The majority of artists test the water with their first few releases, then (if they've got the talent) do something ground-breaking. For his debut, Frank didn't just break ground; he picked up a jackhammer and drilled away the foundation of popular music as we then knew it, replacing it with a hearty dose of ugliness, humour and controversy, packed into the first ever rock double-vinyl release (initially released in the UK as a single album without tracks 12-15, which were far too dangerous!). Forty years on (yes, nearly half a century!), this remains an essential rock album. The acid test: you could still put this on the CD player at the end of a party when your best friends are the only ones remaining, and elicit the response "Mate - what the hell IS this stuff?". The show kicks off with the Stones' Satisfaction-influenced "Hungry Freaks, Daddy", wherein Frank gets straight to work with some cutting lyrics about the state of the nation, continues with the savage honesty of "I Ain't Got No Heart" and the scary "Who are the Brain Police?", then a bit of his beloved doo-wop, some irony-laden wall-of-sound love ballads decorated with vibes, soaring brass and percussion arrangements, the Dylanesque "Trouble Every Day", then climaxing with a twenty minute plateful of general weirdness in the closing three tracks. Curiously, the album's lead vocals are credited to Ray Collins, but my experience tells me without doubt that on many of these songs, Frank is the dominant singer, with Collins a co-vocalist taking the occasional lead. In fact, out of all 70+ albums, Freak Out contains some of Frank's best vocal work and is probably the only place you will find him singing a genuine love song. Listen to "How Could I be such a Fool" - you may laugh but this is perfect Scott Walker/Marc Almond territory! Some people say Frank never bettered this work. That's a valid point of view I think, but the thing to bear in mind is that he explored many musical worlds, which all have their place with different people. And, most of the time, that jackhammer was never far away.