Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention, Whisky A Go Go 1968 Review: Legendary LA show finally released in full

Almost 60 years on, long, legendary night with the original, Ray Collins-fronted Mothers Of Invention is now available over three discs.

Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention 1968

by Mark Paytress  |
Published on

Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention

Whisky A Go Go, 1968


“IT’S PRETTY hard to record what we do because it gets so loud and ugly,” Zappa explains during the first of three one-hour sets taped towards the end of the original Mothers’ lifespan.

Nevertheless, ugliness of sorts was central to Zappa’s work. Take opener Whisky Improvisation: Episode 1. Beginning with a circus-style drum roll, it continues with comical sax toots and gamelan-style percussion before Zappa says “Take your clothes off ”, and two drummers beat out a tom-tom rhythm in the strangest time signature. To pop-trained, even psychedelicised ears, it’s grotesque – and still unsurpassed in terms of its genre-busting, playful-but-serious attitude. While doo wop pastiches and on-stage antics can try the patience, much here from this long-glorified evening lives up to the hype. And there’s a rare live and extended version of early Mothers epic Brown Shoes Don’t Make It too.

Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention: Whisky A Go Go, 1968 is out now on Zappa/UME.

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CD 1
1. Whisky Improvisation: Episode I
2. America Drinks & Goes Home
3. Help, I’m A Rock / Transylvania Boogie
4. My Boyfriend’s Back
5. Bust His Head
6. Tiny Sick Tears Jam
7. “The Purpose Of This Evening…”
8. Whisky Improvisation: Episode II
9. Status Back Baby
10. Memories Of El Monte
11. Oh, In The Sky
12. Valerie

CD 2
1. “Fun & Merriment”
2. Hungry Freaks, Daddy
3. King Kong - Part 1
4. King Kong - Part 2
5. Octandre
6. Whisky Improvisation: Episode III
7. Meow
8. God Bless America
9. Presentation Of Wings
10. Plastic People
11. Della’s Preamble
12. The Duke - Take 1
13. The Duke - Take 2
14. Khaki Sack

CD 3
1. The Whip
2. Whisky Chouflée
3. Brown Shoes Don’t Make It
4. Brown Shoes Shuffle
5. Continued (Bonus Vintage Mixes)
6. The Whip (FZ Mix)
7. Hungry Freaks, Daddy (FZ Mono Mix)

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