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4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Vinyl (June 18, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: 2013
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Zappa Records
  • ASIN: B00CA4S3QW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,442 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Freak Out! is the debut album by American band The Mothers of Invention, released June 27, 1966 on Verve Records. Often cited as one of rock music's first concept albums, the album is a satirical expression of frontman Frank Zappa's perception of American pop culture. It was also one of the earliest double albums in rock music (although Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde preceded it by a week), and the first 2-record debut. Mothers Of Invention changed from an R&B covers band to performing Zappa's original material when he joined the group. Freak Out! contains a range of musical styles from R&B, doo wop, and blues-influenced rock to orchestral arrangements and avant-garde sounds. In 1999, the album was honored with the Grammy Hall of Fame Award, and in 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it among the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. "A master guitarist and provocateur, Frank Zappa made more than 60 albums, but the first was perhaps the most groundbreaking. The double disc declared the arrival of a visionary weirdo who dabbled in doo-wop, pop-song parody, protest tunes, art rock and avant-garde classical." - rollingstone.com. This double 180 gram vinyl pressing was mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman mastering..

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
144 of 154 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the mother of them all February 27, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Frank Zappa's extraordinary 60+album output is, in essence, one single thematically related piece of music. True Zappaphiles (of which I am one) appreciate all aspects of this remarkable lifetime achievement, but the point of reviews like this are to point out the salient characteristics of individual albums.
Released in 1966, Freak Out! presented itself as the annunciation of a cultural revolution. Much like the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks (1977), this was pop music as threat. But its scope goes far beyond this. The album begins with the proto-punk anthem, "Hungry Freaks, Daddy," a raw, blistering electric rave-up that works as well as "Anarchy in the U.K.," and stands up just as well. If this was all that remained of Freak Out!, it would still be a classic, but the album goes much deeper. Zappa works dilligently on perfectly realized pop songs built on cliche's, contrasting them with "reality songs" like "Motherly Love" (a brutal rocker that appeals for groupies to have sex with the band members), "You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here" (a savage attack on the shallowness of the youth culture likely to consume the album), and most importantly, the strange, enigmatic "Who Are the Brain Police?" (in which people and objects are unreal, manufactured, interchangeable and subject to melting). The overly arranged love songs sit side by side with material that deconstructs them as false representations (particularly the '50s doo-wop parody "Go Cry on Somebody Else's Shoulder."
I'll never complain about 2 LPs on one CD, but the breakup of the two sections does hurt the psychological impact of the album somewhat. Keep in mind that Side 3 of the LP was where Freak Out!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What "Freaks" Were Up To Back Then May 21, 2006
Format:Audio CD
In 1966, a double LP by a rock band was unheard of. And yes, it was a band. Frank Zappa gets the lion's share of the credit, being the cheif songwriter. But as the title on the cover says, it's "The Mothers Of Invention." The first incarnation of an ever-revolving cast of musicians, all of whom had lots and lots of talent.

As a CD, Freak Out loses some of its impact. Even though the artwork is all intact, and it's the same music, tweaked a little here and there, it's the same recordings, nonetheless. But the tactile sensation of opening a 12x12 cover into a 12x24 gate-fold onslaught is lost here. And you can tell the division of the format a little better on the LP, as the first half is based more on traditional song structure and the second half is more experimental.

Song titles and content vary, from social criticism ("Hungry Freaks") to songs about boy-girl relationships ("You Didn't Try To Call Me") to flat-out weirdness ("Who Are The Brain Police?"). But despite the gritty, even greasy sound, there is an innocence to it; although the band and its image are anything but. This was the most scandalous, possibly the most hated rock band in history, and they used this to their advantage. Radio stations wouldn't touch them, and every television appearance was riddled with controversy. Phone lines would flood with people who loved them, or hated them. It seems that "Freak Out" was more of a social/cultural phenomenon than a piece of music. The sleeve notes describe this in pretty vivid detail, and it would be counter-productive and a little tedious to quote it all here.

Creative highlight: The last segment of the format, from "Help I'm A Rock," right on through "The Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet.
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41 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So here it is, Zappa's first album. May 27, 2003
Format:Audio CD
What a freshman release! Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention created one heck of a first album. It was one of the first double albums in rock history, and certainly one of the wierdest.
My approach to this review is to look at (a) the attractiveness of this release for the Zappa novice, (b) the attractiveness of this album for the Zappa devotee, and (c) the quality of the release.
(a) If you are just getting interested in Zappa, this is not really the best place to start. While there are some interesting tracks here, there's also a lot of what at first appears to be just wierd noise and people freaking out tracks too. Those tracks are not available as samples on www.Amazon.com, so proceed carefully.
(b) Of course you need this! It's great! The mix is a bit different from the original vinyl, with a lot more reverb than before. I'd say that the original vinyl is probably the way to go, but the cd is very good too. (Besides, the cd saves you flipping records over.)
(c) The sound quality is superb, although, as noted before, the mix differs from the original vinyl. The packaging includes all of the original elements, which helps you relate to what the heck the mood was in 1966.
Enjoy!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freaking out on "Freak Out" October 21, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Let me tell you a story. People have many bench marks in their lives, things that remain forever vivid in their memories. A first kiss. A new bike. Your first glimpse of the magical green grass of a major league ball field. Well, I have one of those magical memories: the first time I encountered the album "Freak Out".

It was 1966. I was 16. Me and my friend Steve were cruising through the new releases in the record department at Macys. Back then record departments were not run by hip-looking clerks who imagine themselves as being rock stars. This one was run by a dignified white-haired lady who had to be at least 60.

There it was. The cover of "Freak Out" shouted out its fresh, shrink-wrapped existence, demanding that it be played. NOW! The problem was--we didn't have the $4.98 to buy it! Now, down the counter from the cash register was a stereo. One of those classic 60's compact numbers where the turntable pulled down from the top and with the speakers mounted on each side. Somehow we convinced the white-haired lady that we had to play the record.

I don't think our lives were ever the same after that, both Steve and I and the white-haired lady. It didn't sound like anything we had heard before. Frank Zappa had officially declared war on 60's America and we had no choice but to go along with the ride. I save up the money to buy it. Could only afford the mono version. I have it to this very day.

I won't try and analyze the music for you here. Other reviewers have done so more eloquently than I could ever do. What I want to do is to try and impart on those of you younger than myself is how monumental an achievement "Freak Out" was, and how it helped opened up 60's music to an astonishing array of creativity.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars one of his best.
have always been a huge fan of frank since the beginning, one of his best.
Published 2 days ago by drum0951
4.0 out of 5 stars Zappa Zaps it's Great.
This CD stand the course of time TODAY. Frank Zappa, was ahead of his time with this CD. Done in 1966, it is a great CD. If your just starting out getting into FZ. Start here. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Patricia L Hoffman
5.0 out of 5 stars Satirical late sixties music.
I needed to know how they sounded in the beginning. This works.
Published 29 days ago by Bonzi
3.0 out of 5 stars The beginning
Zappa's first album and a classic.
Published 1 month ago by Walter J. Worth Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Turned me sane
I was worried about having all these strange thoughts as I was growing up. I even had myself committed to a nut house for a brief period of time. Read more
Published 2 months ago by William B. Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius bursts onto the scene in 1966 - the world has yet to catch...
This was the LP that brought Zappa some national name recognition, albeit as "leader" of a West Coast freak band called "The Mothers of Invention".... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stinkfoot
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Music
Frank Zappa was a legendary musician. Amazing how he came up with such brilliant music. This CD will not disappoint any Zappa fan.
Published 3 months ago by Barbara J. Meyer
4.0 out of 5 stars An 'Alternative Top 40' Selection
In retrospect, it’s pretty comical to observe that Frank Zappa got his start in the music business because his band was originally perceived as a blues band. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Thomas D. Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Freaky
The most revolutionary protest album I know of. In retrospect so much seems misguided, but it's so much better than the apathy I see today.
Published 6 months ago by andrew w ward
5.0 out of 5 stars FOR THE DIE HARDS
A master guitarist and provocateur, Frank Zappa made more than 60 albums, but the first was perhaps the most groundbreaking. Read more
Published 6 months ago by socalbiga
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