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Weasels Ripped My Flesh

4.5 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 31, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Official Release #10
Originally Released: August 1970
Produced by: FZ

The Mothers Of Invention:
FZ: Lead Guitar and Vocal ( My Guitar )
Ian Underwood: Alto Sax
Bunk Gardner: Tenor Sax
Motorhead Sherwood: Baritone Sax and Snorks
Buzz Gardner: Trumpet and Flugel Horn
Roy Estrada: Bass and Vocal ( Gas Mask )
Jimmy Carl Black: Drums
Art Tripp: Drums
Don Preston: Piano Organ and Electronic Effects
Ray Collins: Vocal ( Oh No )
Don Sugar Cane Harris: Electric Violin and Vocal ( Directly From My Heart To You )
Lowell George: Rhythm Guitar and Vocal ( Didja Get Any Onya? )
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Digital Booklet: Weasels Ripped My Flesh
Digital Booklet: Weasels Ripped My Flesh
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 31, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Zappa Records
  • ASIN: B008BDZP26
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,165 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
_Weasels Ripped My Flesh_ is a Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention disc that combines both live and studio material recorded between 1967-1969. This material I believe is not found on their studio albums that came before this one. The combination of loose jazz improvisation, relentless experimentation and musical adventurousness will irritate and baffle many listeners who are accustomed to easy pop/rock or the like. However, amongst all the chaos, there are a few tracks that can be considered accessible. These tracks would be:

"Directly From My Heart To You"--A bluesy cover of a Little Richard track.

"Get A Little"--A melodic and tasteful instrumental featuring Frank Zappa soloing on a wah-wah (or what I call a 'wow-wow') pedal.

"My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama"--Zappa's only lead vocal on the disc. A steady rhythm with nice musicianship. Frank does some impressive guitar work on here. Love the backward section on here as well.

The rest of the disc is experimental, challenging, adventurous meat. "Didja Get Any Onya?," starts out in a big band-like jazz explosion. It goes through several motifs - featuring vocal experimentation, classical-like dissonance (in the middle section) and some loose and seemingly unstructured sax playing (which many may accuse of sounding like 'noise.') Lowell George does a vocal 'improv' which mimics what sounds like the trumpet a few times on this track. This has me laughing like a maniac. "Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Sexually Aroused Gas Mask" features an odd-timed rhythm, similar to the one found on "Didja." However, the rest of the track is given to vocal experimentation. If you don't have a sense of humor, this track will annoy the hell out of you. There's lots of hysterical laughter, yelling and roaring.
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Format: Audio CD
I make no pretense of having heard all of FZ's massive output, but of what I've heard, this is the pinnacle. I'm not saying it ranks ahead of "We're Only In It For the Money" in terms of significance. WOIIFTM is clearly more important both in terms of its satirical (and prophetic!) content, but also in terms of the radical form. What I am saying is that, as aside from HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE, this album is a total rush to listen to!

Now if you like Frank because he did "Yellow Snow," you're probably not going to agree with me. It's not a pop album, and complaining that "some of the tracks just go on aimlessly" misses the point entirely. "Weasels" is short on juvenile humor and long on formalistic revolution. Like many Zappa albums, beginning with "Freak Out!", the whole is much greater than the sum of, what in this case might seem like particularly disjointed, parts. Throwing "Directly From My Heart To You," with great electric violin from Sugarcane Harris, in next to free jazz (but of course nothing Frank did was really "free," it was always planned as part of his overarching Project...), is what makes "Weasels" so exhilarating. You can't take any of the pieces completely seriously when they're placed in such wild juxtoposition with radically different sounds and structures. Of course, it does contain a couple of Zappa's best compositions, "Toads of the Short Forest" and "The Orange County Lumber Truck," and some of Frank's great guitar.

For me, "Weasels" stands as a great concentration of the liberatory spirit of the late 1960s. Some of FZ's '70s stuff was excellent ("One Size Fits All" is quite underrated, FI), but the freshness and optimism of the '60s was lost. I recommend this album as a sort of musical Zen koan -- listen to it repeatedly, and see if it doesn't open your mind!
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Format: Audio CD
This is the second of two compilations Zappa made (per his contract) of the last lineup of the early Mothers of Invention, the companion being the much more polished Burnt Weeny Sandwich album. This album, contrasting its heavily composed and easily digestible forerunner, highlights the band's experimental live jazz performances. At the time of its release, this band had long been dissolved. A few musicians worthy of mention are Sugarcane Harris and Ian Underwood, the two hang-ons from this period that played on the Hot Rats album, and Lowell George. Lowell was one of FZ greatest discoveries, but his time with Zappa was short lived. He formed Little Feat in 1970 and went on to grab a nice piece of 70s rock history for himself before his untimely death at the end of the decade.
The opener, DIDJA GET ANY ONYA?, sets the tone for the whole album. A raucous, spontaneous experimental piece that contains some fantastic nasal sax playing (Underwood's special talent), and some vocal adlibbing by Lowell. It slips, with some humor, into a cover of DIRECTLY FROM MY HEART TO YOU, which features a great solo by Sugarcane, who also contributes the vocals. PRELUDE TO THE AFTERNOON... is a mockup of Debussy's Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune, though it doesn't quote it at any moment. The intent seems to mutate the idea into perverse improvised theatre, the type of which is recreated by FZ and Roy Estrada on-stage on the Baby Snakes film.
TOADS OF THE SHORT FOREST is a split piece, with a beautiful composed portion recorded in studio, and a heavy live portion that features several members of the band playing in different signatures, per Zappa's obsession with "rhythmical textures" in this period. GET A LITTLE is a short, wah solo set to a simple lounge beat.
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