The Mothers of Invention
Burnt Weeny Sandwich


2.5
average

Review

by Jared H. USER (12 Reviews)
March 22nd, 2014 | 15 replies


Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's a huge disappointment, but charming doo-wop songs and the epic guitar and violin in "The Little House I Used to Live In" keep it from being a complete failure.

The Mothers of Invention, headed by the genius of Frank Zappa, had previously released albums consisting of analytical satire, psychedelic rock, and doo-wop, and experimentalism. Sadly, the original line-up for The Mothers had just broken up after the release of Uncle Meat. Because of this, Zappa decided to take unreleased material from The Mothers and put them onto two new albums: Burnt Weeny Sandwich and Weasels Ripped My Flesh.

Burnt Weeny Sandwich in specific borrows orchestral instrumentations, doo-wop covers, and guitar solos from The Mother's previous studio sessions and concerts. There's no satire or experimentalism to be found on the entire album. The orchestral songs are for the most part brief and follow a loose theme; literally every single one is forgettable. Luckily, the two doo-wop covers, "WPLJ" and "Valerie", are charming little numbers that serve as bookends to an otherwise instrumental album.

More than half of the album (over 29 of the 41 minutes) is devoted to three guitar solos. The first two of which are rather average for Zappa and yet again forgettable. In complete contrast, "Little House I Used to Live In" serves as a just under 19 minute thrilling battle between the guitar and violin. The drum and piano parts are also quite impressive. It's more than just your typical live jam. This track alone makes the album worth a listen, or better yet: just listen to this song.

Overall, the album comes off as more of a compilation than something whose track listing was given the utmost care in writing. Basically, it's a huge disappointment, but charming doo-wop songs and the epic guitar and violin in "The Little House I Used to Live In" keep it from being a complete failure. Don't bother listening to it in full unless you're attempting to listen to Zappa's entire discography. On the other hand, Burnt Weeny Sandwich's twin album, Weasels Ripped My Flesh, is awesome and totally worth checking out.



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user ratings (101)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ArsMoriendi
March 22nd 2014


5980 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

So many Zappa/Mothers albums don't have reviews so I gave it a crack. Sill can't believe You Are What You Is doesn't have one either. I'll have to give writing that a go one of these days.

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Calc
March 22nd 2014


12363 Comments


saying something is worthy of being called a failure sounds really weird, you should change the wording there

Digging: Maxwell August Croy and Sean Mccann - I

Salvidian
March 23rd 2014


752 Comments


I hope I'm not intruding as too much of a "new guy" but there were a few issues I noticed. Nothing big, it's okay. Feel free to argue and whatnot.

"Zappa decided to take never released before material"

This is worded strangely. Instead I think you could have said "Zappa decided to take unreleased material" and etc.

"hints at some of the impressive instrumentals that are yet to come"

This was confusing. It sounds like you're trying to sell something, or you are trying to say that Zappa is going to release more material in the future. I might just not be understanding it, but it fells like an odd thing to say.

"Basically, it's a huge disappointment, but charming doo-wop songs and epic guitar and violin parts keep it from being something worthy of being called a failure"

I was wondering about this as well-- specifically the quip about the epic guitar. Earlier in the review you said two of the solos were forgettable with on exception, yet here you said, wholesomely, the epic guitar. Was the epic guitar evident in that one song, or was it epic throughout?

Lastly I'd like to say that it's quite to-the-point. I enjoyed it for the most part and agree.

ArsMoriendi
March 23rd 2014


5980 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I tweaked it based on your comments. Still this review is better than my first one...
Thanks for constructive criticism though!

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
March 23rd 2014


16125 Comments


"saying something is worthy of being called a failure sounds really weird, you should change the wording there"

agreed

scary discog zappa, some of it ive heard is brilliant and then I'll try something and really hate it

Salvidian
March 23rd 2014


752 Comments


Reads better with the changes. I'll pos because I like it.

Penlord
March 24th 2014


186 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

5/5

Veldin
April 13th 2014


1636 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think this one's pretty cool. Keeps me entertained throughout.

wakawazoo
May 29th 2014


3 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

What? This album has 2 of the best doo wop songs ever, 2 great classical compositions(Igor's
Boogie 1 and 2) and 4 of his best songs: Theme For Burnt Weenie Sandwich, Holiday In Berlin, Aybe
Sea, and The Little House That I Used To Live In. These are all the songs from the album.
Definitively 5 stars

ArsMoriendi
May 29th 2014


5980 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I like the 2 doo-wap tracks and and "The Little House That I Used To Live In" is amazing, but the other 6 tracks weren't anything special in my opinion.

Negator
December 9th 2014


784 Comments


Fair enough Ars. Not my most favorite Zappa album but "The House that I used to Live In" is just something else. Can't really put my finger on how to best describe it, but its so captivating. Its like a time machine that brings you wayyy back in America history.

sleepdirt
December 17th 2014


339 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Anyone else hear the Inca Roads solo during Holiday in Berlin Full Blown?

ArsMoriendi
December 17th 2014


5980 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Anyone else hear the Inca Roads solo during Holiday in Berlin Full Blown?"

On the actual studio version? Not really. It's similar, but I'd say it's different enough to where I wouldn't have noticed it if you didn't point it out.

sleepdirt
December 18th 2014


339 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That particular solo was recorded live in Boston 1969 and one of the very few bits on the album that wasn't studio. It's in a very basic form and is quite unassuming, but it's undeniably the Inca Roads vamp. The guitar is middling and doesn't blast off into outer space like the Inca Roads Helsinki '74 solo or the subsequent cut-up version found One Size Fits All.


Veldin
December 18th 2014


1636 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a really fun and easy listen. I like how all the shorter songs are so whimsical. "Holiday in Berlin", "Holiday in Berlin, Full Blown" & "Aybe Sea" are so fucking magical. And then "Theme.." and of course "The Little House" are both wicked jams.




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