



2782 Comments


mmm Zappa

sleepdirt
May 26th 2013



298 Comments


Most of the time, yes.

Jethro42
May 26th 2013



12391 Comments


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

PumpBoffBag
May 26th 2013



327 Comments


I always had a soft spot for weasels ripped my flesh

Chrisjon89
December 22nd 2013



3515 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

first listen but liking this alot more than Freak Out

Chrisjon89
January 28th 2014



3515 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love Invocation & Ritual Dance Of The Young Pumpkin

Kalopsia
February 23rd 2014



930 Comments


caaaall any vegetable


and the chances are gooooooooooooood


that the vegetable will respond to youuuuUUUUUUUUU

mark7477
March 12th 2014



392 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



5942 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

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

mark7477
March 13th 2014



392 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.

ArsMoriendi
June 3rd 2014



3888 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album. Not my favorite by the Mothers, but still great.

"Invocation & Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin" is flawless.

Digging: R.E.M. - Lifes Rich Pageant

AcidCaravan
July 18th 2014



186 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Pure fookin' genious

SsPpAaMm
July 26th 2014



16 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review man!!! I freaking love this album. I think at the last count I am up to around 56 or 57 Zappa in my collection if you count the live and compilations. This one here still has a strong spot in my heart.



"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."


This was my first introduction to Zappa back in 1989 and man did I love it. I think you are dead on when you said it was a good Zappa/Mother album to start with.

BMDrummer
July 26th 2014



6011 Comments


should prob check this out, pretty sure you rec'd this to me months ago fripper

Digging: J Mascis - Tied to a Star

BMDrummer
July 26th 2014



6011 Comments


kinda failed on going through Zappa's whole discog this summer, but I'll at least get the essentials



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