zappa phaze two
Essential Zappa: Phaze Two
ween comp
Understanding Boognish:
The Best of Ween
drag comp
Drag: A Witch House
Essential Zappa: Phaze One
Radiohead Album Series
It Took the Night to Believe
Killing in Style
Cadillac Casanovas
A Night in the Box
Brasil, Para Sempre!
Same As It Ever Was:
The Best of Talking Heads
Universe Dirt
The Best of
American Music Club
The New Dance
Cut the Kids in Half
Machines of Canterbury
Archimedes Said It Best
The Early Rock of
West Germany
Music from
the Republic of Iceland
Take Me Back:
The Best of M. Ward
The Best of...
Of Montreal
Dust & Diamonds
The Best of
Sigur Ros
The Hall of Mirrors

Imaginary Sounds Mix 24: Essential Zappa: Phaze One

Frank Zappa was a pervert. 

He took clean traditional family fun and exploited it to his own twisted sense of filth. 

Okay, fine, he wasn't a sexual pervert, and he exploited early rock 'n' roll and doo wop music, which was never really clean or traditional. He did spend 10 days in jail in the early 60's, though, after an undercover police officer elicited him to craft a suggestive audio tape for a bachelor party, so maybe I'm not so far off the mark.

The man went his entire career as a respected "musician's musician" which meant he was always just on the fringe of the public's consciousness, people forever hearing his name but never knowing what the big deal was. It wasn't until 20 years into his career that he began to receive any sort of wide acclaim, although even then it was more as a humorous novelty musician and not for his more substantial talents. Most people now know him for his satirical ditties about Bobby Brown going down on a lesbian, valley girls, Jewish girls, disco boys and the precautions of eating "that yellow snow". These songs are humorous for their time, I suppose, and I can understand why they captured the attention of the world when they did. Everyone finally had some music to attach to that enigmatic name they kept hearing their uncle Ray mention. But humor wasn't necessarily what Zappa DID, it was something he experimented with, just like he experimented with virtually every other genre possible within his 70+ album discography.

1968's We're Only In It for the Money 
parodying the album cover of The Beatle's
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
That's right 70 goddamn, whole, full-length albums. Zappa was a workaholic and went a long way to make every other musician feel like a worthless layabout. He made fun of and played tribute to Doo-Wop & rockabilly at the same time, played with Psychedelic music, experimented with Avante-Garde and Musique Concrete, helped invent Jazz Rock Fusion, and well into his career pioneered the use of groundbreaking electronic synthesis instrument the Synclavier, creating fucked up electronic music that preceded Richard D. James and Venetian Snares by a decade.

Phaze One of my Essential Zappa compilation deals with only a sample of Zappa's musical assembly; specifically the first portion. Within the first 5 years, between '65 and '70, Zappa had taken over leadership of California R&B band The Soul Giants, renamed them The Mothers of Invention, and released 6 incredible albums ranging in style and sensibilities. He also produced the most important avante-garde album of the 60's (Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica) and various soundtracks and solo material that he recorded on his own. I'll be skipping the solo and soundtrack material for a later compilation, but here I have collected what I consider to be the best and most essential to the spirit, sound, and philosophy of the first "Phaze" of Zappa recordings. His music can be somewhat of an acquired taste, but note the singular sound that is already established for such a young band. The cynicism, the humor, the technicality. The sound would change over the years, but the philosophy and spirit would remain impossibly consistent throughout Frank's massively prolific career.

I've had this compilation mulling around in my head for years now. The idea of doing it was as daunting as Zappa's output must seem for anybody trying to get into it. With any luck I will have released the other 3 essential portions of Frank's career by this time next year. But for now, I hope you enjoy Phaze One.

1. My Guitar Wants to Kill Yer Mama from Weasels Ripped My Flesh
2. Hungry Freaks, Daddy from Freak Out!
3. Why Don'tcha Do Me Right from Absolutely Free
4. The Orange County Lumber Truck from Weasels Ripped My Flesh
5. Who Needs the Peace Corps? from We're Only In It for the Money
6. Call Any Vegetable from Absolutely Free
7. Invocation & Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin from Absolutely Free
8. Concentration Moon from We're Only In It for the Money
9. Absolutely Free from We're Only In It for the Money
10. Any Way the Wind Blows from Freak Out!
11. Big Leg Emma from Absolutely Free
12. Oh No from Weasels Ripped My Flesh
13. Son of Suzy Creamcheese from Absolutely Free
14. Help I'm A Rock from Freak Out!
15. Cheap Thrills from Cruising with Reuben and the Jets
16. WPLJ from Burnt Weeny Sandwich
17. No No No from Cruising with Reuben and the Jets
18. Lonely Little Girl from We're Only In It for the Money
19. Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance from We're Only In It for the Money
20. Directly from My Heart to You from Weasels Ripped My Flesh
21. How Could I Be Such a Fool from Cruising with Reuben and the Jets
22. What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body? from We're Only In It for the Money
23. Aybe Sea from Burnt Weeny Sandwich
24. Who Are the Brain Police? from Freak Out!
25. Trouble Every Day from Freak Out!
26. America Drinks & Goes Home from Absolutely Free

These mixes are compiled by myself to promote good music only, NOT to take money away from these artists. Please support the artists you like. And to make it fair, I ask you to delete these files within 24 hours. 
btw, We're always curious to hear your feedback on mixes. Let us know what you think about this one, past mixes, or the site in general by leavin a comment. Please?


KiDG said...

Thanks for this! Always wanted to venture beyond Hot Rats but Zappa's catalogue is just way too huge. So appreciate this compilation!

A-Mfan said...

Even though I have all these songs I had to download. Very interesting selection. Thanks


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