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The Mothers Of Invention|We're Only In It For The Money

We're Only In It For The Money

The Mothers

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From the beginning, Frank Zappa cultivated a role as voice of the freaks -- imaginative outsiders who didn't fit comfortably into any group. We're Only in It for the Money is the ultimate expression of that sensibility, a satirical masterpiece that simultaneously skewered the hippies and the straights as prisoners of the same narrow-minded, superficial phoniness. Zappa's barbs were vicious and perceptive, and not just humorously so: his seemingly paranoid vision of authoritarian violence against the counterculture was borne out two years later by the Kent State killings. Like Freak Out, We're Only in It for the Money essentially devotes its first half to satire, and its second half to presenting alternatives. Despite some specific references, the first-half suite is still wickedly funny, since its targets remain immediately recognizable. The second half shows where his sympathies lie, with character sketches of Zappa's real-life freak acquaintances, a carefree utopia in "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance," and the strident, unironic protest "Mother People." Regardless of how dark the subject matter, there's a pervasively surreal, whimsical flavor to the music, sort of like Sgt. Pepper as a creepy nightmare. Some of the instruments and most of the vocals have been manipulated to produce odd textures and cartoonish voices; most songs are abbreviated, segue into others through edited snippets of music and dialogue, or are broken into fragments by more snippets, consistently interrupting the album's continuity. Compositionally, though, the music reveals itself as exceptionally strong, and Zappa's politics and satirical instinct have rarely been so focused and relevant, making We're Only in It for the Money quite probably his greatest achievement.
© Steve Huey /TiVo

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We're Only In It For The Money

The Mothers Of Invention

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1
Are You Hung Up?
The Mothers
00:01:25

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

2
Who Needs The Peace Corps?
The Mothers
00:02:34

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

3
Concentration Moon
The Mothers
00:02:22

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

4
Mom & Dad
The Mothers
00:02:16

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

5
Telephone Conversation
The Mothers
00:00:48

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

6
Bow Tie Daddy
The Mothers
00:00:33

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

7
Harry, You're A Beast
The Mothers
00:01:21

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

8
What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body?
The Mothers
00:01:03

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

9
Absolutely Free
The Mothers
00:03:24

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

10
Flower Punk
The Mothers
00:03:03

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

11
Hot Poop
The Mothers
00:00:27

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

12
Nasal Retentive Calliope Music
The Mothers
00:02:02

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

13
Let's Make The Water Turn Black
The Mothers
00:02:01

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

14
The Idiot Bastard Son
The Mothers
00:03:18

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

15
Lonely Little Girl
The Mothers
00:01:09

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

16
Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance
The Mothers
00:01:32

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

17
What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body? (Reprise)
The Mothers
00:00:58

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

18
Mother People
The Mothers
00:02:32

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

19
The Chrome Plated Megaphone Of Destiny
The Mothers
00:06:24

Frank Zappa, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Mothers Of Invention, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Zappa Family Trust

Album Description

From the beginning, Frank Zappa cultivated a role as voice of the freaks -- imaginative outsiders who didn't fit comfortably into any group. We're Only in It for the Money is the ultimate expression of that sensibility, a satirical masterpiece that simultaneously skewered the hippies and the straights as prisoners of the same narrow-minded, superficial phoniness. Zappa's barbs were vicious and perceptive, and not just humorously so: his seemingly paranoid vision of authoritarian violence against the counterculture was borne out two years later by the Kent State killings. Like Freak Out, We're Only in It for the Money essentially devotes its first half to satire, and its second half to presenting alternatives. Despite some specific references, the first-half suite is still wickedly funny, since its targets remain immediately recognizable. The second half shows where his sympathies lie, with character sketches of Zappa's real-life freak acquaintances, a carefree utopia in "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance," and the strident, unironic protest "Mother People." Regardless of how dark the subject matter, there's a pervasively surreal, whimsical flavor to the music, sort of like Sgt. Pepper as a creepy nightmare. Some of the instruments and most of the vocals have been manipulated to produce odd textures and cartoonish voices; most songs are abbreviated, segue into others through edited snippets of music and dialogue, or are broken into fragments by more snippets, consistently interrupting the album's continuity. Compositionally, though, the music reveals itself as exceptionally strong, and Zappa's politics and satirical instinct have rarely been so focused and relevant, making We're Only in It for the Money quite probably his greatest achievement.
© Steve Huey /TiVo

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