Sunday, August 20, 2017

Frank Zappa - 1967-1968 [1986] "We're Only In It For The Money" + "Lumpy Gravy"

This twofer CD reissue contains two 1968 albums by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. We're Only In It For The Money, originally released in January 1968, is The Mothers' third album, containing some of the group's sharpest satires, including "Who Needs The Peace Corps?" and the anti-hippie "Flower Punk." When he was putting together The Old Masters, Box One in 1985, Zappa re-recorded the album's rhythm tracks and re-edited it in places in an attempt to improve its sound. Instead, the album now sounds like an odd mixture of old and new. Lumpy Gravy, originally released in March 1968, is a Zappa solo album recorded with an orchestra, but although it isn't song-oriented, its approach is not much different from that of We're Only In It For The Money, so the two make a good pairing.

We're Only in It for the Money is the third studio album by the Mothers of Invention. Released on March 4, 1968 on Verve Records, it was subsequently remixed and re-recorded by Frank Zappa and reissued by Rykodisc in 1986.

As with the band's previous two albums, We're Only in It for the Money is a concept album, and satirizes left and right-wing politics, particularly the hippie subculture, as well as the Beatles' album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was conceived as part of a project called No Commercial Potential, which produced three other albums: Lumpy Gravy, Cruising with Ruben & the Jets and Uncle Meat.

We're Only in It for the Money encompasses rock, experimental music and psychedelic rock, with orchestral segments deriving from the recording sessions for Lumpy Gravy, which was previously issued as a solo instrumental album by Capitol Records and was subsequently reedited by Zappa and released by Verve; the reedited Lumpy Gravy was produced simultaneously with We're Only in It for the Money and is the first part of a conceptual continuity, continued with the reedited Lumpy Gravy and concluded with Zappa's final album, Civilization Phaze III (1994).

Lumpy Gravy is the debut solo album by Frank Zappa, an album of orchestral, electric and concrete sound written by Zappa and performed by a group of session players he dubbed the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra. Zappa conducted the orchestra but did not perform on the album. It is his third album overall: his previous releases had been under the name of his group, the Mothers of Invention.

It was commissioned and briefly released, on August 7, 1967, by Capitol Records in the 4-track Stereo-Pak format only and then withdrawn due to a lawsuit from MGM Records. MGM claimed that the album violated Zappa's contract with their subsidiary, Verve Records. In 1968 it was reedited and reissued by MGM's Verve Records on May 13, 1968. It consisted of two musique concrète pieces that combined elements from the original orchestral performance with elements of surf music and the spoken word. It was praised for its music and editing.

Produced simultaneously with We're Only in It for the Money, Zappa saw Lumpy Gravy as the second part of a conceptual continuity that later included his final album, Civilization Phaze III.

Later it was re-edited by Zappa as part of a project called No Commercial Potential, which included three other albums: We're Only in It for the Money, Cruising with Ruben & the Jets and Uncle Meat.

In college, our "hippie" friend Lowell W... introduced our group to Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. Soon, I was adding Mothers LPs (They came on vinyl, you know) to my ecclectic record collection. So, what was this stuff anyhow? Political comment? Rock N Roll? It certainly was not Country & Western! What a puzzle! (However, it might have been political satire because Zappa seems to have written a song about my family friendly congressman before he was even elected. "Just have your fun, you old son of a gun, and drive off in your Lincoln..." So, Lowell up and writes Frank about what's it really mean anyhow and signs it Lo W... Now, Zappa was not one to waste a stamp on a fan. But, a few months later a full page ad appeared for the newest Mother's album in "The Rolling Stone." The headline read: "Dear Lo: We're only in it for the money!" and there was a large photo of the album cover and some other stuff. Well, we still did not know what it was all about, but I enjoyed the album. I cannot speak for the entire listings of the Mothers on Amazon, but "We're only in it for the money" is my favorite Zappa CD. I still do not know what the goofy thing is all about, but I think the title is telling the truth.

Track listing:

We're Only In It For The Money
1 Are You Hung Up? 1:29
2 Who Needs The Peace Corps? 2:35
3 Concentration Moon 2:17
4 Mom & Dad 2:19
5 Telephone Conversation
Voice [On Telephone] – Suzy Creamcheese
6 Bow Tie Daddy 0:33
7 Harry, You're A Beast 1:21
8 What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body? 1:03
9 Absolutely Free 3:28
10 Flower Punk 3:04
11 Hot Poop 0:29
12 Nasal Retentive Calliope Music 2:02
13 Let's Make The Water Turn Black 1:45
14 The Idiot Bastard Son 2:43
15 Lonely Little Girl 1:44
16 Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance 1:35
17 What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body? (Reprise) 0:57
18 Mother People 2:31
19 The Chrome Plated Megaphone Of Destiny 6:25
Lumpy Gravy
20      Lumpy Gravy I    15:48
21      Lumpy Gravy II    15:51


Frank Zappa (guitar, piano, lead vocals, "weirdness & editing")
Dick Barber ("snorks")
Jimmy Carl Black ("Indian of the group", drums, trumpet, vocals)
Roy Estrada (electric bass, vocals, "asthma")
Bunk Gardner (all woodwinds, "mumbled weirdness")
Billy Mundi (drums, vocal, "yak & black lace underwear")
Don Preston (keyboards)
Euclid James Motorhead Sherwood (soprano & baritone saxophones, "all purpose weirdness")
Ian Underwood (piano, woodwinds, "wholesome")
Pamela Zarubica as Suzy Creamcheese ("telephone")
Spider ("is the one who wants you to turn your radio around")
Eric Clapton ("has graciously consented to speak to you in several critical area")
Gary Kellgren ("creepy whispering")
Dick Kunc ("cheerful interruptions")
Sid Sharp (orchestral segments conductor)
Vicki ("telephone ")
Ronnie Williams (backwards voice)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The way I see it, Barry, this was a very dynamite post.

  3. unfortunately, it seems that the files are not available anymore. :( but thanks!